On Saturday June 20th, 2015 I left with two brothers to Denver for the annual Denver Pridefest. Pridefest is a festival that celebrates what has come to be known as the LGBT movement. Thousands of people file in to this festival to celebrate their sexual choices and attend conferences, march in a parade, and participate in other joyous celebrations. After the Lord had been working on my heart as well as the hearts of the brothers I went with, and we decided that preaching the Gospel boldly and publically was something the Lord would be pleased with us doing. Kenan, Bo and I all drove 3 ½ hours from Alamosa, CO to preach the good news to what is a celebration of sin. I would like to briefly share my thoughts about the experience of our first ever “open-air preaching” experience. This was essentially my first mission trip. And don’t get me wrong: this was a mission trip. The idea that missions must be overseas must die. We should send believers overseas, God calls us to that and the world needs it. Praise God for all those who are willing to sacrifice the security and comfort of their lives in America and turn to bring the Gospel to the world. However, our culture needs the Gospel too. And, the unfortunate fact of the matter is, that some (notice that word some and please don’t interpret it as all or most) mission trips share the Gospel with less people in two weeks then the amount that heard it from my team’s mouth in two hours. This was a mission trip for the Kingdom of God.

The Narrative

We left for Downtown Denver, ate lunch, and marched our way to Civic Center Park where the event was being held. Having not been nervous prior, the closer we approached the music and the tents and the closed streets, I began to get very scared. We continued to remind ourselves of all of the biblical heroes who went before us in this public practice (the prophets, Jesus, the apostles, the great preachers of early America, etc.) We also reminded ourselves of all the verses in which God promises to be with us in the moments. I fought my fear; but yes, there was fear.
            As we got to the event and walked in, the first thing that was noticed was the absolute immoral debauchery. I saw things that truly stunned me. I saw women, more than I can count on two hands, who were as close to being entirely nude as one can be. They wore flip flops, thongs that could not be seen, and small pieces of tape on their breasts. That’s it. I saw male genitalia, in broad daylight, in a park. I saw outfits that would make Olympic Male swimmers blush. The worst part is there was even a tent called “The Family Station” where children were left to color while their parents left and all of this nudity surrounded them.
The question that came into my mind was what does nudity have to do with gay-pride? And that’s when I realized that the LGBT acronym is a front for a much bigger revolution. This is not a gay revolution we are experiencing in America. This is a sexual revolution of all kinds. Our culture is fighting God’s standards in every way possible. Not only will we abandon the natural functions as Paul describes in Romans 1, but we will dress and behave sexually however we want whenever we want where ever we want and God can’t say a thing about it. What we have on our hands seems to be the beginning results of a nation that is being given over. I don’t know if I can say God’s hand of protection is still covering this nation. He may have freely let it go (while the society rejoices as they interpret it as prying His fingers off). What we saw was gross and disturbing. We cannot think that Bruce Jenner is an extreme. Transgenderism is huge. This was not just about homosexuality. This was a sinful sexual revolution of terrible proportions.
            When we entered the park, we were slightly discouraged due to not really finding a good place to share the Message. There were so many tents set up that there was really no effective area for the preaching of the Gospel. We were just going to pick a random location and go for it. However, since we felt un-easy about the location, we decided to first ask some police officers about the rules as well as give them a heads up about our intentions. Remember: preaching the Gospel is not an act of civil disobedience. We went to break no laws, and we prayed fully over three biblical texts which remind us to submit to our governing authorities.
            After finding the police, (the first pair we found said they couldn’t help us since they weren’t Denver police), we received bad news. The first bad news was the officer’s attitude toward us. When we told them exactly what our plans were they could not have been more condescending. They clearly were not happy about who we were. One of them literally rolled her eyes while the other made an audible sigh when they heard. After that, they both had their heads down either in a phone or reading a water bottle while we asked questions. Their answers were abrupt, short, condescending. The only time they perked up was when they gave us answers they knew we didn’t want to hear.
Essentially what we learned is that since the festival paid for a permit, “free speech laws don’t apply”. The first officers told us that if we went to a police station we could file for a “protest warrant” and that would give us the freedom to preach within the permit limits. Without that, they could remove us for any reason at any time.
            We decided a protest warrant would take too much time. Thus, we walked around discouraged for some time trying to figure out what to do. There was a designated “free speech” zone marked by a circular gate in the festival, but it was strategically placed where almost no one would hear our message. After some time of wondering where to go and what to do, we decided to go talk, gracefully and peacefully, to some Christians we saw while we were coming in.
            Right outside one of the main entrances was a group of Christians with signs that said “We are Christians and we are sorry for the way Christians have treated you and we accept you.” Another one read “God loves you.” We wanted to ask them about their position and methodology but they were gone already. Thus, there was a bus bench right by the area where people were filing in. God was good; we found our location.

