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Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re: Journal of a Journey

[b] Saturday, 14 June 2008 [/b]

Well, it was an interesting night. The results of the night were rather interesting, as our “friendly enemy” Alex has decided to start his own blog in which he attacks the ministry of Operation 513.

The night began with our normal time of Bible reading, and prayer as a team. Then at around 9pm we headed up the Queens Street Mall. I was expecting a lively night, as today was the big homosexual parade in Brisbane and history has shown that in the past it is normally the homosexuals that respond most violently to the gospel proclamation in Brisbane city. It was interesting to run into Riley, who is a regular. He openly admits to being homosexual, but tonight he was running around with fairy wings, and a halo on. Also, shouting about taking five ecstasy pills.

Andre was the first preacher up, and as normal Alex was standing in the back throwing a few heckles out. Andre ignored him and continued to preach the gospel. During this time it was encouraging to see a few people from my church stop by and watch. I didn’t know they were coming, but I was glad to see them there, and also encouraged to see them witnessing to some of the people in the area.

Once Andre had finished his preaching, I jumped up and began to immediately to engage Alex in open air debate. I really enjoy his debates, and the cases he tries to make for evolution and atheism. Although, some other Atheists have commented that they disagree with the arguments he uses. Nevertheless, we began to have our open air discussion. Alex started in trying to prove evolution, this time he used E-coli a ‘proof’ of evolution. The case he tried to build was that we have observed E-coli evolving, however, he failed to mention what he believed to be evolution. What Alex described was what is known as “micro-evolution” or variation within a species. Now, any Creationist would agree with Alex over “micro-evolution”, the E-coli that “evolved”, went from one kind of E-coli to another kind of E-coli. This did not prove his case of “macro-evolution” (one kind becoming another kind - I.e. Primates to Humans”) But rather that we observe changes within kinds. However, the case that Alex made was simple “If there is a lot of little changes within the species, then it is possible for it to change into another species”. Sadly for the evolutionary camp there is no evidence of one species becoming another species. The “argument” that was put forward by Alex was nothing more than an “argument” built upon speculation. The argument he made has some major holes in it, for instance, “Where did the new information come from in order to create this new species?” If you are going to have one kind evolve into another kind, then new information must be added somewhere along the line. Now where does that new information come from?

After we wrestled over the issue of E-coli for awhile, I decided it was best to make a line for the cross of Christ. My reasoning for this was that earlier when Andre was preaching, Alex argued his hardest against Christ dying on the cross for the sins of His people.

Alex objected to this, which was to be expected, as the Bible makes it clear that those who are not Christians find the message of the cross foolishness, and abhorrent to them. But, I still preached the cross, for it was on the cross that Christ Jesus paid for the price of Alex’s sin if he would repent and believe.

I always wish to be fair in open air debates, so I addressed the crowd and stated that I would make a five minute case for the existence of God, and the Christian worldview, and then Alex will present the case for atheistic evolution. Alex corrected me and said that he would present the case for “evolution without the need of God”. So I made my case, and Alex then made his case. He stated all these ‘facts’ but failed to bring any support for them. And in his speech he spent time attacking Christianity. So I wonder how attacking actually counts as evidence for your claims?

Alex then called on the crowd to vote, and I admit there were 10 known Christians in the crowd. So the crowd put there hands up over which side they agreed with. Without much surprise the theists won. But Alex managed to get three votes. So then Alex launched into another speech on how his view point was correct. [It should be noted the crowd actually grew in this time and no one left]. Then the call to vote was give again, this time Alex lost votes from those who had been with him previously. This makes me wonder how Alex can claim victory on his blog when he actually lost ground with the crowd…

Some of the arguments that Alex presents are self refuting, for instance one of his favourites is “There is no evidence for God!” However, he fails to realise that logically speaking, for him to make that statement, he must have seen ever bit of evidence in the universe, and have all knowledge of everything. Now, if that was the case and he knew everything about everything, then by definition he would be “God”. It would be far safer for Alex to say “In the knowledge that I currently have, I am yet to see evidence for God”.

This of course led us into the argument of “What evidence is there for God?”, this week I thought I would ask Alex a question to see what he would accept as evidence. His reply was “If God is real, then let Him come down to earth, and appear before me!” Now, there are some problems with this demand, firstly, God did come down to earth in the form of a man, and they nailed Him to a Cross. Secondly, Why should God bow to the will of Alex? If there is a Supreme God who controls everything, and He chooses not to appear before Alex, does that make Him any less real? No! The problem is, Alex wants God to conform to his ideals and also to his standard. Basically speaking, Alex is wanting God to be subservient to him, and that he becomes the sovereign.

From here we went onto the argument of the “proof of God”, and after reading Alex’s blog, I am rather perplexed over why he failed to mention on his atheistic blog for all his atheistic friends, on why he admitted (on video camera) that there could be a God, and since there is a God He could do whatever he wants! No correct me if I am wrong, but I was always under the impression that an atheist believed that there was ‘no god’ (a= no; theos= God), however, what Alex admitted to was not being an atheist, but rather an agnostic (a=no; gnosis=knowledge). Was this backsliding on behalf of this member of the Brisbane atheist group? Going from “No God” to “There could be a God” is a fairly big leap for one who champions the cause of there being no god.

This revealed something interesting, the Alex does not have an issue with God. But rather his issue is with Jesus Christ. So I asked Alex “If there is a God, can He do whatever He wants?” to which Alex replied “Yes”, that admission destroys Alex’s argument against the Cross of Christ. For if there is a God then He is perfectly right to provide one to die in the place of sinners.

Something that I did find rather interesting throughout the whole discussion was the fact that Alex maintained that there is no “right and wrong”, and under some circumstances he believed that rape and even child molestation could be ‘right’. Yet, whenever a case was made opposing his view argument, he would very loudly shout “you’re wrong!” How can one be “wrong” if there is no “right and wrong”? All these arguments really just go to show the silliness of the atheistic worldview.

Alex then tried to make the classic case of religion being responsible for the deaths of millions. To which I agreed, religion has been the cause of many wars and deaths. Alex then said “Christianity has been the cause!” This is where I had to get Alex to define his terms, what did he mean by “Christianity”, his definition was “someone who claims to follow Christ”. I disagreed with his definition, and pointed out that if I claim to be a doctor, it doesn’t necessarily make me one. Then I pointed out that a Christian is one who has repented and trust in Jesus Christ, as a Christian is a Christ follower. Now, if that is what a Christian is, then we should be able to judge the fruits of those who claims to be Christians. For instance, Jesus made the case in the Gospel of John, that if someone kills you in the name of God, then that person does NOT know God. Jesus also made it clear that as Christians we are to love our enemies, and bless those that curse us. So by definition those who kill in the name of God, are not Christians. But rather they are religious.

From here I made the case that atheistic communism is responsible for more deaths than any religious movement. And that if one takes the time to look at the top twenty dictators you will not find a Christian among them, but rather you will only find Atheists and Muslims. Alex rejected this argument, stating that Atheism is not violent, however, I would like to reference Alex’s blog from June 19, 2008: “CASE dislikes violence of any kind (unless it is necessary to futher the One True Cause: Atheism)” [http://casehq.blogspot.com/2008/06/case-note-street-preachers-instigate.html]

Really the question has to be asked, which is more dangerous: A Christian preaching, repent and trust in Christ, Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. And love your neighbour as yourself! Or an Atheist preaching, the use of violence to advance the cause of atheism?

I will let the reader decided which one is more dangerous for society…

By the end of the hour of the discussion, Alex who openly admitted that there could be a God, and that God could do whatever He wants, made one final attack before withdrawing for a cigarette. His closing argument was “You Christians believe in God by faith!” To which I replied “I accept God’s existence by faith, even though I can see evidence for Him, and the atheists accept God not existing “by faith”, and I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist!”

I tagged Ryan in, and the reason for this was that Ryan has spent a lot of time studying atheism, and the evidences for the existence of God. Each time in the past when Alex has engaged Ryan in debate it has ended up with Alex’s arguments being smacked for six. It is interesting to note, that Alex even though he was present did not engage Ryan this time for discussion. So, Ryan preached the gospel to the good size crowd that had gathered.

The rest of the night was quite quiet, with many people being witnessed to, and many people getting to hear the gospel. One highlight for me was a friendly long haired atheist who came up to me, and thanked us for taking the time to come out and debate and discuss many issues. He stated that he enjoyed the night, and hopes to come back to talk again some time. It is my hope that this man would heckle, as he is really friendly and calls himself a ‘rationalist atheist’.

