Boldness or Brashness? (Part 2)

I am not against street preaching per se. 

As a teenage believer, I did it while distributing Gospel tracts in the Laloma Catholic Cemetery near our house in Tondo during All Saints’ Day. I also preached in jeepneys. 

However, I am against what was dubbed as street preaching nowadays. 

I’m not only talking about those who collect money while doing so but also about the so-called “street outreach ministry” during the Black Nazarene procession last Friday (January 9, 2015). 

From Derek Johns' Facebook page. According to Johns, this was “a picture from a previous outreach at the Black Nazarene event.” He was inviting people to join him for last week's event. 

Let me emphasize again: This is not an issue on their motives but on their methods. I hope that’s crystal because I often see Facebook posts from their sympathetic supporters appealing to their sincerity when questioned about their methodology. Motives do not make methods right.

“It is good to speak the truth but do use some wisdom and mix in a lot of love.” Image and caption credit

As one comic strip pointed out, “Telling the truth does not come without its consequences.” But let the truth itself offend, not the way we tell it.

In one Facebook post, one asked how we can tell the truth in a respectful way.

Allow me a personal example. Back in college, during a break in our class, a classmate asked me what I think about how effective the rosary is in getting answers from God. Now, I could have answered her with a quote from Matthew 6:7. “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (NKJV) Had I answered her that way, I would be right but I would be brash, also. (Of course, in a proper forum such as a Sunday worship service, If I’m preaching a verse-by-verse series on the Sermon on the Mount, I would not go around that verse but go through it.)

However, I thought it was wise to answer her this way: “That’s a good question. [Indeed, it was.] But I think there’s a better question. ‘What’s the prayer that God answers?’” She nodded and so I explained John 15:7 to her. (“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”) We talked about what the Bible said about prayer and not once did I mention about the rosary. The next day, she told me she decided to attend a Christian church near her house. 

That taught me a lesson on boldness and respect. We can and must indeed speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15) 

From Derek Johns' Facebook page.

I know those who protested publicly against the Black Nazarene (and against the Pride March) do not want to be compared to the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. That group pickets “various funerals of homosexuals, soldiers, and others who have been killed in various ways, citing God as the reason they were killed because God hates them.” (Source: CARM) But what Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry wrote about Westboro could be a great reminder to them, too. 
While CARM agrees with Westboro Baptist Church's condemnation of homosexuality, abortion, unjustified war, and other sins, it does not agree with the methodology the church uses. Westboro is overly abrasive, rude, insulting, and condemning. There seems to be no grace and it shows very little love, if any. To justify its harsh approach the Church cites a lot of Old Testament quotes about God's vengeance and, by interesting contrast, infrequently uses the New Testament that shows love, patience, and kindness. … Should they condemn sin? Absolutely! Do they have the right to picket? Yes they do! But, they need to use wisdom not condemning, vitriolic tactics that incite rage and hatred. (Ibid. Emphasis added.)
Please do not confuse my stance against it with tolerance or acceptance of idolatry and homosexuality, as some have accused me. 

From Derek Johns' Facebook page

In the “This Morning” show by CBS, Rick Warren clarified that we can be aggressive without being abrasive.
The problem is that tolerant has changed its meaning. It used to mean ‘I may disagree with you completely, but I will treat you with respect.’ Today, tolerant means – ‘you must approve of everything I do.’ There’s a difference between tolerance and approval. Jesus accepted everyone no matter who they were. He doesn't approve of everything I do, or you do, or anybody else does either. You can be accepting without being approving. (Source: Christian Post. Emphasis added.)
I believe there’s always a better, more gentle and respectful approach.


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