Evangelizing The Evangelist

This blog was supposed to be about the opening of summer movie season. It was supposed to be a hip, geeky, yet cynically detached commentary on the marvel that is big budget summer movies, and how they take over my mind even at age 30.

That will have to be another blog.

Friday night, we went to see the 10:40 show of Spider Man 3 at Mann’s Village Theater in Westwood Village, CA. Yeah, Yeah… The Chinese is more famous across town, and The Dome is pretty hip, but The Village is still the granddaddy, for my $10.75.

The Village seats about 1,400 people, so on an opening night for big movie like SpiderMan, the line literally can stretch around the block. The Opening Night Line Squat is one of the great Los Angeles experiences, and I fear it’s dying as they insist upon building carbon copied megaplexes by the truckload. Who wants to wait for three hours when it’s showing on 12 screens starting every 15 minutes at The Grove?

Soulless yuppies. You know nothing of sacrifice.

Anyways, I’m old school, and Erica and I are parked on the street, finishing our CPK take out, and waiting for our friends to join us when two casually dressed young men walked up onto the sidewalk. One of them hung back, and the other pulled out three strings of different lengths as if to do the old, “Three strings of different lengths that somehow all becomes one length,” trick. He held them in his hands and began to address the crowd with an authoritative voice.

“Good evening, I want to take a few moments of your time to talk to you about something very important, but before I do, I want to let you all know that I’m not drunk, or high, or dangerous…”

You know how Peter Parker has his spidey sense? I have that too, but it’s for spotting Christians.

“…I want to talk to you about something tonight that shouldn’t be at all offensive to you. I want to talk to you about heaven…”

You’re made, dude. I’ve so got your number. He continues on. He’s loud, clearly going to take the confrontational approach, people are trying to ignore him uncomfortably or just staring with outright contempt on their faces and all the while those damn strings in his hands are just flopping to and fro with each gesticulation. Why me, Oh Lord? You may be thinking that what I’ve quoted thus far doesn’t sound offensive, and to be fair, I’m gonna do my best to not over tell this story. Just know that his countenance was oppressive, and, in my opinion, his choice of words didn’t help.

His buddy is hanging back, watching, not four feet from me. I shoot Erica a glance that says, “There are 1400 people in line, and this guy pulls up next to us… is it some sort of sign?” We’ve been married 8 years, we’re getting good at communicating sub-verbally. Her look says, “Go for it, this guy’s kind of pissing me off.”

I sidle up and decide to flash my Christian Credentials. “So… you guys with Campus Crusade or YWAM or something?” His look was classic. I might as well have drawn a fish in the sand. “Uhh… no, we’re sorta on our own. He’s my brother, and I’m just observing. He goes to Master’s. One of his classmates is around here somewhere.”

Master’s. Bingo. A single two syllable word rules out the Crazies, the JW’s, the Mormons, and, of course, Pastor Smiley.

For those of you who are unwashed heathens, The Master’s College was founded by one Pastor John MacArthur in Santa Clarita, California. JohnnyMac is a bit of a conundrum for me. He’s a Biblical scholar of epic proportions, and he’s a great teacher. He’s pretty hardcore Calvinist, and takes the idea of the inerrancy of Scripture (an idea in which I believe, if it matters to anyone) to untenable extremes.

The thing about Master’s and the church he pastors, Grace Community Church, is that they’re cults of personality. People who attend there have this vague air of superiority about them. They call JohnnyMac their “Shepherd.” Speaking with one of them, and I know a few, you get the distinct impression that everyone else who attends other churches or Christian colleges are… well… just a little weak in their faith. Sometimes I wonder if the word “Master,” is referring to Jesus, or MacArthur.

So… back to our story, our preacher. He’s a MacArthurite, and I know that there’s gonna be no arguing with him. I step back to my wife and listen a bit more. He’s moved on to the strings now, talking about Romans, how the one who has been sinned much (short string) has been forgiven much, and I can just see it coming. He’s gonna get to sanctification by grace just as he magically makes all the strings the same length. Glory, Hallelujah.