In closing, I must mention, that on Alex’s blog he invites other atheists to come out on Saturday nights to the Queen Street Mall. So, I would like to on behalf of Operation 513 encourage the atheists to come along and have some friendly chats. We look forward to our future discussions!

[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

While there why don’t you sign up for our newsletter, it is an easy way for you to stay in loop in regards to what God is doing through Operation 513 worldwide!

Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php

This is updated weekly, and if you have iTunes you can actually subscribe to the podcast through the iTunes store! Use this audio to be encouraged in the Gospel of Christ, or to share with your unsaved friends and family!


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/6/20 12:43Profile
Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re:

[b] Saturday, 21 June, 2008 [/b]

A cool south westerly breeze was blowing into Brisbane tonight, so it made it rather cold when it came to doing evangelism. But, nevertheless we pushed on to declare the good news of Jesus Christ coming into the world to save sinners.

It was good to have Heather from New Zealand join us tonight, I first met Heather a couple of years ago while on an outreach in Christchurch, she has since moved to Brisbane, and is now witnessing with us.

The team gathered at around 8:00pm in King George Square and we engaged in a time of Bible reading, and team prayer. After this we had a short time of fellowship before heading up the mall.

As we entered the mall we were greeted with the sight, that there wasn’t too many people about, this is probably due to the last week of exams at all the local universities. Another problem we had tonight was that all the preachers were sick, and had head colds. So it was going to be a hard night of preaching, especially if we got hecklers.

Ryan was the first man up to preach, he expounded on what it means to be a Christian, and also on how one can be saved from their sin. He stressed how we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and then how if we repent we will be forgiven our sin because of what Christ Jesus did upon the cross.

While Ryan was preaching Ralph was in back play discussing things with a man and his wife. The man appeared to be rather forceful, so I dropped back to listen to their conversation. The man was building his case for why one must keep the whole of the law and especially the Sabbath to be saved. He was also stating that one does not need to repent in order to be saved, and that Jesus never preached “repent”.

I engaged the man with an open Bible, and we looked at a few verses that indicated that one must repent. “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19), “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

The man still maintained that repentance was never taught by Jesus, and that we could not trust the Apostle Paul as he was a homosexual. I challenged the man on this and asked where he got the information from in order to make such a statement. The man replied “Well, Paul wrote about homosexuality thus he is a homosexual!” I pointed out to him that Paul wrote about many other things as well, but that doesn’t make him those things. The man kept on ignoring me saying “Paul was gay!” So I showed him to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 to show that homosexuality is a sin and that Paul says in v11 that people were homosexuals, indicating that one turn from homosexuality in order to be saved. So Paul could not be a Christian and homosexual.

The man quickly changed gears, and went back to the repentance issue. He maintained that Jesus never told anyone to repent. So once again we opened the Bible to show him the Scripture: “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3), “ No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:5), “ From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17).

These passages made the man change gears once again, this time he said “Yes, but no where in the Bible does it say you must repent to be saved!” To this his wife joined in “You should listen to him, he studies theology and has a degree!” My reply was “You may study theology, and you may have a degree but what if I can show you in the Bible that you must repent in order to be saved?” The man simply said “You can’t show me that!”

So I opened my Bible to 2 Corinthians 7:10: “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”. I asked the man from the text to explain to me what leads to salvation? He looked at me, laughed and said “I bet you don’t keep the Sabbath, you are a law breaker!”

Now he was off and running down the path of how one must keep the law in order to be saved. I handed him the Bible and asked him to show me one verse where it states that under the new covenant we must keep the Sabbath. He laughed again, and said that there were plenty of verses. I asked him for just one. He refused to show me saying that I was preaching another gospel. So once again I challenged him to show me from the Scripture where it says I as a new covenant believer must keep the Sabbath.

To this both he and his wife said “We both keep the whole law perfectly! We never break it!” I asked them if they kept all the Ten Commandments, they both said that they did, I asked them if they kept all the laws found in the Torah. They said they did. I then took them to Leviticus 20:13 and asked if they killed homosexuals. They replied that they did not, but that law didn’t apply to them. So I challenged them on how they can pick and chose what law they wish to keep and what laws they don’t wish to keep. To which they replied, that they must test these laws by the New Testament. I agreed with them on this point, and then asked, where in the New Testament does it say “Keep the Sabbath?”

Once again they went on a tirade about how I am going to hell because I don’t keep the Sabbath. I challenged them by showing Galatians 3:10: “For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” I pointed out to the man that if he thinks that the law will save him, then according to the Scripture he is under the curse, for only Christ can save. The man laughed and walked off with his wife.

By now Ryan had finished preaching, and was witnessing one to one with people. I was then called over by Peter to assist with a guy he was dealing with. The man had some strange theological beliefs. The man was claiming to be a Mormon Hare Krishna. So I spoke to him a bit on the problems of Mormonism in the light of the Bible, and stressed to him how his good works could never save him. I showed him in the Scripture: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The night was quiet, so at around 11pm I got up to have a bit of a preach. Within minutes of standing up the crowd erupted in anger. Hecklers emerged from everywhere scream obscenities about God and Christianity. It took ages to get past all the hecklers, but eventually I was able to get to the point where the hecklers calmed down, and then I was able to preach the full gospel while engaging in discussion with a young man.

The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts and doing one to one.

Praise God for a good evening!

[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

While there why don’t you sign up for our newsletter, it is an easy way for you to stay in loop in regards to what God is doing through Operation 513 worldwide!

Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php

This is updated weekly, and if you have iTunes you can actually subscribe to the podcast through the iTunes store! Use this audio to be encouraged in the Gospel of Christ, or to share with your unsaved friends and family!


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/6/27 0:58Profile
Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re:

[b] Saturday, 28 June, 2008 [/b]

Tonight was just your average Saturday night, not a lot happened. Just the same old routine of sharing the gospel and dealing with hecklers. It was a good clear night, and it wasn’t as cold as it has been, so that created some good witnessing weather.

We set up in the Queen Street Mall at around 9:00pm, and we all knew that the first preacher up will have to deal with Alex, as he is a “Preacher Seeking Missile” and since he wasn’t present last week we expected him to be as fiery as ever. We weren’t disappointed!

The first preacher up for the night was Ralph, he opened up the Scripture and began to share the gospel of Christ. Not long into his message Alex opened fire upon him and began to heckle hard. Ralph did a fairly decent job handling Alex. Ralph is a fairly new preacher so he did well. Alex was heckling and walking back and forth waving his arms about. After awhile Ralph tagged Ryan in. Ryan began instantly by engaging Alex on an academic level. The amazing thing is that Alex seems to move the goal posts every time someone answers his arguments. But, it is growing tiresome with dealing with Alex as he uses mostly the same arguments week in and week out. So each week we have to answer his same objections week in and week out. Although, this week he did have a print out from an atheist website which gave him a few new arguments that we had to look at.

Alex argued with Ryan for sometime, then came over and spoke to me behind the preacher. We had a discussion in regards to the meaning of the word ‘atheist’ and ‘agnostic’. I maintain based on the meanings of the words, and also based on the root words used, that you cannot be an atheist and agnostic at the same time. However, Alex believes that you can be an atheistic agnostic. We discussed that issue for awhile, and it seems to be that Alex is prepared to admit that there is possibly a god, but his pride won’t allow him to let go of his ‘atheist’ title, and become an agnostic.

During this time Ryan got to preach the full gospel, a few people were standing around listening, so they all got a solid message. Ryan preached for well over 90 minutes, and he dealt with a variety of hecklers like Alex and Riley right down to drunks who would just scream something random.

While Ryan was preaching a man who had been listening walked up to me and said “I need to be saved, can you lead in a prayer so that I can become a Christian.” My reply was “Do you believe that God should save you?” His reply, “Yes!”, “Do you think you are worthy of Heaven?” I asked, again he replied “Yes!”. I looked at him and said “Sir, you don’t seem to understand the fact that you are a sinner and that you don’t deserve Heaven. You aren’t ready to receive Christ yet as you still think God should do as you want Him to do.” The man became angry and stormed off saying “Well, when I am in hell it will be you who gets blamed!”

