Covetousness In Politics

June 16, 2017

The Tenth Commandment is, “You shall not covet.”

I’m starting to recognize a lot of covetousness in the public sphere. I don’t think the average Christian has a solid grasp on what covetousness is. I would define it as wanting something so badly that it is a sin, or being willing to steal something, or prompt someone else to steal it.

I went to a Planned Parenthood rally yesterday in Colorado Springs to remind them that abortion is murder with several friends. The Colorado Springs socialists showed up, and they were kind of like Antifa wannabes. One dude covered his face with a bandanna, they blocked the sidewalk, and stole signs.

They said that they want to seize the means of production so that it can be owned by the workers. One young guy said he works 40-60 hours a week for $25,000 and his eeeeevil boss makes hundreds of thousands by owning the company and exploiting him. He covets more free time and money to the point that he wants the government to steal the means of production from the current owners.

Another example of covetousness was a letter to the editor during the last election over the issue of whether the Canon City sales tax should be raised to pay for new roads. A guy wrote that he wants new roads, and the sales tax would be a way for out-of-towners to help pay for them. He revealed his sinful covetousness to the whole town.

I can’t remember the last time I heard a pastor explain this. What if Christians were taught to apply the Bible to their politics and voting? What if the guy who wrote the letter to the editor knew that Christians would immediately recognize his sinful attitude? Why does he feel no shame in expressing his sin in public? Because Christians haven’t taught God’s law.

There are enough Christians in this country that if covetousness in politics was taught to be a sin, very few tax increases would ever pass again. Is covetousness in the voting booth less of a sin than covetousness in day-to-day life?


Fried Food, Farm Animals and the Gospel

September 10, 2007

The evenings I spent at the Colorado state fair last year were one of the best times I’ve ever had. There is one place where benches surrounded a fountain, and people just sat around, taking a break from the festivities. I’d have a conversation with someone, walk a few feet, and have another conversation with someone. It seemed like everyone was grateful that I or my friends talked to them.
The people I went with last year were too busy to go the first night I went. Last Tuesday, I went alone, and talked to about 20 people. In two conversations, people brought up objections, but almost all of the others thanked me for talking to them, and said they would think about our discussion.

One young man, who was a Wiccan, disliked Christianity because he thought it didn’t provide an adequate explanation for the suffering in the world. I tried to explain to him that all sin, including his, causes misery. He didn’t like my explanation, but later in the conversation admitted to stealing a $2,000 bike. It seemed like a perfect example of how his sin made someone else miserable. It’s easy to see everyone else’s sin and yet dismiss our own sins as no big deal.

My wife and I went back on Thursday evening. I was hoping for and expecting similarly good results. We had a couple of good conversations, but the atmosphere was completely different. Many people didn’t seem to be humbled by the law; they wouldn’t admit that they deserved hell. If they did admit it, they didn’t seem to care.

It’s hard to tell why one day everyone is so humble, and another, a seemingly similar crowd was not humble. When that happens, I’m always tempted to say that one day was much more successful than the other, but I don’t think that’s true. The main purpose of evangelism is not to get people saved, but to glorify God. Hopefully He was glorified through our obedience both nights. We are left to pray for everyone who heard the gospel, and leave the results up to Him.

The state fair is a great place to share the gospel.

Adventures on Main Street

September 5, 2007

A lady from my church (Beth) came along with my friend (Norman) and I to go witnessing on Main Street on Saturday night. This is an answer to prayer, as Norman is planning to move soon, and we need more people to get involved. I don’t think it would be wise to go by myself to this particular location.

Before we got to the first bar, a couple on vacation from India walked toward us. They spoke good English and were very friendly. Norman walked them through the law and the gospel, and they said they would think about what we discussed.

At the first bar, an older Catholic guy kept trying to start an argument with me, but I think we were both surprised that we kept agreeing with each other and were unable to argue. A lady repeatedly yelled at us to leave, which was annoying. The Catholic guy seemed to settle down a little bit, and I asked if he was going to get drunk tonight. I think he may have already been drunk, but he admitted that he was there to get drunk, and he knew that was a sin. I tried to explain that willingly planning out your sin is a far cry from what a Christian should be doing. He agreed that it was hypocritical of him to do that, but I don’t think it really bothered him too much.

At the place across the street, three 30ish girls talked for quite a while about the standard for getting into heaven. One left in a huff, but the other two stuck around. It was a good conversation, and we parted amicably. Still, it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. It seemed they weren’t too concerned about their standing before God. I prefer it when people are either ticked off or in a really sober mood, but if they leave in the same carefree mood they were in when we started the conversation, I wonder if the gospel had much effect on them. We left them with a tract that discusses the trustworthiness of the Bible, and they said they would look at the Answers in Genesis website on the tract.

About half a block farther down the street two older guys were standing around talking. Norman offered them a tract, and one of them pushed him, and said that he would break a 2×4 over his head. They both started yelling for us to keep walking. That’s our signal to stop and stand there. Our right to be there has been established, and we don’t want anyone to think they have veto power over the gospel just by threatening us and screaming. We just waited there patiently until they calmed down, and then went to the next place.