How We Did It

            From appearances, this was obviously our first time. We didn’t have signs, or tracts, or matching T-shirts. We were three humble kids with bibles. That was it. But God uses the humble. We didn’t need those things. I stood on the bench and began preaching. My message consisted of sin, homosexuality, the condemnation of myself and all peoples, the revelation of God as a standard for behavior, Jesus Christ incarnate, Jesus Christ crucified, Jesus resurrected, and faith alone. In other words I preached the need for a Savior, the reality of the Savior, and the means by which one can obtain salvation. I preached the Gospel. I called no one names, no hate came out of my mouth.
            As I preached, Bo and Kenan grabbed the people who had questions or who came to listen in order to engage in one-on-one conversations about the Gospel. It only took about fifteen minutes before there was a crowd around me hearing the Gospel, a crowd around Kenan discussing the Gospel, and a crowd around Bo discussing the Gospel. Hundreds of people heard the Gospel on this day.
            I wanted to only preach for thirty minutes. But the Spirit was so overwhelming and the Gospel was such a joy to share, I preached for well over an hour, and Bo and Kenan did Gospel presenting in more personal settings as well for that same time period. It felt like five seconds for all of us though.
            There were some other Christians there working for the Kingdom, about our age, and we had some awesome conversations with them and even hung out with them a little when we were done with our mission.
            The fear went away the moment we started. The Gospel takes over and stops men in their tracks. It truly was a joy to share. My first time certainly won’t be my last.

Some Things I Wasn’t Expecting

The first thing I found out about open Gospel preaching is that it’s exhausting! After about an hour and a half, I felt physically and emotionally worn out. It was worse than I felt after many football practices. It was around 90 degrees (from what people were saying). We left sunburnt and exhausted. However, during the actual time of preaching and discussion, no fatigue was noticed. It was only after that we felt so exhausted. Another thing that was incredible was the grace God bestowed on my heart for the situation. On the drive up there, we cut some woman off on the road accidentally. She drove next to us flipping us off and screaming curse words at us. I wasn’t even driving, and I hated every second of that moment. I remember thinking, if one woman’s anger bothered me so much, how could I possibly preach to people who will certainly hate it? However, God gave me grace. I will speak more to the “persecution” specifics later, but I felt not one bit of anger, fear, or embarrassment at any moment. People flipped me off, screamed and yelled, and never once did it bother me. God will provide.

The “Persecution”

