Monday, May 21, 2012

Heckled By...Catholic Church Bells?

In February, I was blessed to join more than 100 evangelists from around the country, for a weekend-long outreach at the Super Bowl. The effort was sponsored and led by Bill Adams of Sports Fan Outreach International--the same great evangelistic organization with which I will travel to London in July, for the Summer Olympics.

My last open-air of the weekend was in the midst of one of the busiest parts of Super Bowl Village, just hours before the big game--an area of Super Bowl Village, which happened to be right across the street from a beautifully-constructed Roman Catholic church.

The large church created some wonderful acoustics, which allowed us to preach to the masses (those not attending mass) without having to crank up the volume on our P.A. system.

About nine minutes into my open-air, the air was filled with the melodic sounds of the church bells. I remember thinking for a moment that the sound of the church bells must either be a call to mass or the conclusion of mass. But the bells kept ringing, and ringing, and ringing, and ringing.

I just saw the video of that open-air, for the first time. The ringing of the church bells rang for more than eleven minutes.

John Chisham, one of my fellow evangelists at the Super Bowl Outreach, had an opportunity to talk to the parish priest. To my surprise (but really, should I be surprised?) the priest admitted he was heckling me with the church bells. He was intentionally trying to drown out the preaching of the gospel.

As you watch the video of that open-air (shot by my very good friend, Brad Snow), try to discern (if you can) what aspect of the message most offended the priest. Was it the Word of God, the Law of God, or the Gospel of God?