If anyone has been reading my articles for any length of time, you are well aware of the fact that I am very much about calling the Christian church to be about the business of preaching the gospel. I have long said that not every Christian needs to be on a street corner preaching, but every believer needs to find someone to share the gospel with. That being said, I truly believe that one of the powerful forms of evangelism is Christians getting out into the community and proclaiming the gospel in the open air. A great many godly men have preached out in the open square, men like Whitfield, Wesley, Spurgeon, Knox and many others. Many people today may never darken the door of a church, others might only if the church caters entirely to their flesh. Yet, there hundreds, thousands, even millions of people coming and going throughout the communities in which we live. Short of going to each and every door in a community, another blessed and worthwhile evangelism effort, one of the perhaps most effective means of reaching the masses of people with which we abide is to proclaim the gospel where they are, in the open square.
To that end, several ministries are attempting to raise up a new generation of open air preachers who will boldly proclaim the good news. One such ministry is CARM, the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry. Matt Slick and Tony Miano have worked together to establish a new Street Preaching section. I highly recommend all our readers take the time to go to this valuable resource and learn about preaching the gospel in the open air. Having been an evangelist and street preacher, I can personally say that there is no more humbling, yet powerful opportunity to share the gospel than to step up on a box, open your lips and speak the truth of the gospel to people who you may never meet again. Please, check out the link below and pray what God may have you do today.
CARM: Street Preaching
Meet James Lyman. He is the man in the below video street preaching (I use the term very loosely as to not bring reproach upon those men out there who actually preach Christ and Him crucified on street corners).
As you’ll see in the video, exactly what Mr. Lyman is preaching is a little hard to pin down, as there seems to be no gospel message. It seems that Law and gospel have taken a backseat to just plain condemnation and ridicule.
If you recall, Mr. Lyman is the man who mocked, ridiculed, and called Rosie O’Donnell names while street preaching at this past year’s Superbowl. He then defended his actions here on DefCon.
How Mr. Lyman treats this woman is heartbreaking, for the message of the gospel is supposed to be the offense, not those who carry the message of the gospel.
For those who are not familiar with the preaching of the gospel, rest assured, this is not it.
After watching the exchange between you and the street preacher in the brief video clip below, I felt compelled to respond.
I am not privy to the conversation between you and the men before the video began rolling so I do not know what was said, but honestly, what took place beforehand is irrelevant and does not justify what was said to you by the one with the microphone. How you were treated was appalling, despicable, and reprehensible.
It is obvious that the man insulting you and calling you names was speaking from a position of prideful arrogance and as one who does not fully understand the pit from which God saved him from (although his behavior would lead me to seriously question if he truly has been saved from anything).
On behalf of Christians, I want to publicly apologize for how you were treated. This man does not speak for, nor did his actions represent genuine, biblical Christianity. Instead, he displayed a sinfully self-righteous attitude reminiscent of that of the Pharisees.
I see very little difference between his behavior and that of the clan from the Westboro “Baptist Church.” Both come from a position of I’m superior to you because you’re a sinner, instead of coming from a position of I am a sinner saved by God’s undeserved grace and was facing God’s justly deserved wrath until He saved me for His glory.
God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5). The man insulting you showed absolutely no humbleness nor concern for your soul, but instead displayed an abundantly self-righteous attitude revealing that the impetus behind his behavior was nothing but sheer pride. His harsh and demeaning words to you exposed not only his utter lack of understanding of God’s grace and God’s mercy, but it also revealed what was in his heart (Luke 6:45) as well as his astounding ignorance of the very gospel of Jesus Christ that he claims to represent.
I seriously have to question the salvation of any professing Christian who revels and delights in the prospect of someone facing Hell–ridiculing and insulting them–instead of grieving for that perishing soul. For not even God takes pleasure in the death of the wicked, but prefers for the sinner to turn from their ways (Ezekiel 18:23).