Did I mention he’s yelling? Well, he’s on the street, and he’s yelling, eyes strangely vacant, doing the schpeel. I’m watching him, talking on my cellphone, guiding in our friends who’ve never been here before, watching the crowd getting agitated, etc.

Erica turns to me and says, “Are you gonna say something to him?” What would I actually want to ask this guy, I think to myself. I don’t want to argue theology, or mock him. I’m not interested in making a spectacle of myself. I’m not interested in associating myself with him, but I’m not interested in kicking his ass, either.

So, I raised my hand, he recognized me, and I asked him the only question that I was genuinely interested in asking. “So… I’m wondering how you reconcile this approach with Jesus’ words about approaching gently, as well as some pretty specific guidelines about this sort of thing given in the epistles.”

I zinged him, and broke his flow, but he was right back at me, suspiciously quickly. “Well, there’s a long history of street preaching, Jesus did it himself, as well as the apostles and people like John Wesley and Charles Spurgeon, but I’ll talk to you later.” And then he was back on track. I was just dying… he actually invoked Mighty Spurgeon to rebut me. How classic. Phil would be so proud.

At this point, our friends had arrived, and there were hugs and greetings around. “What’s this guy’s story?” They asked. “Oh man.. he’s from Master’s, and he’s kind of a dick, and he wasn’t able to answer my question…”

I notice the preacher’s brother inching in to get a good listen, and he addresses me this time. “You’re pretty judgmental, man, and you just misrepresented what happened to your friends. He’s able to answer your question, it’s just that you interrupted his talk, and he didn’t want to get distracted…” I cut him off.

“Exactly. I interrupted his talk, his prepared schpeel. You know what else, man? I didn’t misrepresent what happened. I told these people, my friends, knowing their context and personalities, exactly what they needed to hear to know my take on this situation. See… these are my friends, and I know them, and I know how to communicate with them… so what you hear and what they hear are two radically different things.”

“Oh.” He said. “I guess you’re right.”

He had a gentle face. A kind face. I decided to out myself.

“Dude. I know you guys. I know that you don’t know me, but I know you. I’m a worship leader at a theologically conservative baptist church. I’ve been a Christian all my life. I know all about Masters, and your boy JohnnyMac (I actually called him JohnnyMac… which made his face go three shades of pale), and you can either believe me or we can sit here and debate theology until we’re blue in the face and then you’ll believe me that I know what I’m talking about.”

He looked offended. “You don’t know anything about us!”

I have a freakish ability, in extreme situations, to say exactly what I mean to say. It doesn’t happen all the time, and I cannot, for the life of me, control it, but every so often I manage to get my thoughts out in one, long, semi-coherent stream of consciousness.

I cut him off again, and said something along the lines of, “Dude, I’m not saying I know you, or your brother. What I am saying is that I know the Scriptures, we’ve read all the same books, and we most likely know some of the same people, as it’s a small world, after all. I know where you’ve been, what you’ve heard, and how you think. I know you’re a five point Calvinist, that you believe in the complete inerrancy of Scripture, that you believe we live in a corrupt and wicked generation that needs the gospel thrown at them so that the elect can be called out.”

His eyes nearly bugged out of his head when I managed to get “Elect” in there. He didn’t really say anything, so I just kept letting him have it, “You know what man? I do street evangelism. I direct a youth choir, and we were ministering to the homeless and addicted not two weeks ago.”

I don’t remember exactly where he stopped me, but he said something like this, “So you’re a Christian, huh, and yet your judging us for trying to do God’s work and present the Gospel…” Chad was not having any of this.