After Ryan finished preaching, Andre got up and had a preach. He is very new at preaching, and he did a decent job in fending off Alex who decided to open fire. Andre preached for a bit, and then tagged me to preach. Instantly I was under fire from Alex, so I did my best to engage and answer his questions, but also to preach the gospel. It never ceases to amaze me, that Alex has stated that it is his goal to stop us spreading the gospel, but each week when he heckles he gathers a bigger crowd for us to preach to! His efforts to stop the gospel proclamation has actually increased the number of tracts going out, and also the number of people hearing the gospel via one to ones and open air. If Alex really wanted to slow down the gospel proclamation it would be far better for him to remain silent, and not gather a crowd for us by heckling!

Praise God for a good evening!

[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

While there why don’t you sign up for our newsletter, it is an easy way for you to stay in loop in regards to what God is doing through Operation 513 worldwide!

Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/7/4 2:09Profile
Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re:

[b] Saturday, 5 July, 2008 [/b]

There was a light rain falling over Brisbane city as we prepared to share the gospel of Jesus Christ tonight. Cold and wet weather is not overly common in Brisbane and the locals aren’t used to such weather. So it was no surprise to see that the mall was nearly deserted when we arrived in the mall. But we don’t preach for crowds we preach for the ones and the twos. If we get to share the gospel with one person then God be praised.

We were down a few numbers tonight, but we had enough to man all our normal ministry roles. The first preacher up for the night was Ralph. He started in preaching, but soon became sidetracked by a quiet Alex who was whispering questions to him. So we got Ralph to go to one side and deal with Alex in a one to one, while Andre preached.

Before Andre got up to preach he was engaged in a one to one conversation with a man who grasped the fullness of the Gospel. The man stated that he was going right home to repent and get right with God.

Andre preached for a bit, and there were very few people standing listening. While he was preaching a few one to ones were also occurring in the background. At about 10:15pm, I decided to preach, I had a head cold so I didn’t want to preach for very long. But God had other plans.

I started by preaching from Revelation 6:14-17 and Revelation 20:11-15, and I focused on God’s judgment upon a sinful society and how His wrath abides on those who do not know the Christ. Alex began to heckle at this time, but he wasn’t his normal self tonight. He was yelling that I was lying, so I asked him to please tell those listening what exactly I said that was a lie. Alex couldn’t answer, so it appears that he just made it up as he went along.

He didn’t heckle to much after that, and I had the chance to explain the gospel to those who were listening. A heckler then opened up saying “you don’t know the Bible, how dare you say Jesus Christ is God, the Bible says in John 1:1 that Jesus was ‘a god’.” This is a common argument of the Jehovah Witnesses, so I countered it, but I was a bit surprised to find out that the heckler was not a JW but rather a Roman Catholic.

After preaching for awhile a small group formed in around me. And then a question got asked that always seems to fire up the crowd. A young woman in the crowd held the hand of a woman next her and said “What does God think about lesbians?” Instantly I knew this was an ambush, so I answered by saying, “The Bible says that lesbianism is sin, but God does not just judge homosexuals, but He will judge all sinners be it homosexuals or heterosexuals”

The women began to hurl abuse at me while I preached, and then from my right a big man came up yelling “NO NO NO! YOU’RE WRONG! THE BIBLE DOESN’T SPEAK ABOUT HOMOSEXUALS!” I replied by showing him from the Bible where it exactly condemns it. He ignored it and kept saying that it was my interpretation, so I read out Romans 1, and asked him what the correct interpretation was. He ignored and just started to make statements to distract from the topic at hand. It turned out that his daughter is a lesbian, so I understand why he was upset, as this man was professing to be a Christian, and yet based on the Bible his daughter was damned. But this man had more of an issue, he was showing much rotten fruit in his life, his language was something that would make you blush. Yet, even though he abused and cursed, he maintained that he was a Christian.

By now I had two young men heckling me who were Muslims, so I was trying to engage them in conversation. But the big man kept interrupting. He started to accuse me of attacking other religions, so I asked the Muslims if I was attacking them or if I was merely asking them questions. They both stated I was not attacking them. The big man didn’t like that so once again he became abusive.

During this time a teenager climbed up next to me, and tried to hit me in the face with his skateboard. So I pushed it away, and then he accused me of hitting him. No one in the crowd believed his story so I kept on speaking.

I did my best to deal with hecklers, and answer there questions. The big man kept at me till after midnight, then as I began to wrap it up. He stepped up and started to curse and blaspheme God, then in the next breath say that he was a Christian. So I asked him not to curse God’s name, and if he wants to continue in his sin, then please don’t claim to be a Christian. The man said he would claim to be whatever he wants. So I replied from the Scripture and pointed out that the Bible says he is not a Christian.

Well that set him off, he stood right up in my face and started to poke his finger at my mouth, the tip of his finger was within centimetres of my mouth. His body language revealed that he was about to hit me, so I dropped my Bible behind me, and put my hands in front of me in an effort to fend off any attack. The man ranted on, and then he snapped. He swung out at me, and grabbed me by my jacket and started to pull me towards him. While he was pulling me he was screaming, so I took the appropriate action to get him off me, and to defend myself.

After a while the police came and spoke to both of us and then done nothing. Although one of the police officers said that they would be watching the man on the security cameras in case he tried something again. Just as we were leaving the man shook my hand and said “You guys do a good job, and I respect that!” A few minutes earlier he wanted to punch my face in, and now he is thanking me. Sometimes I wish people would just make up their minds.

Anyway, it was a good night, and the gospel got out!

[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

While there why don’t you sign up for our newsletter, it is an easy way for you to stay in loop in regards to what God is doing through Operation 513 worldwide!

Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/7/9 10:44Profile
Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re: Journal of a Journey

[b] Sunday, 13 July, 2008 [/b]

Keith and I had been in Sydney for the past few days getting ready for the big outreach to coincide with the Roman Catholic World Youth Day. Over the past couple of days we had done outreach locally in and around Sydney, and even hooked up with Yorke and his team in Manly for a bit of outreach. But today was the first day in which we were able to engage with those who were in Sydney for the Pope.

In the morning we went to church at Castle Hill Baptist Church, and heard a brilliant exposition of Hebrews 12:1-2 by Rev. Ian Deane. Then after that we headed into the CBD of Sydney to do some witnessing in Hyde Park.

By the time we fought the Sydney traffic, we realised that we only had one hour to witness in Hyde Park before he had to go back to Castle Hill to fulfil a prior commitment. So we set to work witnessing and handing out tracts as fast as we could. Hyde Park was full of Roman Catholic’s who were all there for the big celebration. Tracts were going out really quickly and the majority of people thanked us for the tracts. The interesting thing is that we even have priests and nuns lining up to take the gospel tract from us, and then as they left they would pronounce a quick blessing upon us.

We had been witnessing for awhile when this man came up to me, and started to yell “THOU ART PETER!” I looked at him blankly and was thinking “I am not Peter, I’m Josh.” But he kept on yelling “THOU ART PETER!” It appeared that this was the only few words he knew. For the next few moments he just kept repeating these same few words, and then said “Do you believe that?” I replied that if he was talking about Matthew 16 and Jesus saying those words to Peter then yes, I would agree. But however, if he meant that to mean that Peter was the rock upon which the church was built, then I would strongly disagree. The man then went nuts yelling at me, that the Roman Church was the only true church, and that all others were imitations. I tried to reason with him but he just stormed off saying “THOU ART PETER!”

By now Keith had joined me, he had been witnessing to a Roman Catholic who kept stating what the Greek text said, so I Keith asked her to show him in the Greek where she got her info from. It soon became clear that she didn’t know the Bible, nor the Greek.

We went back to handing out tracts as fast as we could as many people were coming up and grabbing tracts from us. People seemed grateful for the tracts, and many people were excited about the gospel being handed out. Then Jeff had a woman start screaming at him for handing out tracts, and then she came up and engaged Keith. Keith was very patient with her and kept asking her “What part of the message do you disagree with?” She couldn’t provide an answer, and after a while she left.

After an hour we started to leave, and make our way back to Castle Hill. On the way to the train station Keith spotted a large group of ‘pilgrims’ standing along George Street so he rushed over to them to try and give out some tracts. The pilgrims were all standing in a big circle, and when he got to them they freaked out a bit as these ‘good’ Roman Catholics were all smoking marijuana.

Keith then turned his attention to a Scientologist who was handing out literature. They spoke a bit in an apologetic realm, and then the Scientologist started to yell at Keith; “You’re hacking my brain!” Keith left him with a tract, and then we made our way back to Castle Hill.
It was a good hour of witnessing. Between three of us in one hour we were able to hand out over 2000 tracts!

