Is This Evangelism?

Please take a second and watch this video called

"Man Arrested For Reading The Bible In Public"

A friend of mine on face book posted this on her facebook page asking for opinions. In that vain I am doing the same. My opinion is as follows I would love to hear yours as well.

Man Arrested For Reading The Bible In Public


Personally I think this pastor was rude not righteous. This sort of evangelism is ineffective. I do not believe it planted any good seeds. Had I been in the crowd, I would have been sympathetic, But I would not have been able to support this pastor. In my opinion, he left a bad impression. Most importantly, this event did not bring Glory to God. It seemed to me that these two men were not persecuted they were disciplined.

Guys the audience was waiting in a line. I suppose they could have left if they wanted to, but I agree with the officer, they were a captive audience. If they let us Christians do this kind of rude and intrusive evangelism, they will have to let the Muslims. Personally I was embarrassed. These men were out of line.

That said, I was shocked that they got arrested. I could not believe my eyes. I expected the officer to come up and ask them to leave. To give them a warning first. That did not happen, I suspect this group has been a thorn in the officials sides before.

We must never forget Paul's admonition to us

1 Timothy 2:1-2 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

Also, and more to the point;

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

Evangelism is important, indeed we need to take the gospel into the community but do so in a manner that brings honor to God's reputation.

Opinions are like noses, we all have one

ABR

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Comments 24 comments

coffeesnob 5 years ago

Well, I guess I will be the first to respond. I don't see that He did anything wrong. He was peaceful, not beligerant. He only read the Scriptures, and held to his right to do so. My guess is that if someone was there representing any other religion that there would have been nothing even said. I, like the others asking, am wondering what law he broke. It seemed that what he was charged with was a charge that only justified his being taken away from that spot.

I also wonder how many would have taken out John the Baptist - Oh yeah, He was taken out.

Respectfully,

CS


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Hi Coffesnob:

I love your new profile pic. You look great! what a beautiful smile you have!

Thanks for being the first to comment. I appreciate your thoughts and input. Indeed it was startling see him be so easily arrested. While I disagree with the pastors methods, I suspect some civil rights were being trampled on.

As always thanks for stopping by.

ABR


exjwlaurie 5 years ago

ABrushing1958,

I completely agree with you! That was painful to watch!

The whole thing almost smacks of a rebellious desire to start controversy. From the Scripture he chose to read, then the fact that he was quick to respond with "You do what you gotta do, but I'm going to keep reading..."; which seemed like a taunt which was expected, and had been well-rehersed. Then--the fact that it was "caught on camera", all of it--felt very agenda-ridden and contrived.

I even thought as I watched--yeah--he so wants to put his little church on the map. But for "whose" Glory? I was embarrassed for his poor display of Christianity.

I think that is a perfect example of how we DON"T want to evangelize! Good call, and excellent hub!


simeon 5 years ago

Aaron and all,

why did this officer take so much enjoyment in this arrest???? "ABsolutely, ABsolutely I will" he says. Look at how he handled the Bible.

Even though i do disagree with the way this man was evangelising, i did happen to catch a glimpse of an anti-christian(a growing trend in America and the world) at work. It seems this is happening more and more. Truly a sign of the ends.

I know i am new to your posts and hub page, but i wanted to point out an observation. its an observation that most would consider politally incorrect. I am going to say that i THINK the police officer is a homosexual. Now, with that statement comes alot of alogations. I am not condemning gays and i am not saying they all act alike, i am simply saying that a majority of them do not follow the word of God and His teachings. Therefore this officer is acting out his anger and "duty" against a theme his lifestyle rejects. If you look at this police oficer's actions, you will notice a few traits that a majority of homosexuals seem to act out. Now i know that my observations will not be accepted by many, but those only need to open their eyes and not be duped by this P.C blind-fold. walks like a duck...wellllllll.......

anyway...

i think this officer was enjoying this arrest. thats all i wanted to point out.


exjwlaurie 5 years ago

I think that if it had been handled differently by the preacher--respectfully, preaching the gospel--it may have been handled differently by the officer too.

Yes--we are seeing more and more anti-chrisitan attitude being played out now--all the more reason for us to be respectful and careful in how we evangelize in public areas like that. If we get attention for our public behavior in our community as he did--hopefully it will be due to providing a good example of our Christianity. All Glory to God!


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks Simeon. The policeman was awfully quick to arrest this guy for sure. It is disturbing. As to his sexual orientation, that is more than I can say. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Thanks for taking the time to share yours.

In Christ

ABR


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Exjwlaurie:

Among many wonderful things, you said, "I think that if it had been handled differently by the preacher--respectfully, preaching the gospel--it may have been handled differently by the officer too."

This is my feeling also. We bring a lot of bad stuff onto ourselves don't we.

Thanks for stopping by and adding to this discussion excellent insight.

In Christ

ABR


coffeesnob 5 years ago

Just curious,

How was he disrespectful


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Abrushing,

Boy! There's a lot I could say both for and against. But I have to wonder like coffeesnob, if this was something other than Christianity being preached, would it have had a different outcome? I think almost certainly, Yes.