“The gospel is good news, man. Good news. Your approach sounds a lot like bad news. Your approach is scary and intimidating. The first thing that I did when your brother started his speech was check both of you for weapons or bombs. These people spent thirty horrifying seconds wondering if their friends were gonna read about their bloodied bodies in the morning paper…”

He stopped me, saying something like… “That’s not fair, you should see some of the other street evangelists we’ve met, calling women sluts and telling people they’re gonna burn in hell…(at this point, I must have rolled my eyes, thinking that he wants brownie points for their ability to not refer to women on the street as sluts) my brother wants to talk about hope!”

I came back with this, perhaps my best and only constructive point, “If you want to preach at people about hope, here’s how you do it. Go to your church, or friends, or something, and get $100 in $1 bills. Put them in a bucket, and make a sign that says ‘For the homeless’ and then park it here in this same spot and just open the Bible and start reading… oh I dunno… the book of John. Instead of alienating people, you’ll serve two purposes: they’ll be grateful to you for stopping the homeless people from continually harassing them for change, and the Holy Spirit would convict us about our own lack of generosity towards them. The door would be open for you to talk about anything you want.” Then I kind of got a little mean, but to the point, “The question is this: are you really interested in impacting people, or do you just get off on being right?”

This hurt his feelings, I could tell.

“You’re not being fair, look over there,” he said. His brother had moved from a crowd address to an animated conversation with one guy in line, of course the one who was most vocal in his protests and jeering. “They are having a real conversation.” I remember thinking that it looked like a conversation with a lot of pointing, which often means it’s not a real conversation, but rather two concurrent arguments with pauses.

I could tell he was struggling with me. I’m guessing that arguments on the street don’t usually involve people who can give a concise explanation of TULIP. “Look,” I said, “Maybe this is how God wants to use you to reach people. Maybe you have to go through the theatrics of the cold open in order to have one real conversation a night. However, you picked this one random spot in the world and it just happened to be next to me, and God wasn’t gonna let me get out of here just ignoring you. I knew I had to talk to you after about fifteen seconds of hearing your brother talk.”

“Most of these people think you’re crazy, or stupid, or annoying, or just a couple of assholes, (a well placed cussword always throws fundies for a loop) or even dangerous. Heck, you had me worried, and I’m on your team. It only took me two questions to get a clear picture of where you sat theologically. You throw out a passage from Romans, and they have no idea what you’re talking about. They have no context, no understanding, they don’t even know what that is. We’re in a post-Christian environment, so you can’t use the Scriptures in the public square like Spurgeon did and expect to get the same kind of traction. I’m not saying that Scripture has lost it’s power, or that we have to sterilize it or dumb it down, but we must be wise as serpents, harmless as doves. Give some thought as to what Paul was talking about when he said he tried to be all things to all people.”

I had talked myself blue by this point. I wanted to try and wind it up. “Look, it’s clear that you’re doing your best to serve God, and I’m glad for that. I apologize for coming on so strong, and it’s clear that you’re decent guys, and maybe we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this.”

He agreed, said “God Bless You,” and I think he meant it, and I returned the same to him, and I meant it.

I resumed The Hang with Erica and our friends, and waited for the line to go in. Street Preacher still was engaged in his conversation with Pointy Finger Man the whole time. His brother moved over there and listened in. When the line finally went in, Street Preacher walked with Pointy Finger Man all the way to the entrance and said goodbye. He passed me and said, “Hey man, I’m sorry I didn’t get to talk to you.” I smiled and thought to myself… I don’t know if that’s true… ask your brother.

I told this story to Mike yesterday, and he laughed at the part where I was trying to flash my Christian Badge in order to get this guy to talk with me as a peer, and not a potential convert, (which, of course, is at the heart of the problem…) Mike said, taking on my role for a moment, “Brother… I understand that burning in your belly… lemme get you a Tums.” I laughed.

I’m gonna post and tag this thing, and, who knows, someday Street Preacher or his Brother may find it, and realize it’s them. They may take issue with my description of the events, or our conversation. If they do, they should comment here, as while I’ve done my best to preserve the content, it was going fast and furious, and often the line between what one actually says and what one thinks after the fact becomes blurry.

Of course, after I left them, SpiderMan 3 melted several dozen IQ points from my brain, so that may factor in as well.

