Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rough Crowd 5/24/2013

The look on Steve's face says a lot about the mood of the unusually large crowd at the Burbank Media Center Mall. Perhaps it was due to the particular movies that were opening, or maybe it was the end of the school year, or simply the Memorial Day weekend kickstarting, but the tone of the crowd was much rowdier and noisier than usual. The team was blessed to include Mark, Nathan, Paul, Dr. Jack, Barbara, Steve M., and Steven V.

In spite of the palpable indifference and occasional passing mockery by groups of loud teenagers, many bibles and tracts were distributed. The gospel was preached, with passion and clarity. As a team we have been working on our "Whitefield" voices, anticipating a time when amplification will no longer by tolerated in the public square. However, due to the unusual volume of the crowd, the amplifier came in handy.

Numerous one-to-one conversations took place, and this one was a team effort by Mark and Dr. Jack. The fellow on the bench was a professing Christian who insisted that water baptism was a necessary component of salvation. This is commonly known as "baptismal regeneration." Many people espouse this view, but scripture clearly teaches that this is a false view of the purpose of baptism. As you will see in this linked article, there are several scriptures that are used to support this view. However, the key is to understand these passages in the context of the entire teaching of scripture. Scripture cannot contradict itself. This article presents a discussion of basic hermeneutical principles.


Beginning next week, Saturday, June 1, we will be changing back to Saturday evenings for the official weekly CBC Evangelism Team outreach. We will continue to meet at the Burbank Police Department parking lot (Palm & Glenoaks) weekly at 6:00 pm. Please update your calendar! If you have not recently been receiving the text message reminders, please talk to Steven V. to make sure he has your cell phone number and email address.

Join us:  Saturday, June 1, 2013 @ 6:00pm at BPD parking lot!

"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. But be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."  (2 Timothy 4:1-2,5)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Roger Redux 4/26/2013

What caused our friend and crowd-drawing heckler, Roger, to storm off in disgust this time?

The dialog that unfolded was virtually a replay of previous discussions. Roger employs a rhetorical strategy which is common to what one author refers to as "hatetheism":

- Dismissing all of scripture, history, biblical scholarship, doctrine and theology with the wave of a hand, saying, "That's just your opinion."

- Making ad hominem attacks, impugning the intelligence or character of whoever holds to a Biblical worldview.

- Making unsupportable assertions, such as: "You're just like the Taliban, you want to force people to believe as you do." It is worth noting that this particular assertion (i.e. comparing Christians to the Taliban) is a popular one in the hatetheistic press, as evidenced by a Google search which revealed more than one Venn diagram illustrating this concept.

Finally, in the process of naming a few of the various sins, which are common in our culture, that will convict all unbelievers before the Great White Throne on judgement day, David mentioned abortion. "If you have had an abortion in your life, He will wash away the blood, that you have shed, with His own blood. He will wash you clean. He will set you free. He will give you a new heart. He'll cause you to be born again," said David.

"Goodbye!" said Roger, turning away from the microphone. Since he left in a hurry, it is unclear exactly why Roger was so offended. Perhaps it was the proclamation of the sinfulness of abortion. Or maybe it was the loving and unmerited grace of God toward repentant sinners. Perhaps it was the refusal to let the heckler control the mic and therefore control the sharing of the Gospel. Perhaps it was our arrogance in claiming to understand the clear truth of God's word, when, according to Roger, "You guys don't understand what any of the words mean!"

There is no joy in such an outcome, except in having been enabled by the Holy Spirit to be faithful and obedient to share the truth. Our sincere prayer for Roger, and all others who despise the clear teaching of scripture by which God has communicated effectively to all of His creation, is to repent and come to saving faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

David, Sharon, Dr. Jack, Mark and Steve were the core team this evening.

"But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God." Romans 2:5

"Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you." Acts 8:22