On The Street, 3rd August 3013

066

Miguel and Amélia witnessing.

Today John, Amélia and Miguel brought the Gospel to Manchester.

While John was preaching a lady approached him wanting to know who we were.  She was a Christian lady and commented on how brave John was for doing what he did.  He explained that it wasn’t really being brave it was simply down to the fact that we were highly motivated by the conviction that if someone hadn’t have preached to us, in the first place, then we wouldn’t have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we wouldn’t have known the forgiveness of God.

She took our details and, later on that evening, had sent us an email.  For some reason she had understood that we believe in the necessity for submitting to modern day Apostles.  John contacted her and explained how we do not believe that there is a role today for the kind of  Apostles that Jesus appointed 2,000 years ago.  Thankfully she accepted that she had been mistaken.

Amélia was approached by a lady who told her that she was looking for a church as she had only recently moved to Manchester.  Amélia introduced her to Miguel who gave her our contact details.  Miguel explained that we were not the type of church that operated like the Charismatic/Pentecostal churches, so if that was the type of church she was looking for it may be better to look somewhere else.  This does not mean that we don’t believe that the Holy Spirit does not work in the lives of believers today, of course He does.  We  simply do not  believe in much of the hype and over-emotionalism that operates in most Charismatic/Pentecostal churches today, particularly in the  area of languages and supernatural phenomena.

We believe that both Cessationists AND Charismatic/Pentecostals alike fail to obey the Holy Spirit´s instructions in 1 Corinthians chapter 14:

Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:39)

If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.  But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.  (1 Corinthians 14:27-28)

We also believe that much of what passes in the churches for “Tongues” (or as it should be more correctly translated in today’s vernacular “Languages”) is nothing more that fake languages, or jibber-jabber, and not a true gift of the Holy Spirit at all.  This is not to say that the Holy Spirit cannot grant a person the ability to speak in an unknown language that they have never learned.  We have seen evidence of this personally.  However it is far more important, and essential, that we speak English to one another when we meet together, or when we are preaching the Gospel here in England.

Afterwards Miguel preached.  He was confronted by a police officer who was attempting to get him to turn off his bullhorn.  Of course we do know the bye-laws which permit us to use such equipment.  The only restrictions apply to vendors not preachers of the Gospel.

As Miguel preached a group of people from one of the Nigerian Prosperity cults that blight this country were trying to persuade people to attend a meeting at the O2 Arena in London to hear their leader speak.  These people never preach that people must come to Christ, they always publicise their leader Chris Oyakhilome and invite people to come to their meetings!

As is usually the case with such high profile preachers Pastor Chris is not without controversy with reports appearing in the African media surrounding his personal life and finances.  According to Forbes:

Believers’ Loveworld Ministries, a.k.a Christ Embassy

Estimated net worth: $30 million – $50 million

Last year, the charismatic preacher was at the center of a $35 million money laundering case in which he was accused of siphoning funds from his church to foreign banks. Pastor Chris pleaded no wrongdoing and the case was eventually dismissed. His church, Christ Embassy, boasts more than 40,000 members, several of whom are successful business executives and politicians. Oyakhilome’s diversified interests include newspapers, magazines, a local television station, a record label, satellite TV, hotels and extensive real estate. His Loveworld TV Network is the first Christian network to broadcast from Africa to the rest of the world on a 24 hour basis.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mfonobongnsehe/2011/06/07/the-five-richest-pastors-in-nigeria/

We, of course, denounce such empire building and personal enrichment programmes for the perversion of truth that they are!

Later the team observed another preacher who had quite a crowd around him.  Some of the crowd were hostile and we noticed that two police officers were observing what was happening.  Things began to turn ugly as a tall Muslim gentleman started going round the crowd trying to get everyone to stop listening to the preaching.  The team stood by to offer support, if needed.

John began to speak with a couple of gay men that had been vociferous in their opposition to the preacher.  John began to share with them calmly about the message of the Gospel and that we cannot simply take the parts of the Bible that we like and at the same time dispense with those parts we do’t want to hear just because they offend us or even speak against the things that we do, or think or say.  One of them was from Northern Ireland from a Presbyterian background.  John explained that we did not believe in every aspect of Calvinism.  John spent about an hour sharing about the fact that God wants us to have a relationship with us but that He cannot because of our sinful nature.  He explained about how that Christ’s sufferings reveal to us the very depth of depravity we all have sunk to, but it also reveals to us the depth of God’s mercy and forgiveness that He would be willing to endure all that for us all.

One of the young men listened intently as John explained that we must accept what God has stated about us, that we are utterly fallen, that we must accept what God states about what constitutes sin even if it means our having to go against our own nature and the things we hold dear.  We have to admit to God our sins, and this is not an easy thing to do.  John also spoke against notions of false religion, in that no amount of religion (including Christianity) can bring us to God–ONLY Jesus Christ can, so it is to Him that we must come.  The two young men left but not before shaking John’s hand and thanking him for speaking with them.

Amélia was talking with a young man that we have met before.  He believes that Mormons can be considered Christian believers.  John approached as he was speaking with Amélia and stated that Mormons do not believe in the same Jesus that the Bible speaks of.  At this he became irate and started to rebuke John for interrupting his conversation with Amélia.  He called John “rude”, at which John reminded him that Amélia was his wife.  He began to tell John to “Shut up” and even rebuked John “in the name of Jesus”!

John found it hard to speak as this man was so angry.  Eventually he called John “a fool!”  John reminded him of the words of Jesus,

whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger ofthe council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
(Matthew 5:22)

At this John, Amélia and Miguel turned to leave.  However the man followed them and placed himself in John’s way so that John could not pass.  John asked him to let him pass and he refused.  So John firmly told him that if he didn’t move he would called the police.  A kind passer-by was observing the whole incident and this man’s threatening behaviour.  He pulled the man top one side and told him to leave the them alone thus allowing the team to make their way home.

John remembered the last message he had posted on the Blog about when Christians persecute other Christians!

We ask you please support us in prayer, and all other people who faithfully preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, that we all be kept safe, humble and learn to be wise as serpents yet harmless as doves.

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