It’s not enough to mean well, guys. How did that conversation go with Pointy Finger Man? Is he coming to church next weekend? Has anyone ever actually allowed you to be their friends once you were done with them? What’s the deal with the string thing? Why do you have to have a prepared schpeel? Why won’t you answer my question in front of those people? It was a fair question. Why are you more interested in how Spurgeon or Wesley did it then how Jesus, Peter and Paul did it? Street Preacher’s Brother mentioned those giants of the reformation way more often then you mentioned Christ Himself, and it showed. Remember Jesus? He was pretty smart. He didn’t get killed because he was a reckless idiot. He was killed because he was changing people’s minds by the truckload, and he scared the hell out of the establishment. Annoying the establishment doesn’t make you like Christ, it just makes you annoying.

Are you actually interested in impacting this culture, or are you only interested in being theologically correct?

32 thoughts on “Evangelizing The Evangelist

  1. aly hawkins

    Wow. So how was the movie?

    Human nature is weird to me in that often when we take a confrontational stance for a subject we’re really passionate about, we expect (dare I say, welcome?) confrontation about that subject in response. We’re prepared for it. But we really, really don’t like to be confronted about being confrontational in the first place. Or we actually do like it, in a perverse way, because we hear the criticism and believe it somehow legitimizes us. (Christians are especially guilty of the latter, I think because of the whole “You’ll be rejected on account of Me” thing. Please note that He didn’t say, “Do your best to be rejected on account of your dumbassishness and then blame it on Me to feel righteous.”)

    Reading this, I actually kinda appreciate the hearts of these guys…I mean, at least they’re out there, ya know? Clearly their faith demands some kind of action, which I can get behind. But why does it have to be probably pointless and highly inappropriate action?

  2. Chad Post author

    [quote comment="82257"]Wow. So how was the movie?

    [/quote]

    Just set your expectations extremely low.

    No, lower.

    Just a little lower, and have 2 or 9 beers.

    Have fun!

  3. Chad Post author

    [quote comment="82257"]

    Reading this, I actually kinda appreciate the hearts of these guys…I mean, at least they’re out there, ya know? Clearly their faith demands some kind of action, which I can get behind. But why does it have to be probably pointless and highly inappropriate action?[/quote]

    They’re trapped by The Structure. They’ve been Taught How This Gets Done. They’re not challenged to own it for themselves, to be creative, to live missionally in community and treat non-Christians as equals. They’re caught in the Us vs. Them mentality so pervasive in fundamentalism. They’re going for The Big Conversion Moment, rather then building friendships and letting The Holy Spirit do it’s thing.

    You’re right. Passion + creativity = results. I hope these guys can shake off their arcane ideas of what it means to evangelize.

  4. leoskeo

    I have a few thoughts on this subject. First I try to think about introducing people to Jesus, my savior, friend and God not think about a certain set of facts that will guarantee your ticket into heaven. It is hard to not shift into information mode since most people think of the Gospel as a basic set of facts. The Gospel is Jesus Christ who died rose and conquered death. Too often we reduce the Gospel merely to information about Jesus.

    Secondly, I ask. I decided long ago that instead of worrying about what I don’t know (how people would respond) I would ask permission to tell people. To this day, I have asked thousands of people permission and never once has anyone told me no. I am also not being clever. I do not ask, Can I tell you about the most amazing relationship ever? Can I tell you how to live forever?… I simply say, Can I ask you a couple questions about your faith? Can I ask you if you have a church background? I put together a list of over 100 questions I use to open doors and build bridges.

    I invite. I ask people if they would like to begin a friendship with Christ. When they say yes we pray together, when they say no I ask them would it be okay if we talked about this again sometime. Again I have never been told no.

