This past Sunday, Mother’s Day, I spent the day with my parents. Not only was it Mother’s Day, it was also my dad’s 89th birthday. We had a great day together with my brother and his family. I’m glad I wasn’t in town, because the next day my mom called to ask me about something she had seen on the news.
Just around the corner from our neighborhood, a group of people stood across from a local church to protest that church’s acceptance of the LGBTQ community. I watched some of the videos a local resident had posted. It involved a bullhorn and a lot of shouting about people going to hell.
This disturbs me on a lot of levels. While I agree with what scripture says about homosexuality and the other lifestyles represented, and I do agree this church is not teaching truth and are deceiving many, how and why we communicate God’s truth about sin is important. We have a perfect example in the book of Jonah.
Why was Jonah so angry when God spared the Ninevites? What was his issue?
Jonah was upset because the message he delivered didn’t come true. He had proclaimed “doom” to Nineveh. Perhaps he mentioned the option to repent, although clearly, the Holy Spirit did that work despite Jonah’s harshness. We know what was in Jonah’s heart because later he complains that God relented; he was more concerned about his own reputation as a prophet than he was about the souls of the people. He says, in essence, “I knew You wouldn’t do it. You’re too kind and gracious” (Jonah 4:1-2).
Jonah wanted the people to be destroyed. He considered them enemies of Israel. And indeed, they were a wicked bunch, deserving of God’s judgment.
What Jonah forgot, however, was his own wickedness. He, too, stood before God, deserving hell. It was only God’s mercy that he had breath in his lungs to communicate the message God had given him to preach, not once but twice. He had almost died for his own rebellion, yet God gave him a second chance to do what was right. He had taken God’s grace and mercy for granted, assuming he had some kind of self-righteousness standing with God.
Did Jesus preach about hell?
Yes, He did. Scripture does teach there is an eternal lake of fire waiting for all who reject salvation in Jesus. It is a place prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41) and for those who “indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority” (2 Peter 2:4-10). But in every case, Jesus presented truth to people who came to hear what He said. And in every case, he offered another option – repentance and belief.
I’d love to see the statistics on how many people come to faith and belief in Jesus as a result of someone yelling at them through a bullhorn. Personally, I’d reject not only their words, but anyone else who I thought might be supportive of or affiliated with who they represented – and this is a serious problem. How we communicate the gospel reflects on Jesus.
I don’t see in scripture where Jesus ever organized or attended a protest, either against the ruling authorities or against people who rejected Him as the Son of God. Rather, Jesus went to their homes. He sat and had meals with them. He looked them in the eyes with compassion and mercy. He took time to sit and explain who God was to those who came to hear Him for many reasons. He interacted with people one-on-one out of love and answered questions they asked. He always told them the truth about their sin, not to condemn, but to redeem.
Do you know who Jesus expressed anger and disappointment with the most? The self-righteous religious who couldn’t see their own sin.
God can do His work on the hearts of men and women despite our bumbling attempts to communicate. We see that Nineveh repented, starting in the king’s house. They got the message despite Jonah because God always intended to save the city. How sad that Jonah missed the point entirely.
How do you communicate the gospel? Why do you proclaim Jesus? Do you truly love people, and are concerned for their souls, or have you forgotten that you, too, were once condemned and deserving of hell in your passion to call out the sins of others?
God is the only Righteous Judge and the Holy Spirit is the only one who convicts of sin. We can tell others the truth; we MUST tell others the truth … but may we speak it in love like we actually care about their souls.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 – The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
John 3:16-21 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 – Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
3 thoughts on “Please Put Down The Bullhorn”
I’m sorry but you don’t decide how the gospel should be preached if what the LGBTQ Community is not an affront to you but what others Christian see as abhorrent is an affront to you and makes you so angry that you will condemn them but not those doing wrong then I’m afraid you are not a genuine Christian.
Thanks for reading and taking time to respond.
You are correct; I don’t decide how the gospel should be preached – God is the authority on that, and He gives us His Word and the example of Jesus to show us what pleases Him and how we are to represent Him. That is why I always want to point people to scripture, not just my opinion.
I’d be happy tor read any scripture you can share that supports yelling at people from across the street through a bullhorn, telling them they are going to hell for their sin.
All sin is abhorrent to God. Homosexuality ranks no higher than hatred, and if I were the target of such “preaching” I would definitely feel hated.
Even when we speak truth, it is to be spoken in love and concern for the souls of men. Loving people doesn’t mean we condone sin, but we affirm they are made in the image of God just as we are, and deserve to hear the gospel in a way that will draw them toward God, not push them away.
I’d encourage you to read Rosaria Butterfield’s story of how she came to Christ (https://rosariabutterfield.com/ https://rosariabutterfield.com/). It’s a great example of how we can love people well, allowing the Holy Spirit to use our words and actions to show the love Christ has for all people.
Have a blessed day of worship!
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. —Philippians 1:6
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Your condemnation of fellow Christians using a bullhorn to tell a group of people who have intentionally and deliberately decided to rebel against God’s word at all cost is worrying to me. Quoting a one time story of someone else experience of how she became a Christian shouldn’t be the template for evangelism. The Holy Spirit leads each one of us in specific directions and manners to reach others to Christ.
I believe in the days of Jeremiah, Elijah, John the Baptist and Jesus and the apostles if they had the technology of a bullhorn they would’ve used it hence they conduct their mass crusades on seasides so the wind will echo their voices to the massive crowds. And of course John the Baptist laid it out without compromise telling his hearers to repent because the ax is ready to cut the tree down. Using scripture to justify a position doesn’t make that teaching authentic because everyday like the devil people use scripture falsely because of their own interpretation to suit their hearers.
There is no sin that is greater than others and every Christian knows that all have sinned and have come short of God’s glory. But those who want to legalize their sin knowing very well that God’s laws does not permit and yet continue to do so need to be told in plain terms their deeds are not acceptable to God.
No matter what sin one commits it must be called out but what we cannot accept is trying to compare sin to sin, making a case that because is telling a lie, is a thief or sexual immoral so we can talk about other people’s sin is wrong. And it is wrong because you know that no Christian person will want to justify their sins that they were born with their sins so be allowed to continue and practice their sins. I believe that they’re ashamed of their sins and seeking forgiveness and asking God to help them compared to those who blatantly ignore and refuse to acknowledge their sinful behavior.
And if loving sinners will change them I’m sure you would have changed the whole world by now. Repentance and obedience to follow Christ is what changes people when they believe on the finish work of Jesus Christ on Calvary Cross. Admitting your sinful nature and seeking God’s forgiveness is what can make and those who want to legitimize their sin.
So you can go ahead and love them more than what Christ has loved them and I can assure you will find them in hell because you decided to water down the demands of the gospel for repentance. And whether you appreciate it or not whether by megaphone or bullhorn or gently nodding an unrepentant sin is going to hell and it is better they hear it and hear loud and clear.
what if they don’t repent they will go to hell