[b] Monday, 14 July 2008 [/b]

Today we returned to Hyde Park. We arrived at about 11am, and began to hand out tracts as quick as we could. Like the day before it was packed in the park. As we were witnessing I noticed that SBS had set up a television crew and they were interviewing people about World Youth Day. I was approached by the host and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed, I quickly agreed. But when they heard I was from Australia they didn’t want to talk. As they only wanted to speak to foreigners. So I called Keith over and pointed out to them that he was actually Irish. They were then interested in interviewing him.

Keith began the interview, and he made sure that he constantly got to mention the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was asked questions about Rome, and he answered from a Biblical worldview and kept on stressing that salvation is not of works, but by grace alone.

While Keith was being interviewed some Samoan pilgrims came alongside me and started to say “They shouldn’t interview him, he is a protestant!” So I simply asked them what was wrong with Protestants. They replied “They don’t have Jesus, they aren’t real Christians.” This of course led into a discussion. I started to ask them about what they believed, and as soon as I started to talk a Catholic seminary student joined in the mix. He was quick to attack Biblical theology, but it didn’t take long for me to counter his arguments. So he left me and engaged Keith who had just finished his interview.

For the next hour we spoke about many topics, from Mary, the mass, the Bible, the church, the pope, and also salvation. By the end the group of Samoans that I was talking to had realised that there own works would never merit them salvation. But rather they had to flee to Christ alone to save them. After talking they all took tracts and then posed with us to have our photo taken.

We then headed down to the entrance of Hyde Park and began to hand out tracts to everyone who walked past. Like yesterday priests and nuns were lining up to take tracts, and they were once again very grateful. But this all seemed to be the calm before the storm. After handing out tracts for awhile an American Catholic priest approached me, and read the tract. He then came back shoved the tract back into my hand and said “That’s anti Catholic!” So I asked what part was anti Catholic, since Roman Catholicism and the Pope were not mentioned in the tract. He looked at it again and said, “It is anti Catholic, as it says you are only saved by faith alone in Christ alone!” I pointed out to him that everything stated in the tract was backed up by Scripture, so how would he reply to those verses. He agree that everything in it was biblical, but the church however has a different teaching. When I tried to engage him in apologetic discussion, he quickly backed off and started to tell everyone not to take our tracts as they opposed Rome. So this time a bit louder I asked him with everyone watching “Which part opposes Rome, and what part of the Bible do you disagree with?” People stopped to look, then quickly took tracts. The priest chased after them trying to get the tracts off them, so I said to him as he was leaving “God’s judgment will be a lot harsher on those who try to keep people from the Kingdom!”

The priest stormed off so I continued to hand out tracts. Things once again went along fine. Although after awhile some New South Wales police officers arrived to say that they had received complaints about the tracts. So we gave all the police tracts and they read them. After reading them they all agreed that there was nothing wrong with them, and that we had the freedom to keep handing them out. In fact some police stayed for awhile and were encouraging us to go and engage the atheists on the other side of the park in debate as it would be interesting.

Tracts were going out at a rapid pace, and by now Ryan had arrived from Brisbane so he also started to hand out tracts. Every now and then we would get people stop and engage us in debate over Roman Catholicism, and they all seemed to use the same arguments over and over again. But most of the people we spoke to left thanking us.

By now it was getting late in the afternoon. And we had handed out thousands of tracts. Then things took a turn for the worse. Another local ‘evangelism’ ministry joined us on the streets, and they also were handing out tracts. Since I knew the team leader I believed that I could trust him not to do anything that would cause trouble. I was proven wrong on this matter. He decided to enter into the big Roman Catholic Cathedral where they had a ‘Saints’ body on display and tract up everyone in the Cathedral. This of course got him in trouble with the police, and also caused a very irate Roman Catholic to follow him. The problem for us was that he came to us to brag about his exploits. In my opinion the thing he did was rank stupidity and it endangered the whole outreach. It was then that Keith and I noticed that the angry Roman Catholic was on the phone to the police now making a complaint against us.

During this time a bunch of young Roman Catholic girls approached and were screaming at us that we were Protestants. And their leaders were yelling for people not to take tracts, and to rip them all up and throw them on the ground. This brought the police down, who told the Catholics that we had every right to hand out tracts, and that they had no rights to encourage people to destroy property and litter. The Roman Catholics quickly apologised.
Once again these Roman Catholics maintained that our tract was unbiblical, but when challenged to show us what part was wrong, they couldn’t.

We put up with them for a few minutes, then the police arrived who had been called by the irate Roman Catholic that had followed the other guys from the Cathedral. Because of his complaint the police asked us to stop handing out tracts until such time as they could investigate what was happening. The police were very friendly, and were real apologetic over stopping us, but they indicated that someone had called to make a complaint.

Keith and I chatted to the police, and all the police were reading our tracts, so we were fine with that. As it gave us a chance to minister to these officers of the law. But things changed when the guy who had handed out tracts in the Cathedral entered in to find out what was happening to “his team”. The police told him to go away as it had nothing to do with him. And Keith and I weren’t to amused as we weren’t “his team” and because of him, we were being stopped from witnessing.

Then the police received a call from headquarters and they were informed to issue us a move on order. Which means we weren’t allowed in the Sydney CBD for twenty four hours. As they issued the order they also apologised, and made sure to stress that this order came from higher up, and was not due to them. We thanked the police for their time, and also informed them that we had no problems with them as they were just doing their job.

So we packed up our tracts, and left. The day had been very productive although it was shorter that we had planned. It goes to show that on outreach you must watch out for “glory boys” who seek to do something ‘daring’ (stupid) in order to have something to brag about. It was because of one guys stupidity that a whole outreach was shut down. The worse thing was, that he isn’t apart of Operation 513 but rather he leads a different ministry. We got shut down but he didn’t.

[b] Tuesday, 15 July 2008 [/b]

Since we got shut down yesterday, and because we still had twenty four hour ban on us, we decided to have a bit of a sleep in, and then head across to Manly to do some witnessing. Our ban ran out at 4:30pm, so all we had to do was stay out of the CBD till then, and after that we could witness all we wanted to.

After meeting up with a new bloke who wanted to join us, we head over to Manly and began to hand out tracts and witness. Within minutes of getting there we had a bunch of American Roman Catholics start to engage us. One of them was getting rather angry at me, that Keith believed that he was going to hit me. We spoke about church history for a bit, and this man even though he claimed to be a theology student didn’t know much about history nor theology. So we examined his beliefs in the light of Scripture. He kept making statements so we challenged him to provide biblical evidence for what he was saying. Of course like most Roman Catholics he knew more about Tradition than he did about Scripture.

After witnessing at Manly for a time, we caught the ferry back across the harbour to the CBD. Upon arriving we noticed that the opening mass was underway, and literally thousands of people were walking along the harbour. So we set up and started to hand out tracts as fast as we could. Many people took tracts, and soon it became clear that we probably wouldn’t have enough tracts for the night. While we were handing out tracts one of the police officers from the day earlier approached us and said “G’day” once again he apologised for yesterday and encouraged us to keep going.

After a while we headed up to Barangaroo where the opening mass was being held. Upon arrival near the entrance we spoke to the World Youth Day security team, and they told us where we could stand. They were fine with us being there as long as we didn’t block traffic. We agree with their terms and made sure that we were spread out so that no one could accuse us of blocking the flow of pilgrims.

As the Mass ended we were surrounded by a great sea of humanity, and many thousands upon thousands of tracts went out. The traffic flowed freely so we were having no trouble. The whole time we were right next to the World Youth Day security post. After a couple of hours of handing out tracts four police officers approached me and the Crown Sergeant who was leading them started to yell at me and snatched all my tracts out of my hand. The police officer then started to blast me for standing the walkway handing out tracts. I pointed out to him that World Youth Day staff told me to stand there, and he replied “I don’t care, this is my turf I am in charge of it!” He said many complaints had been made against us, so he was going to shut us down. I asked him what law we were breaking, and he didn’t answer. So I said “I have constitutional freedom to do this, so if I am not breaking any law I will continue.” The Crown Sergeant then grabbed a tract and began to read it. As he read it, he started saying “This is hate speech!” So I asked what part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is hate speech, he indicated to the part that said “going to church won’t get you to heaven.” So I pointed out that is what the Bible says, he maintained that it was hate speech, and that I couldn’t hand them out. I stood my ground, and said that since no law was broken I would be continuing to hand them out. He snapped at me that I couldn’t and then said “I am detaining you under the World Youth Day laws.” This surprised me since only two hours earlier the Australian Government overturned the World Youth Day laws stating that they were unconstitutional. I pointed that out to the Crown Sergeant, and he just replied “Tough!” It was then that I said I would be making a formal complaint over this matter, and he just laughed saying “Go ahead, they can’t touch me, I am above that!” To which I replied “You may be above this legal system, but you aren’t above God’s, and He will all you to give an account one day.” This made the Crown Sergeant mad, and he ordered me to sit on the wall of an Anglican church and not move less I be arrested. But before I would move I asked him for his details, and also for the details of the other police officers. The Crown Sergeant refused at first, but then gave me his name, but wouldn’t tell me his station. So I turned to the three constables and asked them for their details. The crown sergeant ordered them not to give me their details, and told me I wasn’t allowed to have them. To this I replied “By law, you must give me your details.” He just laughed and started to turn away. One constable quickly gave me his badge number before the Crown Sergeant stormed off.