    Every Sunday we worship Jesus with excitement and joy. It is almost (smiley face here) as though we love him and are excited to be in his presence together. We then open the Bible, teach the word with clarity in the language of our culture. This past week was 1 Corinthians 10. At the end of the service I asked, it is possible you may not know this Jesus we are so excited about. If you would like to… 4 people prayed to receive Christ. Happens every week and every week people pray to receive Christ. 34 in the last 7 weeks and over 200 in the last 2.5 years. Why, because we invite and our invitation is a reflection of the invitation of God. We partner with the Holy Spirit and extend the invitation. I think we have gotten far too clever in our presentations.

    Finally, I expect people to say yes. I know not everyone does but the truth is my Jesus is so amazing and awesome, I expect people to say yes. I expect when the word of God goes out for lives to be changed. Our church expects it too. Too many people start defensively, expecting an argument, expecting rejection, expecting someone to say no and never be my friend again. This defensiveness often comes from a negative expectation. By the way, I never miss an opportunity to talk about sin, repentance, the cross and complete trust in Christ that causes a person to surrender and follow him. Not because it is the Gospel but because it is the only fitting response to such a great God.

  5. corey

    I have never been a fan of Street Corner Ministry. It just seems like a riot shotgun when a gentle push is what’s called for. I personally have tried to find places to open up about my faith with my circle of friends who are either unbelievers or ex-believers. I usually start with, “I don’t personally know where you are with your faith – and it’s not really any of my business – but I feel this way because of my own faith…”. I feel like it disarms them and they’re more open to talk when they don’t feel like they’re being sold or screwed on something.

    I just went back and trid to catch up on my Relevant Magazine Podcasts (highly recommended, btw) and they had an author on ther who’s writing a couple of books that are titled (loosely, as I don’t totally remember) They Love Jesus But Not The Church. And his point is that when agnostics or those being called to faith want to know more, they grab these books that start with verses about being blinded by sin and the repercussions of a life separated from Christ. He actually made a joke at what an affront this may be to people who are riding the fence. At the very least, it lacks subtlety. And subtlety seems to be one of the magic ingredients in effective peer-to-peer ministry.

    just my $.02

  6. Sharolyn

    I also resonated with Aly’s quote. Recently there was a “Frontline” program on PBS called The Mormons. It was not for or against… just a keyhole glimpse into the lifestyle and systems of Mormons. (I kept thinking the show was about to end, and two hours later I was still watching.)

    One system featured was one of the 17 missionary training centers. It was intense. After three months of grueling preparation, they hit the streets… and basically no one wants to listen. Baptism into Mormonism is the goal, and the average missionary converts two people in the complete halting of their personal life for two years.

    This must be “worth it” to the faith to continue this practice for almost every male age 19 and many females. They can’t/don’t communicate with their families during their mission. This coming from a faith that stresses family like nothing else. One guy on his mission came “home” (in this other country) to a note on his door saying, “You mother has died. Call home.” He called. But he didn’t come home for her funeral. She “would have wanted him to stay on the mission field”.

    Intense. So I marvel at the passion and sacrifice for others, even though we hold different beliefs. Yet, their methods would not attract me to anything they were selling, even free money. I am immediately skeptical, and as Chad mentioned, questioning my safety.

    What makes this post fascinating (along with Chad’s captivating writing) is that you were on the “same team”!

  7. Chad Post author

    Well… maybe it’s like… different teams, same league. Like the Angels and Dodgers.

  8. Cliff

    [quote comment="82257"]Please note that He didn’t say, “Do your best to be rejected on account of your dumbassishness and then blame it on Me to feel righteous.”)[/quote]

    Such a way with words….

    I remember when I was in high school and the school Christian group had become dominated by a guy who tended in that direction. It broke my heart to see my friends shamed by his unkind attempts to get them to be “better Christians”. Yet, there was no talking to him. God knows I tried. He was a Bible slinger who wouldn’t perceive that his unpopularity (due to confrontational spirituality) was undermining his efforts to bring others closer to Jesus. By the end of that year, the group was pretty much finished and yet another place of refuge and warmth was lost.

