By Chris Cairo
One recent night, as we left the Minnesota Timberwolves game and waited for the train to come, we had a front row view to a guy “preaching” from on top of a stool across the street.
You may have seen this style before, flanked by two supporters with large signs, he yelled out his message: basically damning most of us who don’t live up to the standards he feels the bible states. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen these guys downtown.
After another game earlier this year I witnessed two guys on the train single out a twenty something young man for a conversation, “Hey, do you believe in God?…Do you go to church?…” They were friendlier than the guy last night, but no less aggressive.
Have you encountered this style of evangelism before? Maybe on your campus? Where you shop? The workplace?
I question its effectiveness.
It seems to me that Jesus taught us a much different way to spread the Gospel (that is, “the good news”).
Yes, He told the woman caught in adultery “to go and sin no more” (John 8), but first He dissipated the angry crowd by saying, “If any of you are without sin, let him throw the first stone,” and then, as He spoke to her alone, Jesus starts by saying, “Neither do I condemn you.”
Jesus goal, never seemed to be to shame, ridicule, or to mock someone. Even in calling for repentance, as in the above story or with the woman at the well, He did so in a manner that was gentle, and guiding in its message, to point a person in the right direction. To point towards God.
And that is what I think He asks each of us to do.
Best way to preach the Good News? Live it.
Note: For related reading, see “3 Great Points about Angry Street Preaching from Stand to Reason” by Josh Brahm on Equal Rights Institute Blog. Photo of angry street preachers was found on that sight, with reference to the image source: LonelyConservative.com.