So I was confined to sit on the wall of an Anglican church. Immediately I called my Barrister and started to ask him on how to proceed. He pointed out that the police had just broken the law, and they couldn’t confine me to a wall. After speaking to him for awhile another police sergeant walked past, so I asked her about the law, and why was I detained. She told me that I had been detained for “incitement” but I pointed out that the Crown Sergeant said “World Youth Day laws and hate speech”, she was a bit shocked at this, so she read the tract and said “I have no problems with this, you can continue to hand these out”. Upon hearing this (in the presences of witnesses) I headed back out to hand out gospel tracts.

While I was sitting on the wall, I got to see what some of the priests and nuns were doing to our tracts. Some burnt them, others spat on them. Still others urinated on them. All this and these people are supposed to represent God’s Church! The Roman Catholic Church revealed itself that night as being a church that is corrupted and a church that hates all those who aren’t opposed to it.

I rejoined Keith and Ryan, and we were able to hand out thousands of tracts. As we looked at our stock level we saw that it had nearly reduced to nothing. But then the Crown Sergeant entered back into the scene. He stood right near us and watched every move, after awhile a bunch of American Catholics started trying to stop us from handing out tracts, all the while holding an American flag. We challenged them on what Freedoms the American people held dear, they responded “Freedom of Speech”, so we asked why they would stop us from having Freedom of Speech in our country when over 100 000 Australian soldiers had died to give us that freedom? The Americans over the course of this outreach were the worse behaved. They shouted “Freedom” then opposed those who didn’t agree with them. This is really sad, but it is clear by their actions why most of the world hates the USA.

The Americans stood in the middle of the road (blocking traffic) yelling at people to rip up the tracts and throw them in the bin. The shocking thing was the Crown Sergeant was encouraging them to do it also. So I turned walked up to him and said “Sir, you told me that if I am in the road I would be arrested, yet you are allowing them to do it, why?” His reply was “One rule for them, and one for you!” To which I replied “So, one rule for Catholics and one for Protestants?” He just grinned, and then said “They are sick of your propaganda and protestant c**p!” This stunned me that a member of the New South Wales police would discriminate against me in regards to religion, so I turned my phone on a called a friend so he could hear it. I asked him to repeat it, and when he realised that I was recording he refused to say much. This was a clear display of Police corruption, this Crown Sergeant openly opposed those who were Protestants, whoever thinks that Rome has changed need to spend a night in Sydney to see how the antichrist (pope) has the police wrapped around his little finger.

During this time a group of Catholics approached Keith and said that we need to watch out as they would be waiting at the foot of the hill to beat us up when we left. We continued to hand out tracts despite the opposition from the American Catholics and also the police. And by God’s grace His Word still went forth!

As we were leaving we asked for police protection due to the Catholics saying they would get us. The Crown Sergeant refused to assist and told us to go down the hill and talk to someone else.

We made it out of the city safely, and it was a good feeling to know that God had seen fit to allow His Word to go out even though people tried to stop it!

[b] Wednesday, 16 July 2008 [/b]

Today was the final day of outreach for us in Sydney. We began the day off by meeting up with some friends, and then heading to an Anglican church to attend a Bible study. This church had been doing Bible studies all week about why Roman Catholicism is wrong, and each day they had a testimony from those who had been Catholics but had left the false church.

After attending the study for an hour, we headed out on the streets to witness. We made our way to Hyde Park as it was a hive of activity. Yorke and Jeff were already present handing out gospel tracts, so we joined them for a time.

Today seemed to be a day of debates. Within minutes of arriving I was engaged in a debate with three Catholic priests from the USA. One of them kept yelling “Shut Up!” While another priest was telling me that the priest is the mediator between God and man. This interested me, so I handed the priest my Bible and asked him to please read 1 Timothy 2:5, as he read it I asked “According to the Scripture, who is the only mediator?” He replied “Jesus Christ” and then went silent. Before leaving he thanked me for showing him that verse and said that he needed to study out some issues now. Please pray for that man.

After finishing the discussion with them, I turned and was engaged in debate with two Mormon missionaries. These men were out pushing that we must have good works in order to be saved. So I spoke to them on that topic for awhile, and I illustrated how that we do good works not to be saved, but rather to be saved. After explaining this to them I showed them to Ephesians 2:8-9. The senior missionary wanted to leave the discussion, but the junior missionary was very interested. After talking for awhile the junior missionary said “I agree with you, the Book of Mormon is wrong.” This statement caused the senior missionary to drag him away. Please also pray for him.

Once again I turned, and this time I was in a debate with a traditional Roman Catholic who was a fan of having the mass sung in Latin. We had a good discussion in regards to the Bible and salvation. He didn’t like the state of the modern Roman church, and wanted it to return to the traditional teachings. We spoke at length about salvation and then parted on good terms.

By this time I was starting to feel like this was the day of debate, then before I knew it I was once again locked in a discussion. This time with two Franciscan Monks. These men were very polite, and were very well educated in the Bible. We discussed a variety of issues from the immaculate conception of Mary to salvation by works or by grace. It was a great time of chatting, and we all left on very good terms.

I spent the rest of the day handing out tracts, and I thought that perhaps I wouldn’t need to debate anymore. But then once again an angry American priest appeared, so I engaged him in debate while his French friend yelled at Yorke in French. After talking for awhile about Jesus being the bread of life, it became clear that this priest did not know his Bible. So I used the Scripture to show him the gospel, the priest quickly stated “I must leave, and go um… pray now.” Then left.

The rest of the day was quiet, with many tracts going out.

At the end of the day we tallied up the total number of tracts handed out in three days, and we estimated that over 30 000 tracts were given to those at World Youth Day. Please pray for all those that received the gospel!

[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

While there why don’t you sign up for our newsletter, it is an easy way for you to stay in loop in regards to what God is doing through Operation 513 worldwide!

Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/7/24 12:37Profile
Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re: Journal of a Journey

[b] Saturday, 19 July 2008 [/b]

The day started off in celebration and happiness. Today was the day that Andrew and Desma became one and entered into the marriage covenant before all their friends and family. It was a good service with a very strong focus on the Glory of God, and His majesty. During the service I was asked to preach the gospel message to all those present, so please pray for those who heard it.

That evening we headed out to our normal spot in the Queen Street Mall to evangelise. I was expecting to be down on numbers tonight due to the Wedding, but I was surprised to see a good number of the team show up. It was also encouraging to see a bunch of guys and a lecturer from my college attend for the night. Each year the college does a “week of missions” in which they expose the students to different aspects of Christian ministry. This year some of them did inner city outreach, which meant spending the night on the streets with the Operation 513 Brisbane team.

Ryan was the first preacher up for the night, and as usual within seconds our friendly agnostic heckler (Alex) began to open up on him. Ryan and him went back and forth for some time in regards to apologetics and also in regards to the gospel. This of course brought a good size crowd in to listen to the debate.

While the crowd gathered it was good to see a bunch of team members engaged in one to one conversations with those at the back of the crowd. Every where one looked all you could see were people hearing about the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Be it via open air preaching, or by a simple one to one or tract message.

It was during this time that we really saw God touch the life of one young lady. During the open air preaching she approached Dave on the camera and asked what was happening, so Dave took this as an opportunity to witness. He asked her the question “Would you consider yourself to be a good person?” She paused and said “No, I am not good.” Then I am not sure what happened, but somehow she ended up with an in-depth tract and the next thing she is sitting on a park bench next to the preacher reading it.

