This past Saturday I decided to get very adventurous. I got on my bicycle and rode the eight miles from my home to Downtown New
Orleans on the Saturday afternoon before the Super Bowl. I expected to see the many media booths and other stages that had been erected before the game, the throngs of people milling about, but I saw something I didn’t expect. In front of the Prebytere there was what I would call a preaching “shout off” going on. It seems that some very conservative Christians had taken it upon themselves to convert the world, especially those that were having too much fun. At the same time there was a man who didn’t quite see things the way they did that was shouting back at the preacher with every breath.
Being the “think and let think” Methodist that I am, such a situation distresses me. I listened for a while and when the shout off had ceased I engaged the heckler. I simply wanted to tell him that though I didn’t hold the views of the street preacher who had just condemned to hell everyone from the party goers to the Archbishop of New Orleans, that I did not feel that his heckling was effective. He eagerly engaged me in conversation, grabbed my hands, and at about six inches from my face insisted that look him in the eyes. I was told microphone frequencies were changed in the 1930’s making all microphones the tools of Satan. I quickly excused myself and rode back home.
How often have you been caught thinking that things were different than they were? I wanted to support someone who seemed to want a more loving approach to the gospel, instead I was confronted by a rather delusional man. We are all called to be Missional and sometimes we may misread a situation, but we must press on to be the Missio dei of the world.