7/8/11 Ray, about 60
While out for a "fishing expedition" with Jonathan, from church, and his young son Joshua, we ran into an older man named Ray on the sidewalk. He said he believes in God but has no church involvement and doesn't read the Bible. He didn't seem too interested in spiritual things but suddenly said "I can't wait for Olsteen to come to town" - referring to an upcoming visit by Joel Olsteen to Chicago's nearby Cellular Field. He said he watches Olsteen on Sunday mornings. Now I believe Joel Olsteen is in the category of "health and wealth" preachers - preaching a "different gospel— which is really no gospel at all" like Paul writes of in Galatians 1 - but, as Jonathan later pointed out, we didn't want the focus of our witnessing to be our crticism of another preacher. We wanted the truth of the full Gospel to shine, so what to do? I tried to affirm the positive side of Osteen's message but to say that something is missing - that the good news of God's grace doesn't make sense without the bad news of God's law and justice that Olsteen leaves out - and I challenged Ray to read the Bible for himself and compare it to Olsteen's message. I gave him a New Testament and pray that he will do just that.