Saturday, November 15, 2008

Downtown 11/14: The Same Old Stuff

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Last night was our weekly Downtown Take Down where we hit the streets of Downtown Orlando with the gospel. This week was exciting for me because I had not been there in a few weeks, but also because we were bringing Taylor a new friend from Church. This would be his first time doing evangelism in this sort of environment.  It was great having him around because he was a sharp young man and was able to handle himself very well in a one-2-one encounter. 

Normally I would write about all the, one-2-one encounters, the open air, and some of the crazy things we saw people doing, but I want to zero in on a few of the common objections that occurred while witnessing to people. What I hope to do is, tell you guys how I would handle it, post a  link or two to some deep thinking on the subject, and maybe get some input from my readers.

Post Modernism (what's true for you is true for you)

When some one presents me with this I usually show them how illogical it is by creating a straw man. I like to say “I believe that when you die Spiderman will swing down and carry your body to the top of a building then wrap you in a web cocoon for 30 days and then when you come out of it you have wings like and angel and you spend the rest of your death fighting crime on distant planets. Can this be true?” At this point they will either say, Oh I see what you mean” then you can carry on with you evangelism or they will continue with their illogical position and say, “well if that's what you believe then its true for you.” at this point you can either walk away or try another angle. If I decide to try once more I’ll do one of two things. I’ll ask them, “ if what’s true for you is true for you and what’s true for me is true for me, what if my truth says that your truth is a lie?” Or you can ask them if they will at least humor you that the biblical position is true. Then take them through the ten commandments. Usually I find that it becomes a reality to them when they see themselves before the one true God as guilty.

Your Doing It All Wrong!

The objection to the way we do evangelism, especially open air, is some what common. It is usually brought to you by, a false convert, an uneducated Christian, and most of the time the objector does not share their faith at all. Usually the person you are speaking with only “feels” that its wrong and when you show them from scripture how Jesus (Matthew 5, Matt 15:19-20, Mark 10:17-22, Luke 10:25-29, Luke 16:14-18, John 8:3-9) and the Apostles (Eph 6:19-20, Acts 13:39-41, Acts 16:22-33, Acts 17:29-31, Col 3:5-9, Acts 24:25, Acts 7:51-53, and more) did it, they always go back to their feeling “I just feel there is a better way.”

Most of the time I stay out of this conversation, but if I do engage I usually ask them how they do it. Their answer is almost always “you need to be their friend first!” There are so many problems with this Idea. First of all I don't see it in scripture. Second of all, most of the time when someone seeks to establish a relationship first they never get to the gospel for fear they will lose their friendship! Besides what if they die first? I wrote a blog post on this awhile ago here. This doesn't mean we wont be kind to people or try to establish some relation with them before we share the Gospel. But the gospel is of such importance that once they hear it and believe it, you will now have an eternal relationship!

My biggest mistake in handling this is letting my emotions get me worked up. I tend to be angered by this position because of its unbiblical and unloving nature. I always wonder how many “Christians” were working so hard on our relationship that they failed to warn me about the judgment to come. I've still yet to have a Christian witness to me!

Why Does God Allow Bad Things To Happen?

I’ll Let Voddie Baucham Answer this.

Video

Homosexuals (I was Born This Way)

When witnessing to a Homosexual I usually avoid their homosexuality by setting it aside for a moment. Yes Homosexuality is a sin and is condemnable, but there is a deeper issue then getting them to right their wrong. I let them see themselves in the mirror of Gods law and then if they flee the wrath to come by clinging to the cross, God will change them from the inside out. Then and only then can their homosexuality be conquered.

If I for some reason feel the need to engage their homosexuality I try to stress to them that it is a behavior that can be controlled. They usually respond. “I cant stop being gay I like women to much!” I always say “no one liked women more then I did, but my love for God out ways my love for sexual gratification. Its a behavior that I can control” They usually don't buy that and that's why I try to avoid their homosexuality all together.

Helpful Article: I Was Born That Way, by Dan Phillips 

Conclusion

There are so many more objections that occur when out on the streets, but I just wanted to cover a few that happened last night. I am by no means an authority on this sort of stuff so if you have input or suggestions please comment id love to hear them.

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