I went back to my general duties of making sure the team was running smoothly and that everyone was engaged in witnessing, then Tim Neale came over to me and stated that the girl who had been reading the tract was now sobbing and crying. I looked over to see her bent over weeping. This was a great chance for a female on the team to go and witness to her, but we had no experienced females on the street that night. But then I remember that Summer was out for her first time, so I sent her and Tim over to talk to this young lady. The call to prayer quickly went around the team, and while they were standing in the crowd listening to the preaching you could see them all bow their heads in a word of silent prayer that God may save this young lady.

Ryan kept on preaching, and kept on engaging with hecklers. Then things got a little interesting. I noticed that man was coming down the mall who we had encountered before. He is a homeless man who has a reputation of being quick to punch out those whom he doesn’t like. This time he took exception to Alex and decided to raise his fist to him. So I jumped in the middle to defuse the situation. The man was blind drunk so it was hard to reason with him, but by God’s grace we were able to clear him out of the open air preaching area.

It was then that Tim Neale broke the news to me that the young lady who had been crying, just prayed and asked Christ to save her from all her sin. According to Tim this young lady kept stating that she felt so unworthy to receive Christ’s forgiveness, but still trusted in Him alone to save. Praise God for His faithfulness to save souls! Praise Him that even though we aren’t worthy of His grace and mercy He still shows it to all those who would repent!

Shortly after Ryan finished preaching, and Andre immediately jumped up and began to preach. He is really starting to grow as a preacher and did a good job in declaring the gospel of salvation. He also engaged some hecklers for a short time and then made sure they understood fully the gospel.

After Andre preached I decided that I would stand u and have a bit of a preach. Things started slowly as I spoke about how we all one day will die, and how we all one day must give an account of all our sins. I was able to engage in one young man who claimed to be a Jewish Atheist, we went back and forth over the gospel and also on the existence of God. He maintained that because of their being evil in the world that proves there is no God. I used his argument to show that because there is good and evil in the world that we can know there is a God.

Then a couple of Roman Catholics decided to heckle, including one woman who is planning on becoming a nun. She kept pushing Rome as the only true church, and also that the priest were the mediators between God and man. So as I did to the priest in Sydney I took her to 1 Timothy 2:5 and asked her to explain it. She couldn’t, but by now other Catholics had opened fire.

Things were going back and forth for a time, then an ear piercing scream was heard from the young woman standing right in front of me. This girl wanted attention, then she started to scream at me “Do you remember me? Do you remember me?” I honestly could not remember her, but then she started to describe what she did last time I encountered her. She was the girl from 23 February 2008 who decided that it would be funny to “baptize” me in vodka and orange juice. As soon as I realised who she was, and then saw that once again she had a cup full of liquid I decided it would be safer for me to zip up my jacket and place my bible behind my back. This young woman began to scream at me “I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!” To which all her friends cheered her on, they were all a bit drunk so I didn’t get to deep in apologetics with them. These women seemed obsessed with the topic of sex, and when I answered the question the “vodka” girl decided it was time to “re-baptize” me. Once again I was covered in vodka and orange juice. The crowd erupted in cheers. Then for some reason a man in the crowd started to abuse her, and this young woman decided to go show him a lesson. She sprang at this man with her nails ready to scratch him to pieces. Everyone was worried that he would hit her, I was worried she would kill him! This sent people running to get the police, but by the time they arrived it was all over.

Overall it was a good night with many people hearing the Gospel!

[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

While there why don’t you sign up for our newsletter, it is an easy way for you to stay in loop in regards to what God is doing through Operation 513 worldwide!

Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/7/24 23:44Profile
Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re: Journal of a Journey

[b] Saturday, 26 July, 2009 [/b]

I was excited at the idea of witnessing tonight, but sadly I knew I would be unable to open air due to the really bad head cold I had. As I prepared to head out on the street, I could feel my voice slowly going, and this concerned me as I had the honour of preaching at “For His Glory Evangelical” the next evening.

When I arrived in the city, the first thing I noticed was how dead the mall was. There were very few people walking up and down the Queen Street Mall. Based on what I saw anyone could be mistaken, and think it was the early hours of the morning, instead of the busiest hour of the night.

As per usual we met in the now drastically smaller King George Square for a time of prayer and fellowship. We spent some time reading through Psalm 119 and then had a time of just general building each other up in the faith. I have found these times of fellowship before the outreach to be very important, as it limit’s the “chit chat” during the actually outreach. Which in turn means more people get to hear the gospel.

Tonight we suffered from a shortage of preachers, which is something we haven’t experienced in quite some time. Normally we have so many preachers, that we don’t all get to have a preach.

Since it was really quiet I didn’t expect much of a crowd to gather, and this proved to be true for a little while. Ryan preached first and he did a good job, his apologetics in regards to atheism are brilliant, and each week we have regular atheists who come in and argue. We have found this to be a good way to help the people of Brisbane, as many people like to think “there is no God”, but after seeing what atheism offers many people we speak to afterwards, believe that there is a God who created the world, this in turn then creates an opportunity to tell of Jesus Christ.

Alex the agnostic was present from the time we started right through the time we ended. He is more regular than some of our team members, and to be honest most of us look forward to see Alex each week, and also to hear his ‘latest’ arguments on why God does not exist.

While Ryan was preaching, I noticed that our regular cranky old Catholic man was present. This man comes past every now and then, and normally hurls some abuse about us being Protestant and then wanders over to the nearest female and starts to get a bit ‘friendly’. Tonight was no different, he began to talk to some of the females on the team, so I walked over and stood near him. Normally that is all it takes, and he moves on, tonight was no different.

The next preacher up for the night was Ralph, he spoke for a bit about the gospel of Jesus and how that can set you free from all your sins. He spoke on the atheism and evolution debate, thus showing how there must be a God who created everything. Then once again he swung back to the Gospel.

The mall was near deserted, so we decided that once Ralph finished we would just hand out tracts, and do one to one for a little while. Then once that had been done for a time, then Ryan would preach again.

During this time many one to ones were occurring. Then it came time for Ryan to preach once again.

This time Alex couldn’t control himself and longer and he began to heckle Ryan as he preached. This of course grew a small crowd in. It was an interesting time, we had other atheists heckler, we had two agnostic philosophy students enter in the fray, and also then turn their attention to the atheists and told them to stop arguing theology if they don’t believe in God.

Then one loud mouth young bloke was heard from among those listening. He was your typical false convert. He was swearing like anything, and then in the same breath claiming to be a Christian. He then started to yell at us for preaching the gospel, and talking about sin. In his mind he was led by the Holy Spirit, and we weren’t. I challenged him on his Christianity, and how he was saying one thing, but then by his fruits showed another action. Every time I used the Bible to show my point, the man would become more hostile. Eventually he stopped heckling and started talking to the atheists.

During this time, I got to have a one to one discussion with Alex. And I must say my respect for Alex as a heckler has diminished. We were speaking about “The Truth” and how there must be a standard of truth. Alex of course believes that truth is not knowable. So I tried to use some basic logic on him showing that from the law of non-contradiction that there must be truth. The reply that Alex gave was rather interesting, his answer was “We could be in the Matrix, and we may not even be here.” Then to prove his point he showed us a hole in the back of his head, which could be the socket for the Matrix plug.

Once again Alex illustrated the truthfulness of Scripture:

“The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.” - Psalm 14:1 (ESV)

[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

While there why don’t you sign up for our newsletter, it is an easy way for you to stay in loop in regards to what God is doing through Operation 513 worldwide!

Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/8/1 2:34Profile
Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re: Journal of a Journey

[b] Saturday, 2 August 2008[/b]

I was excited about tonight and as I was preparing for to leave home the idea of being able to stand and preach once again the glories of Christ was really awesome. What privilege we have as fallen human beings to stand and give testimony about our great and merciful God who saved us not because of anything we have done, but rather He saved us by His grace alone, so that He may get all the praise! It is a tremendous honour for any Christian then to stand and declare the good news of salvation to anyone who would listen. And to also plead with them, to look unto Jesus Christ and be saved.

When Andre, Tamara, and I arrived in Brisbane, the first thing we noticed was the fact that the car park was full! Each week for the past few months I have been able to park in the same car park, yet tonight I had to park elsewhere, this of course was a good indication of how busy the night was going to be.

We made our way over to King George Square, and on the way we ran into a good friend of ours who had just returned from a few weeks away on mission trip. Warren has been a real blessing to the team in the whole time he has been coming out with us. And it good to be able to call him a brother and also a friend.

