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Destinations: Venice Beach

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This Saturday we will be headed for Venice Beach. We start the day off by preaching to an outdoor beer garden where I once got splashed in the face by an appreciative patron. (See the video below.) Then we stroll down the walkway and witness and preach at will. Our new favorite place to preach is in front of the Cush house, a “medical” marijuana dispensary. Want to come? Meet at Hope Chapel at noon to carpool, or meet us at the Rose Ave. parking lot about 1:15.

SAVE THE DATE: THE 4th ANNUAL TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE IS ON JANUARY 1st!!! Read about what happened last year by clicking here.

16 Comments

  1. Hi Steve,

    1. I think that the guy who splashed you is a jerk.

    2. I would get annoyed if I was trying to eat, maybe chat with some friends, and someone was yelling near me at loud volume, regardless of the subject (even if I agreed with the subject).

    Just my opinions.

    • Thanks for your sentiment, Nohm.

      It’s always a risk when preaching to an “Organic Congregation” (you can read my definition of that here: http://stonethepreacher.com/2008/07/17/organic-congregations.html . That’s why I try to keep the message short.

      A good analogy of why I preach to the unsuspecting would be something like this: It’s Sunday afternoon. A bridge is out on a back country road but there is no sign warning of that fact. I stand on the side of the road “yelling” and warning people to stop and turn around or they will perish. Some drivers laugh and mock, others slow down and take a look, still others actually stop and turn around. I may look like an idiot; I may seem rather rude jumping around on the side of the road and interrupting someone’s perfectly peaceful Sunday drive; nevertheless, I gave them a chance to believe the truth and to live.

  2. Oh, yeah. THAT video. Not many evangelists can say they got baptized while they were preaching the gospel. 🙂

  3. Hi Steve,

    I think that a better analogy is this:

    It’s Sunday afternoon. A bridge is out on a back country road but there is no sign warning of that fact. You walk over to a nearby cafe and begin yelling (I hope you agree with me that you were yelling in the video, because that was my primary issue) and warning people to stop and turn around or they will perish, if they were to later drive in the direction of the bridge.

    In that situation, do you really need to yell? I think it would be better to simply announce, in a loud enough voice that people can hear you but that you aren’t yelling, “If you plan on driving towards the bridge, please come talk to me.”

    Now, I understand that the analogy probably doesn’t work for you due to the whole “you never know when you’ll die” issue, and I understand that.

    I don’t think you were doing anything *wrong* in the video; I’m just saying I don’t appreciate it if I was trying to eat and chat and someone is yelling nearby.

    Thinking about it further now, I don’t know if there’s a good solution to this. From your point of view, you’re trying to warn these people that, given their (most likely correctly assumed) current relationship (i.e., the lack of one) with Jesus, that if they die tomorrow that they’ll be roasting in Hell for eternity. If I thought that you were right, it would be near impossible for me to argue with that idea.

    But since you’re talking (or yelling) to people who *don’t* think that you’re right, you’re just a guy who’s yelling when they’re trying to relax.

    So, I don’t know what the best solution is.

    Regardless, you didn’t deserve a (unasked-for) splash in the face.

  4. Absolutely a need to yell… or they won’t hear me! (Imagine singing Happy Birthday real loud for a few minutes. Wait. That would be annoying.)

  5. Hi Steve,

    Why not do 1-on-1 with them instead?

    I guess my fundamental question is this… how would you feel if you were, let’s say, hanging out with your daughter at a cafe, just chatting about life, and a muslim came in and started yelling to everyone about taking the Shahada?

    Also, I put a couple of follow-up questions in the Thunderf00t comment thread. If you have the time, I’d really appreciate it if you would answer them.

    Thank you.

  6. Nohm: I do 1-2-1 all the time. This is another weapon in the arsenal. It’s broadcasting the message, which has never been popular. During “The Great Awakening” in the 18th century, preachers were chased out of town over and over again. Read this chilling and humorous account from Charles Spurgeon, please:

    “Once recommenced, the fruitful agency of field-preaching was not allowed to cease. Amid jeering crowds and showers of rotten eggs and filth, the immediate followers of the two great Methodists continued to storm village after village and town after town. Very varied w ere their adventures, but their success was generally great. One smiles often when reading incidents in their labors. A string of pack horses is so driven as to break up a congregation, and a fire engine is brought out and played over the throng to achieve the same purpose. Hand-bells, old kettles, marrowbones and cleavers, trumpets, drums, and entire bands of music were engaged to drown the preachers’ voices.

