Would other protestors have been treated the same?

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Four Christians are facing a total of 47 years in jail for protesting at Outfest (a homosexual block party). From reading the article, it seems like they might have been asking to be moved, but this seems excessive to me. Comment away.

Your thoughts?

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8 Responses to Would other protestors have been treated the same?

  1. Jon Wright says:

    To the Christians reading this, why are we surprised? I was surprised at first, but do we walk into a dark room and scream “its dark in here!!”? It is dark in this world, but announcing the darkness will not help unless we also turn on the light. Take this story as a bridge into discussions with those around you who are lost, and use it to turn on the light.

  2. Jon Wright says:

    Here is a little more infomation…

    According to WorldNetDaily, “Homosexual attorneys from the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division not only attended (the) large homosexual event&but they advised police on the scene who arrested 11 Christian protesters, says a source in the agency.”

    The WorldNetDaily article went on to say the U.S. Justice Department is “not likely to take up the cause of the five criminally charged Christians who believe Philadelphia officials violated their civil rights.”

    Did you catch that? The Justice Department will refuse to investigate the treatment of the arrested Christians because some homosexual attorneys from the Justice Department were advising the Philadelphia police on how to arrest the Christians!!!!

    In fact, Chief Inspector Tiano, who serves as liaison to the homosexual community, testified at the preliminary hearing that he met at least four times with the organizers of the Outfest event in anticipation of the protesters’ activities, presumably to discuss how to handle the “Christians” when they showed up at the event. He also said he had 40 officers on site that day. He did not meet with any of the Christians!

    to read more, go to http://www.afa.net/clp/philly4_011105.asp

  3. Jon says:

    I would enjoy seeing this particular item of discussion turn into a “philosophy of evangelism” discussion. But I suppose that if I make that suggestion I should be the one to put my neck out.

    Are holding signs, yelling “you’re going to hell”, and failing to comply with orders from police officers so that you are arrested effective/appropriate ways of spreading the message of Christ?

    (In similar fashion, is it appropriate to haphazardly toss gospel tracts on the floor of a mall, hoping that perhaps some janitor will pick one up and answer “no” to the question, “Do you want to go to hell?” typefaces in bold on the front, set on a backdrop of flames?)

    The “Repent America” foundation, and many who adopt their methods of protest, rub me the wrong way philosophically. Instead of investing in the life of an individual, a separatist mentality is assumed and society is viewed as something that must be physically fought. However, if we follow the model of Jesus in relating to one’s culture, we will find an example of a man who lived WITHIN his culture and transformed it while among it, by investing in the lives of individuals. By doing this, not only is rapport developed, but reliability and genuineness will be present. Is it alright for me to force my views on an individual when I have not earned the “right” to do so? The concept of “pre-evangelism” is not often prevalent in today’s vocal Christianity.

    To answer my above question, Are holding signs, yelling “you’re going to hell”, and failing to comply with orders from police officers so that you are arrested effective/appropriate ways of spreading the message of Christ? ” I would answer in the negative. And I don’t wish to be associated with those who use the above methods.

    Do we really wonder why Christians are looked upon as as a bayne to American society?

  4. Jon Wright says:

    Jon, you are supposed to be on my side!! lol. No really, I see your point, and I do think that the “Phili 4” were “a little over the top” and asking for trouble, however, this situation is from a legal stand point clearly skewed. Do their actions warrant 11 felony charges equaling 47 years in prison, including possession of instruments of crime aka a bullhorn and inciting a riot despite the fact that no riot occured, while the “pink angels” held signs in their faces also and blew whistles in their ears? Clearly not. Their actions did not warrant such severe charges against them.

    Did their actions warrant the name of Christ? No they didn’t…but even this is evidence of the darkness of the room and can be used to show Christians how not to go about “evangelism” and a springboard with your lost friends into the clear imperfections of Christians who are only declared perfect through His sacrifice.

  5. Derek Lidbom says:

    Jon (and Jon),

    So should there be no street preaching or tract handing out? No direct messages of the Gospel to anyone except those who a Christian has established trust with (and then only from him)?

    I’m not taking sides yet, just moving the discussion forward.

    I have other thoughts, but I’m curious as to the direction of this..

  6. Jon says:

    “So should there be no street preaching or tract handing out? No direct messages of the Gospel to anyone except those who a Christian has established trust with (and then only from him)?”

    With a primary emphasis of our contemporary culture being focused on the fluidity and subjective nature of language, I find impersonal methods of “evangelism” to be presumptive. I am one who would push for endless logical circles to disprove the ideas within relativism and postmodernity, but I am not so foolish to set aside the fact that all individuals in our culture (including myself) are in some form or another “postmodern.” If words have meaning, we must agree on what we mean by those terms prior to gleaning concepts and making arguments from those terms. This takes time.

    Apologetics and evangelism go hand in hand, and both depend on one another for effectiveness. Apologetics can force no person to believe, simply because, aside from theological notions, belief is an act of ones own volition, therefore cannot be forced by any individual human. (aside from the ever popular argumentum ad baculam) It is not my contention to “argue people into the kingdom”, but I would object to a statement that it is not the believers responsibility to convince sinners of their need for a Savior. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. How will a man hear unless he has a proclaimer? In the sense of volition, it is indeed the work of the Holy Spirit to convince, however in terms of intellect it is the responsibility of all those who share the gospel.

    The entire above paragraph is laden with terms that have certain assumed meanings within “Christendom.” And even within those circles, clarification is often needed. How then could we assume that “christianese” is understood by those who aren’t immersed in contemporary “Christian” culture? What do we mean by faith? What is the relationship between faith and reason? What does it mean to have “faith in Jesus”? How do we come to find the “word of God” to be reliable and authoritative? To the thinking mind, these, among many others, are complex questions that deserve answers. Again, this takes time.

    Should there be NO street preaching and NO tract passing? I’m not willing to say that God can’t work that way, but I find the underlying philosophy of that method to be rather ignorant to the society we have become.

  7. James says:

    Apologetics will interest some and can be a great tool in the hand of someone who is sincerely committed to evangelism but it is very easy to lean so heavily on the philosophy of proper discourse that we exclude the divine power present in a simple profession of God’s Word. While I respect Jon’s closing comment, I offer up this to ponder: John 16:8- the job description of the Holy Spirit- “He will convict the world of sin righteousness and judgement”
    So where does the Holy Spirit work from? What platform does he use? I believe it is the voice of the believer who is willing to profess truth. We need to get past the abstract idea of a God somewhere out there and begin seeing Him as “the God in us”. If these 4 christians, or any other street preacher for that matter, is operating under the direction of the Holy Spirit, then they are doing what they ought to do . . . .whether or not we like their “philosophy of method” or not.
    Here, in my opinion would be a fair standard by which to examine the profession of anyone seeking to witness.
    1)Is it truth?
    2)Is it Spirit directed?
    3)Is it’s central motivation love? love for God as well as the more popular notion of love of fellow man.
    If it fails this test then it is pretty useless and will be ineffective.
    Having said all this, I feel that anyone can and should expect to be attacked by those who are under conviction; this may even include the justice system itself.

  8. Ben says:

    Could it be possible that this is just an overzelous ADA lookin to make a name for himself?? The charges that appear to have been filed here are way overblown, and I dont imagine this is how things will eventually turn out. My guess… all except for a few “Disturbing the Peace” charges will be dropped once reason returns.

    Now if they were actually beating the men at the rally, thats one thing, but this is another.

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