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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: To Boldly Go (i)
By Al Boyce


When my stepson went to orientation for a fairly liberal public university this year, there came a time when the group was asked, "Do any of you have any particular religious or spiritual interests?"

Boldly, he raised his hand, somewhat surprised to be the only one. He told them he was a Christian and was given information about Campus Crusade for Christ.

Joe came away from the experience thinking how amazing it was to have so many young people drifting about without any spiritual foundations.

In the crush to get his schedule worked out, Joe didn't have time in the first couple of weeks to touch base with Campus Crusade. But one day as he was walking to class, he came across an evangelist who was screaming a message of condemnation to every "sinner" who walked by.

Where, thought Joe, was the message of grace, of redemption, of Christ's love for the lost?

He broached the subject with the angry evangelist, only to be told that the only message worth conveying was to stop sinning.

"But everyone sins," ventured Joe.

"I do not sin," said the evangelist.

"Then you and Jesus are the only ones without sin," Joe observed.

"Not at all," said the evangelist. "Nobody in my church sins. No real Christian sins after being saved."

Joe pointed out that 1 John 1:8: "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

"Stop attacking me," the man rejoined, ending the debate.

Joe returned the next day, believing that somehow he must reach this angry evangelist. But perhaps God had other plans.

Each day, after the man of God had savaged the students, calling the girls whores and the boys fornicators, Joe was there to bandage the spirtually wounded. He was there to assure them that there is a Jesus who loves them and cares for them, who died so that they might have forgiveness of their sins.

Joe has emailed me about his progress. He has witnessed to Muslims, to atheists, even to well-intended Christians who were devastated by the attacks of the evangelist.

We joke that, between the mad evangelist and Joe, God has put together a kind of "good cop, bad cop" scenario that is reaching people who otherwise never would have been touched.

"Hmm," said Joe. "Maybe I can use that. I can go up to them and say, 'See that raving lunatic over there? If you don't accept Jesus right now, I'm going to have to turn you over to him!'"

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This article has been read 1163 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jacquelyn Horne09/06/07
Good point. We all need to learn how to evangelize in a Godly manner.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/06/07
I love your stepson's approach of healing to a hurting world. Your message is presented so well in this piece.
Joanne Sher 09/07/07
Love the last line especially - and an amazing message throughout. Much to ponder here.
Betty Castleberry09/07/07
Whet a great lesson here. We need to be great commissioners, but not beat people over the head with our faith. I love your ending, too.
Sherry Wendling09/08/07
What a beautiful picture of the boldness of Christ operating within young Joe! You really got across the great honor it is to steward such Good News! And I loved the humble touch of humor at the end; I could feel God's delight in transforming challenge into opportunity. Love it!
Dee Yoder 09/08/07
Seems the evangelist has forgotten WHO does the calling to the soul. Perhaps he felt the weight of "saving" the people himself! I'm glad you wrote this story. We need to step back and look at the message we're presenting. No one is drawn to condemnation, but forgiveness is good for anyone. Good writing and dialog.
Diane Bertrand09/09/07
I think god put together the perfect team :)
Brenda Welc09/12/07
Hope this is a true story--gave me goosebumps! What a way to proclaim God's great mercy, not condemnation! Great writing!
Loren T. Lowery09/12/07
Bold for Christ - this is a tereffic message. It is odd that the one thing our faith offers that all the others lack is Grace and it seems to be continually overlooked. I liked the way this was brought out in your writing.
Sherrie Jackson09/12/07
Oh, man, I have chills. Does Joe go to my alma mater? LOL. We had a 'speaker's circle' where crazy guys just like the one in your story would defame innocent passerby and preach a truly ungodly message. It made my blood boil then, and I find now that it still does.

I hope this is a true story - good for Joe! May God continue to work through him to reach others in His name. Thank you so much for sharing this; good luck this week!
Al Boyce09/13/07
Yes, to those who asked, this is a true account. In response to all the so-called "reality" TV I have vowed to keep my challenge entries based in kingdom realities :-)