Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cars 'n Tracts 7/27/2013

The Burbank Car Show was in full swing when our team hit the streets. The Tract Brigade consisted of Mark, Dean, Sai, Dr. Jack, Steve M., Jeremy and Steven V.

Kids love the giant $100 bills!

Grown-ups do too. We never get tired of giving them out. Sometimes people begin reading them right away, and a conversation starts. Over 2,500 were distributed.

We saw several people posing for photos with the big tracts.

The cars are certainly fun to look at, but it is easy to see how they have become an object of modern-day idolatry. Viewed in the bright light of God's gracious gift of the Gospel, such earthly treasures surely lose their luster.

This car sported an appropriate, though perhaps unintended, reminder of the legacy of such a lifelong investment of time and money. A reasonable question: What idols need smashing in my own life?

Those who make an image, all of them are useless, and their precious things shall not profit; They are their own witnesses; They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed. Who would form a god or mold an image that profits him nothing? (Isaiah 44:9-10)

When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry them all away, a breath will take them. But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain. (Isaiah 57:13)

Please join us: Saturday, August 3rd, 6:00pm @ BPD Parking Lot. 

See you there!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tabernacling in Glendale 7/20/2013

Just as the ancient Jewish Feast of Tabernacles is "symbolic of Christ’s Second Coming when He will establish His earthly kingdom," so our humble "booth" served as a witness of Christ's imminent return, to the thousands who attended the Glendale Cruise Night.

Special thanks to my wife Anne for graciously helping with the hard work of setting up the CBC "tabernacle" at the Glendale Cruise Night event. Her energetic, patient and encouraging support is an invaluable blessing.

CBC'ers included Bryan and Syria, Mark, Steve and Anne. Dean and Sai, who are now attending Calvary Chapel Pasadena, also were exceedingly helpful, hanging in there till after 10pm to help pack and load everything when the event was over. They brought reinforcements Nick, and his wife Weeli, who also fellowship in Pasadena.

Of course there was a wide variety of classic and custom cars of every style and vintage.

Thousands of tracts were handed out one by one. It is such a blessing to see the joy and excitement on people's faces when they get one of these!

Dean's wife, Sai, is always the unofficial champion of tract giving. She is unstoppable.

Dean's friend Nick, and his wife Weeli, were a big help.

The Holy Spirit, once again, was hard at work drawing people to hear the gospel. Mark and Steve had a great discussion with two young Mormon "Elders" who heard the true Gospel, and graciously endured a litany of problems with the Book of Mormon (TBOM). One such problem is the large amount of the King James edition of the Holy Bible, which is plagerized word for word, punctuation for punctuation, typeface for typeface, in spite of the claim that TBOM is of similar vintage as the New Testament texts. Another problem is the thousands of "corrections" to the manuscript which have been made over the last hundred years. There is no shortage of such information available on the Internet, and this has understandably taking a great toll on the membership of this cult as people learn about the unbiblical and unhistorical beliefs they espouse.

Many such conversations took place at the booth.

Let us pray that many will come to saving faith.

Ministry Opportunity

Our good friend and brother in Christ, Tony Miano, has returned from his travels, certain of which have received international publicity. Tony will be leading street witnessing efforts this week, providing opportunities to join him and be a witness for our Lord and Savior. Here is a link to his website Cross Encounters. To receive his schedule of witnessing times and locations go to his website and click on the link to subscribe to his newsletter.

Join us:  Saturday, July 27th, 6:00pm in Downtown Burbank, at the BPD Parking Lot on Palm near Glenoaks. NOTE:  Burbank will be having their own annual CAR SHOW that night, so we will be handing out the giant $100 Bills, again. Come and join the Fun!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Holy Spirit Wins 7/13/2013

A hardy remnant (Mark, Jeremy, Dean, Sai and Steve) answered the call by showing up in the usual place, at the usual time. The Holy Spirit did the rest, bringing seeking hearts, young and old, to the sound of the gospel.

Even before we could get set up, several young people approached and started asking about salvation and requesting Bibles. Such events continually serve as gentle reminders to us exactly who is in charge here. Our task is to faithfully show up, and to walk in obedience to the great commission. "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:46-47) Beyond that, it's all up to the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts and minds of all those He chooses.

