Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Jesus Freaks Were Out Tonight

I'm not one to bash someone's religious beliefs too terribly hard, but I have to wonder about the intelligence behind the decision for a church to send a number of their ministers out into the middle of Bourbon Street to preach to the masses there. Perhaps they think they are on some sort of mission trip to a den of iniquity. But, let's face it, the people who come to Bourbon Street aren't of the mind to be converted. Sure, you might get lucky and pull in a few souls looking to get saved, but outreach efforts are probably better spent feeding the homeless and ministering to those who can actually hear and understand the message.

I listened to some of the ministers and, with beer in hand, took one aside to advise him that he was speaking to close to the microphone and his words were coming out heavily distorted. He told me I was going to split Hell open and that I was lustful and a drunkard. I asked him why he was doing this. Was it for God's glory or his own? The guy actually got up into my face as he quoted scripture from memory. He was aggressive and was bordering on bullying as if he actually wanted me to strike him. I laughed. There's no way I'd give him the satisfaction.

Folks like these Bourbon Street preachers aren't there to plant the seed of salvation. They are there to collect war stories and make themselves feel good about themselves by putting others down in the name of God. And the ultimate badge of glory for them is to get injured in the line of their duty. If you do encounter these hypocritical nutbags, don't confront them, don't give them the satisfaction of arguing with them and don't listen to them. Instead, offer them a beer. After all, Jesus turned water into wine, not Kool-aid.

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