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Perspectives: Inside the Mind of a “Radical Sign Guy”

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My posting last week, “Witnessing to Homosexuals,” created no small storm of controversy, especially among the socially liberal, atheistic crowd.

That’s to be expected.

What was curious to me was the rebuke I got from a man named Ruben Israel, a radical “Sign Guy,” who, Glenn Beck “has protested everything from the Mormons to Harley Davidson bike festivals.” He takes a vastly different approach to street preaching than I do and believes that I’m way too soft (to put it mildly) when I share my faith with the gay community.

Through this conversation with Ruben Israel on FACEBOOK you will notice the difference in our approaches. All parties gave me permission to post this conversation, including Dana, a recent graduate of my evangelism class. (The conversation is “as is” except for a little bit of  re-formatting.)

Ruben Israel
What you fail to point out is homosexuals have a parade to celebrate sin.
What city ever hoisted a steal pride parade?
What city every had a lie pride week?
This is a different sinner that walks in the street promoting his sin, demanding the laws change to support his sin. When was the last time murderers demanded us to welcome them as they walked with signs upholding murder.
Your talking to someone at Starbucks vs preaching against a sodomite parade is like apples and oranges, you do understand the difference between witnessing and preaching no?
Do you think all sin is the same sin?
That sin is called ABOMINATION in the Old Testament and REPROBATE in the New Testament. There are degrees of sin as with our laws, a murderer will not be punished the same as someone who stole a candy bar. Both are criminals, both have broken the law yet the penalty is much different BECAUSE ONE CRIME IS GREATER.
Here are a few Biblical examples of degrees of sin and degrees of punishment:
“therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation” Mt.23:14
“as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus” Mk.2:15
“Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him” Lk.15:1
–why point out the publicans aside from sinners?—
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” James 3:1

I think you are more concerned with what homosexuals think about you, you need to be more concerned what a Holy God thinks about that sin that parades in public.

Dana Mozena The point of the original post was to state that the people made a decision and a judge overturned it. In addition, the idea of “politely” preaching the Gospel was mentioned. Jesus said that we are to love everyone. Accusatory statements only serve to alienate people. Before we are led to the Lord, we must first come to the realization that we NEED Jesus. Hurling insults at a person just isn’t the way.

Dana Mozena Please re-read what Steve said again and maybe you’ll see where I’m coming from. I too have gay friends, and I both love and respect them. I also believe that when the people make a decision, the courts should uphold it, EITHER way. If t…he law was unconstitutional or violated civil rights, it shouldn’t even have been up for a vote. That said, I’d like for the existing policy of not allowing a “partner” to ride in an ambulance with their loved one to be changed. I don’t believe that’s a law, but a policy… and not treating any loved one with compassion is cruel. Like I said…. love everyone.

Ruben Israel
Love does not mean we embrace them and tell them how much ‘we’ love them. Love is telling them the truth of their lifestyle being an ABOMINATION, it not that the truth? How about loving your friends according to 1John 3:18?
Did Jesus Christ… say himself “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Rev 3:19)
IF you love your say (as you write) you NEED to REBUKE THEM so they could REPENT.
Stop trying to witness and be their pals TELL THE TRUTH OF THEIR SIN and THAT is the fruit of real love (see Romans 1 for details).

Ruben Israel
I just read your other post…..I can’t believe you write “I too have gay friends, and I both love and respect them”

Does James 4:4 mean ANYTHING to you Dana…….are you a Christian?
“ Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God”
did you read ENEMY OF GOD?

“He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD” Proverbs 17:15

Steve P. Sanchez Ruben, no one ever went to Hell for being gay.

Ruben Israel
If one claims to be Christian and continues in sodomy or fornication he will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. iF you have issues with this you have issues with the New Testament Epistles written to a Churches after the death burial and resurrection, here are just two examples, SEE BIBLE FOR MORE DETAILS.
See 1Co.6:9-10
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God”
or Gal 5:19-21
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God”
did you not read “shall not inherit the kingdom of God”?????
Keep in mind of context means anything these letters were written to churches/saints/believers as per 1Co. 1:2 and Gal 1:2

Steve P. Sanchez My point is that sin is the issue. Yes, homosexuality is one sin, we are in agreement there, but I don’t want to make that the issue. I want them to see their sin—homosexuality included—after I take them through God’s moral law, in a gracious and gentle manner.

