Monday, May 11, 2009

How an outspoken atheist changed my entire perspective on evangelism

Penn Fraser Jillette (born March 5, 1955) is an American comedian, illusionist, juggler, and writer. Jillette is an outspoken atheist, libertarian (he has recently stated that he may consider himself to be an Anarcho-capitalist), as well as adhering to Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy, as stated on his Penn Says podcast, and skeptic. One of his car license plates reads "DOG ON" ("NO GOD" backwards). In 2005 he wrote and read an essay for National Public Radio claiming that he was "beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God....I believe there is no God." His atheism, he has explained, has informed every aspect of his life and thoughts, and as such is as crucial to him as theistic beliefs are to the devout.

I write this to tell you how this man, headed straight for the darkness of a sinner's hell has forever changed my outlook on evangelism. Penn often broadcasts podcasts over the internet to millions of fans and on many occasions has boldly discussed his stance on the existence of God or lack thereof. I submit to you a simple diary-like broadcast as he recounts yet another religious experience.

"If you believe that there's a heaven and hell and that people could be going there or not getting eternal life or whatever and you think well, it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward .... How much do you have to hate somebody to not prosthetize? How much do you have to hate someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?"

If the Holy Spirit just hit you with a bus of guilt and grief you are not alone. I have been thinking for days of how to write into words the things I feel. And all I can do is repeat over and over "How much do you have to HATE someone to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them?" In God's perfect word he says "And how can they call on the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

They are waiting. Colombians are waiting for me. But, do you know who else is waiting? The young girl who checks me out at wal mart is waiting. My waitress at Chili's is waiting. The man behind me in the line at the bank is waiting. The bus is driving straight towards them. I am not telling them because it would make it socially awkward. What will I say when I stand before a Holy God? "But you don't understand. That would have been awkward and I don't do awkward Lord." Wrong. I will fall on my face in shame before their God, my God, the God of the nations, and cry out, "I don't know why I didn't tell them. I saw the bus headed for them, and I didn't say a word."

I am not worthy to be a messenger of the Good News. I am not worthy to carry light into the dark places. But the one who called me will carry me through. I am worthy because I serve the great I am. I am covered in the blood of precious Jesus and that makes me pure.

They do not reject me, they reject the gospel. Oh that i would meditate on the promises of your words. That I would become a faithful messenger. That we, your children, would put aside social awkwardness, business, hurried lifestyles, our own agenda, our comfort zone and become faithful messengers of your saving grace.

Pray that I would have the boldness of the first disciples in the book of Acts.
Pray that God would begin preparing the hearts of the people who will hear the name Jesus and his love for them.
Pray that God would give me opportunities, even now, to share His salvation with others and that I would respond in obedience and boldness.
Pray for immunizations to go well. I will be getting about 6 or 7 immunizations this friday and then two more times later during orientation.

"Prayer does not just fit us for the greater work. Prayer IS the greater work." Oswald Chambers

I can never thank you enough for your prayer support and know that souls will be won because of your faithfulness.

Habakkuk 1:5

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