Thursday, January 11, 2007

My encounter with a street preacher...

Hi everyone, sorry about my absence once again. The Christmas period was a lot busier than anticipated and I wanted to write a post where i was able to research a bit more beyond what I already know on a subject. However, there was an incident today which I feel I really need to talk about and bring up.

Whilst exiting the London Underground at Oxford Circus, I was confronted by a street preacher who was handing out leaflets. Myself, my girlfriend and her sister were with me and we all said we were all Christian's anyway whilst declining the leaflet (it is better for a non-believer to recieve this than myslef). The preacher then asked if we were real Christians. We of course said yes, whilst I showed him my crucifix which I wear around my neck. One of the girls with me came back saying that all we need is to believe in Jesus Christ as our saviour, and that He died to save us. Then the Preacher says that because we are not out preaching God's word at that moment, we are not saved and going to hell. I couldn't believe he was saying this. He was backing it up with Jesus saying that we need to preach the word of Jesus Christ, but we can preach the word in so many different ways, by the way we live our own lives, by talking to people personally.

Now I admit I am not the fittest of human being's by far, and I'm not in the best of shape and the cause of this is something that is almost out of my control, and I am doing all i can about it. This preacher then poked me in the belly saying 'Indugence is a sin', incinuating that I'm not following God's laws. I tried to explain to him my story but he was not listening and walked away.

I could not understand, how someone, on the streets preaching Gods word is portraying the truth in this way, in a way that is holding back the same truth in which makes all christians live in joy. A truth that even though we sin everyday, however hard it is to not sin, we are saved through Jesus Christ our Saviour. This was also a case of someone not practising what he was preaching. I understand that the issue of judging is an issue to be careful about but this man came out with an awful judgement straight away. He judged me, because I look overweight, he assumed I self-indulge and therefore sin. We as Christians cannot judge others, when we are sinning ourselves.

Matthew 7:1 says 'Do not judge others, and you will not be judged'.

Ok, so he was not overweight like I was, but to judge someone else, a fellow brother, and saying out-rightly that I am going to hell is not helping your Christian brother or sister, if anything, it is hindering them from being close to God.

Later Matthew says 'if another believer sins (against you), go privately and point out the offence. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back'(18:15).

Instead I was told this on the streets of London and being told that because of it I am going to hell. I have a relationship with God, a relationship where i am in constant counciling with the Great Councilor Himself, about my problems. No wonder so many non-believers have such a bad view on Christians, if there are Christians like this practically condemning them in the streets.

Brothers and sisters, in reaction to this, I feel we should pray for this man, and any other street preachers, that they may preach in a way that will bring more and more people to God, not scare them away for life. He may have been right in saying that God asks us to preach the gospel everyday, but he doesn't say do it or go to hell. God loves us his children, as we are, and by being justified by Jesus Christ, we are then sanctified by the Holy Spirit. We should be out there to judge what is sin, and what is not, and to say a small word to them quietly and in private if we are concencerned about someone.

Please feel free to comment on this post, as I would like to hear other people views on this, and about street preachers. It is fantastic that God has given them the confidence to stand on a street corner and tell passers-by about Our Saviour Jesus Christ, but I pray that they can do it in a way that isn't so forceful.