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CHRISTIANITY IS FOR LOSERS



Posted: 01/05/07

Christianity is for Losers

By Ray Comfort

 

If you have ever preached in the open air, you will know that there are a number of fears you have to overcome. There is your own natural fear-that your mind may go blank and you will make a fool of yourself in front of a crowd of people. There's the fear of being asked a question you can't answer, or of attracting an angry heckler. But there is actually a bigger fear you will have to learn to live with.

            It's the fear of having a crowd gather and then scattering them as soon as they hear what you have to say.

            It's disheartening to pray for listeners, have them gather, and then watch them walk away while you are still speaking. That's why I pray for a good heckler. A good (angry) heckler can take a crowd of three people and make them three hundred in a matter of three minutes; and if you learn to handle yourself and the heckler right, the crowd will stay.

            There are some people who think differently. They don't mind standing up publicly, opening a Bible, and talking to no one. However, that doesn't look good, and it confirms in the mind of those that pass by that open air preachers are weirdo's. They talk to themselves. Publicly. Sadly, much of the reproach leveled at open air preachers has nothing to do with the message they preach, but rather how they present themselves.

            The problem is that the modern day open air preacher in the United States carries a lot of unwanted baggage. The moment he (or she) stands up to preach with a Bible in hand, he becomes the victim of prejudice. He is immediately lumped in with the wide-eyed sign-carrying "The end is nigh" folks, or the money-hungry televangelists, pedophile priests, simple-minded Bible quoting creationists and snake-handling fanatics. That's why I don't hold a Bible in my hand when I preach, and why I rarely mention spiritual things when I begin speaking. Scripture warns us that the ungodly think that spiritual things are foolish (1 Corinthians 2:14), so if I want them to gather and then stay to listen to the gospel, I have to know how to hold their interest.

            There are learned skills involved in fishing, and perhaps one of the first is to use good bait and to know how to use that bait to disguise the hook. The average fish isn't stupid.

            A year or so ago, someone gave us hundreds of brand new stuffed toys, so we began using them to attract fish. We would stand up with a hand full of toys, ask trivia questions, and give them away to those who gave the correct answers. Then, after gaining a semblance of credibility with the crowd, we would swing to spiritual things, and more than often the crowd would stay and listen to the gospel.

            There are some that would say that using stuffed toys to attract a crowd is the old "bait and switch" trick. I suppose you could call it that. We begin with the "bait" of toys, and then we "switch" to the things of God. Most of our tracts do that. They begin in the natural realm before they swing to the spiritual. Jesus did that with the woman at the well in John chapter four. He didn't sit on the well and tell her that she would have to drink His blood and eat His flesh to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. She may have thought that that sounded a little strange. Instead He spoke to her about water. That was something she could understand. Then He swung to the topic of her salvation. That wasn't deceitful. It wasn't a "bait and switch" con trick. That was wise. It was exercising discretion.

            I love what someone who shared his faith said, when he was criticized by someone who wasn't involved in evangelism. He gently replied, "Well, I like the way I do it better than the way you don't."

           

Water Running Uphill

The day before Christmas, 2006, I did things a little differently. When someone answered a trivia question incorrectly I had the thought that it was Christmas--the season of giving, so I said, "That's wrong," and threw him the toy. That made the crowd laugh.

            I asked another question. "What is the most common food people choke to death on in U.S. restaurants?" Someone called out "Steak!" I called back "Wrong! Have a bear," and tossed out another stuffed toy. I then noticed a mom quickly coaxing her four children to step forward, so I asked the question again. One of the kids called out "Ice cream!" I said, "Wrong! Have a bear," and threw out another one. The crowd laughed again. The same thing happened with the other three children, much to their delight. This not only gathered a crowd, made kids and parents happy, it made the crowd happy enough to stay and listen.           

            I was aware that there was something very weird about what I was doing. Life in this world isn't like that. Losers don't get the prize. Ever. It's like water running uphill. But that's what it's like in the Kingdom of God. Christians are losers. They were at war with God and His Law. They were morally bankrupt and heading for Hell. But instead of trying to justify their guilt or hide their sin, they justified God. They said, "I am wrong and God is right. The battle is over. I surrender. He wins, and I lose."

            In doing so, the sinner then gains the greatest gift of all-eternal life. He didn't earn it, and he didn't deserve it. He can't boast of his achievements. He can only boast of God's kindness in the gospel, where the last become the first, the first became last, and the losers become winners.  

 

For further teaching about open air preaching, see "Open Air Preaching 4-in-1" and join Ray Comfort as he takes a team from David Wilkerson's church and open air preaches in Washington Square, New York, right in the middle of a Hare Krishna convention. Witness an encounter with the New York police, learn how to draw a crowd using a fake funeral, and discover how to handle "hecklers." Then go step by step though open air preaching at UCLA and other Southern California universities. Also join Ray and his team as they preach open air in Paris, Jerusalem, London, Tokyo, Santa Monica, New Zealand and Amsterdam. http://www.livingwaters.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=620&Category_Code=DVDs 

 

Distributed by www.worldviewweekend.com

By Ray Comfort

Email: email@livingwaters.com

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Disclaimer: Worldview Weekend, Christian Worldview Network and its columnists do not necessarily endorse or agree with every opinion expressed in every article posted on this site. We do however, encourage a healthy and friendly debate on the issues of our day. Whether you agree or disagree, we encourage you to post your feedback by using the feedback button.

