The following is an open letter to the mall preacher who stands on the mall everyday who yells at the passing students that they are hell bound heathens…
Dear Mall Preacher,
First let me begin by saying that I am glad that you have a passion for your work. I don’t know if you are paid for your endeavors, but none the less you do have passion.
I have many emotions that are built up in my heart right now… for three years I have had to walk by you on the mall and hang my head as I see the large group of students gathered around you. My emotions are all over the place. One side of me wants to praise you for your boldness – but when I listen to what you are saying… that all goes away.
I have many things that I want to say to you, but I don’t want to get into a theological debate. The only thing I want to express to you in this letter is that you ARE a sinner. I don’t care what you say or how you try to back it up. You are…
I point you towards 1st John –
1 John 1:8-10
8 If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. 9 On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. 10 If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
So please stop saying that you are sinless and not a sinner.
I think I understand your mission because there are a ton of people at ECU who think because they call themselves a Christian means that they get their eternal life pass. I know that cultural Christianity is an epidemic that needs to be addressed, but unfortunately having big signs telling people they deserve hell isn’t going to do anything.
First you need to express to people God’s Love and Grace.
1 John 4:8-9
8 The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. 9 This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him.
Then once you have shown people how much God loves them -THEN- you can talk to people about what prevents us from knowing God personally.
So my friend… I have many more thoughts for you, but I think these are the most important.