I'm one of those old-fashioned preachers that still believe the Bible, and the Bible says and Paul admonishes us to go door to door and house to house. People may disagree with also, but if the church made an effort to visit in their neighborhood (and maybe they did), they would reach these people as well.

Scripture also tells us to preach publicly and I think this can be done in a lot of different ways. Each individual will have to decide for themselves what the proper way is and be willing to take whatever consequences may come with it.

The bottom line is, "we ought to obey God rather than men."--Just my two cents!


exjwlaurie 5 years ago

In response to coffeesnob.....

I believe that this Pastor was disrespectful to both the Security Guard, and the Police Officer. First--he was asked by the security guard to “go someplace else”. He was asked nicely--Not once, but twice. The security guard was polite. He was doing the job he was hired to do.

Did this Preacher show him the respect he was entitled to?

No, the Preacher said to him, “Do what you gotta do—I’m going to keep reading.” They should have simply packed up the camera and left when told to do so.

To start with--this man professing to be a Christian, shows up, with his crew who had camera in hand--and “announces” to the people gathered, who were waiting in line at the DMV (indeed a captive audience)—that he is going to read the Bible to them, and begins with Romans 1:18:

“THE WRATH OF GOD is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” What kind of an opening line is this to a group of strangers, assembled at the DMV?

We are not here to beat anyone over the head with our Christianity. We are not here to FORCE our Light on others, when they have no choice but to listen.

We are here to shine as “light” in a dark world. But--There is a time, a place and a “WAY” to speak the TRUTH to others. That wasn’t it!

Anyone listening to the response of the crowd can see that the general attitude, is NOT one of: “Yeah—let him speak”, but rather one of mocking distain, even as the Preacher began to pronounce God’s wrath upon them.

When the policeman arrives—he didn’t back down, but acted as if it was HIS right to give a public sermon on God’s Wrath to a crowd who was gathered there for another purpose altogether.

As the officer placed him into the back seat of his car, the Pastor told him “You need to repent”.

Unbelievable! “Who” is this Pastor, to determine “that” upon a man who is carrying out the duty placed upon him by the State of California. How sad that it may cause some to think badly of us as Christians.

Persecution WILL come upon us—soon enough! Why would the Pastor of a Christian Church act in such a way—as to practically force the issue! Why act as a catalyst to the anger already simmering against us as Christians?

It will overflow upon us—soon enough! We do not need to go out and seek it—with camera in hand! Hours later—it was already uploaded on You Tube, yeah--I think this kind-of smacks of an agenda here!

We provide a “witness” to people through our actions as much as through our words. How does Christ view the “witness” this Pastor forced upon this group? Especially in light of Paul’s words in Romans 13:1-5:

Romans 13:1-5: “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

2 Consequently, he who REBELS against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so “will bring judgment on themselves”. (as in being arrested by the Police?)

3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.

4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

5 Therefore, it is necessary to SUBMIT to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.”

Those who saw this spectacle probably believe that we as Christians are radical, law-breaking trouble-makers. Not the kind of witness for Christ we should be providing to the world.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Guys Here is what my Brother Kevin Rushing Said, He is a pastor of a Calvary Chapel in Nevada. I felt he expressed my feelings better than I Did.

"I think the heart of the issue here isn't law or property it is whether these men were displaying the heart of Jesus. Did Jesus ever approach a crowed and demand people to listen to him? Jesus and the Apostles did preach open air but never ...in a demanding and belligerent manner. In my opinion this was completely out of character for a child of God and totally ineffective. It might even be said that it was counter productive and brought reproach on the name of Jesus. It certainly didn't make me want to glorify God. A better approach may have been to quietly pass out gospel tracts or hold up banners proclaiming the Gospel. I also wonder how many of us actually evangelize by reading scripture. There's not even a Biblical model that I'm aware of where someone evangelized solely by reading the Word. I suppose we could chalk that up to poor judgment except that the passage he was reading from was the Gospels account of Jesus' crucifixion. Hardly a passage that would be used to evangelize. I would have to agree that this was very poor judgment at least."

Coffesnob I will try to get back here and answer your question this after noon. Thanks.

ABR


coffeesnob 5 years ago

So, what am I to say about the apostle Paul in Acts 4:18-20 when he was commanded not to preach and responded with saying he could do nothing but preach. Or in Acts 5:25-34 when they were strictly charged not to preach but Peter said, "We must obey God rather than men."


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks Coffeesnob:

Those are great scriptures to be sure thanks for bringing them to the discussion. Indeed obey God over man. Great point. If I may point out however that the passage clearly states that they were commanded not to preach or teach the Gospel of Jesus at anywhere or any time. A complete prohibition against the gospel had been put in place. In their case they had no choice but to brake the law. We here in America are not yet in that situation. There are many public place where we can go to teach the gospel in a law abiding way. Personally, the Court house or the DMV is the last place I would go to do open air evangelism. which leads me to my next point.

The passage in Act 5 records that they were in the temple teaching and preaching a place were spiritual conversations happened on a regular basis. There could be no better setting, no better place than there to preach and teach. It was not an out of ordinary place such as the DMV. I do not go to the DMV expecting to hear about spiritual things Now it may happen that while I am there that I fall into a conversation with someone about the things of God. In that Case it is a natural exchange between two people. Other than that I am there to conduct business not listen to a sermon.