Mark spoke at length with these two men who patiently listened to several preachers, then approached Mark with questions about Seventh Day Adventism. In the sovereign providence of God, it just "happens" that brother Mark was raised in the cult which follows the teaching of Ellen G. White, and so he had excellent answers as well as personal experience to share. Additionally, these men speak Armenian, so they were excited to hear about the Armenian Reformed Bible Church which meets Sunday evenings at Calvary Bible Church. 

That congregation is led by Pastor Vahik Haddadian.


The Glendale Cruise Night event will take place next Saturday, July 20, from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm, on Brand Blvd. in Downtown Glendale.

This is a good opportunity for first-timers to get their feet wet by walking around handing out the ever-popular Giant Hundred Dollar Bill tracts. All are invited to join us. There are many classic cars to see and there are usually several bands that play during the course of the event. Plus it's free!



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fare Thee Well, Brother 7/6/2013

Our beloved brother, leader and friend, David, and his beautiful family, are moving this week. Our hearts go with them, and we pray for the Lord's rich blessing upon their lives. Undoubtedly, the Lord will use them mightily in their new location.

Almost as a parting gift, Dave's old friend, "Roger the nemesis," dropped by to "save" the "stupid" Christians. Off the box, David and Roger had a lengthy, animated discussion about a wide range of topics. Roger's chief complaint, this time, centered around the epistemological "problem" of the Christian faith.

In point of fact, as Francis Schaeffer, and others have wisely explained, the problem of epistemology is only a problem for secular philosophers, not Bible believing Christians. Epistemology may be defined as the theory of knowledge, or how we know what we believe to be true. Where people like Roger, and many modern scholars, run into problems is in attempting to establish a reliable standard for understanding what a word, or sentence, or an entire text "means." For thousands of years secular philosophers have defined and re-defined various theories for determining this standard.

Some of these standards (and the men who espoused them) include: rationalism (SPINOZA), empiricism (HUME), agnosticism (KANT), idealism (PLATO), positivism (Comte), existentialism (KIERKEGAARD), phenomenology (HEGEL, HEIDEGGER), and mysticism (PLOTINUS). (For further reading on this topic see The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, by Norman Geisler.)

The reason why this is not a problem for Christians is eloquently stated by Francis Schaeffer:

There has always been communication, before the creation of all else, in the Trinity. And God has made man in His own image, and part of making man in His own image is that man is a verbalizer. . . So God made the universe. He made man to live in that universe, and He gives us the Bible, the verbalized, propositional, factual revelation, to tell us what we need to know. In the Bible He not only tells us about morals, which makes possible real morals instead of merely sociological averages, but He gives us comprehension to correlate our knowledge. The reason the Christian has no problem of epistemology is (that) the same reasonable God made both things - namely, the known and the knower, the subject and the object - and He put them together. So it is not surprising if there is a correlation between these things. (Schaeffer, "He Is There, And He Is Not Silent.)


This is, of course, a deeper subject than we care to address on the box, or in the street. Simply put, epistemology won't save you. But this is typical of the type of diversionary tactic that sinful men use to justify their unbelief. If words have no set meaning then how can one claim to "know the truth" about anything at all?

And so the last few centuries have been characterized by men like Roger who have sought to destroy the word of God by twisting, contradicting and spiritualizing it, under the banner of "academic scholarship." Hence, Roger's condescending allegation that, "You guys don't know what the words mean!" But the real problem is that people who hate God and love their sin do understand the words, they just don't like what the words say. All such arguments turn to dust when confronted by the whole gospel. The Lord, in His infinite wisdom has given mankind His revealed word with built in defenses against such unreasonable attacks.

But that doesn't stop Roger! Our brother Paul had his first opportunity to go head to head with Roger from the box. Humbly, Paul endured a verbal onslaught, which included various insults and put-downs, intermixed with unsupportable assertions and outright falsehoods. All this to the cheers and shouts, and even dancing, of the crowd which Roger always manages to draw.

But Paul wisely kept his cool, and finished with a strong presentation of the glorious Gospel of Christ.

This raises, again, the question of the role of apologetics in street ministry. The most important resource we have to combat every idea that exalts itself above the knowledge of God is, of course, the Word of God, the Bible. Nothing else is sufficient in matters of faith and salvation. It is exceedingly valuable, however, to be also familiar with the basics of apologetics. Here is a good article with 8 reasons why this is so.

