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Holy Spirit Home Run!, and He Sure Can Still Confound Me


About a month ago, a YouTube video was brought to my attention of a young man from the First Heavy Metal Church of Christ (FHMCC) of Dayton, Ohio giving his testimony. He visited forty churches in his area representing a broad range of Christian denominations. At each church, he plainly stated several different times and in several different ways that he wanted to "find Jesus" and "be saved". Sadly, at thirty-eight of those churches, he was not welcome, spoken to hatefully, and eventually asked to leave. Several times, the police were called. One church took out an order of protection barring him from their property.

Why was he treated this way? He purposely wore a sleeveless T-shirt that he purchased at Wal-Mart that said "Rock and Roll Classics" on the front and had a picture of a skull on it. He carried an open beer bottle with him that contained only water. Also, this young man a fairly large person, and his head is shaved.

This young man is a Christian. He is saved by grace. Jesus lives in his heart. But he went in undercover. He made himself to appear like an unsaved person coming to church for the very first time. An unsaved person with no "church experience" doesn't know that churches may have an expectation to dress a certain way. They probably don't talk the same way as people who are raised in church. They may use curse words in their speech. They may drink alcohol. Jesus died to save sinners, and Christians must be ready to receive sinners and lead them to Christ!

Out of forty churches, the people at thirty-eight of them did not try to lead him to Christ when all he asked was to know how to be saved! That's a 95% failure rate. That's Christians failing to do what Jesus created the church to accomplish. You may not agree with the method he used, but it's difficult to agrue about the result. In my lifetime, I have seen this sort of thing being done before, and the results three decades ago were the same as what this young man experienced.

The video I watched was recorded at his home church, FHMCC, when he gave his testimony to the people with whom he worships every Sunday. It didn't take long for me to decide to contact his pastor and ask if this young man would be interested to come to Spirit and Truth Fellowship of Knoxville (STFK) and give his testimony to our congregation. This turned out to be a blessing in itself, since God had recently called them to take their ministry on the road and provided the funds to purchase a motorcoach. STFK was their first road trip!

The Pastor of FHMCC is Brian Smith, and the young man is a minister-in-training named TJ. They drove to Knoxville yesterday, and we became instant family as we ate a meal together. Then, we participated in their road ministry under the awning of the motorcoach. Three people accepted Christ that Saturday afternoon!

This brings me to the main thought I wanted to write about tonight. There was a fourth salvation this weekend, and how the Holy Spirit made it happen amazed me. First Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 27 in the King James Version Bible says, "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;" and I can truly say that not only was I amazed, I was confounded by what the Holy Spirit did.

On Sunday morning, I met the FHMCC gang at the hotel where they spent the night. TJ shared with me how he was nervous, being that this was his first time to speak in front of another church congregation, and we prayed together. Then he asked me a question. His explained that his testimony included two curse words (used to make a point), and he asked if he should skip over that part of his prepared speech. After a moment of contemplation, I told him to "follow the leading of the Holy Spirit."

When the church service began, we opened with one congregational song, and then I invited TJ forward to present his testimony, which took about forty-five minutes. He proceeded to make the point, and one of the curse words spoken was "sh*t". As you can imagine, this is a controversial issue and one that I'm certain to hear about from members of my own congregation and critics, but that's the expectation of any seasoned pastor—it goes with the job.

For at least two personal reasons that I know (and perhaps for other reasons that I don't know), the FHMCC gang had to get on the road quickly after TJ finished his testimony. So, we had a short break time to wave goodbye as they drove away, and then we resumed our church service with more singing. We set aside the remainder of this service for or other people in the congregation to share their testimony or talent.

One of the people who testified explained that he was raised in a judgmental church. By example, he was taught to be judgmental, and as a result, he still judges others to this day. He and his family have been attending most of our church services for a couple of months, and he said that he was afraid to join our church because he still believed deep down that we would judge him (even though he has never seen that behavior from us). His words were, "I am not sure I have ever been saved."

The next thing he said was the part that amazed and confounded me. He referred to the point in TJ's testimony where TJ used the word "sh*t". He said that he could hardly believe that I (as the pastor) did not immediately judge TJ harshly and shut him down. However, that made him realize that our church would also not judge him. He said that he was ready to join the church and make sure that he was saved. I asked him to stand with me before the congregation and say the words.

I led him as he confessed aloud that Jesus is his Lord and that he believes that God raised Jesus from the dead. After this, with his salvation already affirmed, we all said a prayer asking God to forgive our sins. I told him that now he can be sure he is saved! Afterwards, his whole family joined the church.

I have been a preacher since I was seventeen years old, and I have been pastoring a church for over ten years now. The Holy Spirit and I have a good relationship, and I have spent a lifetime learning to trust him and do my best to follow his lead. However, what happened today took me completely by surprise, and I stand in awe. If TJ had not asked me about censoring his words, I would not have found myself in the incredulous situation of leaving such a decision to the Holy Spirit. If TJ had not obeyed the Holy Spirit and spoke the curse word to make his point, then the man who came into our church judgmental would not have made the decision to accept Christ in his heart. This defies all reason and human wisdom! This is the foolishness that has confound me today in a way so totally unexpected. Only the Holy Spirit could do such a thing.

Hallelujah! Praise God!

TJ giving his testimony at FHMCC

Taking their ministry on the road!

Spirit and Truth Fellowship /