Patrick Dempsey. Kevin Spacey. Christian Slater. Steve Carell. We saw them all… and up close at the 2008 Emmy Awards.
Who cares? We were more worried about the “Sign Guys” who had now increased like rabbits to three!
They had every right to be there, but their Hellfire preaching signs and anti-Emmy Award sentiments sent the wrong messages. We didn’t want the fans to think that we were with them.
The problem with “Hellfire Preaching” signs is that the average sinner on the street doesn’t understand why they deserve Hell and why they need to believe in Jesus to be saved. It’s unreasonable to tell someone that they are going to Hell. Why are they going there? What did they do that was so bad?
The anti-awards signs are just ridiculous. Why protest an event like the Emmys? The people who are watching the show, like the show. Those receiving the awards, want the awards. And do they really understand that they are promoting sin and evil?
When we preach we clearly explain how every person has broken God’s Moral Law by lying, stealing, etc.. We elucidate the fact that God must punish all sin in a place called Hell, because he is a God of justice. We then plead for the sinner to repent and trust in God’s mercy as expressed by Jesus dying on a cross.
What should we do? The four open air evangelists huddled together.
Our plan was that we would stand downwind from the sign guys and divide up the crowd into four territories. We would speak every 20 minutes in a different area so as not to overly irritate the crowd. In each area there would be a new audience, ready and excited to hear the Gospel.
I went first and a lady threw an empty water bottle at me.
“Righteous Richard” went next without a hitch.
Then a new guy, Alfy, who was the top graduate of my evangelism class a few months ago belted it out boldly.
And lastly, Val Scott.
There were no problems. No cops.
Only one guy who repeatedly went “Blah, blah, blah, blah! Blah, blah, blah, blah!” There was the occasional, obligatory, “Shut up!”
And a guy who played a sax with no sound while some old guy filmed him!??!
Then something really cool happened: The sign guys left! Hooray! But new “Sign Guys” moved in.
Everybody likes these guys, including me! They are welcome anytime we preach.
If I could only get the “Hellfire guys” to twirl their signs on their heads….