Also note that the apostles clearly had the hearts and minds of the people in the temple area. Acts 5 records the they feared the people's response. Telling me that they conducted themselves in a courteous and professional manner. In a way that earned the respect of those listening.

I am not saying that we should not go out and preach and teach. I am saying lets be sensitive to those we are preaching too. Effective evangelism is done in such a way that it opens the heart and minds of those we are addressing. The Sanhedrin got all up in arms because the apostles were being effective. They were persuading people. It is my opinion that the method of evangelism exampled in the above video was ineffective. Clearly the officer did not fear the people to who the pastor was preaching.

"Open Air preaching" is standing on the street corners and in parks, any neutral place where a person can decide on his own to stop and listen and respond if he/she desires. In My opinion, publicly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ in an Open Air Fashion is completely acceptable when it is done in a non-confrontational manner. I don't beleive that what we see in this video is what the apostles were doing. Had it been so the Sanhedrin would have had nothing to worry about

You asked me how they were disrespectful. I felt he was disrespectful to the security guard by not acknowledging his authority and the people's feelings by assuming that they would want to hear what he had to say and by corning them in a place where they would loose their place if they left.

Jesus was a fisher of men. He was able to attract them to him. Effective evangelism draws people to you. It is my goal to make disciples, students of the Word of God. I too want to be a fisher of men.

In Christ

ABR


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Lifegate

thanks for chiming in. Indeed there is a lot that could be said. I respect your opinion.

I would like to comment on one point you and Coffeesnob made.

You said "If this was something other than Christianity being preached, would it have had a different outcome? I think almost certainly, Yes."

It has been my experience that when I evangelize in public "Open Air Style" I have been either ignored all together or warmly received. I believe it is all in the approach.

That said, I don't think the outcome would have been any different. I beleive the Guard was reacting to the approach and attitude of the pastor not the message.

I do think Christianity is being torn down by the media and in many cases by our government. Which makes mine and exjwlaurie perspective all the more relevant.

I like what Exjwlaurie said "Persecution WILL come upon us—soon enough! Why would the Pastor of a Christian Church act in such a way—as to practically force the issue! Why act as a catalyst to the anger already simmering against us as Christians?"

With that in mind, it is vital that we do things in a way that is above reproach.

Anyway thanks again for stopping by and for chiming in.

You thoughts and perspectives are always welcome her.

In Christ

ABR


coffeesnob 5 years ago

Well, I guess again we have to agree to disagree.

Respectfully,

CS


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Exjwlaurie:

WOW! I see that you really are compassionate about this subject. Thanks for your comments I see that you and I are of like mind on many things. Praise God! Great add and excellent insights.

In Christ

ABR


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

coffeesnob:

I wonder, do you disagree with everything I am saying or just certain aspects. Please elaborate....

You and life gate have made this discussion fun and have made me stop and think. I suspect if we could reason together in person, we would find it easier to come to an agreement.

Until next time my friend. You are always welcome here

In Christ

ABR


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

ABR,

I like your remark, "Jesus was a fisher of men. He was able to attract them to him." The Gospel ought to be attractive to a lost and dying world. Far too often, I'm afraid the presentation is repelling rather than attractive, as I believe it was in this case. Psalm 126:5 and 6 says, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." I did not see any tears. I did not see a meek and humble spirit. If I try to fit Jesus into the role of the preacher in the video--I just can't do it. Just two more cents.

Oh, and by the way, I do still think that if it had been a homosexual preaching his agenda he would have been allowed to stay--it has nothing to do with the message, but everything to do with political correctness. Christians just aren't politically correct.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Thanks Lifegate.

Excellent add my brother. Excellent add!

You may be right about the gay rights thing. I had not considered it from that angle.

Thanks again

ABR


prayerpower profile image

prayerpower 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

If you can not read the Bible in public ...people should not be allowed to use foul language.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Prayerpower:

Thank you for chiming in. I understand your point. The bible has become a bad word.

HMMM? I take my bible with me wherever I go. I often read it in public, but it is to myself not out loud. I have never been asked to leave.

It is my view that there are better, more effective, ways to evangelize then open air bible reading. To me this is a waste of time.

In Christ

ABR


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

Abrushing,

I added this video to my site at www.thegreatamericanfast.org and it seems that most people there follow your thinking as well. But boy! I sure do get Prayerpower's point, too.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 5 years ago from USA- Florida Author

@ Lifegate: Me too :)


PMARTIN 2 years ago

Im kind of mixed on it. Christ told his disciples that if they were not welcomed in a town to shake the dust off their feet and leave BUT... the Apostles took advantage of every speaking opportunity even after arrested. Scary thing is that we have become so aggitated to the Word that the Law was called in the first place. Did this pastor know he couldnt speak on Govt property and did so to set this up (for publicity not Love)? He could preach in a ghetto or gang neighborhood, across from a nightclub, a tent revival where its really needed. In fact why did churches stop preaching outside in tents anyway?? We give away some of our rights.

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