The skies gave way to rain as I walked toward the Gay Pride Festival near Duke's East Campus. I was on somewhat familiar ground, as I was here last year to share the Gospel. I could hear music in the distance, and as I drew closer suddenly a man shouted out to me, "Dean!" I turned to see who it was. It was an ex-member of my church that had left his wife and children for a man. I did not speak. I just walked on by.
Now some of you may think that I was being rude, but I would like to point something out to you on why I took this stance. This man proclaims to be a Christian, yet he is living in a sinful homosexual relationship. God's word tells us in
1 Corinthians 5:11 - But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
We must obey God and not worry about what man thinks.
I continued walking down Ninth street, and a group of teenagers came up to me and asked for a picture.They were obviously there supporting the parade. They had on their rainbow colored clothes and had rainbow tattoos displayed on their faces. I was obviously there supporting Jesus, in my robe and a cross on my shoulder. I told them about Jesus, but they were more interested in the parade that was about to start. I would find out later that they were actually there to march in the parade.
As I continued down Ninth Street I got the usual stares and laughs, and snickers and jaw dropping responses that I usually get.
I turned around and headed towards Duke's East Campus area. People would grin as I walked down the sidewalk. I could tell some people thought I was crazy.....or just plain stupid. (A girl actually told me that she thought it was stupid to carry a cross around with a wheel on it.)
Good thing I'm not working for her or I would have been really discouraged. But when you know God has sent you, nothing falters your faith. As a believer, if we're running from persecution, then we are running from the very thing that will open up the blessings of God for not only us, but those who think what you're doing is foolish.
1 Corinthians 1:27 - But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
I walked to where the parade floats were all lined up. I had decided to get amongst the people this year and try and engage in conversation with them. I didn't want to make myself unapproachable. Many came up to me asking for pictures of course, but also curious about what I was doing. I explained God's Word to many of them without compromise. I shared how I was there to share the real Gospel of Jesus Christ, and how He came and redeemed us. I shared how homosexuality was a sin, but that so was lying, stealing, fornication, murder, and etc.. Jesus died for those sins, and if we believe in His sacrifice for sin, we will be a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
I decided to stand by the brick wall that was near the road. I stood there looking at the people and felt compassion for them. I pondered on what road had brought them to this place in their life. Then I noticed a man with a camera looking at me. He asked if it was okay if he took my picture. I nodded my head yes, and he began snapping pictures. He then approached me and asked me what I was doing. I begin to tell him about Jesus, and what my mission was, and he listened intently as I talked. He asked me if I was uncomfortable being out there at the parade. I told him, "No, I don't. Jesus would do the same. He hung out with prostitutes, and other sinners and expressed His love for them by showing them the truth." I thought that was the last time I would see or talk to this man, but days later after the Parade he contacted me by e-mail. This is what he said and I quote...
I have been thinking about our conversation last Saturday at Duke East Campus...
I got two or three shots of you, and I stole your insights from your website to post a few lines to support this one picture here... (bilingual).
Off the record - and although I am not a man of faith - I think I might have met Jesus twice in this country - especially during tough times for me.
And there might not be a third time, I am afraid.
The parade started and the crowd begin cheering as each float would roll by. Wave after wave of human indecency would parade itself...from men dressed as women, blasphemous signs about God, people yelling obscenities...then to my shock, women walking around totally topless bearing their breasts with little children looking on. Even more shocking is the fact that the authorities saw this and continued to let them walk around nude.
The Bible speaks of a generation of people like this in the last days.
2 Timothy 3 - But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
This is what has become of this society and nation. Children are drowning in the ocean of this society's self indulgences, and men and women are blinded to it. But these little ones have their eyes wide open, they are taking it all in and it is molding them into what they will become.
Mark 9:42 - “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
Repentance is the only answer. Turn from sin by excepting Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, Jesus said in
John 14:6 - “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
God has made a way for humanity.
He is the savior of the world and for all that will believe in Him they will not be put to shame.
Soon the parade was over and once again I picked up my cross and walked toward Ninth Street. The paraders, still marching, began to chant a phrase they had memorized to express how they felt about all those that opposed them and their beliefs. It was the same one they chanted last year. As I continued to walk several people kicked my cross as I passed by. As I drew closer to Ninth Street a man approached me and said mockingly, "I would have thought Jesus' second coming would have been more exciting!" He became very angry when I didn't acknowledge him or respond to him at all. Many people want a fight, but I was not there to fight. I was already victorious. When you have already won the battle, no fight is necessary.
We have to realize our battle is not with human beings, but with the devil.
Ephesians 6:12 - For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
The devil knows that if can get us in the flesh, so that we get angry at the person, He has won a great battle. If you get in the flesh you will never be effective in reaching the lost. Besides, if you are a living a godly life in Christ, you signed up for this.
2 Timothy 3:12 - Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
I was approaching the last store front on Ninth Street when a photographer from The News and Observer begin snapping pictures of me. He took about three pictures of me, then he asked me what my purpose was. I told him that I was there to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how He died, so that we could be free from all sins. I hear homosexuals say they were born that way, and I'm not totally opposed to that. The Bible says that we were all born into sin. But we have to be born again...
John 3:16-17 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Some of you may wonder why I allow people to take pictures of me. I do that so I can tell them about Jesus. If I tell them "no" to a picture, sometimes they will not even let me talk to them. Plus, when they show someone else the pictures I believe it will invoke conversation about their meeting with me. So then they become a preacher too, because in turn they may tell them the message I gave them about the Gospel.
To God be all the glory for what was accomplished at the parade. I believe the Word of God is powerful and will not come back void. It will accomplish His will.
Please pray for our ministry that God will continue to give us boldness and compassion and a fervent desire to reach the lost!
Living Radical For Jesus