There was some kind of family gathering or wedding reception going on, and one young man asked what we were doing. I asked my usual question—Would you go to heaven and why?—and he said God is going to take care of him, and added that he’s Catholic. At this point another lady started yelling at us that they’re Catholics and we should leave. I asked her why she thinks she’s going to heaven, and she said she’s given her four kids to God, and her husband has served in Iraq. We expressed appreciation for her husband’s service, and she began yelling about how he’s held dying men in his arms. While continuing to yell about all the things she’d done for God, she started to cry. My friend tried to continue the conversation, but she just kept crying/screaming. So we went on to the next place. I thought that would really bother Beth, but she said she had been looking for a tract on Catholicism. It would have been courageous of Beth to try to give it to the screaming lady, but she was unable to find it, and I don’t think the lady would have accepted it.

We went on to the last place, and a few people took tracts, but we didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone. After having three different men from my church get scared off by much less in previous months, I thought Beth would never want to go down there again, but I’m very encouraged by her attitude and willingness to keep going. I talked to her at church the next day, and she said it was an adventure. She listened to Hell’s Best Kept Secret and she’s excited about learning more.

Every Drunk’s Favorite Bible Story

August 23, 2007

While Colorado’s law saying that people can no longer smoke indoors in a public place may have taken away private property rights (which American soldiers have died to protect), it has provided ideal situations for witnessing. By state law, people have to come out in front of the bars on Main Street (where we regularly witness) to smoke, affording us the opportunity to start a spiritual conversation with them. The majority of people who are there are there to get drunk, meet someone to sleep with, or commit another sin of some sort. It can be a tough crowd.

Those who are there to get drunk and are the cream of the Main Street Bible scholar crop are quick to point out that Jesus turned water into wine (John 2). Obviously, they say, Jesus is OK with people getting drunk. I would guess we’ve heard this theory an average of about twice per week.

But the Bible says that “…drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). People who are there to drink will often get pretty ticked off when I point out a verse like this to them.

In the past, I’ve been hesitant to discuss drunkenness with these people because they do sometimes flip out. But I think it’s important to remember that if people get mad, it’s a sign that the Holy Spirit is convicting them of their sin. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:18). Why else would these individuals care what some random guy like me thinks unless their conscience backs up what I’m telling them?

Gay Christians?

August 20, 2007

I went to the gay pride parade in Pueblo, Colorado, to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone who would listen. There weren’t too many in attendance, and the 10 or 12 Christians I was with ran out of people to talk to within a couple of hours, but I noticed some interesting things.

I had a few conversations where people had little or no religious convictions and seemed to respond humbly to the gospel. A few times, after I struck up a conversation and then moved to spiritual topics, they would just walk away. But the conversations that were most frustrating and sad were the ones with people who claimed to be Christians.

I talked to a couple of teenagers standing near a family; I later found out it was the family of one of the teens. The teens and the family all claimed to be Christians who attend church every week. When I tried to explain the gospel to them, I found they didn’t have a very good understanding of it. As I talked to the father, the teens walked away before I was able to explain the gospel. After I said goodbye to the family, I walked toward the teens and started talking to them again. That’s when the mom interjected: “I don’t want you to make my son feel bad about being gay.” She told her son that he didn’t have to talk to me if he didn’t want to, but they were nice and let me finish explaining what Jesus did for us.

Later, I had a confusing conversation with a guy named Rob. He attended church, understood the gospel very well, and gave me a very good explanation of repentance. The odd part was that he kept joking that he was going to hell. I asked him if he was born again, and he said that he wasn’t interested in what modern Christianity has become. I quoted John 3:3 and tried to explain the whole born-again process, and left him saying that it didn’t matter what he thinks or what I think about born-again people. He needs to figure out what Jesus meant by born again, and make sure he is truly born again.

Matthew, who also claimed to be a Christian, was very talkative and honest about his experiences. He was also very self-righteous, and thought that he hadn’t sinned in a long time. He was a less conventional Christian than most. He believed that everyone was going to heaven—no matter what. I listened to him explain his ideas for quite a while, and then he, too, admitted he wasn’t born again. He didn’t have a Bible at home, so I gave him the gospel of John. I pointed John 3 out to him, and encouraged him to understand what Jesus meant by being born again.

There was also a church with a booth at the event. One of the other people I went with talked to the lesbian pastor. She believed that all people must do for salvation is ask Jesus into your heart. This church (apparently made up mostly of lesbians) later went up on stage and did a flag waving/tambourine routine accompanied by praise music.

I felt like I was mostly there to correct what some pastor has taught or is teaching to these people. Still, I believe I fell short in not telling those who claim the name of Jesus yet readily admit to being homosexual, and who could not be humbled by any of the other nine commandments to repent of their homosexuality. I was more concerned with not making a scene or offending them than I was with the truth.
I think that whatever we’ve been doing as American Christians to let people living a lifestyle of blatant sin (whether it’s homosexual sin, heterosexual sin, or anything else) to go on believing that they’re Christians and they’re OK with God must come to an end. Our silly, trite, modern gospel messages are giving people a false sense of security, and they have to stop. We’ve reduced the idea of God saving us down to praying a quick prayer (but really, really meaning it) and encouraging them to never question their salvation (which is very unbiblical advice; see 2 Corinthians 13:5).