Thursday, February 9, 2012

A PRICE TO PAY TO PREACH

In some countries today, if one was to stand in the public square to open air preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, they would be beaten, arrested, jailed, tortured and in some cases, put to death. Nothing new. They did that in the days of the first century church starting with the likes of Stephen, Paul, Peter, etc. The hatred for the gospel and the public proclamation of it is as prevalent today as it was back then.

Here in North America, for the most part, we enjoy certain freedoms that limit the kind of persecution street preachers receive to verbal cursing, mockery, middle finger salutes and various forms of noisy disruptions. Sometimes police intervene and work against, not for, the preacher even to the point of arrests. 

But it's not too often an open air preacher will get stuff thrown at him. The only time I had something thrown at me was at the annual Gay Pride Parade a few years back when somebody, who did not like the Good News he was hearing, hurled his cup of coffee at me. It missed me but landed and splashed all over my knapsack sitting my feet. I continued to preach.

Last week, over 100 street evangelists from coast to coast USA descended upon the Super Bowl festivities in Indianapolis to bring the gospel to the thousands who were there to partake in the festivities.

On one occasion, veteran street preacher, Tony Miano, was "on the box". He was protected by a human wall of fellow team mates who would hold alcohol laced hecklers at bay from physically reaching Tony. As the video below shows, despite the protection, someone was able to take a tightly wrapped burrito and utilize it as a projectile missile, clocking Tony hard on the left side of his face. He continued to preach. 


Insults and violence may bring temporary humiliation and pain upon the open air preacher but, at the same time, it brings eternal glory to God. For His word, as He says in Isaiah 55:11, "...will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

18th century open air preacher extraordinaire, Jonathan Whitefield, didn't have it easy on many occasions but counted it all joy nonetheless. "‎There I was honored with having stones, dirt, rotten eggs, and pieces of dead cats thrown at me."

Jesus said: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." - Matthew 5:11-12  

2 comments:

  1. This is such an encouraging video!

    Tony keeps preaching because the worst thing that could happen to him is losing his fleshly life here on Earth while the worst thing that could happen to the person who threw the burrito is an eternity in Hell.

    Praise God for faithful men and women who stand in the face of persecution (as mild as it may be right now in the USA/Canada) and faithffully preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Thank you Paul and Kim for holding that torch in the north and for posting this video!

    God bless!

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  2. Amen Paul!! Keep preaching brother!!

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