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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: The Soul the Missionary Drove Away
By Bill Obenauer


Pastor John turned over the pulpit to Dr. Smith, the church's missions team leader, to delivery a
personal testimony. He had just returned from a mission to Venezuela, where in addition to preaching the
word of Christ, one of the main objectives was treating people for malaria. Dr. Smith told the
congregation, "Not only was I there to lead these people down the road to Salvation, but I had to keep them
alive long enough to do it!" Dr. Smith continued to tell his compelling story of how Christ worked through
him in Venezuela, and he closed by saying, "When I arrived at this small village in Venezuela, not a single
resident owned a Bible. These people were destined to land in the fiery pits of Hell! When I left, a six-
year old boy grabbed my pant leg and said, 'Dr. Smith, I'll see you in Heaven!'"

After service, a man whom he did not know greeted Dr. Smith. The man's name was Steven
Jones. He was a teacher who had recently relocated to the area and had been attending church services for
four weeks while Dr. Smith was out of town. Steven had been touched by Dr. Smith's testimony and the
two spent quite a bit of time discussing Dr. Smith's experiences in Venezuela.

Shortly after Steven walked away, a friend of Dr. Smith's approached him and said, "Do you
know who that is? That's the new gay kindergarten teacher. He was run out of his last town and now
we're stuck with him. Hopefully it won't be for too long."

This conversation burdened Dr. Smith. There's no way that Steven Jones could have accepted
Christ, he thought. If he had, he would not be able to continually sin in the way that his lifestyle was
causing him to. Dr. Smith had to do something. Later that week, he called Steven and invited him to

Halfway through their meal, Dr. Smith brought up the fact that Steven was homosexual and began
quoting Bible versus that depicted homosexuality as a sin. At that point, their meeting started to feel
uncomfortable to Steven. He told Dr. Smith, "I can appreciate your concern, but I tell you the truth when I
say that I have accepted Christ. I am well aware of what the Bible says about homosexuality, and it is the
greatest struggle in my Christian life, but I pray daily for God's support and guidance concerning this issue,
and when the time is right I hope to be able to confront this issue. I'm grateful for your concern, but I ask
you, if your concern is sincere, please treat me as you would anyone else…pray for me."

They left their meeting and Dr. Smith told himself that he needed to guide Steven away from his
sinful lifestyle. He made it his local mission to spread the Bible's word regarding homosexuality and
recruited several members of his church to assist them. This group did a fantastic job of passing out
literature and giving presentations, but they failed to pray for God to work in the lives of the people whom
they were concerned about.

Though it was not his intention, Dr. Smith's efforts made attending church very uncomfortable for
Steven and the other homosexual members of the church. This was not the first time that this had happened
in a church that Steven had attended. The difference this time was that renounced his faith and began
attending services at a place of worship that did not recognize Christ, but accepted Steven's sin.

Several years later Steven Jones passed away. Though his funeral was in a place where Christ was
not recognized, several members of Dr. Smith's church attended and paid their respects. A few of them
prayed for God to have mercy on his soul, as they felt responsible for driving him away from Christ. Dr.
Smith, however, did not attend the service. He was on mission in Venezuela, saving souls.

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This article has been read 611 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bill Obenauer02/21/08
Noticed two grammatical errors after submission. I'll have my work proof read before submitting next time. Guess that's a lesson learned by a beginner.
Jan Ackerson 02/21/08
Oooh, great sense of irony!

This is definitely an issue that the church needs to deal with more effectively.

Some formatting issues were a bit distracting--try using the "preview" button next time, and you can catch the quirky little things that come up.
Yvonne Blake 02/21/08
The formatting made this a little hard to read.
It must be hard for missionaries to come into churches and not be able to help some of the situations that they see.
Keep writing
Marlene Austin02/24/08
Obviously it was more than just the missionary who drove Steven away. It is a difficult balance to condemn the sin, but not the sinner.

FYI, you are not supposed to comment on your own piece until after the judging is complete, since the judging must be done without knowing the writer. :)
nicole wian02/25/08
Good writing on a touchy subject. You shed some needed light on a problem facing the church in today's society.