Sidewalk Evangelism

This week I was downtown in another city. As i approached a restaurant I heard two gentlemen witnessing to another man. They had him cornered and preaching away about his sins, How he must repent, and how Jesus is the only way. They switched to inviting him to church and when he didn’t respond they switched Hell fire and brimstone.

For most of my life I would have stood by and prayed that the man would get saved, but I did not. I found myself flooded with emotions. None of them were good! I felt bad for the man. The whole message seemed ridiculous! It seemed superstitious. I was so frustrated that these men were preying on people waiting to get into a restaurant. There was a wait to get in and they were within feet of the front door.

Their opening line was “Are you saved? Do you have Jesus in your heart?” All I could think was “Please, please don’t ask me! Don’t approach me!” My wife whispered, “Go tell them the truth.” I declined. She then wished they would approach her. I really, really did not want a confrontation.

It was a short period of time, but it was totally uncomfortable. I felt trapped in a sense too. I could not just proclaim the truth. Man, what a difference a few years makes! I would have been totally on board with the street team not long ago. Now I am directly opposed to there effort.

30 comments

  1. pcts4you · October 8, 2015

    Keep up the good work friend. Until we all acknowledge that the great commission is baked into christianity and that it is impossible for them to “keep their beliefs to themselves”, we will never be able to properly push back.

    Like

  2. archaeopteryx1 · October 9, 2015

    Apparently your wife and I have a lot in common, I love a good confrontation. I would begin with a series of questions (as I do with my occasional Jehova’s Witness visitor), that they would find themselves hard put to answer. It would seem I’ve been placed on the Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program – they no longer visit.

    Liked by 2 people

    • adisillusionist · October 9, 2015

      I need to get on that list

      Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 9, 2015

        Try answering the door naked with a can of beer in your hand – works every time!

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 9, 2015

        lol, I like that.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 9, 2015

        If I did I would have to say “Can you hold this for me?…Oh no not the beer..” (smile)

        Liked by 3 people

  3. maura · October 9, 2015

    oh boy! I spent about 5 years trying as hard as I could to be a believer at calvary chapel. went to serivce 2 times a week, classes, 4 different voluntary ministries – [actually those were mostly great] and after every service we would go to local restaurants and grab a bite. I hate to tell you how many waiters just wanted to know if we wanted to hear the specials, but no, the christians wanted to know if the waiter was saved, had he or she heard the good news, did they know jeebus? and guess what, not only did they delay their servers but they were bad tippers as well. shameful. and so darn boastful about their “good news” and their “faith” . i always got the feeling i could have a screwdriver jutting out of my eyeball but as long as my “walk with the lord” was good …..they would never notice the screwdriver. but I gave up trying and went back to playing with the christians heads. now that is just plain good fun!!

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 9, 2015

      It all seems so crazy now. Seems sad.

      Like

    • archaeopteryx1 · October 9, 2015

      I think, Maura, that there must surely be a feeling of superiority that goes with that – odd, since the Bible warns against pride.

      Like

      • adisillusionist · October 9, 2015

        At least a sense of self righteousness and privilege. I am sure pride is also a part most of the time.

        Like

  4. Richard · October 9, 2015

    Would they have possibly recognized you?

    Like

    • adisillusionist · October 10, 2015

      yes

      Like

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 10, 2015

        If you say you’re Pat Robertson, I’m going to need a change of pants.

        Liked by 1 person

      • adisillusionist · October 10, 2015

        I will not say who I am yet and don’t think I will answer other guesses, but I will say I am not Pat Robertson.

        Liked by 1 person

      • archaeopteryx1 · October 10, 2015

        And I don’t want you to – which is why I picked the one name you would least likely be.

        Like

      • kelpie98 · October 11, 2015

        Suggestion – Be careful with personal info – gender and approx ages of kids, which religious conferences you were at, etc. Don’t give enough info that anyone who knows you or of you could connect the dots until you have taken care of job and personal safety.

        I have been away from christianity long enough that I probably wouldn’t recognize you if I heard your name. But I have been reading the blog of a pastor who was outed before he was ready. That is a horrible situation.

        Take care.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 11, 2015

        Great advice, thank you!

        Like

    • Richard · October 10, 2015

      Ted Haggard? Can this be some type of contest?

      Like

      • adisillusionist · October 10, 2015

        As I said no more answers to such questions, but thanks for playing

        Like

      • Richard · October 10, 2015

        Kidding of course, but I just want to thank you for putting your story out there and I realize your anonymity is of utmost importance.

        Like

      • adisillusionist · October 10, 2015

        It’s fine to keep humor in the threads here!

        Like

  5. carmen · October 11, 2015

    Adisillusionist – you need to realize that if Arch is in the conversation, humour is guaranteed! 🙂

    Like

  6. Shane Fletcher · October 12, 2015

    So does this mean your wife is aware of your atheism? Is she an atheist to? I want to ask if you have children and if they know, but I realise this is possibly getting too personal and may help others join the dots. Really I just want to know if you have support at home. Because that is all that is important at the end of the day.

    Cheers
    Shane

    Liked by 1 person

    • adisillusionist · October 12, 2015

      My wife and I discussed everything along the way. She and I prayed together, cried together, and deconverted together. (well, she actually beat me to it, but she waited on me to catch up.)

      We have a family. I don’t plan on being specific on the number children we have or their gender(s). I don’t think it serves a purpose here, at least not yet. It may also lead to someone discovering my identity before I have everything in place to come out. I hope you understand. (Not that it would change if you don’t.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shane Fletcher · October 13, 2015

        That is so awesome that you took the journey together. There are so many stories of break ups after a spouse de converts. Your marriage must be stronger than ever. So very happy for you.

        And of course she de converted first. Wives are so much smarter than their husbands.

        Shane

        Liked by 1 person

      • carmen · October 13, 2015

        Shane,
        I’ll second that. . .
        Adissillusionist: Keep this guy around, he’s very intuitive. . . 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • adisillusionist · October 13, 2015

        I cannot imagine what it would be like to be “unequally yoked”

        Liked by 1 person

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