    “In one case the parish bull was let loose, and in others dogs were set to fight. The preachers needed to have faces set like flints, and so indeed they had. John Furz says: “As soon as I began to preach, a man came straight forward, and presented a gun at my face; swearing that he would blow my brains out, if I spake another word. However, I continued speaking, and he continued swearing, sometimes putting the muzzle of the gun to my mouth, sometimes against my ear. While we were singing the last hymn, he got behind me, fired the gun, and burned off part of my hair.”

    How would I feel about the Muslim?

    1) Hopefully, I’d appreciate the fact that he had the courage of his convictions.

    2) I also wouldn’t like the fact that he’s preaching lies.

    3) It would be a great teachable moment for my daughter.

    4) I’d look carefully to see if there was any pronounced bulge in his belly area.

    I didn’t see any new comments on the Thunderf00t post.

  7. 1) Hopefully, I’d appreciate the fact that he had the courage of his convictions.

    But you wouldn’t be bothered that he’s interrupting your time with your daughter? Fair enough; I would be.

    2) I also wouldn’t like the fact that he’s preaching lies.

    I assume you know he’d say the same about you.

    3) It would be a great teachable moment for my daughter.

    This I understand.

    4) I’d look carefully to see if there was any pronounced bulge in his belly area.

    I… don’t get this… joke?

    I didn’t see any new comments on the Thunderf00t post.

    Ok, I’ll re-post them here (but here is a link):

    Thank you Steve.

    If I may ask a couple of follow up questions:

    1. Where did you get most of your info about atheists, and what they tend to think?

    2. If you agree that you say people think things that they don’t think, and you say that you care if you did, then why did you do it? I’m not trying to get on your case here; I’m honestly confused about this because it seems to me that doing this only opens one’s self to easy criticism.

    If I’m going to be criticized, I don’t want to make it easy on anyone. 😉

  8. 1. Where did you get most of your info about atheists, and what they tend to think? I always figured that an atheist was someone who doesn’t believe in God. Kind of a wild guess. And since they don’t believe in God, they really don’t think, at least about the things that really matter.

    2. If you agree that you say people think things that they don’t think, and you say that you care if you did, then why did you do it? Now that’s one convoluted question. I’m a simple guy. Better edit it a bit so I can understand it.

    I’m not trying to get on your case here; I’m honestly confused about this because it seems to me that doing this only opens one’s self to easy criticism. I’m not at all concerned about any criticism, rightly or wrongly.

  9. Presumably 4) was a reference to Steve worrying that any Muslim street preaching must be a suicide bomber.

    Nohm was asking ‘Since you apparently care about misrepresenting people, why do it?’

  10. Nohm was asking ‘Since you apparently care about misrepresenting people, why do it?’

    Hopefully, in the future, I won’t!

  11. Presumably 4) was a reference to Steve worrying that any Muslim street preaching must be a suicide bomber.

    Yeah, I finally got that over the weekend. I kept wondering why Steve was talking about a pregnant muslim man.

    Just my opinion, but I think that joke’s in bad taste. But I’m guessing that Steve doesn’t get many muslim guests here.

    Nohm was asking ‘Since you apparently care about misrepresenting people, why do it?’

    Thank you BT, as that was exactly what I was asking, and thank you for your reply, Steve.

    And since [atheists] don’t believe in God, they really don’t think, at least about the things that really matter.

    I meant to ask you about this before, Steve. In another comment in another thread, you mentioned that atheists cannot be trusted or taken at their word, or something like that. So, I’m curious: if you hired a plumber to fix your sink, and halfway through his work you found out that he was an atheist, would you immediately pull him from the job? That is, do you think that his being an atheist would mean he doesn’t know plumbing? Basically, I’m asking how far your opinion that “atheists don’t really think” goes.

    Do you think that my comments to you, Steve, are thought-out? Or not?

    Lastly, you talk about “the things that really matter”. I have my guesses to what these things are, but would you please mind listing a few of them? Also, just because I didn’t come to the same conclusion that you did, does that then imply that I didn’t think about it?

    Just curious what your viewpoint on these issues is. Thank you.

  12. Nohm: “And since [atheists] don’t believe in God, they really don’t think, at least about the things that really matter.”

    I meant to ask you about this before, Steve. In another comment in another thread, you mentioned that atheists cannot be trusted or taken at their word, or something like that. So, I’m curious: if you hired a plumber to fix your sink, and halfway through his work you found out that he was an atheist, would you immediately pull him from the job? That is, do you think that his being an atheist would mean he doesn’t know plumbing? Basically, I’m asking how far your opinion that “atheists don’t really think” goes.

