- Introduction: What To Do with Street Preachers in Downtown Sarnia
- Asking Them To Leave: Conversation With a Street Preacher Part 1
- Relationship over Preaching: My First Response to the Street Preacher Part 2
- Conversation with a Street Preacher: Part 3 And If I Can Accept The Trinity, Why Not Anything Else?
- Conversation with a Street Preacher: Part 4
- You Can't Afford to Be Wrong - Conversation With A Street Preacher Part 5
- Revealed Truth is Not the Bible, It's Jesus - Conversation With A Street Preacher Part 6
- Humans Would Never Publish The Bible: Conversation with a Street Preacher Part 7
- Street Preacher Survival Guide: A Downtown Sarnia First Friday Installation
- Part 8 - I Noticed You Are Associated With The Emergent Church
- Part 9 - Maybe We Both Can't Afford to Be Wrong
- Street Preaching Debate on Moody Radio
Over the last six months or so, our beautiful downtown Sarnia has been inhabited with a Street Preacher (the whole soapbox and everything) and an entourage of Street Preacher Disciples of a range of ages handing out gospel tracts. Children as young as six or seven jump in front of you when you walk by to hand you a track. This is a small downtown, that consists of about 8 blocks total. Every Friday like clockwork the group will show up downtown and proselytizes the public with images of an angry God ready to send you right to hell if you don’t admit you are sinner and accept Jesus into your heart. I’ve now had a number of interactions with the Street Preacher and his comrades that I hope to post here. I’m more interested in being criticized and helped in my responses but I’ll post what I have of their responses as well.
I have asked them numerous times now to leave and focus on their own neighbourhood (rural Sarnia). But they feel a sense of urgency and God’s leading for them to be downtown Sarnia. They admit no one that they preach to have actually joined in their church community since preaching. I’ve exchanged letters with the Street Preacher, had an hour long exchange with another one of their younger leaders and have been trying to deal with the negative effects of them being down here with our friends downtown. We’ve been coming up with ideas on how to shame this whole process. One of us came up with the idea to have clashing cymbals right behind the preacher with ‘1 Cor 13:1’ plastered on our t-shirts. We didn’t do this in fear that we would be associated with what they were doing and people wouldn’t get what we were doing. We heard once of a homeless man who stood next to a street preacher holding a sign that said ‘If you give me a dollar, I will yell at him to shut the fuck up.’ That seemed like it would be entertaining to watch, but probably not to effective in love and grace. He at least made a lot of money. We are still writing down ideas about how to effectively bring the Kingdom of God in this situation. Any ideas are welcome.
I’ll start posting my exchanges with the street preacher this week. In the meantime, you can read this post. It was a letter I wrote to the editor responding to a Christian Fundamentalist about taking care of the environment. It turns out that this guy who I was responding to three years ago, Harry Deboer, is the street preacher! So he doesn’t mind a little bit of public dialogue which is nice, because neither do I.