Obviously there were those who were particularly bigoted, hateful, and close-minded to the message. One RTD employee in particular screamed and cursed in my face so long I was surprised he had a voice by the time he was done. There was another drunk man (transgendered man) who put his middle finger in my face for nearly twenty straight minutes and mumbled threats of kicking me off the bench. A young girl wrote “I’m with stupid” on her stomach and she got on the bench and took a picture with me. Another young girl did the same thing only what she wrote was a little more vulgar. Mostly it was just people walking by making quick comments. I heard a lot of “hail Satan” comments as well as simple insults. One person sprayed water in my face. But overall there was no physical contact, or anything that bothered me too much.
A lot of the persecution came from bicycle cabs. There were a lot of guys who have jobs as bicycle cab drivers and they are paid to drive people around downtown. They were forced to hear most of my message because they were required to sit there and ask people for rides. They thought it would help their business as they made many comments like “I can get you away from this crazy guy pretty fast”. I guess an obnoxious Christian still isn’t enough motivation to make people pay to avoid walking. One vendor selling water threatened to “get some of his boys who could make me move real quick”, but Kenan went and began preaching the Gospel to him, and by the end of our mission, that man was incredibly polite. One other bicycle cab driver tried turning up his music so loudly no one could hear me, but he quickly realized that hurt his business so it didn’t last.
The major revelation the Lord put on my heart in these circumstances however was that the hatefulness was good. All of the name calling, middle fingers and insults, were very good for our team. They were good because hundreds of people got to see light. They got to see Christians responding in loving ways to hatefulness. Anyone who had eyes to see would have observed that situation and known exactly who it was that was filled with hatred. The Christians engaged in no name calling, no middle finger flipping, no ad hominem attacks, no threats, no spitting, no throwing, no hatred of any kind. Often times, the ones accusing us of being haters were doing so in incredibly hateful ways. One girl named Raven told Bo that she was sorry for all of the people persecuting and being so hateful to him, and at one point she ran to my defense when the drunk transgendered man began getting very hostile. Only in this kind of an evangelistic setting are Christians able to, not only spread the Gospel light, but back up their claims by being loving and kind and gentle in the midst of hatefulness and hostility. I am proud of my team and how they handled themselves in that environment. The love of Christ was shown. Not only in preaching the Gospel boldly, but in not repaying evil for evil.
I also was not expecting the Gospel confidence this birthed within me. After this, I was so excited about sharing the Gospel it was hard not to stop everyone on the street and share Christ. If we didn’t have a timeline in which we needed to get back to Alamosa, we might still be there.

 Dealing with the crowds

This section could be a book. Let me shorten its length by saying this: I am convinced there is no apologetic methodology more powerful and biblical than Presuppositional Apologetics. It destroys worldviews. However, without spending thousands of words defending PA, let me briefly explain how most of my conversation with hostile people went.
The environment was very interesting. This wasn’t “The Reason Rally”. It wasn’t a group of intellectual Atheists licking their chops at the thought of running into a bad Christian apologists. These were people who wanted god, but they wanted one in their own image. Thus, what I heard probably one hundred times was something along the lines of “God loves us” or “God accepts us just how we are”. Thus, I challenged their ultimate authority. How does one come to know what God is like (although I answered that in my preaching constantly). They couldn’t answer how they came to believe the things about God that they claimed. Thus, almost every conversation I had went like this:
Them: God loves us and accepts us
Me: How do you know God loves you?
Them: Well doesn’t the Bible say that?!
Me: Oh, so you believe in the Bible? May I read to you what the Bible says about homosexuality in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6?
Them: *insult or cuss me out and walk away*
The problem for everyone there is the same problem every non-christian worldview has. They steal from the only possible, rational, and true worldview to try to construct their own. They steal from the Bible what they want and reject what they don’t. Many others went like this:
Them: Why don’t you take your hate somewhere else?
Me: Why is it wrong to be hateful?
Them: Well doesn’t the Bible say so?!
Me: Oh so the Bible is your objective moral standard?
Them: No it’s a stupid book written hundreds of years ago!
Me: Ok then, how can you trust it when it tells you hate is wrong?
Me: Then why is it wrong for me to be hateful?
Them: *calls me a name, flips me off, returns to the festival*
This is why in our Gospel presentations, no matter how you feel called to do it, there is a need to present the actual Gospel. And the Gospel is NOT “God loves you”. Sinners already believe that. That’s not the Gospel. Sinners are banking on that. That truth is what comforts them in their sin. They sin freely and comfortably because they are resting in the fact that so many Christians have told them how much Jesus loves them. The Gospel is not the Gospel without sin. If we aren’t willing to tell people they are dead in their sins and trespasses (Eph 2), God haters with no love or desire for God (Rom 3), fallen short of God’s glory (Rom 3) then the good news won’t be good or even necessary. The cross isn’t necessary unless we need saving. I am reminded of Paul’s words to the hypocritical Jews in Romans 2: 3-5 “Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” (Emphasis mine). What Paul does here is so helpful for us. First of all, Paul recognizes that hypocritical Jews were carousing in their hypocrisy comfortably because they knew God is kind and patient. Why not be a hypocrite? God’s nice right? God puts up with sin right? God loves me, right? Paul refutes this idea, not the idea that God is kind or patient or loving, those things are true and we proclaimed those things. Paul refutes the idea that the story ends there. Paul takes their understanding of God’s good attributes and reminds them that the purpose of these attributes is supposed to lead one to repentance, and if they don’t repent they will experience wrath. There was a Christian who told us that we were wrong in telling people their unrepentant heart would be justly dealt with. But that problem is with Paul not us. And, after speaking with Kenan, this person came to understand and support us; it was a beautiful (that person was a former homosexual). Many of these people knew God loved them, but it was because of our message and our presence that they now know that the truth of God’s love for them does not keep them from judgment of their unrepentant sin. Whether we are on a street corner or a coffee shop, a bus bench or a neighborhood BBQ, our message must be holistic. We must not stop with God’s love. People need to hear the Gospel. And the Gospel is what Christ has accomplished because of love. The Gospel is Jesus’ atonement to fully glorify Himself, and that atonement is not accomplished by being loved but by repentance and faith in the person and work of Christ Jesus alone. Most of my time, however, was not spent speaking to individuals. Most of it was spent preaching.

