Imagine that you are a pastor of a small church in the ‘burbs of Sacramento and you’ve just invited an evangelism team from Southern California to teach your congregation the principles of The Way of the Master at a one day seminar.
And imagine going out with the team on the night before the training starts and seeing the instructor jump out of the van and start preaching to a crowd waiting in line for a free concert featuring the President’s Marine Band.
Then imagine the horror of seeing that very same instructor getting escorted off the premises by a member of Sacramento’s finest.
Imagine the shock of witnessing with your very own eyes, the pastor you’ve entrusted with equipping your flock, getting led away by the police, and the whole time he’s walking verrrrry sloooowly and preaching to those standing in line. It’s not that he was doing anything illegal—it was state property—it’s just that most police officers have no awareness of Constitutional law when it regards free speech.
And how would you feel, as the pastor of a small church in the ‘burbs of Sacramento, when, after the evangelism training the next day, while handing out Gospel tracts outside a shopping mall, you see that very same instructor, the one who was escorted off state property the day before, now being surrounded by vicious mall security and being told to leave the premises, though once again, he was doing nothing wrong or illegal.
I mean, seriously, how would you feel if you heard the instructor ask the Paul Blartish security guys what’s wrong and he replies, “I don’t know, but you were doing something….”
Now, imagine that it’s evening and you are the pastor of that small church in the ‘burbs of Sacramento, and you’re now in the old downtown district of the city, and you see something that the instructor warned you about. You try not to panic. The instructor tries not to panic.
Yet something happens that you will never forget because you can’t believe it’s actually happening!