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READER FEEDBACK


Re: Christianity is for Losers
Posted On: 01/23/07 03:53:01 PM Age 32, OK
pearl of great price,I craved peaches when I was pregnant w/ my son his dad wouldn't work my fatherinlaw bought canpeaches didn't taste the sameas i craved 8mths pregnant.Years later found bythe Lord when needed him most,working as a cashier gave my money away to an offering somewhere.Everybody was buying fresh peaches at my register I desired one so bad, that sunday an evangelist after service was giving away a bag full of peaches to everybody I got 2!one for me and my son. Abba noticed what I desired and it was his good grace to give gift to me his daughter w/t asking for it.What you've lost or missed out on in this world you'll gain so much more back. He's the pearl of GREAT PRICE. THE WATER YOU'LL NEVER THIRST AGAIN,I've seen a few things I've lost since being saved go awaysometimes come back and sometimes some things even better given in replacement.I can't do somethings I've did before but I've gained some things I've never had.He is truly the pearl of great price.Not a lot of people will be your friend if you follow Christ truely even in church they'll think you're weird but you'll gain best friend you'll ever have.



Re: Christianity is for Losers
Posted On: 01/19/07 03:11:46 AM Age 24, NL
I am CONVINCED you are like...todays John the Baptist...you are AWESOME..you tell it like it is...you make people see! You are so natural at it!! I can only hope to become half as good an evangelist as you are! You are the main person I look up to who is not in the Bible haha

Re: Re: This 'Loser' is confused -
Posted On: 01/18/07 11:03:34 PM Age 53, IN
To repost Age 23's correct response: "Re: Re: This 'Loser' is confused - Posted On: 01/10/07 06:03:40 PM Age 23, BC Ummm, dear friend, Im afraid that you may have misread what Mr Comfort was saying. Hes very clear that he is talking about **prejudice**. Please take a look at the paragraph again. He was identifying what may go through peoples minds when someone gets up with a bible to preach. He has said nothing against creationism, nor did he say anything of Jesus being simple minded. Respectfully, your confusion is your own. Do be careful in your reading." cORRECT! cOMFORT WAS MERELY REFERRING TO WHAT GOES ON IN OTHERS' MINDS. MR. COMFORT, YOUR "WAY OF THE MASTER" MINISTRY HAS SHOWN ME HOW TO EFFECTIVELY WITNESS JESUS' WAY.



Re: Christianity is for Losers
Posted On: 01/11/07 11:53:16 PM Age 50, AZ
Thank you for passing on the insight our God has given you. After so many years of associating with timid and relationship and church building-only believers, your guidance and precise focus on sharing the Gospel with anyone and everyone is liberating and truly welcomed. Yes, Yes, we are losers! We have lost the punishment we deserve as well as our place in Hell and the Lake of Fire. The first shall be last and the last shall be first; makes perfect sense in God's wisdom. May each of us evangelize, serve, obey, and worship God each day to where we might actually have a day that is really pleasing to God.

Re: Re: This 'Loser' is confused -
Posted On: 01/10/07 07:46:27 PM Age 16, MN
I also agree with the confused "loser". I won't try to restate what he said; I don't think it could have been said better. But I do not think Mr. Comfort intended to group our Lord in that category. He was simply pointing out what the world thinks of those who loose thier life so that they might gain it. "For whoever fins his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."



Re: Christianity is for Losers
Posted On: 01/10/07 07:35:03 PM Age 16, MN
I really appreciate what was said about losers and Christianity. It's true, though we lose here in life, we gain in heaven. ("For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.") But I do think that one should be careful about falling into making evangelism no more than a street show. I understand the tactic of starting in a comfort zone and drawing the people out. I have used it before with my school friends. It really works. But I believe that one should watch to make sure that Jesus is honored and glorified and not a mere entertainment zone for a few minutes.

Re: Re: This 'Loser' is confused -
Posted On: 01/10/07 06:03:40 PM Age 23, BC
Ummm, dear friend, Im afraid that you may have misread what Mr Comfort was saying. Hes very clear that he is talking about **prejudice**. Please take a look at the paragraph again. He was identifying what may go through peoples minds when someone gets up with a bible to preach. He has said nothing against creationism, nor did he say anything of Jesus being simple minded. Respectfully, your confusion is your own. Do be careful in your reading.



Re: Re: This 'Loser' is confused -
Posted On: 01/10/07 05:09:53 PM Age 23, NL
He does agree with creationism, very much so. It was used to express what non-Christians sometimes think of street preachers. It wasn't meant to show what he personally thinks.

Re: Christianity is for Losers
Posted On: 01/10/07 11:42:56 AM Age 50, WI
Excellent article! I was pleasantly surprised. I thought I was going to be reading the standard litany of Christian bashers like Ted Turner, accusing Christians of being losers, and a defense along the lines of how Christians down through history have been or are winners or smart or something. Instead you turned it around and talked about evangelism techniques for us "losers." I had never thought of that comeback line about being accused of being a loser for being a Christian. I'll use that next time I run into an unbeliever who asks me of being a loser. Often, I myself have wondered in moments of weak faith whether or not I was a loser, and now I know the answer--"Yes, I'm a loser, I've surrendered to God." The unbeliever still thinks he can fight against God with false notions of self-righteousness and win. Only real Christians have been enlightened with the truth. You mentioned some great points about how to approach unbeleivers in non-threatening ways that I also had never thought of. I also appreciate the line about liking the way you do evangelizing better than the way of your do nothing critic. God bless the work you are doing.



Re: Christianity is for Losers
Posted On: 01/10/07 10:06:16 AM Age 45, MN
Thanks, Ray, for the artice. I agree with your desire to help the lost see the light, and putting our light out in the darkest areas is often difficult and misunderstood. Creationists are often seen as "simple-minded", however I don't believe you are agreeing with this, just that most people see us that way. Thanks for being a believer in His Word. Tim from Minneapolis

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