Humility

We felt extreme humility when we left, for we knew that we were only seed planters. God grows the Gospel seed; we don’t. Thus, we don’t know if anyone will be saved from what we did or if one hundred people will be saved by what we did. We don’t know. Perhaps one day we will dine eternally with a person who heard our words, maybe we will never know. And that is what is so humbling. We aren’t given the opportunity to see enough fruit that we have reason to boast. We did this out of love for God and His truth. If anyone is saved by what we did, God will receive all glory.

Christians we met there

I was surprised by lack of both Christians and pseudo-Christians at the festival. I was fully expecting to see many faithful brothers and sisters being love and sharing Gospel freedom, as well as hateful people in the guise of Christian veil, engaging in name calling. There was one false group preaching which I will address soon, but overall, there was no one. There were no hell-fire signs, organized church groups, or other preachers. Now, this was a two day event. We were only there for day one. Perhaps there were more on the second day. But I was surprised (both pleasantly and unpleasantly) at the lack of representation.
As mentioned, there was one group of Christians that seemed to support the event, but they left shortly after we arrived. We did meet one other group of Christians. They were around our age. They were walking around, offering free sandwiches and sharing the Gospel. They approached us to ask about our methods and why we thought they were effective. We ended up getting very close with this group. We walked around a little bit with them afterword and discussed our experiences, exchanged information and promised to pray for one another. It was encouraging to meet them and I wish we were closer to them so we could partner with them in the future.
Note: Kenan, Bo and I were originally planning on preaching inside the venue itself, and we were not allowed to distribute free food or drink in there unless we registered as a vendor and provided a tent. That is why we did not have free water or food to give people as the other group did.

Black Hebrew Israelites

There was one other group that showed up to preach. This group was a Black Israelite group. That is their name; not an insult. They believe Jesus, Abraham, Moses and all other Jews were black and only black people are Jews. If you are not familiar with the Black Israelites, look them up. You won’t like what you find. They have very bizarre unbiblical beliefs, and many of them are incredibly hostile, racist and violent. The group we met was very tame compared to most I have seen online or heard of. However they were preaching a false gospel. They were preaching that we are saved by following the Ten Commandments. They were teaching that we are justified by the law, and had no answer for Paul in Galatians 2 when he said no one is justified by the law but by faith in Christ or for Paul in Galatians 5 when he said those who disagree are severed from Christ and fallen from grace.
After our preaching, we confronted these men with the Gospel. Bo and Kenan specifically labored for a very long time refuting their claims and preaching the Gospel to them and calling them to repentance and faith. It was inspiring to say the least.
There was one moment when I thought our engaging them was pointless and fruitless. They were so hard headed and stubborn that even after clear biblical verses were presented they would simply dismiss them. However, I realized my folly when I noticed that when we engaged them, they put their microphones down. The fruit of our debate was that we prevented their false Gospel from being proclaimed. Eventually the police shut them down (unlawfully I would add). Therefore, we not only preached the Gospel of Christ, but we prevented a false one from being proclaimed. Glory to God.