    On the one hand, I really believe that this guy had more fervor than the rest of us combined. On the other, the results of his fervor were loss and shame. How does that happen when we’re on the same team? When does being so damn full of your certainty cross the line to joining the Enemy?

  9. Chad Post author

    Dan,

    It really was. I’m actually gonna still do my summer movie thread, which will begin with my scathing review. I will say, that I cannot remember the last time I had such a good time whilst hating a movie. Opening night LA crowds are merciless, and there was open laughter at the “emotional” moments by about halfway through the movie.

    Emo-Spidey? C’mon. Jared Leto looks tougher.

  10. Daniel

    Chad–your heart is as black as the midnight sky…

    I agree that opening night crowds are merciless. However, I saw it on a Sunday (early-evening), so we were all less feisty.

    There was one guy that yelled out “NOOOOOO!!” when MJ and Harry kissed. We all had a good laugh at that.

    But what about the humor? The scene where he is walking around NYC and buying his new suit was pretty hilarious. And the French dude?

    Anyone?

  11. Chad Post author

    The french dude was funny… I was pretty checked out by the time Emo-Spiderman showed up, but I was amused for about 5 minutes. I think the problem for me was that I laughed a bit, but felt no emotion, and no real thrills in the action sequences.

    I thought the underrated Superman Returns from last summer had more insight and emotion in that little speech he have at the end to the sleeping boy (spoiler free for those who haven’t seen it) then the entirety of the Spiderman series. I just don’t care a whit about any of the characters.

    Just me…

  12. Daniel

    That’s cool. I’m not a huge Spidey fan, myself. I wasn’t thrilled by the action sequences either, but I catch myself thinking “wow, some of this CGI looks pretty good…” but some of it didn’t.

    I hated X-Men 3

    I loved Superman Returns. LOVED it.
    It’s totally underrated. Have you heard the soundtrack? John Ottman did a BRILLIANT job of weaving the old Superman/Lois theme into a track called “How Could You Leave Us”.

    Crap. Now I have to listen to it again…

  13. Christy Semsen

    Man, what a great post. I love reading that- reading through all the suspense but not being worried because Chad will surely win in the end. :) No seriously- I completely agree with you, although I dare say that when we were in college together I would have agreed with you 50%, and if I knew you in high school I would have just prayed for you….

  14. Nick

    Philippians 1:18 “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”

    Chad, I enjoyed the story. I have wrestled with this same issue…and my opinion varies with every instance I guess. I was recently informed by my pastor that most of the time it’s a difference between introverted and extraverted personalities concerning their evangelism styles…Being an introvert, the thought of getting up and preaching to a group waiting for a movie scares me to death-maybe it’s just not my style.

  15. Chad Post author

    I’m an extravert. I talk to groups of people all the time. This guy had tone issues. It was like a sample-based instrument playing through a Marshall head through a Behringer 4X10.

    Not good, is what I’m saying.

  16. michael lee

    [quote comment="82920"]It was like a sample-based instrument playing through a Marshall head through a Behringer 4X10.
    [/quote]

    I feel like that’s a metaphor that I can relate to. Like, directly relate to. Probably because I spent 4 hours last night playing a piano sample through a Marshall head and a Behringer 4×10 cabinet.

    That’s eerie that you would pick exactly that example.

  17. bill metanoya

    The best and most effective evangalist I ever met was my younger brother who was eight years old when he died. His disease slowly drained away his ability to talk and walk and read and write until, in the end, all he could do was give you a hug, a kiss and a smile which every one of God’s creatures received that came near his wheelchair. And when you looked into his eyes you could see the bright light of Jesus within and knew Jesus was near to gently welcome him home to heaven when it was time.

    We don’t convert anyone, God does. Jesus calls us to love others; family, friends, enemies and neighbors and he’ll take care of the rest. That love can take many forms but it rarely involves trying to convince someone of how wrong they are.

    My son William saw Spidey3 opening night as well and had the same opinion as Chad, he didn’t expect a lot and wasn’t disappointed.