The value, it seems, of being prepared in this way is the ability to use a salient, factual response to an untrue assertion, much the same way as a tiny needle can quickly dispatch with an enormous balloon full of hot air. Our Lord used this same technique in confounding the devil by simply answering every attempt by the enemy to twist scripture, by quoting scripture correctly and authoritatively. Similarly, when an unbeliever asks a loaded question, that is a question based on a false presupposition, it is helpful to counteract the question with a statement that reveals the faulty presupposition.

Some examples:

Assertion:  The bible has been changed through the centuries.
Truth:  Manuscript evidence proves the opposite.

Assertion:  What makes you think the bible is true?
Truth:  The evidence of fulfilled prophecy.

Assertion:  If God is so loving why does he allow evil and suffering?
Truth:  If God were to stop evil and suffering wouldn't he have to put a stop to us too? (Romans 3:23) Haven't we by our own actions caused much of the suffering in the world? By allowing it God is actually showing us mercy. (1 Tim 1:14-16, John 3:16-17)

Assertion:  How do you know Jesus even existed?
Truth:  The New Testament is a reliable historical record. On top of that at least 39 sources outside of the Bible attest to more than a hundred facts regarding Jesus' life, teachings, crucifixion and resurrection.
(source: Charlie Campbell, One-Minute Answers to Skeptics, Harvest House Pub.)

Simple statements such as these undercut the power of the falsehoods behind the questions and enable us to put those aside and get directly to the gospel.

Often, however, we make an error by getting into a back and forth, Q&A with the questioner, rather than giving a quick answer to the question and immediately jumping into the Good Person Test, or gospel explanation. By doing so we can reassert control of the dialog in a constructive, edifying way, rather than digressing into a verbal sparring match. The mic is out there to allow questions. The questions are allowed to further the gospel, not to provide a talk show format for lengthy sharing of ideas.

Several others stepped up to the mic, and the Gospel was boldly proclaimed.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:15-17)

Please join us: Saturday, July 13th, 6:00pm @ BPD Parking Lot. See you there!

Special event:  Saturday, July 20th, Glendale Cruise Night!!!  Stay tuned for details!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

God's Faithfulness 6/29/2013

Even before we can pray for more laborers the Lord provides them. Due to the great turnout, we were able to split into two groups and cover the corner of Magnolia and San Fernando with some "stoplight" preaching. This evening's team included: Jeremy, Brian, Steve M., Mark, Andrew, Kyle, Dean S., Steven V., Dr. Jack, Barbara, Sai, Dean C., and Dave behind the camera.

As usual, the great majority of visitors seem indifferent to the Gospel message which the preacher is sharing. Yet we know, from the occasional "drive-by" shout, mocking laugh, or shaking head, that people are hearing and thinking about what is being said.

Here, at the corner, we see Dean S. and his brave son Kyle, with Steve M. on the box. We've covered stoplight preaching in an earlier post, but the basic idea is to keep the Gospel message short and to the point.

Often the interactions are more numerous and friendlier, perhaps due to the close proximity. Usually one or more persons will stop and listen, patiently waiting to dialog with the preacher or his team mates.

Andrew joined us from the Veritas group, and courageously took a turn on the box.

Brian, a first-timer, discusses scripture with Jeremy, who has also recently joined us.

"The mistake that we make is that we think that God is just like us. That He will let sin go, that He will never punish sin, that I can do whatever I want. In fact that's the lie from the garden of Eden. Satan told Adam and Eve that they could be autonomous and they could live on their own, apart from God. In the darkest time of Israel, the Bible says that 'Every man did what was right in his own eyes.' (Judges 21:25) That is exactly what we are living in right now. We are living in a nation where every man does what is right in his own eyes. And if someone disagrees with him we say that person is being hateful. We try to pass laws that allow us to sin freely, as if that's going to change God's standard. Friends, God has a standard and it is not yours. Just because we have a constitution that allows us freedom of religion, that does not mean that He endorses idolatry."

Once again, Dr. Jack was blessed to draw a heckler and a crowd. After presenting the Good Person Test, he made the classic Ray Comfort analogy of the parachute. "If you are going to survive jumping from a plane, you need to do more than know about the parachute, you must put on the parachute. In the same way we are not saved by knowing about Jesus, but rather putting on Jesus' imputed righteousness through repentance and faith in Him as Lord and Savior."

The Apostle Paul speaks to us today, now, in this present generation:

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. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of and evangelist, fulfill your ministry.  (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Next scheduled CBC Evangelism outreach:  Saturday, July 6, 2013, at BPD Parking Lot, 6:00pm.