Gain One Friend, Lose Nine [Discussion]

Okay, I met with a friend for dinner and coffee the other day, and as the evening progressed and the conversation developed, there came a sense of comfort, comradery, and safety in our words. Upon gathering information from one another, I mentioned in passing, “I want to stop street corner megaphone scripture preachers,” upon which my friend said, “what if some people respond to that?”

Silence…

As I looked back at him, I opened my mouth and no words were able to sneak out of my mouth. Hm, I hadn’t really thought of that. What if God somehow spoke through people yelling and exclaiming in a demeaning manner at people walking the street? I’m not trying to be funny, what if!?

I finally responded. I said, “okay, that’s a great point.” “However, is winning one worth losing nine?”

He replied, “I’m sure the one would think so.”

Stumped again.

SO: I’m opening the floor for discussion! I want to know what you think! I’ve always been adamantly against street corner scripture readers simply because I don’t believe it’s what Jesus would do. I’ve seen veins protruding from the foreheads of the street corner commanders as the condemn passers by; I’m sure the only time Jesus had a vein protruding from his forehead was when he, with glorious surrender, in a defining act of agape, was pinned to a cross for the sake of man.

…But that’s my opinion. I’m sure there’s validity in an argument either way! All of heaven rejoices when one is saved, but what happens when one comes at the cost of many? Let’s have some fun! Comment, and keep it kind, clean, and respectful.

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Steven Dine says:

    I just got back from a retreat this weekend, and our theme was discipleship. One of the lines I remember best is “Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents, infinitely moreso than when 100 righteous do.” I take that with a grain of salt because I think those 100 can always fall and return and the praise will always be the same for them as well. As Christians, our duty is to get other souls to heaven. And to show God’s love is one of the easiest ways to do that. If someone is scared from heaven by a street preacher screaming at them and scarring them for life, can we really blame them? I think these people are trying their best to be righteous, but people don’t usually take kindly to strangers, especially ones that cause hearing loss. I don’t think the elimination of these people are a solution, but a change in how they go about it might be. In a situation like this, I would like think that the parable of the gold coins from Luke 19 would apply, but I wouldn’t know for sure.

    1. andalexander says:

      So true. It’s tough to know about a situation that contains so many “what if’s.” I’m sure there are many different degrees of street corner preachers, and we’ve all experienced varying degrees of their manner. I’m a huge fan of love first. Thanks for your awesome input Steven!

      1. Steven Dine says:

        Absolutely! I love hearing others’ opinions as well and I’m really liking the blog. Thank you!

  2. Hello, can I be honest? When I read your post I was offended by your attitude. 🙂 But who knows; I might feel the same way if I heard the street minister. I think the one is important even if you lose the nine. My opinion

    1. andalexander says:

      I’m sorry that you feel I said something offensive! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Kim Bourque says:

    I agree with you. I’m not a huge fan of the idea of street preaching either. I think it’s important that people hear the Gospel and hear about God, but I feel they need to come to it on their own terms. Street preaching is almost forced faith. If God’s word is yelled at people as they walk down the street, chances are they’ll be more resentful of Christianity. Your friend raises some good points – but so do you. It’s a win some, lose some kind of situation, unfortunately. But the way I think of it is that, people will come to know Christ when they’re ready, and it will be between them and God; not them, God and a bunch of street preachers.

    1. andalexander says:

      Kim, you’re speaking to my heart. I am most fearful of the street corner preachers’ potential to turn people away. I suppose I’ve had encounters with some that I feel were quite unapproachable. IF you feel you must stand out on the street and preach, I would encourage people to do so with an approachable charisma! No condemnation!

      1. Kim Bourque says:

        Exactly. Totally agree. If it’s going to be done, it should have a welcoming approach – because that’s the goal right? To teach and give people an opportunity to ask questions if they have any. If it’s a chanting/protest-like approach, it just turns everyone away.

  4. platosplay says:

    Well, I think that if, and only if, the Lord told you to do so then yes. Do it. Because you might retain your friends, but you may risk losing God’s favor, in that situation anyway. In many ways, I’m like that street corner person shouting, and trust me, people get angry, very. But when I find myself alone, I’m not because He is with me. Happy with me. Besides, friends should not dictate who you should talk to, in my opinion, these type of friends should be avoided because they are never happy, ever. But yes, it is dangerous to do that since people seem to really not want to hear about God. What about fliers? That way you give the people their choice back to hear you or not.

    1. andalexander says:

      Isn’t it interesting though!? I suppose that the context of the situation is paramount. You’d have to know that someone preaching on the street corner is doing it with either a loving, or a vengeful heart. Great comment!

      1. platosplay says:

        I think it can also be done out of plain mischief…

  5. helenerenell says:

    The parable about going after the lost sheep and leaving the 99 to find it. Luke 15.

    1. andalexander says:

      Very good! I’ll have to brush up on some of The Book of Luke! Well done!

  6. Diana says:

    I have mixed thoughts on this. I personally do not respond to people yelling scripture, and it has never made me angry or made me turn away from my faith. It makes me uncomfortable, but I also know that God can use anybody in any situation and if one person is saved, then awesome! If nine turn away, there will be other chances to have their eyes opened. Even if it brings curiosity to the person hearing the street corner scripture, then that can cause him to seek. When you seek, you find. 🙂

    1. andalexander says:

      Ah! That’s such a great point, and very well said, Mrs. Diana! It’s tough to keep that in mind, but you’re right. Anything is possible with Him!

  7. I support all kind to share the gospel, but I think that people doesn’t pay attention to these people that are on streets yelling the Scriptures. And when they do,is a bad way of attention, it’s like “look what religion do with people” or “another christian (in a pejorative way) trying to draw attention”. And there are people who feel uncomfortable and offended. (rumors) The brazilian goverment want to stop the street preachers and want that all churchs of the country do everything with doors closed, I think that we bother a lot of people.

  8. Kyra says:

    I feel like in situations like this we are underestimating WHO God is. He isn’t going to let those 9 people who are turned away by the street preacher never hear about the gospel again. He knows how we receive things in our hearts and our innermost workings and God has a plan for those nine!

    1. andalexander says:

      So beautifully said Kyra! Thanks for commenting!

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