  18. Chad Post author

    [quote comment="82933"]

    I feel like that’s a metaphor that I can relate to. Like, directly relate to. Probably because I spent 4 hours last night playing a piano sample through a Marshall head and a Behringer 4×10 cabinet.

    That’s eerie that you would pick exactly that example.[/quote]

    I know, weird, huh?

  19. corey

    It was a 4×12 cabinet. Which is actually an extra 8 inches of suck, for those of you scoring along at home.

  20. Paul

    Regarding Spider Man 3 – Too long, too disjointed, random plot lines all colliding with each other, a giant tossed fruit salad of a movie. (How about that silly jazz club scene? I thought for a minute that our hero was going to sing “Cuba Pete”!!) It’s all about the writing, even when you have $250 million to spend. It’s also a little sobering to think that $375 million changed hands over the weekend to see a guy in a red/black suit fly around New York chasing another guy made out of sand. I can’t wag my finger because I spent $12.75 to see Spidey at the Grove – definitely a cool place — Friday night, where I later found out that Sam Raimi and his family were also in attendance. (We were there with 30 or so friends of the girl who played Mary Jane’s replacement and sang a few bars of “They Say That Falling in Love is Wonderful…” You’ll be hearing more from her in a few months.)

    Regarding the pre-theater discussion – It’s definitely about the tone. Here’s a discussion question, if anyone is still following this thread: what would be a viable way to initiate a fruitful conversation about Jesus with someone in a long line in front of the Village Theater on a Friday night in 2007?

  21. Chad Post author

    Bucket full of $1 bills + reading of the Psalms + gentle, humble spirits = blown minds.

  22. Chad Post author

    What’s the deal with my threads?

    Reply 1: Church sucks! Here’s how to fix it!
    Reply 2: Yeah!
    Reply 3: Alec Baldwin’s a prick!
    Reply 4: Yeah!

  23. michael lee

    [quote comment="82989"]It was a 4×12 cabinet. Which is actually an extra 8 inches of suck, for those of you scoring along at home.[/quote]

    Really? I guess I just expected more presence, more depth from a 4×12. A Behringer 4×12. Made by Behringer.

  24. Chad Post author

    Things that suck: (in summary)

    1. Thoughtless evangelism.
    B. Behringer
    4. SpiderMan 3

  25. corey

    [quote comment="83144"][quote comment="82989"]It was a 4×12 cabinet. Which is actually an extra 8 inches of suck, for those of you scoring along at home.[/quote]

    Really? I guess I just expected more presence, more depth from a 4×12. A Behringer 4×12. Made by Behringer.[/quote]

    Well, it was definitely a 4×12. But I’ll bet you one of Chad’s buckets of $1 that it wasn’t made by Behringer. It was made by whatever third-world country was shipping half-stack cabs on sale that month. And, no. No more presence for you. Not from Behringer. Actually, the head was probably the culprit. It sells for $349 online and is a booger on the sleeve of Jim Marshall. Read this from the MF site…

    Now featuring digital effects.

    Drawing on the vast experience of their design team, the Marshall MG100HDFX Head amps are built to the same exacting standards as all Marshall products. Though compact in size, each one delivers a dynamic yet toneful punch, and they’re all suitable for a wide variety of purposes including rehearsal, recording, and even live music work. The MG100DFX is a 2-channel amp with special features such as FDD (Frequency Dependent Damping), CD ins, plus emulated line out, and emulated headphone jacks. It features digital effects including reverb, delay, chorus, and flange. With 100W, this is a fully gig-capable amp, and it retains all the features that make it great for practice, too.

    Marshall MG100HDFX Head Features:

    Big Marshall tone
    Delivers a dynamic yet toneful punch
    100W power
    2 channels (footswitchable)
    Digital effects including reverb, delay, chorus, and flange
    FDD (Frequency Dependent Damping)
    CD ins, plus emulated line out, and emulated headphone jacks
    25″W x 14″H x 12″D
    39 lbs.