Conclusion

Overall, we believe that glory was brought to God as we publicly and boldly and individually proclaimed His Gospel to men and women who have not accepted it. We had wonderful conversations with many people; I saw many people intently and politely stand and listen to our message. And those people were worth it. For all the people that cussed and kept walking, we had people who listened in conviction, and they made it worth it. Pray for our LGBT community, that all those in it would come to Jesus for repentance and faith.

5 thoughts on “My Thoughts and Experiences on My First Time Open-Air Preaching: Denver Pridefest 2015

  1. ” I don’t know if I can say God’s hand of protection is still covering this nation. He may have freely let it go…”

    Has this been the case in the past? Is this a Biblical worldview? Any Biblical evidence that the United States has/had favored status with God? Do we have some Divine protection over our lives because we happened to be born in the US and not in Canada, or France, or Australia, or Uganda? Did Jesus have personal relationships with governments? Outside of Old Testament passages discussing Israel, there isn't much to draw this Nationalism from. We aren't holy or blessed just because we were born within a certain set of lines on a manmade map.

    Before anyone flames me for not being patriotic, I'd like to point out that I spent 7 years of my life serving in the United State Navy and technically (for another 7 days) am still a commissioned Lieutenant Commander.

    Curious to hear your thoughts.

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  2. Trust me you are not ever going to look less patriotic than me (I believe a Christian theocracy is a better system than democracy ie secular theocracy). Plus, I have a book that makes a compelling but brief case that the antifederalists might have made better arguments than we thought. But I am not quite convinced of that yet so I digress.

    However, let me clarify my comments away from one particular strand. I do not believe that America is in special covenant with God like Israel. Paul in Romans 3 explains to the Jews that their relationship with God was significant and unique but not salvific. He clarifies how then it could possibly be a benefit if not salvific by telling them the advantage was in receiving the oracles of God (vs.2). Given that the New Covenant is for the invisible church alone (Jeremiah 31) and the US never received new oracles from God, we are nothing like Israel. We are in no way and never have been significant in that way. Especially as someone who is not a dispensationalist, I don't even believe in a future restoration of the Jewish people, physical Israel, or a Jewish Temple. Thus, nothing will ever be like OC Israel again.

    My opinions about God's favor are much more broad. Essentially, I don't believe a country can ever thrive outside of God's decree. God is sovereign over the nations and Jesus has all authority on earth (Matthew 28). Every government is under the Lordship, judgment, and authority of Jesus Christ and are instituted by the soveriegn decree of God (Romans 13:1). Thus, I cannot separate a thriving country from the favor of God. We can't thrive without His favor.

    This is not nationalism because I never claimed those countries aren't under God's gracious protection or haven't been at some point. I never singled America out as being more protected or loved, only as at one time being protected. That's different.

    I don't know enough about those countries and their histories to make a judgment about God's relationship to them. However, I think it would be a hard case to say God actively restraining as much evil as He could when you look at the circumstances and godlessness within each of them.

    I do know something about our history though. And we had a unique opportunity that most of those countries didn't: a fresh start. The NT church rose up in established places. Crete didn't get a new start, neither did Corinth, or Rome, or Philippi, or Galatia, or Colossai, or Ephesus, or Thessalonica, or Pontus, or Cappadocia, or Asia, or Bithynia, etc etc.

    We were blessed with the opportunity to create something entirely new, and although I could be wrong, I think it went really well for a while. And I don't think we could have possibly done that without God's favor.