    Me: Halfway through the job? No. If he was competent, there would be no problem at all. In fact, I would share the Gospel with him afterward. If I knew he was an atheist beforehand, and there were other Christian plumbers, I would most likely start with them, after getting a reference or two.

    Nohm: Do you think that my comments to you, Steve, are thought-out? Or not?

    Me: Yes. I believe they are thought out.

    Nohm: Lastly, you talk about “the things that really matter”. I have my guesses to what these things are, but would you please mind listing a few of them? Also, just because I didn’t come to the same conclusion that you did, does that then imply that I didn’t think about it?

    Me: List a few of them so I won’t be wasting time and then I’ll agree or disagree. Thanks!

  13. Nohm: Lastly, you talk about “the things that really matter”. I have my guesses to what these things are, but would you please mind listing a few of them? Also, just because I didn’t come to the same conclusion that you did, does that then imply that I didn’t think about it?

    Me: List a few of them so I won’t be wasting time and then I’ll agree or disagree. Thanks!

    Ugh. As I’ve said before, I don’t like trying to speak for others, so when you ask me to try to read your mind, I see failure coming up for me.

    I’m just really trying to understand what you mean by “And since they don’t believe in God, they really don’t think, at least about the things that really matter.

    Your use of the second comma seems to imply that it’s your opinion that atheists don’t think. It appears, by your later comment, that you don’t agree with this implication. Your use of “at least” immediately after the comma seems to imply that it’s your opinion that atheists don’t think about “the things that really matter”, in addition to any number of other things that we supposedly don’t think about.

    So, my first question is: what exactly did you mean by that sentence?

    Ok, secondly, you want me to list a few things that I think that you think “really matter” (that sentence alone should explain why I don’t really want to do this). Anyways, here goes.

    Sin
    Repentance
    The Fall
    Jesus
    God
    “Where” I’ll “go” when I die
    Worship
    Angels
    Demons
    Spiritual Warfare
    Satan
    The Law
    10 Commandments
    Grace

    So… how did I do? For the record, I do think about a few of those items but, as I said, just because I didn’t come to the same conclusion that you did doesn’t mean that I didn’t think about it intently.

  14. To clarify: my list of things that I think that you think “really matter” are not listed in any particular order.

  15. Nohm said in a previous post:

    Your use of the second comma seems to imply that it’s your opinion that atheists don’t think. It appears, by your later comment, that you don’t agree with this implication. Your use of “at least” immediately after the comma seems to imply that it’s your opinion that atheists don’t think about “the things that really matter”, in addition to any number of other things that we supposedly don’t think about.

    So, my first question is: what exactly did you mean by that sentence?

    Ok, secondly, you want me to list a few things that I think that you think “really matter” (that sentence alone should explain why I don’t really want to do this). Anyways, here goes.

    Sin
    Repentance
    The Fall
    Jesus
    God
    “Where” I’ll “go” when I die
    Worship
    Angels
    Demons
    Spiritual Warfare
    Satan
    The Law
    10 Commandments
    Grace

    So… how did I do? For the record, I do think about a few of those items but, as I said, just because I didn’t come to the same conclusion that you did doesn’t mean that I didn’t think about it intently.

    Me: Obviously, what I consider to be the things that are important to think about are the things of God: Who He is and what he requires. How effectively am I loving and obeying Him. Do I glorify Him with my life? Can people see Christ in me? Where do I fall short and how I can I improve? What do I need to repent of? Am I living authentically?

    There’s a lot more, but this is a short list of the things that really matter.

    Your list is a good one, but I don’t think of all these things. Here is what I would consider personally important:

    Sin
    Repentance
    Jesus
    God
    Worship
    10 Commandments
    Grace

    All these were covered in my first answer. But more importantly, the things that are also very important to me are those who don’t know Him (God), like you and the billions of others. I have a great heartache for “the lost,” those who will die in their sins.

    Christmas Day I meditated on some strange verses that I read earlier in the morning: Revelation 14: 9-11-

    9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, 10he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”

    It grieves me that there will be so many who will suffer God’s wrath. It terrifies me that this will happen soon. (A few years, a hundred years? Longer? Regardless, every death apart from Christ will experience this.)

    This is why I’m passionate about evangelism. This is what I think about and what is important to me.

    Secondly, I’m grieved also that so few in the church have this same passion. So few are obedient to Christ’s call “to go into all the world and preach the Gospel…” when time is so short.

    Thirdly, I think about how I can reach those who are perishing in new and creative ways, to cause them to think about these eternal issues.

    Fourthly, how might I inspire fellow Christians to have the same zeal for the lost?

    That’s all for now.

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