It just so happens that occasionally when a follower of Jesus Christ is evangelizing in the public square, another Christian will approach him.
Of course, one may assume that the newly arriving believer is there to stand in solidarity with a brother, and help hold another sign,
to hand out Gospel tracts,
take a turn proclaiming truth to the hearers,
or maybe just stand nearby to lift up the engagement in prayer support.
Or that at least that they will say, "Amen!" or "So grateful to see you out here for the Gospel!"
However, that is not nearly as common as you might think!
Most often, they approach with the statement: "You are not doing it the right way."
I personally endeavor, when in such a situation, to listen before I speak. I know that it is good to be patient and humble when dealing with a brother or sister in Christ, even when they are communicating criticism. Criticism can be constructive.
But sadly, most often their advice does not contain good instruction or biblical directives, merely personal opinion.
And I have found that they most likely do not have experience in open air evangelism or abortion mill ministry themselves, but they are certain that what I am doing should be done another way.
A way that is not so bold, not so offensive, not so loud.
Below are several of their objections, and Scriptural foundation for why we do what we do.
"Loudly preaching in the city streets is never effective—open air preaching is not a productive way to communicate truth."
Proverbs 1:20 "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:"
Proverbs 1:21 "She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words..."
Proverbs 8:1 "Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?"
Proverbs 8:2 "She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths."
Proverbs 8:3 "She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors."
"Jesus had one on one conversations with people—He was personal! He did not, nor would not, condone street preaching. [Sadly, this statement reveals a shocking lack of knowledge of what Jesus actually did.]
As we read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), we find that during Jesus' time here on Earth, He spent a huge portion of His ministry preaching to multitudes, which included places like the sea shores, mountainsides, streets in towns and cities (all open air). Jesus went where the people were.
Mark 5:21 "And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea."
John 6:3 "And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples...Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him..."
Rom 10:14-15 "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
Luke 14:23 "And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."
Fact check: My street preaching has lead to many one on one conversations, as well as ongoing discipleship.
Reality check: Jesus preached more in the public square than most Christian pastors or Bible teachers do today.
"Calling out to people sounds like you are yelling at them—you are turning them off by your manner. And holding pictures of aborted babies (at the places that are killing babies) will only repel a mother from coming to talk with you—she needs your compassion, not your condemnation."
Ezekiel 33:8-9 "When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul."
Ezekiel 7:23, 22:2 "Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? yea, thou shalt shew her all her abominations."
Proverbs 31:8-9 "Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy."
It is sad that many believers, when exposed to street ministry, will boldly state in passing (or in outright condemnation on the ministry), "You are doing it all wrong!"
They assert that anything we do that might "feel" fanatical or uncomfortable to them must be ineffective and unloving. That opinion is based solely on a humanistic worldview and exposes their wrong thinking.
I remember one such man who was concerned with my manner of ministry specifically outside of the abortion mill. He urged me to "follow Isaiah 58" instead of what I was doing (which happened to be calling out to women with truth and the gospel—offering them help and hope in Christ, and our families willingness to assist them in their time of need).
Isaiah 58 gives directives for believers to fast and pray in order to loose the bands of the oppressed, brake every yoke of those burdened with sin, to give bread to the hungry, and to bring the poor into our own homes (important parts of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves)—but the very first verse of Isaiah 58 tells the reader exactly how God desires His word to be proclaimed. I quickly turned in my Bible and read out loud the very beginning of the passage to that man,
"Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgressions, and the house of Jacob their sins" (Isaiah 58:1).
I then turned to him and stated, "Brother, I appreciate your exhortation—but that is exactly what I am doing."
Most Christians who react to the public proclamation of the Gospel (outside of some scheduled respectable church service) as to being loud or too forthright or lacking a personal touch, have actually never engaged in such a discipline themselves.
The following is a line of dialogue that I have experienced on many occasions:
(A. approaching Christian B. Bible preaching Christian)
A. "I don't think you should evangelize the lost this way."
B. "Oh? If there is a Biblical way to do it better, I would be grateful to learn. Could you share with me how YOU evangelize the lost?"
A. "Um, I don't really, haven't ever, well, I don't actually go out to evangelize the lost..."
B. "Then I must say that I think the way that I am doing it is better than the way that you are NOT doing it."
Let's get busy with the work of Evangelism, Church. It is our duty! Work for the night is coming.
Abortion must be abolished.