    I also think we squandered it. And although God doesn't have a covenant relationship with our government like He did Israel, He is still Lord and authority of our Government and holds our nation accountable.

    So no I don't hold to some kind of nationalistic pride as in God favors us more than other countries. I don't think God drives a Ford with the red white and blue flag waving from the bed around Paradise right now. But I do think America used to be something special; and that can't happen without God's permission and favor.

    However, I don't think we are special any longer. I think He did bestow blessing and favor to our nation at its conception, and I think we are experiencing judgment now. We are a godless, blasphemous, idolatrous nation with blood on our hands. And our relationship with God, whatever that was to begin with, has shifted.

    I hope that helps clarify my thoughts!

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  3. That does clarify them. I'm sure you won't be surprised that I don't quite agree (shocker, right). I think Jesus went out of his way to stay our of government issues (“Give to Caesar what is Caesar's”) (Matt: 22).

    Our country as a landmass has been here since before Christ (interestingly, they've recently discovered a Native American skull that was >2000 years old). European settlers came, many to escape religious persecution from theocratic monarchies, to start a new life. In the process they performed one of the most effective genocides in human history by exterminating the Native American population. Then they enslaved innocent people, shipped them like cargo and built their empire with them – including most of the historic buildings in DC.

    I say all that not to be difficult, but to say America has always been full of sin and corruption. Sure, some founding fathers were believers. But I don't know that we ever had a time when we were ruled by our devotion to the Lord over making money and spreading our economy.

    Just like I don't think believers in Uganda suffer wrath from God just because their government has been more corrupt.

    Also, while the European invasion of the US is a “fresh start” there are few if any governments that predate Christianity. Look at the French Revolution, Germany's line of leaders in the 20th century etc. Most governments have had a “fresh start” since Christendom began.

    I don't agree with theocracy.
    1) how did Jesus feel about the law being used to punish sin [i.e. stoning an adulterer (John 7-8)].
    2) the US was founded to escape a government led church in the first place (Church of England).
    3) It has never worked (well, one could argue that Saudi Arabia has been successful, but that's more of a theocratic monarchy)
    4) Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12:31. This was birth of the “Golden Rule”. I want our Christian brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia, China, Iraq, Nigeria, etc to be able to worship Christ freely. I will give that same respect to their brothers in faith that I would want for mine. I'm going to love them as myself. Obviously, I want to share the Good News with them as well, but I'm opposed to religious persecution from the government – which makes me opposed to a theocracy.

    The last point I'll make is that many people have used language like “God's protection is upon us” to justify some pretty egregious foreign policy that led to millions being killed/tortured/etc. I think you could argue there was that vein in our most recent invasion of Iraq that ultimately led to anarchy and now ISIS and Christian persecution. You clarified that Faithful Nationalism was not your intent. But I'd be careful using such language (especially from the pulpit) because that nuance is something a lot of people won't take for granted.

    Anyway, good discussion, probably not the way you thought this blog post would go. Please feel free to respond if you have any other thoughts/counterpoints. I'm confident we're not going to agree on these issues, but we do believe Jesus is our Savior and our mission is to share Him with those around us. And that's obviously much more important than whatever we drone about here. 🙂

