American Idol Finals 2011: What Didn’t Happen


Lots of stuff can happen when we preach the Gospel to Organic Congregations…. You can always expect a boisterous SHAADAAP! and a One Finger Salute or two. I’ve had liquid thrown at me while preaching at a beer garden, a glass shatter on a pole in front of me as a customer missed his target (me); loudspeakers have been thrown down or unplugged; I’ve been pushed off a wall from behind and pulled down from a structure in front… and I’ve even been slapped!

What’s amazing is when nothing happens. And that’s what happened when we preached to the thousands in line at the 2011 American Idols Finals, the Sing-Off. Nothing happened as a mostly white and female crowd patiently endured our short Gospel messages, preached up and down the line for about 3 1/2 hours. (Don’t worry. We didn’t harangue the crowd, but they did hear the message at least twice.)

Here’s a 2 minute overview of what happened while we shared our faith followed by some tag team preaching by myself and “Righteous” Richard Chavarria.

Now see the actual message we preached…


  1. Thanks for your encouragement, Jim. Because of comments like these, I’m even more determined to get the Word out. I like your dog analogy. I have one, too: The dog that yelps in a pack when a rock is thrown is the one that was hit. I appreciate your yelps! 🙂

  2. First God bless you Pastor Steve and the team! Keep it up!!!

    Secondly, Jim I can assure you that Pastor Steve and the team are not doing this to get attention. Yes to a certain degree all people want attention but there are so many other ways to get attention. The times that I have gone out witnessing (handing out tracts, talking to people and open-airing) I didn’t want “attention” or at least that kind of attention, negative attention, as a matter of fact if I had a choice I would be living away from people due to the fact that I struggle with being social and speaking with others. But because of God and His fire to proclaim the gospel I find myself still going out to get the gospel to people because there is nothing more important than where a person will spend eternity. Where will you spend eternity Jim?

    God bless!

  3. Funny comeback analogy Pastor Steve 🙂 That is one way to describe it!

  4. Hi jim,

    It’s not the first time I’ve been accused of being a jerk. In fact, I wrote an article addressing those concerns here:

  5. Amen Thomas!

    I feel the same way. BC I was pretty shy and didn’t really want anything to do with other people. I definitely don’t like attention (still don’t) NO it’s our firm belief in Heaven and Hell – and our love for God and others that motivates us to step out of that comfort zone and preach the Gospel. Even just proclaiming to be a Christian and having the faith we have is already enough to get the wrong kind of attention from family members, and friends who want nothing to do with God.

    I agree with Steve the one that YELPS is the one that got hit!

  6. Steve,

    Keep ’em yelpin’!

  7. Yeah Jerky Evangelism is a speciality of Steve, we’ve discussed it quite a bit.

  8. Hey Jim, I just would like to ask where do you get the evidence that eternity doesn’t exist? Where do you get the evidence that there is no heaven or hell?

    God bless!

  9. @ Thomas

    I’d wager a guess that its the same place he got his evidence that Tartarus, the Asphodel Meadows, and the Elysian Fields don’t exist. I would ask Thomas what physical real world experience have you had that gives you an absolute certainty that these places actually exist in some capacity. Were you told of their existence from people who have experienced them, or is there some event that these things were revealed to you in some tangible way that concurs with other people’s experiences? Is this testable? And why would a Christian interpretation of ‘hell’ be any different from the Greek interpretation of tartarus?

  10. I’m sorry, but the only appropriate behavior in an elevator is staring straight forward at the door (or the back to the person ahead of you – whichever), and pretending that you aren’t there and nobody is there with you.

    Why is that so hard to understand.

    (Oh, and it’s not funny to break wind as the doors close. It’s just not. Stop it.)

  11. Does Ken Ham’s yelping over schools not teaching the same biblical interpretation mean those schools are right?

    Does Ray Comfort’s yelping over Delta Airlines showing particular films mean Delta are doing a good job?

    Does your yelping over Christian martyrs mean that the killers are doing a good job?

    Do you really think it’s a useful standard of measurement?

  12. “Struck a nerve” is not the same as “is true” or “means something important”.

    And I’ve always been bothered by the “yelping dog is the one who got hit” thing… we’re not supposed to be throwing rocks at dogs, right? And the dog would be justified in yelping, due to the jerk throwing the rock, right?

  13. Sure, but ticking someone off and striking a nerve doesn’t mean you’re right.

    I could say “Dennis, you are sick perverted racist who abuses puppies for fun, and hunts kittens with a pitchfork” (which is 100% false as far as I know, I am not implying it is true in any way at all). You could have every right to be annoyed at what I said but your annoyance, which could lead you to respond, possibly even in an abrupt way, doesn’t make anything I said more or less right because of your reaction.

  14. That’s why I say “indicator” there could be many other factors why someone would react.

    I would never say that the reaction itself from someone gives indication that what is being said is “right” or “wrong” I agree with all of you on that.

    The main point though is that Jim reacted to Steve’s posting with name calling and what Nohm calls failed mindreading so I agree with Steve in saying that the one that yelps probably got hit.

    I could be wrong. This could be Jim’s normal way of speaking.

  15. Indicator could be fair, as long as it was followed up by a bit more inquiry. I’ll definitely give you that as fair Dennis.

