If you brought your family to the Cinco de Mayo celebration in St. Paul on Saturday, you were definitely not alone.  Trying to push my son’s stroller through the packed Cesar Chavez Street past the cars with cool paint jobs and the booths of fresh Mexican food was pretty difficult.  There was a lot to take in all at once.

But the thing that I remember most vividly is something that has nothing to do with the celebration.  There was a guy on a platform at the very end of the street, a bible in one hand, and the other hand pointing down at me and yelling.  I couldn’t push the stroller fast enough away from that man.    It was awkward, and uncomfortable, and it was scaring my 3 and 8 year old.

Now, I’m not the type to stand on a street corner and start telling people about Jesus, yelling or not.  I’m not even good about sharing Jesus at all. It’s something I need to work on.  But what I saw didn’t feel right either.

So, when I got back in the van with my kids, we had a talk about what we experienced.  They wanted to know what the guy was doing. I told them he was trying to tell others about Jesus, but maybe not in the best way.

I was thinking about how Jesus reached people. He didn’t yell, at least at the “sinners.”  He did get angry at the people that pretended to be religious and better than everyone else though.

And for the people who were searching for truth, Jesus was gentle, full of love, and willing to tell them the things that they needed to hear.  Not with a raised voice and with anger, but with an open heart, ears that listened to their problems, and unconditional love that covered their sins.

So, I’d love to hear how you found Jesus, because I think that the way I can best reach others with the Love of God, is by showing love, in a way so outrageous and unconditional that people will ask,  “What’s different about you, and how can I be like that?”

 

7 Responses to "The man had a bible in his hand, so why did he make me feel so uncomfortable?"

  • Snd Dames says:

    The reason you feel so uncomfortable is because you hate the truth of God’s word. Your children have probably seen more blood, guts, and gore in movies, television, haunted houses, and Halloween. Yet, this is far scarier, and should be, because you are lost. You cannot hear the word of God no matter the sound level. It’s a spiritual issue, not an audio problem.

    42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

    43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

    44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.John 8:42-44

  • I guess my first thought when I heard Andy this morning was a quote from St Francis of Assisi…”Preach the Gospel and if necessary use words.”

  • Bill Kuhn says:

    Andy – I was also discouraged by your comments about the street preacher. If a person was standing on the sidewalk yelling “Free Twins tickets, free Twins tickets” nobody would be afraid. Instead people would flock to the street crier trying to be the first to get the tickets. Decibel level alone doesn’t make people feel afraid…sure it may startle them if they are taken by surprise…but per your story, that appears to not be the case. It’s the message that needs to be evaluated. Your comments this morning on the air regarding the man’s message was “he was preaching about Jesus”. So it seems you evaluated his message and approved of it…yet for some reason you “felt” uncomfortable. Assuming this preachers message was sound doctrinally (which again from your account you had nothing bad to say about his message), my opinion is different than yours. My opinion is that the preacher is a courageous man willing to speak the truth so that others can know the goodness of God.

    Respectfully,

    Bill K

  • Andy I too would have felt uncomfortable. I went to church as a kid but I did not develop a relationship with Jesus until I was 19. I was attending Michigan state university. Some girls on my dorm floor invited me to a Christian fellowship. I went and got to be friends with the people there. I learned Bible verses. We went on a retreat and I asked Jesus into my heart. Some people call this group’s approach friendship evangelism. When reading the Gospels I see Jesus inviting himself to people’s homes, teaching them, sometimes teaching large crowds who come to hear him. It is a welcoming approach.

  • kathleen labelle says:

    Yes,
    I came to the Lord because i was tried of doing wrong…. grew up Catholic… but found Jesus through Pentecostal women in Louisiana when i was alone and through my husband and his friends… but what i was emailing my friend is this… they may have been extremist but we didn’t go out and spread the Gospel like they did, they may have been harsh but only God knows there heart we are not to be mad at them for questioning us… some people are harsh when they are trying to spread the Gospel because they are hurt inside and want ppl to know God RIGHT NOW…. so what I was trying to say I was happy they were there spreading the Gospel… I feel bad that I didn’t.

    Paul’s Chains Advance the Gospel -NIV
    12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.
    15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    And read this…. 
    1 Corinthians 9:14-16
    14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
    15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast. 16 For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

  • K8tlyn JesusIsLord says:

    Whatever we do should be done out of LOVE, not judgment.

    “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not LOVE, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not LOVE, I am nothing.
    LOVE is patient, LOVE is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…” (1 Corinthians 13:1-7)

    “Follow the way of LOVE,
    and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy…
    everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their STRENGTHENING, ENCOURAGEMENT, and COMFORT.” (1 Cor. 14:1,3)

    By the same Spirit, God has made some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some preachers, teachers…..to some he has given gives of administration, gifts of mercy, encouraging, helps. We are all part of one body. One part is dependent on all the others and those that are seen should not be elevated above those that are not seen. In fact, God has placed even greater value on those parts that are not seen. That which is given is in order that the whole church may be edified. Therefore honor one another….

    “They who are led by the Spirit are the true sons of God.” (Romans 8:25)

    In order to be led by the Spirit of God, we need to be rooted and grounded in love, but even love alone is not enough. We need proper knowledge of the Word of God that comes only through revelation, not human interpretation of the Word.

    It is the SPIRIT that gives life; works of the flesh profit nothing.
    The WORDS that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT, and they are LIFE.” (John 6:63)

    “But the FRUIT of the spirit is:
    LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, KINDNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL…
    Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galations 5:22-26)

    We also know that “all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

    So for Andy, maybe this is a call to evangelism?!
    To “Go and do likewise..,” but going about it a different way??

    God can even use offenses to our advantage.
    Jesus was a rock of offense to the Jews. Sometimes it may be the only way He can get our attention. In this life we should never seek to be comfortable!!!! To do so is dangerous, even wicked, because anytime we are resisting God’s will (which is disobedience/sin of omission), or even just delaying…..people are dying in the wilderness.

    We ALL need to examine our hearts. And let God strip us of anything that hinders love and the advancement of His Kingdom.

    “He who does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11)

    Maybe the man standing on the corner had an experience kind of like Jonah, who first resisted obedience to God’s command. Who knows?
    But it certainly got people’s attention.

    The Bible does say, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ the Messiah will shine on you.”

    Some of us have been “saved too long” as someone once put it, and have lost a sense of God’s passion for the lost. “It is My will that none should perish…”

    I think the people who are in the most danger of hellfire are the ones who think they are saved. “They worship me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” So I think this calls for a spiritual “Heart-Check” all around:

    Are we all walking in strict obedience to God’s Word, or are we just doing what all our Christian friends are doing?? Or doing out of fear what should be done out of love?

    Christians criticizing and/or lashing out at other Christians is NOT godly exhortation. To do is a pretty clear indicator that there is some bitterness or unforgiveness that needs to be resolved! We should use words to EDIFY, or build up, one another. “Speak the truth in love.”

    God has called us to be fishers of men. Every knot in a fishing net symbolizes our relationships with one another. How are the lost going to be saved if “Christians” are not walking in love and unity?!

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