Thanks for your understanding! 🙂

Ruben Israel
Yes sin, you live in sin whatever the sin I question if you died that day God will say “Welcome my good and faithful servant” keep this verse in mind in 1Peter 4:18
“And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” Men like Moses, Jeremiah, Peter, James and Paul were barely saved, do you think the homosexual that marches for his sin in public has a chance?
I say if they are as bold to promote their perversion publicly than be as bold to promote the standard of a Holy God to this ilk. Use words like ABOMINATION and or REPROBATE with them, are not these words found in context to this sin? It seems most beLIEvers are more concerned about turning off sinners that offending a righteous God.

I have a question for you Steve, does God HATE people?

Steve P. Sanchez The difference between our styles might be summed up in this way: At Gay Pride parades, we are in among the crowd handing out thousands of Gospel tracts engaging in one-to-one conversations while the “Sign Guys” shouting judgment and condem…nation at this very same parade, are kept outside. Who’s “method” is more effective in reaching these poor lost sinners?

Please read my article on the West Hollywood gay pride parade to see that we indeed, are preaching a biblical Gospel. We just try to do it with gentleness and respect, like the Bible says. Here’s the link: http://stonethepreacher.com/2009/06/15/pride-goes-before-the-fall-part-1.html

Of course God hates. It’s his righteous anger.

Thanks!

Ruben Israel
You never answered my question Steve, so I will write it slowly for you. Does God HATE PEOPLE His creation? I will make it easy for you:
( ) Yes ( ) No

Hey you believe your way is the right way, then I’m sure your FRUIT CUP runneth over with all thousands (sic) of gospel tracts they take from you, how many have repented? How many are involved in your Church?
How many have you discipled?
How many are even joining you out there witnessing to their own?
How many after you talked with one on one turned around and walked away from the parade route?
How many do you pray with only to have them wallow in sin after you walk away
BUT YOUR WAY IS BETTER THAN BIBLICAL PREACHING right?
Your blogs name is “stone the preacher” but I doubt that will happen.
Ever been beaten for the faith Steve?
Ever been jailed for your faith Steve?
Just what do you consider persecution?
Jesus said in John7:7, “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil”
The world will only hate you when you testify it is evil, not tickle the ears.

Steve P. Sanchez But I did answer your question in my previous reply (you may not have read the whole comment). 🙂

My cup does run over.

God’s Word never returns void so my Gospel is 100% effective. Since salvation is from the Lord, I feel completely at ease in fulfilling my responsibility to plant and water seed.

Thanks for asking!

Ruben Israel
No, I read you post the first time complete.
Steve just WHO does this God that we preach hate?

Steve P. Sanchez All who refuse to believe in Him. We are in agreement, here. In an area, like the gay pride parade, i choose to focus on the other sins, the sins we all have in common as a bridge to get them to understand their state before God. Yes, homosexuality is sin. It certainly isn’t the primary sin that sends people to Hell, though.

By the way, would you mind if I post our conversation on my blog as is? This would be a great teaching tool for the evangelists, Christians, atheists and gays who visit daily?

Ruben Israel
[Steve’s]response: “All who refuse to believe in Him. We are in agreement, here. In an area, like the gay pride parade, i choose to focus on the other sins, the sins we all have in common as a bridge to get them to understand their state before God..
***Now did I understand you correctly, did you just state that you did not want to discuss homosexuals AT A HOMO parade? Does timing mean anything to you Steve? THIS is the time, THIS is the place to make what God thinks of this particular sin known. HELLO…..??….these people are PROUD of their sin and you look the other way??
So you bring a football to a hockey game and want to play baseball?***

[Steve’s response]:Yes, homosexuality is sin. It certainly isn’t the primary sin that sends people to Hell, though.
***Not just sin Steve, can you say ‘ABOMANATION’ Steve, do you understand just what that word means? I just posted a response on degrees of sin and degrees of judgment I hope you read that and if you are withholding what God considers just for the sake of common ground, you are lacking in the Ambassador Department.
PREACH THE FULL CHARACTER OF GOD****

[Steve’s response]: By the way, would you mind if I post our conversation on my blog as is? This would be a great teaching tool for the evangelists, Christians, atheists and gays who visit daily?”
***No problem please do so, if God will judge EVERY IDOL WORD, why not put out a post as we sharpen iron***

Steve P. Sanchez An ambassador is tactful and gracious. I try my best to do both.

When questioned about homosexuality, and the question almost always comes up, I don’t shrink back from telling them what God says about it. To me, at a Gay Pride parade, it’s like poking them in the eye to shout against homosexuality. May i remind you, we are actually inside the parade, while the Caustic Judgmental Wrathful Evangelists are barred at the entrance, sometimes with a police cordon around them.

Gays already know what the bible says because of the many hateful Christians, who, with undiplomatic methods, preach unloving, hateful message focusing only on the sin of homosexuality?

