Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Bullhorn Guy Fraternity

Having recently lost my job due to the global economic crisis, I have received some wonderful encouragement from precious brothers and sisters in Christ. One of those e-mails has brought to memory one of the truly great experiences I have ever had of rich blessed Christian fellowship.

I have a group of friends in California who are fellow open air preachers or as Rob Bell disdainfully refers to us - Bullhorn Guys. We all became friends over the internet due to our respective youtube videos exposing Rob Bell as a false teacher. While visiting the US I was contacted by them and invited to come and visit them and their home fellowship.

Now bear in mind the ugly caricature Rob Bell paints of us in his "Bullhorn Guy" video (hopefully you can stomach 2 minutes of Rob Bell without throwing up) . . .

That was just a snapshot of the video. But the open air preacher is portrayed as lacking socially, angry, unloving, and generally the kind of guy no sane person would want to be associated with. Well, my bullhorn brothers posted this satire to expose Rob Bell's cruel agenda . . .

That is a brilliant satire with a profound point. Spending time with these guys rammed home several wonderful realities for those of us in the body of Christ.

1. They preach a hard message but are some of the most genuinely loving and caring people I have ever met.
2. My wife and I were overwhelmed with their continual generosity and kindness towards us.
3. Their home fellowship is a gathering of people who love to glorify God, deeply care about the lost, and are willing to live sacrificially and selflessly in order to pursue the Great Commission.
4. These strangers became true family within minutes of us meeting.
5. They are articulate defenders and apologists of the Christian faith being dedicated students of Scripture.
6. Their willingness to preach about hell, death, judgment, wrath, and repentance reflected honesty, a committment to accurate and faithful Gospel preaching, and true love to lost sinners walking by (rather than avoiding these subjects so people can go to hell without being offended).
7. While I am sure I do not speak for every open air preacher I have found these things to be true with the vast majority of the "Bullhorn Guy Fraternity".

To Rob Bell - shame on you for a cruel, pathetic, cowardly, and scripted portrayal of real men preaching the real Gospel while you hide behind your Nooma camera saying how you want to "talk to the Bullhorn Guy". It seems the only "Bullhorn Guy" you are willing to have a "conversation" with is the straw man you invented. I hope you repent and start preaching the real Gospel yourself.

To my Bullhorn brothers - thank you for your kindness, selflessness, and compassion through my current struggle to financially support my family. You are true brothers and a constant reminder of the joy of being part of the body of believers. Thank you for sacrificially giving of your time, talent, and treasure to take the only true message of good news to a lost and hell bound world. Thank you for loving these people more than the cowardly preachers who conceal the hard truths of Scripture.


Ron Dawson said...

First, Rob is not painting an ugly caricature. He's recounting a real experience he had. The Bullhorn Guy (BHG) portrayed in this video is actually far, far tamer than this guy:

In watching this video, how can anyone NOT agree with Rob's account. This guy is pissing off saints and sinners alike. He is a walking caricature. And there's no way in hell (pun intended ;-) you can convince me he's yelling at these people in love. It seems more like he has some warped obligation to be a modern day John the Baptist. Come on man. Do you actually think this sort of preaching is loving? Let alone effective.

This past Sunday my pastor preached about evangelism. It was so apropos consdering the dialog you and I've been having. He gave his own account of a BHG he encountered. Someone yelling at people as they entered a Braves game. He even yelled in my pastor's face, "Yeah! I'm talking to YOU!" A pastor! This BHG didn't know to whom he was even talking. He was just blindly yelling at anyone who'd listen to his rant. It so silly, it's almost ridiculous that this is even a debate.

As a defense for this style of preaching, BHGs invoke the names of Moses, Isiaiah, Ezekial, John the Baptist, etc. Here's a news flash. Those were all, verified, REAL prophets of God. They were delivering a particular message to a particular people at a particular time. And frankly, they didn't stand on street corners yelling as passerby. They went TO specific locations to deliver specific messages that God audibly told them to deliver. In the case of John the Baptist, people came to HIM.

BHGs are NOT prophets. They are disciples of Christ entrusted to spread his word, in love. In 1 Cor 13 Paul reminds us that even if you speak with the tongue of angels, if you speak w/o love, you might as well be a banging gong. You can deliver the message about the need to repent, etc, but doing so in this way is NOT working. The YouTube video I reference above is proof positive.

I think open air preaching and street witnessing are viable forms of evangelizing, and can be very powerful. Even though I disagree with Todd Friel's counter argument to the Bullhorn Nooma (, I thought the examples he gave about how HE'D share the gospel were totally cool. Asking people to come over, one by one, and having a heart to heart. I actually think that's great way to share the gospel, and one that, as he showed, was way more receptive than yelling at people with a Bullhorn.

But, what the "Bullhorn" Nooma addresses is something totally different. Rob's video was in no way cruel, pathetic, or cowardly. It addresses a style of preaching that is real, and one I feel does way, way, way more harm than good.

Ron Dawson said...

As far as the Bullwhip Guy video. I actually found it pretty funny. As a filmmaker, I appreciated his use of satire. It actually made me laugh. However, the satirical analogy breaks down, as usual. Jesus is chasing out thieves and the like who have turned the house of God into a den of sin. If someone came into my house and jacked it up, I'd chase them out with a bullwhip too.

Bullhorn guys yelling at total strangers minding their own business is NOT the same as the Son of God chasing sinners out of His house for turning it into a den of sin.