  16. Hey vin, to answer your question about the existence of Hell is quite simple, I have put my trust in what the Bible teaches. I have put my trust in what Jesus Christ taught on Hell. No I have never been there (thank God for that) nor have had an experience personally that would be 100% evidence to prove that Hell exists. Ultimately I don’t need that in the end because of the witness of the God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. I have heard and read about people that have experienced a near death situation where they believed they went to Hell but it seems like most of those experiences don’t line up with what the Bible teaches.

    The bottom line comes back to the fact that I trust what the Bible teaches. Take for example the individuals who have been to space. There are not that many human beings who have actually traveled to space so there are more people on the earth that have never seen space than have. But the majority of people that have not been to space believe what the people are saying about space that have been there (it is dark, no gravity, a cold vacuum). Or the moon landing many who landed on the moon are getting up there in age and eventually they will be gone (until humans go to the moon again) but until then we take their word for it about their experiences they had when they landed on the moon. And yet there are still people who believe that America never actually landed on the moon but put the whole moon landing together on a studio set like a movie.

    What I’m getting at is that the Bible has been proven time and time again to be a trustworthy document. No it has not been proven on every single area but with so many areas in the Bible that have been proven true when do you come to the conclusion that if the Bible was right over here it will be right over there? So why don’t more people believe in the Bible? That is an easy answer, sin. It is not that the Bible is lacking in evidence and proof it is that men and women love darkness rather than light (John 3:19). The Bible is convicting, and convicted and condemned people will do whatever they can to plug their hears to the Bible or attack it in a vain attempt to discredit it which has been attempted so many times before ending in failure.

    Vin you mentioned other cultures that have similar ideas to Hell, what does that have to do with anything? Really it only proves yet again that other cultures have ideas about Heaven, Hell, God, sin, righteousness and judgment among other things similar to Christianity. For many, many others and me that just validates that the Bible is the cornerstone and all other beliefs derive from the one true and only God. Its just that in the majority of cultures the understanding of the one true God is twisted and warped because of sin.

    I know that this will probably get a lot of comments, Nohm I hear you typing already, but that is a good thing!

    God bless!

  17. The thing is Thomas, ideas such as tartarus have been around long before the Christian ideal of hell, they describe it in detail in myth and legend and it varies from personal account to personal account as it does in fiction. Likewise people who have near death experiences also report different things as well, for instance, did you know that Muslims who suffer near death experiences say they come into the presence of Allah, not Jesus or Yaweh? Is that not proof of Allah?

    Not really.

    The fact that you already know what you’re writing will get commented on, to me, shows that you, on some level, acknowledge the weaknesses of the argument you’re making. In the case of the moon and space, we have physical evidence, physical tests, experiments that have been conducted in space and on biological materials in a vacuum, things we can observe, infer, and quantify and most importantly, things that yield consistent results that we can anticipate and use as a standard.
    When it comes to faith though, from what I’ve observed, there’s no standard on the particulars of faith because different sects of Christianity tend to interpret scripture in different ways or even add to it when something they find is unsatisfactory.

    The subject of slavery came up recently with my Christian co-workers and they tried to paint a picture that slavery was a secular value and it was Christian values that ended slavery. My argument, backed up by the Bible, is that slavery was supported by Christianity and it was only secular principles that ended it.

    One could interpret it in a few ways which I did oblige them but don’t you see, that because of a lack of concrete evidence for a claim we’re doomed to endlessly entertain feelings, anecdotal evidence, and spiritual claims that contradict, deny, support, conflict, and so on various faiths in favor of established scientific fact.

    You could easily say that sin is the reason people don’t believe in the bible because the bible says that’s the reason (which is very convenient if you think about it) but there’s no evidence of that, or for historicity in the Bible. If you think there is can you please post a few things that are supported, I’d like to see them.

  18. I know that this will probably get a lot of comments, Nohm I hear you typing already, but that is a good thing!

    Nope, I don’t have much to say about that. You expressed your beliefs.

    Unfortunately, at no point did you attempt to persuade me that what you believe matches reality in any way. You’ve explained why you believe the Bible, but you haven’t given me any reason to do so. Or, when it comes to your failed mind-reading, you haven’t given me any reason to believe you.

  19. Vin- So you have never heard of the proofs that back up the Bible being historically accurate? Is that what you are meaning when you speak of the “historicity in the Bible?” I just want to be on the same page with you on this.

    Vin said, “The fact that you already know what you’re writing will get commented on, to me, shows that you, on some level, acknowledge the weaknesses of the argument you’re making.”

    No, it is from my experience time and time and time again on this blog that I present so much evidence and proof for the truth of Christianity but it gets slapped away again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again (I know that Jesus said this, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”—Matthew 7:6. Jesus was meaning here that there comes a point where you are wasting your time with certain people and that they will never repent. Have I reached that point on here? I don‘t know but what compels me to continue to get on here is that I don‘t want to see anyone go to Hell). But there is an aspect that God does open blind eyes and dead hearts but how all that works with me presenting the evidence but most importantly the gospel and God opening the blind eyes is a mystery (John 6:44). God has a plan ultimately!

    But one thing I do know, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”—Isaiah 55:11

    God bless!

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