If I Went to Jail Would You be Ashamed of Me

I admit sometimes I lack patience with a certain group of people and rather than press the “ignore” button and keep walking, I do sometimes choose to take on the situation. Some would say this is a major fault of mine, even sin, and others would say this is the desire to Defend the Faith and Contend for Truth (which again, many would say is wrong to do because it causes division and is ‘unloving’). The particular group I’m referring to here is professing Christians who do not believe the Bible is sufficient, but must be mixed with Humanism and Psychology, who think that pleasing and blending with the world is more important than faithfulness & obedience to Christ, who play footsie with New Age Spirituality, and who dislike the authority of scripture, the exclusivity of the Gospel, and evangelism. I’m talking about the apostacy.

Of course the DMV was closed today.

I bumped into a man who is on staff at a Ne0-E megachurch. He was telling me that he is in seminary so I thought he might be preparing to be a pastor. But he is taking advanced Counseling and Psychology courses. I asked him if he did “Christian Counseling” which utilizes Psychology primarily, or “Biblical Counseling” which utilizes the scripture. He was telling me that now these two camps are now blended together. He kept dropping the word “Spirituality“–and I gave him the benefit of the doubt –at first, although that buzzword set off my alarm bells. Then he started sounding more like a New Ager. He said, “Things are different now” (referring to the many beliefs of the clients, and the new methodology); “if someone comes in saying they do crystals or moon rocks (or such), then we work with that.”

I asked him to affirm what I was hearing: that what he was telling me was that he must operate as a functional Universalist in his counseling sessions. He did not deny. I challenged him, asking why he cannot just operate as a Christian, and he said, “It would not work” (because they want to help people). Then I asked him if he was telling me that Pragmatism was more important than faithfulness to Christ? That did not go over well.

The old city jail bars, in use for 40 years, are now a museum display.

Since he was sounding very New Age, I asked him about sharing the Gospel with the clients and he told me he always leaves them (the unbelievers) with “the Golden Rule”- encouraging them to “do unto others”. When I said that is not the Gospel, he told me he would only talk about that “when the door is open”. He had an expression and tone that indicated, “That is not appropriate”. I asked him if Jesus’ words in Mark 16:15 and Mat. 28:18-20 were not the open door? . He got agitated and challenged me: “Well why don’t YOU go down to the DMV and preach! And when they throw you in jail, well, how about that!” (He made it sound like it would be the most contemptible and dreaded thing that could happen.) But raising my arms up in an attitude of victory,

I told him joyfully, “Wonderful! That would raise up more and more bold courageous evangelists who would be glad to go to jail for the Gospel!”

He shook his head, as if I did not get his point. He explained, “No! No! We would….” ( he indicated in word and facial expression that the rest of the Christians would be disgusted and look with disdain and embarrassment upon me.)

One of the new beefed up high security city jail cells.

If choosing Truth and faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ lands me in jail someday, the Compromising Christians will be ashamed of me. But those who believe the Word and trust and follow Jesus regardless of the consequences, will not be ashamed. I trust that by the Spirit, God will have you either visit me in jail, or else he will move you out on the street, preaching and telling the Gospel, to your joy, and His glory.

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God.. 2Tim1:8

For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed..2Tim1:12

Listen! Sermon Jam: John Piper UNASHAMED!!

Mark’s Mind

Soon after Mark and I started chatting between the garbage can and the liquor store, he was telling me that he grew up in Los Altos, but spent “a long time in the mental health system”. He was telling me that even after all the years of mental therapy and drugs, he still suffered. He said he had friends who were worse off: still institutionalized and taking a dozen psych drugs at once. He said he was “only taking three” currently. He said he once took some Psych classes at SFSU but they did not help; they only confused him more. He was concerned for his friends.

So I took the leap and brought up the possibility that maybe one thing that is really bothering people is guilt, the fear of death, the conscience knowing that there is a God who created the universe and them, & the knowledge that there is accountability to the holy God. Mark agreed with that possibility, and then we talked about our sin against God and what exactly sin is. We talked about that for a while. Then I gave him the courtroom analogy; telling Him exactly Who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us, taking our condemnation, standing in place of us guilty ones before the just Judge, taking the sentence, taking the punishment, satisfying God’s justice, clearing our sin/guilt record, saving us from sin and death. I told him that is how we get forgiveness: by repentance and faith in Christ. Next time I see him hanging out there, I hope to chat with him more and give him a gospel.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.” Matt.7:28-29.