Before too long we were joined by some other team members, and after a bit of a chat about theology, we started to pray for the evening, we prayed that God would be gracious to us, and that He would draw a crowd in for His Glory. We also prayed that He would Sovereignly draw His elect unto Himself.

After this time of prayer, we all opened our Bibles and read the Scripture together. Then once we had finished, we were able to spend some good time in fellowship. And once again discuss theological issues. I have heard other ministry leaders say that one should not talk about theology. I think that as Christians it is good for us to encourage each and other and also challenge each other over different theological thoughts. Of course there is a time and place to discuss such things, and when witnessing that is a time not to talk theology, but when we are fellowshipping together our conversation should be God focused, so it is in those times that we should be talking about the Study of God (theology).

At 9pm, we were in our normal spot in the Queen Street Mall, and we began to set up for the night. As per usual we set up the Bible table, which is a great place to have one to ones, and also to engage in apologetics. Since this table has been set up we have been able to distribute 100’s Bibles. This is an awesome privilege, since we have been given the chance to put the very word of God into the hands of people who do not know Him. While it is probably the most expensive part of our weekly outreach, I think it is by far one of the most beneficially to the gospel ministry.

Alistair was the first preacher we had tonight, he has come along way in his preaching. He used to just stand up there and preach for a few minutes then stand down. But now he is preaching for longer periods of time, and he is preaching with a passion. Something I noticed with Ali’s preaching is the fact that it is saturated with the Word of God, what I mean is, when he opens his mouth to preach or answers a question he does so with Scripture. This of course is the best way to open air preach, or for that matter, preach in general. As our words really mean nothing, but it is the Word of God that will not return void.

Ali’s preached for near on forty minutes, and during that time he was able to engage a few hecklers with the gospel. I must say it is always encouraging to see God raising up more and more open air preachers with the passion to take the gospel to where the lost are.

Just after Ali finished preaching, a drunk man came up and decided to tell us how much God loves him, and how much God hates us. This man was offended and angered at the fact that there were Christians in the mall preaching about Jesus. Even though this man claimed to love Jesus. I tried to deal with this man, but he was too drunk to even have a decent conversation with.

As the drunk man stumbled off up the mall another man appeared to take his place. This man was carrying a Bible, and very quickly declared himself to be a **** evangelist. One didn’t need to have the gift of discernment to quickly realise that something was not right.

This man walked up right next to me and said “I’ve save 200 people from hell!” Then he paused and waited for me to respond. I presume he wanted me to congratlate him on all the people he had saved, yet I couldn’t do that. My response was “You didn’t save anyone from hell. If they got saved then it was by God’s own election.” The man quickly replied, “Yeah, I know that but I saved them” then he continued “What has God ever done for me? I hate Him, He does nothing for me!” This is an odd thing for an “evangelist” to say, so I pointed out to him that the very fact that he currently lives, and currently breaths is a sign that God is doing something for him. God doesn’t have to give him life, yet it is by an act of kindness that God allows him to live. The man replied rather angrily “If God cared for me, he would give me a job, give me a home, and give me lots of money!”

I pointed out to the man that no where in Scripture does God promise us any of those things. But the man just kept rambling on about prosperity. This man showed clearly the curse that comes from that charlatans on TV that preach “health and wealth” those TV “prosperity pimps” are not ministers of the gospel, but rather they are servants of their own wallet. They cause people to curse God because of their antics, and they are saving up God’s holy wrath that will be revealed against them on the day of judgement! (2 Peter 2:3)

The angry and bitter man (who has ever right to be bitter as he was sold a lie) left yelling his hatred for God. So I began to prepare to preach. My opening for the night was going to be on “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” As I started in on this topic a few people began to gather in and listen, and as I went through an analogy illustrating how in life bad things do happen, I swung to Luke 13 and explained how when Jesus walked on earth He got asked some similar questions.

I pointed out to the people that had stopped to listen that Jesus answered the people by saying “No, unless you repent you also will perish!” As I expounded on that I showed the crowd that the real question is not “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people” but rather “Why would a good God allow bad people to live?” This of course then spring boarded into talking about the total depravity of man, and how apart from God’s grace we cannot ever be saved.

God showed His favour towards us by bring back the drunk man from before. The man began to heckle, God used this man’s heckling to draw a large crowd in for His glory. The man began to really fire up and the louder he got the bigger the crowd got. Some of the members of the team commented that this was either the biggest crowd we have ever had or the second biggest. I am not sure how big it was, as my focus was on dealing with hecklers and preaching the gospel.

More hecklers began to enter into the discussion, and some of them had genuine and good questions but others were just plain silly. I would say that the majority of the time was spent on the gospel, with very little time being spent on apologetics. We spoke in depth about how bad things happen in this world, and how this is a result of sin. Then we spoke about how society as a whole is sinful, but we must always remember that society is made up of individuals who are sinful.

About half way through I could feel my voice starting to go, this was from the fact that I still hadn’t fully gotten over being sick. Then a man came running into the middle of the crowd and through a tract that was on fire in front of me. The crowd erupted in cheers as the gospel burned. This man later on professed to be an atheist, and wanted me to answer the question “Does God exist.” I tried to engage him in apologetics but he wasn’t interested. He was more interested in performing to the crowd. But at least he stayed, and got to hear the gospel a few more times.

One young bloke decided to be a bit of a clown, so he jumped up next to me and began to mock me while I preached. He turned and passed wind into my face while preaching. The crowd took great delight in this, but I kept on with the gospel. After preaching open air for a few years it takes a bit to really annoy me. This young bloke seemed to think that it was his job to annoy me for the night. The problem is he failed rather miserably.

The next trick this bloke did was to get a handful of ice and pour it down my shirt. Now this being the middle of winter, and being cold already didn’t really do much to make me feel good. But I ignored his ice antics and kept on preaching. He decided then that it would be funny to throw stuff at me while I preached. This is not an uncommon thing, so once again I ignored him.

But this young bloke had strong willpower and endurance. He then decided to climb into the garden behind me and proceed to shower me in bark. This once again I ignored, and kept on preaching that Christ Jesus can forgive us of any sins we have committed.

The young bloke seemed to calm down for a short while (maybe to think of new ideas), and during that calm in the storm I was able to freely preach the gospel, and also to answer questions from the crowd.

As it neared the hour mark of the preaching, I knew my voice didn’t have much left in it, so I was preparing to tag Ryan in, when our young clown decided to do one more show. This time the man let out a loud yell of “I love you!” then came running towards me at a full pace arms spread wide. Then in for the hug he came. The problem is it wasn’t your usual ‘drunken’ hug, but rather it was a full on tight embrace. This man was so close to me while he hugged me that I felt like he was attached to me. He then started to talk about how much he liked to hug me, and how much he liked to smell me. This led him to start smelling me while I was preaching. The crowd seemed to enjoy all this. I was able to pry him off me and he said he was leaving. He took a few steps and then turned yelling “I cannot be separated from my love!” Once again he became attached to me. Alex (our regular agnostic heckler) then came over and tried to get the man off me by saying “Let’s make them look silly by our arguments, and not by our actions.” I really appreciate what Alex tried to do, but the man refused to listen. And once again I was engulfed by his full embrace.

At one point I was able to pry him off my left side only to get him to let go and hug me from my right side. I then called in a couple of the team members to come and get him off me. Snowy came across and was able to wrestle him off me, but the man quickly came running back again. So Snowy grabbed him once more, but this time the man didn’t let go of me, so as Snowy pulled, I was pulled off the pulpit. Quickly I was able to get back up and continue to preach.

The young man then came and jumped up on the pulpit with me and once again began to hug me. This time he decided to act like a dog and try to have sex with my leg. Snowy once again pulled him off, and again pulled me down. Once again I was able to jump back up and preach on.

Some of the team members by now had headed down to the police station in order to get some police to come and assist. And they later told me they could see everything that was happening as the police were watching the situation on a TV in the station (probably having a good laugh!). Once the young clown heard that the police were coming he hugged me once more, said he loved me then left up the mall at a very quick pace.

I looked down the mall and could see two police officers approaching, so I handed a large wad of in-depth tracts to Ben and told him to hand them out to all in the crowd. A large number of the crowd took tracts, and the reason I got him to do that was because I knew that once the police arrived the crowd would leave. This is what happened, so I quickly wrapped up the open air. But before I could stand down Alex decided it was time for his weekly heckle. Since my voice was nearly gone, I told him to wait as Ryan would be next, then I turned to the crowd and told them that up next was the debate “Does God Exist?” Quite a number of the crowd stayed as Ryan got up to engage in debate with Alex.

