Friday, March 31, 2006

Witness Report #2

Wednesday night I stopped by the Church fellowship to see if anyone wanted to go with me to witness, or at least to tag alongside as a prayer-partner. I tapped one fellow who ssid he would "think about it" but woukd stay at the church and pray after his long day at work. I gave him a hard time about it and after rounding up no takers, proceeded to make my way toward the University of South Carolina.

The sun was going down and I got some nice pics of some area churches along the way.

I saw few people coming and going across the street and just could not wait to get down there and start witnessing. As it goes with downtowns, at some point a street must be crossed. So I pulled up to the crosswalk and waited patiently for the light to change and the signal to change from "walk" to "don't walk."

The light changed, mine didn't.
The light changed again, mine didn't.
The light changed again, mine didn't.
The light changed again, mine didn't.

I stood there for an embarrassing long period of time. Being a good Christian and law-abiding citizen. Yes. One who uses the Ten Commandments in witnessing must not break the law. He must wait for his light to change.

I imagined myself talking with a guy: "Ever told a lie, steal something, commit adultery?" And he looks at me and says, "ever cross against the light?"

Looking up ahead, I saw my foot-traffic had dissapated, and since I was bringing the message of forgiveness of sin, I took the first available moment and crossed.

More people did show up on the sidewalk, but many of them were young women and since I was by myself, thought it best not to approach. Walking on down the sidewalk, I saw more people, but noticed that if they weren't talking on cell-phones, the I-pods were plugged in. How does one share Christ to people who tune everything out? I'll interrupt them later.

Making my way between two buildings, I came upon "The Horse-shoe", a historical marker of sorts. People scattered everywhere. Some in small groups--maybe a place to draw a crowd for preaching?

I realized the tracts I was holding spoke to a more general crowd. This was a University! I pulled out my I.Q. Test tract-cards and began walking.

I met Christa and asked her if she had a moment to take a quick I.Q. Test.

She was stumped and guessed, "I dunno. A soul?" We laughed at the attempted answer. We had a bigger laugh over the answer. I asked if she coukd answer another question and she complied. "Woukd you consider yourself to be a good person?"

"I guess," she shrugged.

"Good enough to go to heaven?" I asked.

"I guess," she shrugged again.

After taking her through the Ten Commandments, she admitted two facts. First, she realized specific sin in her life. Suddenly, eyes wide with realization, she said softly, "but Jesus paid the price for my sin, didn't He? That's what I believe." She was right, and perhaps never understood the full implications of what this all meant to her. We talked briefly of what repentance meant and assurance, and away she went full of newfound joy.

A few minutes later I saw a young man come put of a building with books under his arm . . . perhaps just getting out of class. I held out an I.Q. Test to him.

[Note to self: don't reach blindly into the pile. Know which card you are getting.]

He worked the problem and made his guess. Wrong answer. Try again.

This upset him, so he tried again and was bothered by his own different answer!

And when I told him the answer, he got mad! I tried to walk him through it again, and he jsut would not accept the right answer. I probably should have stopped there and thanked him for his time, encourage him to read the tract and move on . . . But could'nt.

I asked him if he thought he was a good person. “Yeah.”

I asked him if he was good enough to go to heaven. He looked at me confused.

I asked him if he had ever told a lie. More confused. “Yeah . . .”

“And what does that make you?” I pressed.

“A liar.” He did not like that.

I asked him if he ever stole anything . . . long pause, “No.” He knew where I was going with this.

I said, “C’mon. You just told me you were a liar. You expect me to believe you’ve never taken anything that didn’t belong to you?”

He just stared at me.

I asked him if he had ever used the Lord’s Name in vain, to which he quickly answered, “Yeah.”

I asked him if he had ever looked at a woman with lust and committed adultery. He looked at me like, “You gotta be kidding!” “Yeah.”

I said, “So you are telling me you are a lying, adulterous blasphemer? If God were to judge you by the Ten Commandments, would you be innocent or guilty?”

“Guilty,” he said with a softer-than-usual voice.

“Would you go to heaven or hell?”

With new-found ire, he responded, “I don’t believe in hell. Besides, your logic is faulty because you said, “The LORD said” and all that about lust. You can’t trust the Bible. It is man-made and full of errors.” You could just hear the period slam into position in his sentence.

I thought/prayed for a moment.

“I hear what you are saying,” I said. “Which part of the Bible contains errors? What are they, exactly?”

He stammered for a moment. “It’s just wrong. Look, I grew up in church, I heard all this before and it’s just not true.”

I talked for a moment about the affirmation the Bible has received over time and history and said, “It doesn’t change the fact that someday you will stand in judgment before God and will have to pay the price for your sins. You say you don’t believe in hell, but that doesn’t change the fact that it does not exist. Does that concern you?” I told him that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for his sins and that he needed to repent and be saved from both sin and hell.

“Yeah . . . I guess. Whatever. But I just don’t believe it. What about walking on the water? How do you prove that archeologically?” He stabbed.

Woah. Good one! All I could say was, “well, you can’t. That’s why it’s called ‘a miracle.’”

He actually smiled. “Look, I gotta go eat.” And started to walk away.

I thanked him for talking with me, encouraged him to read the tract and invited him to church.

I felt quite drained after that and made my way off-campus. Down the street about two blocks I saw my friend from church I had invited to come along. He said he was just walking around waiting for his kids to get out of church. I told him I thought he was concerned about me and wanted to see where I was. He admitted he thought he would try to find me while he was out.

We made our way back to church and he committed to go with me every week, to listen and pray as he did not feel confident to witness.

We crossed with the light.

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