Evangelism or Protest?
I am a street preacher. I am different from many street preachers, as I am an ordained minister and as such have had a great deal of biblical and theological training. I have been an associate Pastor, ahead of Pastor, a church planter, and am currently a campus leader. This is not to say that those who do not have my training are not good street preachers, it is just to say that I have had that training. Most people that have my training stay within the walls of a church or a ministry. I have the call, however, to preach the Gospel to all the world (Mark 16:15) and the passion and compulsion (2 Corinthians 5:11,14) to do it from the Holy Spirit. I choose many different venues to hone my craft and to proclaim the Gospel. It is important to go to places where people are. I have preached on campuses and cities all over the country- Indianapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Florida, Los Angeles, San Diego, South Dakota, Minneapolis, St. Paul, New York City. I have preached at Major League Baseball Games, NFL Football Games, The Super Bowl, NBA Games, as well as many College sporting events. I have preached at Spring Break, at parades, and at festivals and concerts. I have preached with a passion to save the lives of unborn children outside of Abortion clinics. What do all of these places have in common? They have large crowds in one place at one time. It is a very effective way to broadcast the Word of God to many people at once- many of whom would never darken the door of a church.
I have also preached with a passion to save the lives of unborn children outside of Abortion clinics. I have proclaimed the Gospel at Gay Pride events. I have told people the truth of who Jesus Christ is outside of mosques and Mainline churches. Most recently, I have been preaching outside the Juice Bar in Lynd, MN- The Juice Bar is a strip club that opened up in this small town of 420 people. This begs the question: Am I protesting or am I preaching?
A protest is an expression of objection, by words or by actions, to particular events, policies or situations. Protests can take many different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations. Protesters may organize a protest as a way of publicly making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy, or they may undertake direct action in an attempt to directly enact desired changes themselves. κηρύσσω (kērussō) 1. preach -ed, -est, -eth, -ing to be a herald, discharge a herald’s office, to make proclamation, proclaim, announce publicly, publish announcements.
By definition, a protest is an expression of objection. I do want people to know that to objectify women by looking with lust and going into strip clubs (or looking at porn, whatever) is a violation of God’s Holy Law. I stand against sin in all of its forms, because I have a new nature that hates sin and strives to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
But that is where the similarity to what I am doing ends. Now, of course, people who have not been born-again are going to follow after their lusts because they are dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1-3) and they do the things that sinners do. In the case of the Juice Bar, or any place else I preach, the primary goal is to preach or herald the Gospel, to warn people that if they die in their sins, they will be cast into Hell for all eternity. Places like the Juice Bar exist and will continue to exist because men love their sin, and they are enslaved to it- particularly sexual sin. When we proclaim the light of the Gospel (John 3:16-17), they run and hide because they love darkness rather than light (John 3:18-20) and they are under condemnation and wrath (John 3:36). Many are also under the false assumption that they can simply ask for forgiveness and God will pass over their sin- thinking like the man who says they can continue in sin so that grace may increase (Romans 6:1). We warn and reprove them, using scripture like 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. We then let them know that there is hope (1 Corinthians 6:11) if they will repent they can be washed clean of their sin, freed from the penalty of sin, and free to live by the Spirit of God. People always question if this is effective. Preaching the Gospel is always effective because it always brings glory to God. Preaching the Gospel always works- for some it works to confirm their condemnation and to harden their hearts (Isaiah 6:9-10) and for others it is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). When I preach, I am doing it for an audience of One- the Lord Jesus Christ. I do it in public (Romans 10:14-15) so those that are ordained to eternal life will believe (Acts 13:48). I do it to warn people (Ez 3:17-21) both those who see themselves as righteous and unrighteous. I do it at the Juice Bar because I was once bound by the chains of sexual sin, but Jesus has set me free. I am proclaiming peace to the captives because I want them to be free of the sins that have them captured under the law of sin and death. In all ways, I am preaching. To those who are under condemnation, it is foolishness. To those who are being saved, it is the power of God.
By John Chiz