The Soapbox Approach

20/03/11 | Posted by Sarah-L-B

Walking down a busy street in the middle of town, there are various people I expect to see. The buskers with their guitars, the charity workers with their collection boxes, the guys advertising pizza with their 6-foot signs and of course the Big Issue sellers. It's fair to say that - on an average day - these people do not come as a surprise to us. Of course, every now and then, we see a new face on the street.

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 Sometimes, she sheer noise can drown out the message itself

Not so long ago I heard an unfamiliar voice amidst the crowd. I could hear a man shouting well above the noise of the surrounding shoppers, at the very top of his voice. As I came closer, I saw that he was standing on a soapbox with a copy of the Bible. Yes, the man I heard was busy shouting at the passing masses in a manner I did not find to be desirable. Being in something of a hurry I decided not to hang around, but did manage to catch the part about how the people of today have “wasted the blood of two world wars”. Was it the assumption of this man that we are wasting our lives?

A rather large assumption to make, I thought, having not taken the time to speak to anyone one-to-one.

Of course, his efforts were met with averted eyes and bowed heads. It would appear that his chosen audience were not keen on his attitude. And why should they be? Is yelling at the crowd really the best way to put your point across and spread the Biblical word?

In this instance, the answer was a resounding “no”. More to the point, I don’t think it is likely to work in the future either. So, how should be we go about it?

Many of us never did appreciate being forced to sing hymns in school, or being told to say the end-of-day prayer. We dislike having religious pamphlets thrust into our hands while we shop, or being yelled at from a soapbox. Let’s be honest, forcing any subject upon a person is bound to lead to rebellion.

Now, here is a really crazy idea: how about we all sit back, relax and let people find Jesus in their own time?

Statements such as the above are bound to split a room of course, but I’m sure we can all say that learning for ourselves brings a much greater satisfaction. Not only that, but I’m sure that Jesus has his own ways of finding people. Just check out the amazing interviews below!

Dotha Blackwood
Sister Winsome
Sue Green

I think that Jesus is far more likely to appear if we ask him in politely, of our own accord, rather than having someone attempt to break the door down for us…

Especially if they’re standing on a soapbox. Let a gal shop in peace!

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Hello

I too feel uncomfortable when in my town I see people shouting a christian message and handing out leaflets, but they are never standing on a soap box(real or unreal).

These people are doing what they feel called to do and I ask God to Bless them for it as I swiftly move on!! I would not want to be called do it.

“But why do I not take a few minuets to stand and listen?” surley my heart should leap listening to the Word of God,having the courage to dissagree, privately to one side.

God does speak to our hearts when He wills—who knows when and how?

“So what will I do next time I am in town and I see these good people talking about the Lord?”
I’v decided to stop and listen, being reminded of this message.

We are given the choice to buy or not the Big Issue being offered,to give to the person begging with their dog,or to take or walk by that leaflet offred to you.To listen or shut it out.
It is because all these different people are there we can have these choices.

#1. By Ann on March 22, 2011

This man really does use an actual soapbox to make himself stand out above the crowd. I’ve seen him a few times now.

If there was a man on a soapbox willing to actually talk to the crowd, or rather with the crowd, then I would love that. But I think there is a very big difference between that and simply shouting at people. Some of the things he says are almost insulting. We’re blind, we’re wasting our lives…who really want to stand and listen to that? It’s just abuse. Bible or no Bible in hand, I won’t stand around and listen to abuse.

#2. By Sarah-L-B on March 22, 2011

I agree Sarah. I’m an evangelist, but I have to spend a lot of time apologising to people beforehand about bad and often hateful attempts at evangelism that they’ve experienced in the past.

Maybe if the guy got off his soapbox and actually tried to help people, more people would want to know about this Jesus he’s talking about.

#3. By Andrew Wooding on March 25, 2011

As an immigrant to this country, I also think peoples reactions to this man are cultural. For instance, we had a new pastor come to our church from Africa, and one of his first experiences of this country, was to be thrown off a bus for loudly evangelising to people. He could not understand what he had done wrong. Jesus and his disciples used word of mouth to spread the early gospel and he was always talking to people in the marketplace.  Jesus also said that whoever confesses him before men, he would also confess that person before his father in heaven, but whoever was ashmed of him before men, he would also be ashamed of that person in heaven.  So I think we should cut the soap box guy some slack, I dont think that Jesus would be ashamed of him one day in heaven.

#4. By May on March 28, 2011

Hello, I am glad you surviced the hacker attack some years ago!

#5. By hoLKaPoLka on April 01, 2011

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