Monday, December 01, 2008

Maybe I am wrong, but I don't think I am

I was accosted a little bit ago by a little woman clutching a bag full of gospel tracts, a Bible, and other belongings. She was all of 4 foot 11 at the most. This may sound mean, but she would certainly make the top 10 list of ugliest women I have ever met in my lifetime. She had a bulbous nose that almost looked like a male appendage dangling from her face, a mustache, and she could floss her teeth with rope there were so many of them missing. All of this aside, she was rude and obnoxious.

When Sharon and I got out of the car a few minutes ago, she came up to us as we crossed the street for our stop at Creech's Drug Store. Sharon got an antibiotic prescription because she has the flu. This lady asked us if we knew the Lord. I informed her that both my wife and I were born again Christians. We kept walking, but she started to follow like a puppy dog. She asked if I was Spirit filled, to which I replied I was. By this time, Sharon kept walking and was entering the store. Then she inquired as to how often I read the Bible or had prayer time. I was getting annoyed at this point, since the purpose of evangelism is not to pester the saved, but to save the lost.

When I stopped and sighed, she said, "Oh, that's it, isn't it? You are comfortable and need to have a relationship with Him. You need to get on fire for the Lord. I have been saved 31 years now and am as on fire today as the day I got saved. You need to do [thus and so]..." I attempted to discuss that issue with her, but she kept being rude and running over even the first two words out of my mouth. When I did get in any words, I attempted to let her know that she is sadly mistaken if she thinks that the measure of spirituality is how much you read the Bible or spend in prayer and that she is being extremely legalistic if she believes that if people do not spend as much time reading scripture as she deems we should, then we are somehow weak or lukewarm.

She quickly informed me that she is not under the law and is therefore not legalistic. I let her know right quick that she is a Pharisee if she is attempting to lay a standard on others to her liking. Of course, she came back with the obligatory quotes that if you are lukewarm (according to her definition, of course) then God would spew you out of His mouth, that we are to study to show ourselves approved, yadda, yadda, yadda. She said that I was going to miss "the rapture" if I was not on fire and basically that her prescription for a measure of fire intensity was appropriate.

I informed her that she just exemplified why so many people do not respond to her message, which she refuted. She just claimed that it was divine providence that she met me and was to warn me...all because I was not in agreement with her methodology and did not feel like being pestered. It is one thing to preach on the streets. I have done so. I also preached in prisons for several years. I have seen hundreds take decisions for Jesus. I have also seen many self righteous, pompous asses give their own prescriptions for the way to have a relationship with God. This ugly little lady, though I admire the fact that she is preaching the gospel to people, is unfortunately just one more self righteous individual that places her standards upon other people. If the others do not measure up to her, then they are less right in the sight of God and need to follow her example.

I feel bad that I was annoyed with this lady and that I felt the way I did about her appearance. However, I do not feel bad about my resisting her call to the way to being "rapture ready" or to a right relationship with God. As soon as I told her that I was a born again Christian, that should have ended all efforts of evangelism. Instead, she chose to be offensive, rude, and legalistic.

And people wonder why their efforts to win the lost are oft in vain. I forgot more scripture than this lady probably ever memorized. She has no idea what sort of study or prayer habits I have or the fellowship I have with my Lord or my fellow believers. She has no idea the topics of discussion I have with others nor the measure of walking out my faith I exemplify. I will applaud a non-charismaniac who gives to and ministers to the needs of those who have needs over someone who randomly uses the shotgun approach to evangelism and is obnoxious any day.

When I informed her that I was in the ministry for years and that she is not going to get away with perpetrating a false rhema upon me, since I have walked in that calling for years, she immediately shut down, got all the more defensive, and made the excuse that she had to go catch other people she saw on the street before she left in disgust.

Maybe I am wrong, but I doubt it.

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