    A few phrases stick out as decidedly UN-cool:
    1) Now featuring digital effects
    2) suitable for… even live music work
    3) CD ins
    4) fully gig-capable amp

    Why the push to sell the idea that one can actually use the amp in a real, live, human gigging situation… with real live crowds and everything. ?

    It’s not your fault, Mike. Good player – bad reh. space. Cheap backline. It’s not your fault. Damn The man.

  26. michael lee

    Doug (my pastor) and I were talking about this a little bit yesterday.

    Chad, you might be missing a key component of the interaction here, something that the street preacher would never say, but something ingrained in his theology.

    He’s not interested in being effective. His theology doesn’t allow for it.

    If he’s a master’s guy, and a MacArthurite, and a 5-point Calvinist, then he has no stake in being effective at his preaching. The basis of salvation is God’s choice, at the beginning of time, to save some and to allow others to continue on into the lake of fire. There’s no reason for God’s choosing, it has no basis in human assent or predisposition. Those who will be saved are predestined to be saved, and that’s that.

    So, follow this through to its logical conclusion. If human choice has no play in the move to salvation, then it doesn’t matter if your evangelism is winsome, or effective. Your sole task is to “proclaim the gospel” – and then God calls out whomever he has elected beforehand. The proclamation has a double effect. To the elect, it becomes the proclamation of grace (which they are incapable of resisting), and they are saved. To the unelect, it becomes a double heaping of ye olde damnation, because then they’ve heard the good news and still rejected it. In both cases, the effectiveness of the preacher has no bearing on the outcome.

    In fact, the Truly Reformed street preacher might have a vested interest in being really bad at what he’s doing. If he’s persuasive, he might risk bringing into the fold some who are not elect, but who are persuaded by human preaching (or Satan!!) to act like the elect for a little while, which is of no eternal benefit to them.

    If he’s patently ineffective, or even offensive, in his delivery, and some of those in the crowd are still called out into salvation, then he’s simply proved the case that they were predestined, and not saved by their own cognitive effort.

    I have no special insight into this guy’s mind – I don’t know him (and, let’s be honest Chad, it’s a bit persnickety to claim that you do after 2 minutes of hearing a guy speak). But if his view on evangelism flows out of his view on salvation (how could it not?), and his doctrine of salvation is grounded in TULIP, then his methods are in line with his theology.

  27. Chad Post author

    Hehe… well. Hmm. I’m not sure how to respond. I feel like I touched on both of these issues (not needing to be winsome, and my own perceived arrogance over claiming that I “knew” him.”

    From about midway through the initial post…

    “I cut him off again, and said something along the lines of, “Dude, I’m not saying I know you, or your brother. What I am saying is that I know the Scriptures, we’ve read all the same books, and we most likely know some of the same people, as it’s a small world, after all. I know where you’ve been, what you’ve heard, and how you think. I know you’re a five point Calvinist, that you believe in the complete inerrancy of Scripture, that you believe we live in a corrupt and wicked generation that needs the gospel thrown at them so that the elect can be called out.”

    The point I was trying to make was that I had identified a lot about the guy because we are Spiritual brothers or at least first cousins. I didn’t claim to know his hame, his birthday, or his favorite CCM band (but it was Casting Crowns and everyone knows it). My claim was, and still is, that I was able to figure out quickly that we had a lot in common, and I was trying to get his brother to talk to me like a peer, rather then an argument victim, or possible convert to Amway..I mean Christianity.

  28. Chad Post author

    For the record, I have been, on rare occasion (mondays – thursdays… sometimes on sundays), known to be one arrogant SOB.

    Most of you who know me knows that there also beats a heart of tenderness and passion underneath, for the church, her people, the people who choose not to be a part of her, and the Savior who lived and died to save us all.

  29. michael lee

    [quote comment="83782"]… and the Savior who lived and died to save us all.[/quote]

    Or, if you’re Truly Reformed, died to proved a limited atonement of the elect.

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