Luk 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel [them] to come in, that my house may be filled.
I am a supporter of street preachers and preaching. In my case, as I talk about in my testimony, I was led to salvation via someone who witnessed the gospel in the street. This lady was a "street preacher" in that she took a corner near the bus stop, and for years, she handed out tracts and preached to those that she encountered. I found the Christian literature and tracts interesting to read, and this was one way I was able to learn the gospel. The neighborhood heavily mocked her calling her "The Church Lady" with comparisons to the character of Saturday Night Live fame and would say things, like ""why can't anyone stop her"? Towards the end of my sojourn there, we would be friends, and I still remember saying goodbye to her while moving away. If I was to meet her today, I would thank her, "Thank you for preaching me the Word of God, while I was lost in the UU church".
Lately I have been convicted that I need to spend more time in real life, passing out tracts and preaching the gospel to who I can. Even if shy, one can hand out tracts. One thing concerning me more and more in most of the churches, is they seem to be telling people that street preaching is "shameful", "embarrassing" and for "crazy" people. To me this is an incredible shame. Good churches do advance soul-winning while the fallen away ones focus on telling Christians not to offend anyone.
Rom 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
This doesn't mean that some don't go about it wrong or false witnesses use it to give Christians a bad name like the shill based-Westboro Baptist church, with its nonsensical funeral protesting, but in today's world, there are many lost people who need to hear the gospel and exhortations to repent, and trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior for salvation.
One thing I noticed in many modern churches, some of which I visited, there seemed to be a shame in witnessing, there were no tracts to be seen in any of the places and many of the pastors focused on telling people not to 'offend' non-believers. The day, I heard this in one church, that meant being totally done with the place.
The fallen away church system, actually has done things like join with Roman Catholicism to sequester preaching of the gospel. The WCC [World Council of Churches]joined with the Roman Catholic church and other evangelicals in writing a Code of Conduct relative to conversion.
"The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is ready to join the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Vatican in supporting a code of conduct to guide activities seeking converts to Christianity."I know from past studies regarding the RCC, they see the "compelling part here" or what they refer to as "Proselytism" as something wholly negative against their idea of church unity or ecumenism. Having read many Catholic and Vatican statements "proselytism' is something they warn against repeatedly. How many Catholics do you see passing out tracts out there? Churches without the true gospel obviously do not see the impetus in trying to witness to the lost and save them from an eternity from hell.
Many evangelicals are jumping on that bandwagon too, denying the preaching of the gospel pointing to the gospel as offense. Such preachers usually will promote so called lifestyle evangelicalism or will you that you will only "offend" people if you tell them about their need for Jesus Christ.
I find myself thinking, isn't it better that some people are offended rather then ending up in hell. Hell doesn't seem a real place, to those like Emergent preacher Rob Bell who a few years ago chastised a man street preaching via a bullhorn. Even if that preacher has some things to fix in his technique, notice that Bell seems quite upset with warnings about hell, and repentance!
One thing that is happening to street preachers is more and more legal problems. We know that the apostles were arrested for preaching in the Bible, so these times are no different.
Acts 5:27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,
28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
One can view and read endless news stories of street preachers being arrested, Christians were arrested in Dearborn for preaching to Muslims, Christians were arrested in Philadelphia for preaching against homosexuality, a pastor was arrested for witnessing and handing out tracts in front of a mosque, another preacher in America, arrested for preaching in a public spot. The incidents even on Youtube you can watch for yourself, there are loads of them!
In England, and Europe, with tighter "hate crime laws" which are being brought to American,preaching homosexuality is a sin can get you arrested. In this video a street preacher is arrested for stating that homosexuality is a sin. He pleads his case that he does not hate homosexuals but does believe from the Bible that homosexuality is a sin. The cops arrest him anyway.
There are many enemies of the gospel who want it silenced. Following Acts 5:29 above, we are to preach the gospel anyway.