Saturday, October 13, 2007

Still Fishin'

Today was a great day; It was a pay day for me and yesterday I had gotten a bunch of tracts from Living Waters. Specifically, I wanted to focus today on the "Gift for You" tract.

I got some fresh (well, relatively fresh) $1 bills at the local bank and put one in each tract. I gave 1 away to another Christian friend and five to Brian, who is a friend and mentor (when I can get him to behave. Actually, he is more like Paul and I'm more like Peter...I shoot my mouth off a lot)!

We had an adventure at the local Wal-Mart. A couple of area churches (no, I won't say that they were Methodist) had some people out front handing out flyers for an "Evangelism Experience" event which will be at the local High School in a week or so. What made my blood pressure go up was that this was all about charging the public to see an Elvis impersonator sing gospel songs. And I felt dirty just holding on to this silly sheet of paper. What made me feel even worse was realizing that these "ads" were quickly becoming a big parking-lot litter problem and that was certainly a very poor witness for the gospel...'who is going to pick these silly things up?' I thought to myself. The wal-mart employees certainly will not be impressed.

The adventure part came in when I asked the gentleman what Elvis has to do with the Gospel. "Well, Elvis sang gospel music". Well, that would have been between drug fixes, wouldn't it?

Anyway, trying to get this guy to even define the gospel was like pulling teeth. All I could get from him was "It's John 3:16". He had utterly no idea how to demonstrate that I am a sinner past saying "Original sin", as if a lost person would even get the meaning of that. I asked him if that meant I invented sin (and yes, I do know the biblical definition of 'original sin'). He kept insisting I'm a sinner...even when I told him "Sir, you don't know me. How do you know I'm a sinner?" His only answer was "original sin".

He admitted he didn't know all the ten commandments, But even if he knew them, he never used them to help me understand how I need a savior. His complete message was John 3:16 (which he referenced but never recited). But he was presupposing alot of things, such as I believed I am going to perish.

It really hit the fan big-time when I asked him if he knew how to use the law in evangelism and he hit the roof when I asked him, simply, "Would you consider yourself to be a good person?". That is when he literally told me to "hit the road". So, I politely left. Brian followed me into the store, probably thinking I could use some ativan. There was really nothing that could be said to this guy. My impression? "If I were a lost person wanting to know some simple answers, he sure showed me he doesn't really care enough about me to give them to me...and he sure doesn't care to discuss the very topic he wants me to pay a $15 admission fee to -- somehow -- hear."

We walked around in that store until my blood pressure could go back down to sub-nuclear levels. On the way out, I stopped and quickly talked to a woman who was also there, handing out leaflets (which, by the way, were quickly being tossed to the ground by those who had been handed them). I said as calmly as I could "Hello. I really don't mean to offend you, but if you really want to give people the gospel, give them the gospel. Here's the gospel". And I gave her one of the "Gift" tracts with a dollar bill in it. I didn't notice it at the time but Brian said she had an "I'm sorry he was so bad with you earlier" look in her face.

I walked away to my car but Brian stayed back and talked with her. Turns out she appreciated the tract and listened with great interest as Brian explained the gospel to her. It was like she knew better but couldn't put her finger on it. Funny -- while he was talking to her, she walked away from the doorway to avoid having to hand out the "invitations" to the Elvis Experience mess. The guy I spoke with, on the other hand, began running frantically back and forth trying to cover both doors! She wanted to learn about the real gospel. He wanted to get a crowd to "See Elvis". Night and day. And I'm sure that the tract made a big impact on her when she realized not only were we not asking the public for money but actually giving it away with the Gospel!

So, it's been a good day. I started out with $16 in as many tracts. I'm now down to 6. I vividly recall the looks on people's faces when they realize what they have been given...the greeter, the cashier and others. It's been an intense but very rewarding day!

I like these tracts. A lot! But the only drawback to them is that once you give these out with a dollar bill in them, you feel 'cheap' for handing out regular tracts. I have the gift of giving -- and I suppose that is part of the reason. But God will provide financially if He wants me to continue this on a daily basis.

So, who have you shared the faith with today?

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