Again, nobody ever went to Hell for being a homosexual. They go there because of their sin, homosexuality is one of those sins.

Reuben, do you love these people? A few of the words you used to describe those who are gay are very disrespectful, words like “fruit cup” and “HOMO” parade. we are commanded to let our conversations be “full of grace and seasoned with salt.” Catherine Booth, wife of the founder of the Salvation Army said, ““If you haven’t got tears in your eyes, let them hear tears in your voice.”

Do you cry for them, weep over them like Jesus did for Jerusalem?
Do you plead with them to fall on God’s mercy because they under his wrath? Or do you only focus on his judgment?

Reuben, it sounds to me like you may need to be a bit more grace in your approach.

Thanks!

UPDATE: This conversation is still ongoing. I mistakenly thought that it was over but Ruben contacted me to point out that he has been busy in the field. As the conversation continues, it will be posted in the comments section starting from here.

So, what did you think of this exchange? Does Ruben have a good point? Am I in the wrong here? I’d like to hear from you.

117 Comments

  1. I general I support Ruben’s right to spread the Biblical message as he sees fit. However, he makes it very clear on his website that he does not want to hear from anyone who disagrees with him. So, he likely is not used to Christians sharing concerns with him. I say with love that I have found some of his words on his website hurtful and unBiblical — for example, his comments about Jews and the Holocaust…he actually states that the millions killed were not all innocent victims – How bizarre a statement from a preacher of the Gospel?! It was then that I realized that his words were not seasoned and his heart not filled with love. Then, when I was going to share my concern with him privately on his website, his complaint link brought me to toilet paper and a toilet. So, I then understood his heart. I was truly saddened. I still am.

    • Indeed. It’s best sometimes to leave these wayward ones to God. “Do not answer a fool according to their folly…”

    • That’s the issue I have with Reuben Israel his message has just enough truth that it leads to another Gospel which denies grace of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Rueben is correct in saying none of the Jews in the haulocaust were innocent. No one who has been born other than Jesus Christ is innocent if they were then Jesus would not have died on the cross, you could achieve salvation by the law. So Israel is not wrong in saying this, he is wrong in judging others for sinning because he sins its one thing to say this is sin and will be judged without Christ as Lord. Its another thing to say your sinning and are going to hell. This is hypocracy no one has authority to condemn sin only to preach sin is condemned.

  2. I was wondering about Israel’s theology. I know he is moral government guy in terms of the atonement. However, I had heard he was oneness in his view of God. Didn’t know if you knew more.

  3. I believe Steve’s goal is to win souls to Christ. His approach is probably effective, in that he is finding a connection with them to get them to listen. By hurling insults, they won’t even listen and will likely never turn to Christ. BUT, once they turn to Christ, then most certainly they need to be told about their sin and repent of it.
    It seems to me the difference of approach is this:
    Steve: Turn them to Christ, then change their sinful ways.
    Ruben: Change their sinful ways, then turn them to Christ.
    Keep in mind, changing their sinful ways will not get them to heaven…they still have to turn to Christ. Steve is working on that part first….if they turn to Christ, He will open their eyes.
    I would ask both these guys how many people have turned to Christ through the work they’ve been doing.

    • I disagree that once they know Christ they need to be told to repent from sin. Repentance from sin is the result of salvation. Once you know grace of Jesus Christ sin becomes ugly and repulsive and your new creature will WANT to stay away from sin. Churches should be preaching grace nothing but grace. The law is for the unbelieving not the believing for revealing our wickedness. Grace brings freedom from sin.

  4. Rueben was talking about ” how many people show up at your church, how many have you discipled?” I really see pride as the spirit behind these statements. I don’t preach the Gospel to get a result. I preach the Gospel in truth and love its up to the Holy Spirit to bring about repentance. It’s God who makes the Gospel powerful. I try to avoid gimmicks like signs because I don’t want people to think I’m protesting. We preached at PRIDE and had some very deep conversations with people but many simply could not understand the Gospel no matter how hard I tried to explain it. I had a gal keep asking so I have to do good things? I’m like no that is not at all true, its by putting your faith in Jesus Christ that saves you. Even if you stopped sinning today if it were possible God would have to judge you for every word thought or action its by Jesus Christ and his sacrifice our sins are removed, repentance is evidence of regeneration not the means to salvation. The means is faith in Jesus Christ given by grace. You don’t choose him he chooses you. If you do not understand this ask God to help you to. It’s understood by revelation not information. We preach the gospel the Holy Spirit brings its power to the listener.

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