As soon as I got down I was surrounded by a few Christians who were encouraged about seeing the gospel preached in public. This by far is one of the most encouraging things for me as a gospel preacher. I don’t want to just preach so that the lost get saved, but I want to be able to encourage other Christians to go do the work of an evangelist.
The rest of the night for me was spent dealing with Christians, some who loved open air, and others who thought we should be doing “healings, signs and wonders”.

Ryan preached for the rest of the night, and many one to ones followed. God truly was gracious in allowing His gospel to go forth!

[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

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Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/8/8 7:57Profile
Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re: Journal of a Journey


[b] Saturday, 9 August, 2008 [/b]

I had been in bed all week with a bad dose of the flu, so I had decided that I shouldn’t preach tonight, unless I inflame my sickness. As I drove into the city, I was hit constantly with the feeling of illness and also with head-spins, but the thought of being able to hit the streets of Brisbane was one that encouraged me to keep on going.

The night was cold, and it was surprising that we had such a small team gather for prayer and bible reading. At this stage there was only three of us present, so we were bracing for the fact that it may be a very busy night for us.

After spending time in fellowship we made our way up to our preaching spot, on the journey we ran into the Barnard family and also Peter. So our numbers swelled. We were then joined by a few more team members in the mall.

It was good to see everyone in position, from the preacher to those handing out tracts, and even our regular agnostic heckler Alex.

Ralph was the first preacher up for the night, and he did a bit of preaching, he preached the Word of God, and dealt with hecklers for about fifteen minutes, then tagged me into take over. I had to preach, even though I knew it would be unwise for me physically to preach, I had the preachers itch so I had to get up.

I started by engaging Alex over the creation of the world. He had stated earlier on that he only accepted empirical evidence, yet he didn’t have any empirical evidence for his version of how the world came about. Once we pointed that out to him he decided to make some argument to prove how old the earth was (this still wasn’t empiric evidence), but the problem with much of his argument was the fact that it was all built on a presupposition.

We debated over the topic of how only God is eternal, and how the universe is not. This then led into the biblical discussion of how God one day will send Jesus Christ back to earth to judge humanity for all their sins.

By now a good size crowd had gathered, and other hecklers had entered into the discussion. We covered a wide variety of topics from “How we got the Bible” to “Does God exist.” It was a good open air, and many people got to hear the gospel. God has been gracious once again in bringing a crowd in for His glory!

After preaching for about an hour I started to notice that my voice was getting weak due to the flu that I had. So I tagged Ryan in to continue to debate the atheists. By the time I stood down, there wasn’t much I could do as I had some really bad head spins. While I was trying to get over my illness I was approached by a man who had ‘advanced’ past Christianity. It was his position that once one grows in spirituality you realise that Christianity is merely a step on the path to knowing the great all wise spirit.

He stated that the best way to be connected to the spirit was by loving and not judging anyone. This was an interesting thought, so I started to ask the man to explain, and he quickly passed judgment on Christianity. This then led to a discussion about how inconsistent his worldview is. The man after a while became rather angry at me, and once again proved how “unloving” he was. It was hard to witness to this man, as every time I presented the gospel to him started to wall up and wouldn’t listen.

The rest of the night was spent dealing with one to ones, while Ryan preached. Overall it was a great night.

[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

While there why don’t you sign up for our newsletter, it is an easy way for you to stay in loop in regards to what God is doing through Operation 513 worldwide!

Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/8/13 23:27Profile
Willo
Member



Joined: 2004/9/21
Posts: 355
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 Re: Journal of a Journey

[b] Saturday, 23 August, 2008 [/b]

After being away from Brisbane for a week, I was quite excited at the prospect of being able to preach once again in the Queen Street Mall. While it is always a joy to preach elsewhere, and while I loved preaching in Adelaide, there is just something about coming home and preaching in your regular spot.

We met did all the normal things, prayer, bible reading, and then a time of fellowship was enjoyed by those present. Once 9pm rolled around, it was no longer a fellowship time, but now it was a time to go out and witness to those who did not know Jesus Christ.

Ryan was the first preacher up for the night, and he wasn’t long into the preaching when a good size crowd gathered around. In this crowd there were a few hecklers, first there were two self-confessed “bad Christians” and also two lesbians. This made for some interesting heckles, as when the lesbians made a case for homosexuality, the ‘bad’ Christians would agree with her, and then make a case supporting it also. It seemed to be the night of all the hot topics, first there was homosexuality, and then there was abortions.

For about thirty minutes Ryan held his own against them, but his voice was starting to go (which was a surprise!), so he tagged me in and I began the long task of dealing with the hecklers. First I addressed the ‘bad’ Christians, they weren’t to impressed, when I stressed that the Bible teaches how we must examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith or not (2 Cor. 13:5) and then told them about how some people think themselves saved, but in reality they aren’t (Matt. 7:21-23).

By now the lesbians had left, but a young man with an accent and wearing a New York Yankees hate had taken their place. This man was very vocal, and very opposed to Christianity, he started to rant that it was Christians that killed all the Jews, I tired to counter by pointing out that those who kill innocent people in the name of Christianity, are according to Jesus not true Christians. But this man wasn’t interested in listening, he just kept on with his argument, and refused to listen to the counter. By the way he kept talking about Israel and the Jews I presumed he was Jewish, upon asking him, he then confirmed this fact. Since he had been yelling at me for some time now, I thought it proper to at least know who it was that really hated me and Christianity. His name was Noam, and he is a practicing Jew. This led to an interesting discussion about the Messiah, he stated that Jesus could not be the Messiah since he is dead, but I pointed out that God showed that Jesus was the Messiah by raising Him from the dead.

Noam ignored, and kept on yelling his hated at Christianity and Christ. So I opened my bible and asked if I could read something to him, and then get his opinion on it. At first he refused, so I made the statement “clearly this man isn’t interested in learning!” This made him stop, and then tell me to read out of my Bible.

So I opened the pages and began to read:

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.”

Once I finished reading, I looked up and noticed that he was already scoffing, so I asked, “What do you think about that, who is it talking about?” Noam looked at me and in an arrogant fashion said “That is talking about Jesus from your apostate New Testament!”

I turned my Bible over so he could see the pages and said “No, that was written by the Prophet Isaiah, from your Bible! Isaiah is talking about the Messiah, and you just admitted that this passage is talking about Jesus Christ!”

Noam looked stunned, but instead of admitting that Jesus is the Messiah, he went off on a tangent and refused to deal with the issue. But you could clearly tell that the Scripture had found its mark, as he wasn’t as arrogant as before, and now more than ever he wanted to move away from the open air discussion. I wasn’t going to let him move on that quickly, so I kept engaging him about Jesus Christ being the only one that could be the Messiah of God. From there I explained how in the Torah it was taught that there must be a sacrifice made for the atonement of sin, and that how that was a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God, who would come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

By now Noam was very uncomfortable, and at the first chance he got, he headed out to the outer of the crowd that had now gathered. Please pray for Noam, that God would open his eyes, and that he will come to know Jesus as the Messiah.

The rest of the night was made up with the normal heckling, I covered issues of evolution, atheism, Islam, the Bible etc. At one point a Muslim became rather angry as I pointed out that the Quran is a book that teaches hate, and killing. The man started yelling that the Quran taught no such thing, so I quoted the Surah for him, and told him to go look it up. It is interesting, the “religion of peace” is so big on covering up the fact that in their book it says kill Christians and Jews. And the problem is so many people in the West has been duped into believing them. As you read this Islam is on the march in every Western country, the United Kingdom is nearly invaded by Islam, and it is to the point where there are no-go zones due to Islamic violence. The answer for this invasion of the demonic religion is not atheism, or even new political laws. The answer is the same as it has been for 2,000 years, and that answer is found in Jesus Christ. The church in the west needs to wake up, and realise that unless they start preaching the Gospel, one day they will wake up to find that Islam is now in control, and that they are facing death for their belief.

The rest of the night was spent for me in dealing with Christians who believed that we should emotionally manipulate people to make a decision for Jesus, and witnessing to some who had been listening to the preaching.

Andre then got up and preached, and closed the night off.

It was a good night, and many people got to hear the gospel. Please pray for them.


[i] Soli Deo Gloria! [/i]

Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com

While there why don’t you sign up for our newsletter, it is an easy way for you to stay in loop in regards to what God is doing through Operation 513 worldwide!

Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: http://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php


_________________
Josh Williamson

 2008/8/29 1:46Profile





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