At least 28 saints joined together on August 27, 2011 to take the Gospel to the lost celebrants of Pride Charlotte. We had a great start for the day as we met for breakfast and fellowship before heading uptown to go over expectations and prayer. We made it to the festival about 12:15pm and set up a base location on Tryon Street for water distribution. Thanks to David Benham, we were provided with 500 custom-labeled bottles of water to distribute for free to those walking by!
In total, we handed out approximately 9,000 Gospel tracts with the help of God Has a Better Way. While there were a couple of instances of hostility towards us and blatant mockeries of God in reaction to our message, the day went by without much verbal abuse. As a group, we had many positive conversations and it was a great blessing to minister to so many people. One conversation we had in particular was with a young lady named Robin.
As Aaron and I began speaking to Robin she informed us she is a religious studies major at the local community college, which opened up the door for us to ask her personal views on religion and spiritual matters. She told us she is a self-ascribed neo-pagan, or Wiccan, and was raised in a religious home with a Jewish mother and Christian father. We spent much of our conversation discussing absolute truth and justice. While we were able to establish absolute truth with Robin, justice wasn’t a concept she seemed to grasp. With this in mind, after going through the Law of God and bringing the lost person to the point of their position before a Holy God as a lawbreaker, if they are not able to grasp or admit the reality of their guilt and their due just sentence in hell for eternity, we often might leave the conversation because they are not ready to hear and understand the Gospel.
However, with Robin, we felt we should continue our conversation and transition to mercy and then grace. It turns out, Robin was confusing mercy and justice, and when we explained the difference, she seemed to understand the bad news, and more importantly, why the Good News is so good! Robin allowed us to pray with her and we extended the invitation to contact us with any questions about our discussion or her religious studies major. The moral of this story is: had we been so rigid to not talk about the Gospel with Robin because she did not comprehend or admit her position before God, we would have missed the opportunity to plant a seed. It turns out our explanation of mercy and grace helped her understand justice. I believe this shows we need to use our discernment in matters like this. It is true that proud people are not ready for the Gospel, but if we engage someone to which these principles are foreign to them due to their worldview yet they are honest, humble, and open-minded, it may behoove us to not shake the dust off our feet so quickly. I’m very thankful we stuck around, and I believe Robin was too.
There were perhaps dozens of such conversations throughout the day as testified by our brothers and sisters who joined us for this outreach. The best way to share how the day went may be to show you the photos of the day. There was a lot of masked sadness and hopelessness amongst the crowd. People celebrating their sin, oftentimes in a manner they believe is pleasing to the Lord (such as gay christians and gay-affirming christians). My heart breaks for these people, yet I rejoice for having the opportunity to minister to so many through prayer, one-on-one witnessing, and Gospel tract distribution.
Perhaps what struck me the most was a couple of times people made mention that we were “not like those other people”. What they meant was we respected the people we engaged and showed them dignity, as opposed to some of the folks out there who called them names and showed no compassion. While we shared the unadulterated Gospel with them, we did so in a manner that was filled with compassion and earnestness to help them see their position before a Holy God. Speaking the truth in love does not mean you must compromise the truth, it means you do it in a manner that does not bring condemnation upon yourself (Romans 2:1-5), and in a humble manner that God might grant them repentance (2 Timothy 2:24-26). I praise the Lord that He equipped us to go out proclaiming His Word in a way I believe glorified and honored Him. I trust our Wonderful, Merciful Savior will use these seeds for His name’s sake.
If you are visiting this page and you participated at the Pride Charlotte festival, whether gay or gay affirming, please know that we love you and we are here for you. We want nothing more than for you to come to know the Bread of Life and the Living Water, namely Jesus, who came to save His people from their sins. He calls His people, who are broken over their sins and rebellion against Him,
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30
We invite you to visit our follow-up page and view a video from David Upton, who was delivered from his sin after living a homosexual lifestyle for 27 years. God gave Him a new heart and a new identity so that David could love and obey the Lord Jesus Christ with all of his heart, mind, soul, and strength through repentant faith. We desire the same for you – won’t you take a few moments to listen? Please see, Receive a Tract?
Thanks to all of our friends who labored with us last weekend. Some of you witnessed on the street for the first time, and we are excited to see you out there again with us. To my brothers and sisters who are watching from afar – be encouraged that God has called you to be instruments of grace to call His sheep into the fold. While this was a challenging day of evangelism, the Lord was with us, and He will be with you no matter where your beautiful feet take you. Know you are blessed in your obedience!
…How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things! – Romans 10:15
You’ll find a few photos below, or click here to view all.
This article was originally posted at The Speak:Truth Project