Evangelism was going so good at the American Idol semi-finals, it was a shame it had to come to an end….
Three crazy evangelists had the opportunity to preach about ten times in the red carpet area—unheard of due to the high security presence—but we ended up preaching one time too many and it all came tumbling down. Here’s why: (Please read Part 1 by clicking here.)
I thought it would be a great idea to have “Righteous Richard” stand on a bench so that he would get more visibility and better vocal range, thereby insuring that more people would hear the Gospel message and, of course, repent and trust in the Savior. It totally worked, too!
But we forgot about the downside: What Idol fans could see and hear more clearly, so could Security. They nabbed Richard, and sent him packing.
Ed Lee was spared the indignity. He saw what was coming and ducked out before he was asked to leave. He had already been stopped from preaching across the street at the Staples Center by a very kind, but firm, LAPD officer. He learned his lesson.
Then it was my turn. I saw that Richard was being hassled by the Redcoats so I took cover behind a large beam—out of sight—and continued preaching.
Then a man with a cell phone told me to stop. I ignored him because I thought he was just a regular guy, and continued to preach the good news. He asked me again to stop, but since he was an ordinary guy, I just preached away. That’s when he dialed up a number and called who-knows-who? Ghostbusters? Holy Ghostbusters? I preached on.
Then something weird happened. A red-haired woman jumped out of line and started yelling. I inclined my ear to hear what she was saying and Wow! what a surprise!
It’s a bit embarrassing to tell you what she was shouting, so I’ll be discreet. She obvously understood my message, and like a rock hitting a dog in a pack she yodeled “Worship the [clinical name for a part of the female anatomy]!”
Say that again? What?
“Worship the [clinical name]!” C’mon everybody! Worship the [clinical name]!” Then her boyfriend (poor sap), dragged her inside the theater. Okay. I admit that my style was cramped a little after that one.
Then it got worse.
A 7-foot-two (or thereabouts) Amazon woman greeted me. She was the Head of Security, and in no subtle manner, told me to leave. I did.
I met up with the rest of the team on the sidewalk outside the Nokia and started handing out Gospel tracts. That’s when Mr. Hard-Look-Red-Jacket-man told us to leave.
Uh-uh! We were on public property (the open area of the red carpet area was also public property according to state law; there was nothing illegal about what we were doing), so we stood our ground. They ended up leaving us alone.
In events such as American Idol, or any other large shindig, evangelists are never wanted or appreciated. Still, people are perishing, and the command from Jesus to “Go!” is still extant.
The goal of going to these venues is not to brag about the exotic locations, nor is it to gloat about how many times we were removed by authority figures. No! The purpose is to get the Word out, trusting that it will never return empty, trusting that God will use the little that we do to glorify His name. We are respectful, but we stand firm, knowing that at any time a lost sinner may hear what is said and cross over from death unto life.
That’s why we go.
On this particular day, after all we experienced, we thought that we had a visible sign of God’s approval. I’m not superstitious, and I don’t need signs and wonders to verify that we are in God’s will, but this time it was a little funny coincidence, a little reminder that God was there.
“Look at the address of the Nokia Theater,” I exclaimed excitedly: