Contend Earnestly: Is Open Air Preaching Effective for Today?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Is Open Air Preaching Effective for Today?


This topic is an interesting one as it seems to be on the comeback in some areas. In my previous post, you will notice that a friend of mine (Christina) in Mozambique has an interesting perspective on what is taking place in Africa. This post will be in regards to the United States and is not the answer for every culture, every time period and every nation. What I don't want to do is put down those who are just trying to be faithful in their calling and I also will not be speaking in regards to the past. I am going to post on what I believe Open Air Preaching should be in regards to today's culture in the United States.

Most, as they look in the Scriptures and see some of history in the Reformers and also men like George Whitefield will try and make a case that since they did it, we should do it. Most will point to yester year and say that since it worked then, we should do it now. Most will point to the fact that if one person is saved from a ministry then it is effective. I am guilty of this fact in many things I do, but that doesn't make it one that is most effective. (I might write a follow up post in regards to this thought)

I believe that both the Calvinist and the Arminian join hands in the cause of preaching the gospel in the most effective ways possible to reach the most people for the cause of Christ. What we have to be careful of as we look to what God calls us to do is make sure we don't make methods of preaching the gospel faithfully as infallible in all contexts and in all cultures. Now, this post is not to say that anyone is in sin that uses differing methods in preaching the gospel but, this post is simply asking "is it the most effective use of our time to share Christ with the lost?"

When I bring up this question to most open air preachers what they will do is usually point to men like John the Baptist, Paul and Jesus and say that since they used open air preaching to reach the lost, then they feel like that is what we should also feel compelled to do. The problem with this logic is that it is faulty at the very core. Because the opposite would be true in this logical argument. Meaning, preachers should then all sit down, because that is how the teachers of the Jewish and Greek cultures would teach, by sitting down. These days if I were to pull up a chair and sit down and make the congregation stand up the entire time, people would seriously walk out. So, the method of preaching isn't as important as the message. It's actually no where close.

The real question in these cases is "why" did John the Baptist, Paul and Jesus use these means of preaching? Why did they use open air preaching? Why did Whitefield preach so many open air sermons that he permanantly damaged his speech and often bled from his throat?

Remember I am not saying that if you like open air preaching that it is sin, but I do believe that other means are far more effective.

The reason I believe that Jesus, et al, did open air preaching is simply that is what was available. They didn't have places to meet, they didn't have microphones or comfortable chairs for people to sit in. So, we find our Saviour preaching the Sermon on the Mount, instead of the Sermon in Room 202. In Jesus' time this was the most effective way to reach the crowds of lost people for the cause of God.

Being Effective "Open Air" Preachers

We also find Paul going to places where people met to discuss religion and philosophy and he would preach to them. We find this at Mars Hill in Acts 17, and all over Acts as the apostles would go to the synagogues, go to the riverside where women gathered for the Sabbath, etc.

Do we really think that Paul and the apostles just saw where people where and then started preaching? It doesn't seem so. What they instead did is went where people were gathered to learn philophy, religion and spirituality. These places that the Apostles went to were carefully picked out for the most effective way to turn people to Christ. They didn't do this lightly and they didn't just teach and preach where ever they felt like it, or where ever people would gather.

What we find today is that open air preachers will just pick a place where people are and start preaching. I don't believe (you can show me if I am wrong) that the apostles ever went to a place just because people were there. They chose places where it was the norm for spiritual things to be discussed. Today, those places would be churches and college campuses and other forums. Men like Ravi Zacharias and Billy Graham show us what is effective for today. We have media outlets to draw large number of peoples to gather to be ready to hear the word of God spoken. These are the most effective. Many churches that I know have bible studies on college campuses and put up flyers and have people tell others so that the gospel can be shared and defended. Think about it. When you do this, people are ready to share and discuss and learn spiritual things. This is exactly what the apostles did in their preaching. They preached to people who were ready to discuess spiritual things.

What is odd for me is to simply set up shop outside a mall where people are buying underwear and pretzels and yelling at them from a bullhorn to repent. How is this possibly the most effective way to share the gospel? With all the ways to prepare someone to discuss religion and spirituality, I really don't understand how someone can say that they are being fully biblical by just picking a spot to scream out the gospel. From my reading of Scripture, this is never put forth. I am a Christian and sometimes have been scared when yelled at from one of these guys. I wasn't prepared, I wasn't in that state of mind to discuss these things. It was odd.

So, the question I have for any open air preacher or anyone who defends this practice is simply this: Why do you choose the places you do for preaching?

I am not even going into all the ways I have seen the open air preacher look foolish and do things that are down right ungodly. I am not even looking at how badly the gospel has been twisted, or theology downright heretical. I am just asking for the reason of why you choose the place you pick.

I think you will find it a hard defense to simply say that is where people are. Biblically speaking the apostles used their open air preaching only in places where it was the norm to speak such truths. We should always be ready to share Christ with others, no matter where we are, but to understand how to do this is a huge deal.

I would love to hear thoughts from actual open air preachers and will do some follow up posts if necessary.

23 comments:

NickCharalambous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NickCharalambous said...

What a great post in critiquing open air preachers. I land where you do, knowing that open air preaching isn't bad if it is done well, but can certainly miss the real point about meeting people where they are at. Best outdoor preacher line ever: "Jesus Christ: Turning sinners into winners," Oxford Street, London, Sept. 2006. God bless him.

Paul said...

I can understand where you are coming from, but there are a couple points to bring into the context.

You asked if we feel that open air preaching was the most "effective", and also touched on the cultural differences of Biblical times and today.

No single method could be agreed upon as being the MOST effective for universal application. For the USA however, going to places with lots of people and start conversations and discussions with groups of people is one of the most "efficient" way to get those people to at least start thinking and considering spiritual topics. Much of the time, these are the people who never come near churches or campuses (as you mentioned) to learn.

We have to go to them!

Our modern day culture is nowhere near as spiritually curious as the one when the apostles or Jesus were preaching. There was undeniable spiritual influence everywhere (demons, temples, idols, sacrifices). The people were looking for answers to the mystery of the spiritual realm, where today the majority of Americans deny the concept of anything they cannot see, feel or touch.

I am not saying open-air is qualitatively the most effective way to get the Word out, but it is the only way to reach so many people who wouldn't be caught dead at a Billy Graham event.

Jeff Fuller said...

I appreciate the generosity you are showing in these posts! You have seen something some Christians do which you are having a problem with and are addressing it rather graciously. Cheers for that.

I'll have to think more deeply on your question before I give any detailed response, but you did pose some well thought questions for me to consider. Very good post!

Robert Hornak said...

As an open air preacher myself, I must take issue with your statement that "Biblically speaking the apostles used their open air preaching only in places where it was the norm to speak such truths." Your whole argument seems to hang on this premise, but it doesn't seem to be a premise that can be easily supported.

The following passages do not mention anything about synagogues or places of philosophical discussion. Feel free to check the context if you desire.

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Act 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

Act 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

Act 8:40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Act 11:20 And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.

Act 14:6 They were aware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and into the region that lieth round about:
Act 14:7 And there they preached the gospel.

Act 14:20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
Act 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

Act 14:25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Rom 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.
Rom 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:
Rom 15:21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Please note the words "all" and "every". How can we obey that command if we only preach to the religious, or the philosophical as you suggest? My friend, not only does the Bible speak against your premise, but all of church history does as well. I feel no less compelled to continue what I have been doing than I did before reading your post.

I pray that this comment has been edifying to the saints who read it. May God be glorified through our discussions, and may we be encouraged to bring Him glory.

Seth McBee said...

Robert.
We are all worshipers so I am not sure how you got that I believe we should only preach to the religious or the philisophical. My premise was the fact that we have many ways to draw large crowds who desire to listen to speak on such subjects.

With you listing all those verses and then proving it by saying they state "all" or "every" is not convincing for why we should open air preach. So, the bible does not speak against my premise because those same apostles that wrote those words carried them out in the ways that I suggested.

Again, the Bible and Christian history (when dealing with those who were effective Christian preachers) always went to those who were ready and willing to speak about such things.

What you are doing, or at least conveying in this comment is the fact that you don't believe those people walking around the mall or populated areas can be reached unless you open air preach. I disagree with that completely. I believe that they cannot only be reached, but reached in a way that would be more effective for them to be able to discuss and learn what you are trying to convey.

That was my point of this post. Understand that I believe the most important thing we should be doing is preaching and defending the gospel to all people. I also believe that we need to learn why the apostles did what they did and to learn from how they did it.

What they did do very carefully is preach and teach to their cultures in the most effective ways they knew how. They were very much men who knew how to reach the lost with the word of the Lord for their culture. We must, again, we must do the same thing.

That is the reason of this post.

So, let's discuss the issues at hand, but please don't just list off a bunch of verses and then act as if those are cut out of my Bible and I have never seen them.

thoughts?

Seth McBee said...

Paul.
I would wonder why you think people aren't as spiritually curious? I think they are, but they show it in different ways.

I also am not sure that merely speaking to people as they walk by is making them think about spiritual things.

I do agree that we need to go to them. But, and I think you would concur, we need to ask why and how did the Apostles and the early church "go to them". They had their reasons for their culture.

We need to ask what is the most efficient and effective way(s) in our culture.

By the way...I will humbly admit...I could be totally wrong. Maybe preaching where the people are is so off of the beaten path in today's culture that it will work. But, I must ask the question to make us all think of the why and hows of evangelism instead of just taking it for granted.

Hope you are well.

If I say anything that sounds odd, which is quite often, let me know.

Paul A. Kaiser said...

My friend Seth,

It seems as thought I offten disagree with a few points you make although I love the way you cause one to rethink their position.

Why do I Open Air preach? Because it is an effective means of evangelism. It opens the door for much discussion around the things of God during an Open Air meeting and the follow-up discussions with the listeners are most excellent!

In our culture we no longer have what was once an open marketplace of ideas, maybe college campuses, but even they are being reglulated to what is and isn't permitted. So yes we who OAP do seek to go where the people are and we do seek to gather an audiance to be under the preaching. Is that a bad thing?

Am I to assume that you believe all an Open Air preacher does is Open Air? Open Air is just one tool in my "evangelistic tool box" (for lack of a better term).

I guess if you could Scripturally prove it to be inconsistent with the Word of God we would all stop but if it just rubs you the wrong way because you are "unprepared or are not in a spiritual mindset" and think others are the same way you are simply being pragmatic.

Do you actually believe that our presentation method will make someone more "receptive" to the Gospel?

We are to be faithful to the preaching of the Truth and that will come about in various ways and means.

By the way... What do you feel is the "most effective" way to present the Gospel?

In Christ,
Paul A. Kaiser

Seth McBee said...

Paul Kaiser.
thanks for stopping by...I was hoping Jeff would let you know about the post.

Let me hit up your points line by line and know this is for discussion and thought, and I hope and pray that as you read my post it didn't seem as though it was an outright condemnation of your ministry.


You: So yes we who OAP do seek to go where the people are and we do seek to gather an audiance to be under the preaching. Is that a bad thing?


Me: I would hope that instead of just picking a place because people are there, you would seek out those places where people are gathering to speak about such ideals. That is what we see in Scripture. Again, no where that I know of in the Scriptures did the apostles just go to places because people were there. I hope that the way you choose where to preach has a lot of thought involved in it. You:Am I to assume that you believe all an Open Air preacher does is Open Air? Open Air is just one tool in my "evangelistic tool box" (for lack of a better term).


Me: Not at all. The element of the actual open air preaching is what I was bringing up in this post. I would assume you are a "normal" Christian where your every day ministry is broad and seeking to glorify Christ. You:I guess if you could Scripturally prove it to be inconsistent with the Word of God we would all stop but if it just rubs you the wrong way because you are "unprepared or are not in a spiritual mindset" and think others are the same way you are simply being pragmatic.


Me: We are all pragmatic. If you deny this then simply stand up and read the Bible and do nothing else. Do it in a monotone fashion with no inflections in your voice.


You: Do you actually believe that our presentation method will make someone more "receptive" to the Gospel?


Me: I think by our exchanges in the past, which have been very fruitful, although at a minimum, you know that I am Reformed. But, I do not deny my responsibility to be concerned with the way that I present the gospel. Not only in content, but also in context. This is why Peter and Paul present the gospel differently to Jews and to Greeks. Same content, just presented in different contexts. Again, you do this as well I am sure. I am sure there are certain reasons you decide to preach the way you do in the fashion you do it. There is a reason you put a sign around your neck for all to see, there is a reason you go at certain times of the day, certain places and use certain "props".

make sense? If not...let's continue this discussion. But to affirm the sovereignty of God wholly does not deny the fact of our responsibility to present the gospel the best way we know how to be most effective for the kingdom. With all that said, we still affirm that it is God who does all the growth.



You:By the way... What do you feel is the "most effective" way to present the Gospel?


Me: I will post something on this to make it clear. But, Acts 1:8 develops my understanding very clearly on this and so does all of Acts. Not saying this is missing in your undersanding, but will develop mine through it.


I hope this helps. Continue the conversation if it doesn't. But know that you and I both have a resonsibility to present the gospel to the best of our abilities. Do all things for the glory of God. If we didn't believe this, then like I said, let's just preach the Bible monotone, and move on.

Puritan said...

Seth, firstly, after your post that contains no Scripture but just opinion, I think you're being a little unfair to Robert here with the Scriptures he listed.

Acts 8:40 "But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea." I don't think there is any doubt preaching was the primary method of evangelism in the New Testament.

In Manchester where we regulary open-air preach, we have been and still do get blessed with very large crowds. Myself, Joshua Williamson and a 2 video clips.

Also after and while the open-air preaching is going on, many fruitful witnessing conversations stem from the preaching.

And we also have people requesting free Bibles, from those who take Gospel tracts as they pass us.

We are told to preach the Gospel to every creature not just to go to those places were "people are ready to share and discuss and learn spiritual things"Ecclesiastes 11:4 "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap."And if one is going to open-air preach then of course you go to where the people are. If there are only a few people then you might as well just talk to them.

Seth McBee said...

Kevin.
I was actually trying to find you on facebook to hit you up with an email...I wanted your input.

I want to stress this. I am not saying that Open Air preaching is wrong or that preaching is not correct in evangelism.

I would be a moron to say so. I am putting forth that Open Air Preachers, if they follow the context of Scripture will see that everywhere specific places were mentioned, they were always chosen for specific reasons by the apostles in the cities that they were in.

Some times we are not told specifically where they preached in certain cities (i.e. Acts 8:40) but the assumption is that where ever he was teaching and preaching was being sought out like the rest of the apostles were doing.

It also seems that most of you guys are associating "preaching" anywhere in Acts as "open air preaching". You can preach and teach to every creature and never do any open air preaching. It says preach, doesn't tell us the means in which we are to do so.

So, when you say, We are told to preach the Gospel to every creature not just to go to those places were "people are ready to share and discuss and learn spiritual things"Ecclesiastes 11:4 "He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap."You are assuming, by your comment, that this is referring to primarily open air preaching...I would disagree.

Again...I just hope people that open air preach give great thought on why they are doing it, and where they are doing it.

Not sure if this is happening, especially from the comments that I have gotten. I could be wrong. But seems like the prerequisite is simply "If people are there, let's open air preach." I hope more goes into it than that.

Kevin...thanks for stopping by...please don't take offense to this comment and continue to discuss where you find appropriate or where I have been unclear.

Seth McBee said...

Oh...and Kevin...my post had much Scripture contained in it...I just didn't quote it verbatim.

My whole premise of my post is testing open air preaching by the means of the apostle witness.

Threedot said...

I am pleased to see an open air discussion of open air preaching. Sorry, couldn't resist.

I am not sure how I feel about this subject except to say that all forms of disseminating the Gospel will be fruitful because scripture tells us that's God's word will not return void.

For some people, seeing God work in someone's life is the best evangelical method. For some, the intelligence and cohesive nature of scripture as a whole is what initially draws them. For some it may simply be consistent kindness without an agenda.

There may be better ways to evangelize, and there are certainly worse ones, but I have to believe that each form of evangelism serves a certain audience.

Specifically to the subject at hand - open air preaching? I guess I believe that it serves some and not others, and that God can use any willing heart to reach another.

God Bless,
Dave
(aka @threedot on twitter)

Seth McBee said...

Dave...(and others for that matter)

I am not arguing whether or not it every works or if God can use it. To take it to ad absurdem, God used an ass to speak once, so he can use anything. The question at hand is if open air preachers are using the most effective tactics to reach our culture. That is the discussion in the post.

Trying to push the envelope to ask these guys, who have great hearts for the lost and Christ, if they are using their talents to the best of their abilities.

God can use anything, but that doesn't mean we just do anything and trust in God's sovereignty. We do what we feel is the most effective ways possible to preach the Gospel, knowing that God causes the growth and trusting in God's sovereignty.

Maybe I wasn't as clear as I would have liked on this topic.

Dang it.

Thoughts? More questions?

Keep the discussion going.

Threedot said...

I understood what you were asking, I guess I wasn't clear in my comments.

The conclusion I came to (literally while I was writing my response) was that for some, OAP is the best method. It is a "take you by the shoulders and shake you" approach that strikes some people very deeply.

I would answer your question this way - there is no one, best approach. A person who has a heart to preach in the streets may be, and likely is, exactly the best way to reach a particular heart or hearts with the Gospel at that time and in that place.

This is a great topic, and I am looking forward to further discussion. Thanks for the time and effort you are spending on this.

Anonymous said...

Author said:
When I bring up this question to most open air preachers what they will do is usually point to men like John the Baptist, Paul and Jesus and say that since they used open air preaching to reach the lost, then they feel like that is what we should also feel compelled to do. The problem with this logic is that it is faulty at the very core.

Me: Faulty at the core??!! The "core" is the Lord Himself and those that saw him. You should be ashamed of yourself. These men are our examples. Any likeness cannot and should not be criticized.

Seth McBee said...

Anon:

I should be ashamed of myself for trying to ask why Christ and the apostles did what they did?

So, let me ask you...do you walk everywhere, wear the customary clothing of Christ, sit down when you preach, and read from scrolls? Or do you go further than that and ask the reasons why certain things happened?

I can't believe that you say I should be ashamed for trying to understand the Scriptures...very odd indeed.

So, let me guess...you dress in camel hair, eat locusts and preach in the desert? Come on now...you can't be serious.

Robert Hornak said...

You: Robert.
We are all worshipers so I am not sure how you got that I believe we should only preach to the religious or the philisophical.

You: Do we really think that Paul and the apostles just saw where people where and then started preaching? It doesn't seem so. What they instead did is went where people were gathered to learn philophy, religion and spirituality. These places that the Apostles went to were carefully picked out for the most effective way to turn people to Christ. They didn't do this lightly and they didn't just teach and preach where ever they felt like it, or where ever people would gather.

What we find today is that open air preachers will just pick a place where people are and start preaching. I don't believe (you can show me if I am wrong) that the apostles ever went to a place just because people were there. They chose places where it was the norm for spiritual things to be discussed. Today, those places would be churches and college campuses and other forums.

You: I think you will find it a hard defense to simply say that is where people are. Biblically speaking the apostles used their open air preaching only in places where it was the norm to speak such truths. We should always be ready to share Christ with others, no matter where we are, but to understand how to do this is a huge deal.

Me: That's where I got the idea. Was I confused? Please let me know if I misunderstood you.

Robert Hornak said...

The verses I listed above refute these statements you gave. That was the main point of my post. Let me know if you need any further clarification.

Seth McBee said...

Robert.
Thanks for coming back and clarifying.

What I am trying to show here is the "art" of open air preaching. Preaching, per se, is not only done in open air...I think you know that.

So, when I was speaking about the apostles evangelizing with open air preaching, or preaching in public, when it speaks of a specific place where they preached, i.e. market place, Mars Hill, synagogue, etc. they always chose the place for certain purposes it wasn't merely because people were highly visible.

That was my point.

I am not sure if how much debating you have done or logically putting forth an argument, but to just list verses to make a point doesn't work. Interpretation of verses is key. It would be the same thing if you were talking to an Arian or Jehovah's Witness...you wouldn't merely list verses where you (we) believed Jesus was shown to be God. You would put forth the reasoning and context of why he is shown as God.

So, the verses you put forth does nothing for the case of the open air preacher that just chooses a spot for the sake of choosing it because there are people there. The reason is that preaching as a whole is seen in many different ways and, again, every time a specific place is mentioned, within cities, it is always a place where the people expected to discuss spiritual or philosophical ideas.

If you want...show me where you believe we ever see a place in Scripture where the apostles chose a place merely because people where passing through or a "high traffic area".

Hope you are well.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments on street preaching. I have done some street preeching in the past myself. Unfortunately I found it hard to measure its relevancy or effectiveness. When I mean effectiveness I mean having personaly led someone to Christ. I understand that it involves mainly sowing the seed.Only one quarter of all seed sown falls on the good soil producing a harvest. I also understand that as a preacher I may not actually reap the harvest. But rather take a part in watering only.
Is the street preaching relevant for today then? What I do agree upon is that preaching the gospel is still relevant and required today.
The Apostles were led by the spirit and signs usually followed the preaching of the gospel.
So here is the crux of my message. Should I just preach to any large group of people anywhere? Yes but Only under the clear anointing of the Holy spirit. I would rather speak say a word of knowledge, wisdom or even prophetic to one person.to witness that one person acknowledge their need for repentance. Than to speak or preach to a large group of people who have hearts of stone ie seed sown along the path.

Oracio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oracio said...

Since Robert Hornak already posted Scriptures from the New Testament which support open air preaching, I will post Scriptures from the Old Testament:

Proverbs 1:20-21 "Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks"

Isaiah 58:1 "Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins."

Jeremiah 11:6 "And the LORD said to me, "Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them."

Jonah 3:1-5 "“Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and proclaim to it the proclamation which I am going to tell you." So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three days' walk. Then Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk; and he cried out and said, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown." Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them.”

It seems clear that in Old Testament times God used the public proclamation of His Word by His prophets as the primary method of warning the people of His coming judgment and calling them to repentance. And we see this carried over into the New Testament with John the Baptist, Christ and the Apostles and disciples. I understand that there have been bad examples of street preachers in our day. But let us not throw out the baby with the bath water. God is raising up many street preachers in these dark times who will faithfully and courageously proclaim His gospel in the open air. Brothers and sisters, now is not the time to give in the this culture's intolerance of the gospel proclamation. Now is not the time to put down the public proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God bless you as you seek His truth in His Word.

Oracio Sandoval

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