Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Police Officer's Idolitry

This was our second stop around the perimeter of the fence at the Paso Robles Wine Festival. Brother Jeff addressed another group of people sitting in the shade behind the fence.

Make note that Brother Jeff is not "shouting." He is speaking with a gentle but firm tone. In spite of the fact that we were standing on public property (the middle of the street), and in spite of the gentle tone Jeff used in addressing these people, we were contacted by city law enforcement upon the request of event organizers because of a complaint of our volume.

It was quite aggravating to be honest. It seems that over the last four years that I've been involved in street preaching, police are shutting us down more and more. Why? In this case Officer Bigelow indicates we were not breaking any laws but that we just needed to leave the immediate area (the festival area which consisted of all the sidewalks and streets outside of the fenced off areas) if we were going to continue to preach.

If we chose to continue to preach in the area and in the manner we were, we could/would be arrested for "trespassing" and/or "public disturbance." I personally wasn't ready to die on this hill and go to jail -- especially since we had the option of continuing to reach people around the festival via tracting and 1-2-1 conversation.

Maybe we should have continued. Maybe our freedoms are being taken away because there isn’t enough of us challenging the law and taking these cases to court. I don’t have answers for what we should or shouldn’t do in instances like this. If you have an opinion, please let me know.

As you’ll see I did challenge the officer and asked to speak with his supervisor. In my mind I thought, “Why did you ask to talk with his supervisor?” I can't tell you even now what I planned on doing or even saying to Officer Bigelow’s supervisor. I knew we were fighting a loosing battle – we were done preaching there and speaking to his supervisor wasn’t going to change anything. But one good thing did come out of it. We had to wait for Officer Bigelow’s supervisor for approximately twenty-five minutes – giving us time to witness to Officer Rick.

In retrospect, it seems to me that the Holy Spirit orchestrated all of this for the glory of GOD (as always) and maybe even for the benefit of Officer Rick. Brother Jeff took Officer Rick through a few of the Ten Commandments. But Officer Rick didn’t seem to be humbled at all. Even though he admitted to breaking the Law of God, he figured since he confesses it in prayer – all is well and he’ll just continue to try to be a good person. But what you’ll hear come from Officer Rick (loud and clear) is his idolatry. His "god" isn't the God of the Bible.

One point of clarification I would like to make here. I responded to one of Officer Rick’s question about what GOD does or doesn’t do with young children who die. After watching the video, I wasn't very clear.

According to GOD’s nature He is absolutely merciful, gracious and kind. But according to nature of every human being, even children, no matter their age or level of understanding of GOD’s salvation plan, are sinners, deserving of death and Hell.

IF GOD RECEIVES AN INFANT OR YOUNG CHILD INTO HEAVEN IT WILL BE BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE AND IN CHRIST ALONE. If God grants eternal life, forgives sins, and credits the righteousness of Christ to the account of a child, it will NOT be because the child is "innocent" and deserves it. I wish I would have made that clear as I responded to Officer Rick.

In the end officer Rick makes it clear that he despises the character and nature of the GOD of the Bible. Officer Rick seemed to have remained hard-hearted. I’ve thought about and prayed for Officer Rick many times since this encounter. My heart breaks for him and his family. If he remains in his sins, he is storing up for himself wrath in the day of wrath (Romans 2:4-9).

On the other hand there is much hope! I was very encouraged by this encounter because it may be that GOD will use is to save Officer Rick and set him free from the bondage of his sin. All this didn't happen by accident. GOD saved a wretch like me when I was dead in my sins and trespasses. I too was an idolater and He saved me in spite of who I was. Please pray that Christ would save Officer Rick to the praise of GOD’s glorious grace.

Don't forget to come back later and watch my last video encounter I had and the Paso Robles Wine Festival. Find out what the lady in this video means when she says, "I think of myself as a hollow 'L'."

Part 1

Part 2


  1. Simply? The preaching was compassionate. And yes, you did conduct yourselves in a God honoring manner with the police officers. I only wish all law enforcement officers werel as cordial. God bless you men for your faithfulness and your example of kind demeanor. As a result, the Lord gave you opportunity to share the gospel with one of them. This was SO encouraging. Thank you and glory to God! Amen!

  2. Great job Allen! I do think they are setting up a very subjective standard as I am sure you would agree. If someone complains about the volume then it is too loud? Your friend was obviously not yelling by any definition that I have ever heard. But bottom line you and your friends did a great job interacting with these servants of God. Very encouraging, wish we could be right there beside you. Keep up the faithful proclamation of the Gospel!

  3. By the way, you have a typo in your title. :c)

  4. Love what you do brother... and your videos are encouraging. I'm also a fellow evangelist and AYR cross holder. Question - what is doing the video recording... some kind of shoulder mounted camera? Is it obvious that you're recording? I'd like to look into possibly getting whatever it is you have - it seems to give a great perspective of what you're looking at while it's recording.

    I also just sent you a facebook friend request. :)