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  4. In regards to the idea that America was started at first on genocide, I think that's fair and could require me to rethink my definitions. Often the Glory Days to me are the days of the Puritans. I don't think very highly of the founding fathers, nor the Catholic crusades that came here, but to divorce those originals from the cultures that evolved from them could be inappropriate. My view of America's favor has always been similar to personal favor. In other words, your life, I would hope could be characterized as “blessed”. Your a doctor, with a wife who loves you, beautiful children, and you worship the one true God freely. You have a life that most people in this world want. The point is not to say you didn't work hard for these things, but it is to say that I would assume you wouldn't separate your hard work from the sober recognition that all you have is not possible without God's specific grace and favor in your life. In the same way, the prosperity and religious freedom America has experienced in the past has always been seen to me as something that cannot be accomplished without God's favor. Considering our embarrassing Genesis is a fair critique of that view though. God often times blessed pagan nations (Assyria, Babylon) to use them for righteous means, and then judged them. Perhaps we fall in to a similar category.
    Along those lines your statement that people use the term to justify awful things (like unjust wars) doesn't make it necessarily untrue. There is no truth of God that cannot be twisted and abused by the enemy.
    However, this warning ” You clarified that Faithful Nationalism was not your intent. But I'd be careful using such language (especially from the pulpit) because that nuance is something a lot of people won't take for granted” is spot on. I will take heed of that advice. I feel I have a very good grasp of idiosyncratic beliefs and theology that I wouldn't impose on a pulpit that has been offered as a gift to me, but often times (as this thread proves) comments that we don't realize could be misunderstood or offensive are, so I do appreciate that warning.
    Although I wanted to be brief, I find it hard because few people enjoy conversations like this so I have few outlets and I tend to take advantage of them when they present themselves. Allow me to then clarify and explain my view on national governance.
    I am not a Theonomist. I do not believe Jesus came to establish civil magistrates among the nations. I also do not believe the OC judicial law is binding on nations today. Although it is a fun debate to hear: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvCJEGM0WMw
    However, let me offer my personal (and progressive) ideas about government.
    1) Although I don't know why the modern translations have not removed that passage [John 7: 53-8:11) for the same reasons they removed the KJV of 1 John 5: 7. It's not in the originals thus doesn't belong. {Another one of those things I would keep from the Pulpit}. However, even if I assume it happened, I think the purpose is found in Matthew 5; Jesus fulfilled the OC law. A NT Christian government would not impose the law given to the commonwealth of Israel.
    2) Yes they did. I have a book titled “Meet the Puritans”. What they experienced was awful. They left because it was not a biblical Christian government.
    3) The issue is not pragmatism. In other words, what HAS worked? Has our democratic republic worked? We murder millions of our most innocent and defenseless citizens, we are a nation filled with spiritual idolatry, rebellion, and sin. Christian persecution grows, and as you pointed out, this all started after mass genocide. What has worked? If we reject Theocracy because it doesn't “work” which alternative does?
    4) I don't see a New Testament mandate for persecution, thus it wouldn't be involved in a NT Christian nation. The Jews were able to separate the ceremonial from the judicial and I believe that can be done in our covenant as well.

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  5. Two of the main texts I focus my preference on are:

    Romans 13: 1-7 in which Paul establishes the Government as God's agent and our need to submit to it's judgment and pay taxes. God is concerned with our Government body being just and our righteous relationship to them even thought Jesus didn't establish a civil magistrate. What's key for me in these passages is Paul's recognition that the governments purpose according to God's prescriptive will is to punish evil and reward good. 1 Peter 2: 14 says this exact thing. The problem is, the text never established that the government has the authority to define good and evil. Obviously, Paul and Peter are not secularists; they are Christians. God is the standard of good. Thus the only way for the Government to fulfill God's prescriptive command is to have God at the foundation of the government.

    The Bible ought to be the highest law of the land is essentially the point. Otherwise, the government gets to decide what good is, and then we get abortion and gay marriage.

    How does a lawmaker follow the command to love their neighbor? They pass just and good laws. How can they do that if the only absolute standard of justice and goodness is not functioning as the standard? They can't.

    Paul makes an interesting point as well (one in which I still have trouble interpreting) in 1 Timothy 1: 6-10. Paul makes it clear to Timothy that God's law is not just for the church, but for those outside it, and it was the same law the Jews were disputing over. Thus, Paul, speaking in the present tense, certainly believes God has authority over people today and that His Law is binding on all.

    Since the NT focuses MUCH more on the church and on indiidual living, I don't think its “sinful” to not have a Christian government. However, I do believe God judges nations for their sins. And the only way a nation can come close to being just is if God (of the Bible, not of secularism) is the foundation of all things. Maybe that's not the definition of theocracy, but it certainly is closer to theocracy than to what we have now.

    But yes, our love for Jesus and our desire to glorify Him in the proclamation of His Gospel is far more important than my babbling about unrefined views on government.

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