Friday, December 27, 2013

Into His Marvelous Light 12/21/2013

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV)

The team brought the light of the Gospel into a strangely darkened mall on this shortest and darkest day of the year, the Winter Solstice. Team members included: Mark, Dr. Jack, Jeremy, Steve M., Forest, Dean & Sai, and Steven V.

Curiously, the Christmas Tree itself was dark, as well as the lighting fixture which usually illuminates our (lately) regular corner spot.

Steve M. was blessed with a heckler whose questions were mostly based on the YouTube movie "Zeitgeist." As the linked articles show, this movie is constructed of falsehoods, logical fallacies, and straw-man arguments. Steve did a great job of redirecting the conversation back to the real issue, personal salvation: God's righteousness, our sin, and the need for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Often, the tone of such questions can be openly hostile and disrespectful. The epistle of James (1:19-20) instructs us to "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."  One simple step we can take in that direction is to quickly introduce oneself and get the heckler's first name so that the discussion is less acrimonious and more cordial. Of course, this is not always possible, but even making the gesture can help defuse the tension.

Confession Department

Another consideration that is often overlooked in the heat of "battle" is that when the heckler is a young person, i.e. late teens to early twenties, we have a greater responsibility, as adults who are seasoned in our faith, to model a measure of grace and Christ-likeness that is greater than the worldly attitude of our adversary. The Lord's commandment to "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you," (Matthew 5:44) is the most difficult one to follow, is it not? Yet, we need to be prayerfully prepared NOT to defend ourselves, but rather to defend the Gospel. It is so very tempting, when confronted for the umpteenth time with a leading and insincere question, one based on false pre-suppositions, to strike back rhetorically with an attitude of impatient condescension. I am frequently guilty of this. Yet, I believe, if we can step back, take a breath and refrain from responding in kind, we can bear the shame, and allow the spirit to do His work.

Here is a brief video in which Steve effectively redirects the discussion:

From World Magazine:

Jeremy reports that his Father's business has been well supported by the community, after the recent court decision. Please keep the Phillips family in your prayers as they continue to walk by faith.

JOIN US! Saturday, Dec. 28, 6:00 P.M., @ Burbank Police Department parking lot.

1 comment:

  1. You guys are so great. Wonderful post and great job Steve M for sticking to the gospel. I think it's funny how Zeitgeist refers to Dec. 25th when the bible never does. ;)