Thursday, September 23, 2010

Michael Riddle Open Air Preaches for the 1st time

Michael is a wonderful brother. I met him a couple years ago in West Virginia - he and Jessica (his wife) helped to make Transformed in West Virginia a reality. Many of the Living Waters staff including Ray, Kirk, E.Z, Mark and myself have been to his home for dinner. He is a precious man of God.

He was at Deeper in Covington, KY this past weekend with his wife and he open aired for the first time! The pic, left, is of him with "The 500" (a group of folks that evangelize after Deeper - there were approx 200 people) who hit the streets of Cincinnati, OH for Oktoberfest.

Here's what he wrote to me the next evening...

"The Lord absolutely broke a girls heart and is doing a work in her for His glory! I think her name was Jenny. Please pray for her. Our team members were great and the Lord gave us all much strength. Our team leader Tim made a statement that I will keep forever and use often! He said remember, "I am a nobody preaching to anybody about the Somebody that can save everybody!!!! I attached a couple pictures that were taken of me without my knowing while preaching open air. My wife Jessica even sneaked into one of the shots and stood behind me. LOL. Anyway, it's always a humbling experience to be in an unworthy position to preach the Word of God to the dying world with fear and trembling... All we can do is throw the seed and let the Lord draw whom He will..." God bless, Michael Riddle

Maybe you've been contemplating open air preaching. If Michael did it, I thought maybe his testimony might spur one of you to go for the plunge and open air for yourself. What are you waiting for?

"The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1

"David also said to Solomon his son, 'Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.' " 1 Chronicles 28:20

"When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" Psalm 56:3-4

"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13

"The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted." Proverbs 29:25


Taxandrian said...

All we can do is throw the seed and let the Lord draw whom He will..." God bless, Michael Riddle

Wait, what? Did he just say that it's not people choosing God but God choosing people? Did I understand that correctly?

Azou said...

Yeah, I guess we got the raw end of the deal, Tax.

So much for mercy, eh?

Jeremy said...

Just a question I struggle with as a pastor. Where is the "open air" model demonstrated in Scripture?

I'm not trying to cause strife or division, but I've come to a more discipleship/evangelism model.

I think it takes great courage to do what is described in this blog, and I would never undermine God's ability to save men through His Word, in spite of the means.

However, I have found it to be the Biblical model that one ought to not only evangelize, but disciple the lost.

I think this takes even more boldness and courage than open air, only because it requires a long-term spiritual relationship (father/son or mother/daughter).

When I read stories like this, my heart goes out to the young lady, who seems to have received Christ, who is now in a sense "orphaned" from any spiritual mentor (see 1 Thessalonians)

I have a strong belief in the Sovereignty of God, so I trust He knows and will send the next person along, but I wonder if it would be more responsible, and Biblical, to seek a discipleship relationship.

I have found this to be much more rewarding, and it has lead in two instances thus far, to the development of lasting fruit.

Just a thought. Praise God for any worker who is willing to go into the fields... for they are indeed white for harvest!

Fish with Trish said...

Jeremy, thanks for posting your comment and question.

Charles Spurgeon said, "I am persuaded that the more of open air preaching there is in London the-better, if it should become a nuisance to some it will be a blessing to others, if properly conducted."

I'd encourage you to read the rest of the writings from Spurgeon on "Street Preaching", here:

Look what R.A. Torrey said, "Jesus said, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.' Every great preacher of the Bible was an open-air preacher. Peter was an open-air preacher, Paul was an open-air preacher, and so were Elijah, Moses and Ezra. More important than all, Jesus Christ Himself was an open-air preacher, and preached for the most part out of doors. Every great sermon recorded in the Bible was preached in the open air; the sermon on the Day of Pentecost, the Sermon on the Mount, the sermon on Mars Hill, etc. In this country we have an idea that open-air preaching is for those who cannot get any other place to speak, but across the water they look at it quite differently. Some of the most eminent preachers of Great Britain preach in the open air."

Also, this post by osandoval, on: 2010/3/9 22:32 on Sermon Index might be helpful:

Fish with Trish said...

Michael Riddle wanted me to post this (he doesn't have a blog):

Dearest brother or sister,

To answer that question posed, it is "yes", but let us not create strife over which camp we may reside, be it Armenian or Calvin or something in between.

We should be careful in love not to let differences in non-essential theological or doctrinal stands distract us from the Great Commission and command of preaching the good news of the Gospel as we are all called to do. And that salvation comes through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone, that “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Only the Lord has all the answers. Whether we must choose or reject God by our own accord, or whether God chooses us, either way, it is God who makes the first move. As far as I can tell with my finite mind (as Paul says "seeing through the glass dimly") through scripture, it is God who first calls or quickens us to the point that we then of our own accord may respond to that calling or invitation, or it is God who chooses us against our will to change our will to choose Him.

Jesus said you will know them by their fruits. Truly there are many brothers and sisters in both camps of theology and doctrine in this matter that are soundly saved and passionately serving the Lord!

Some of many verses for clarity:

Romans 3:10-12
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

John 6:44
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

Matthew 11:27
All things have been handed over to Me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Ephesians 2:1-10
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,… But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved),… so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Hope this helps! God bless!

Jeremy said...

Thanks for your response Trish. I suppose I see a difference between simply "preaching outdoors" and "open air evangelism."

I guess the difference I see is, first, a captive audience, and, two, discipleship followed.

Particularly in Jesus Preaching the people came to hear him preach. Also, those who agreed, stayed with him (though there weren't many). Paul's model of preaching was to go to the synagogue first, and then to Gentiles.

Again, it seems as though he did the preaching to an audience that wanted to hear, and he stayed and discipled them after.

Even at pentecost, when over 3000 were converted, we read these words...

"Then those who gladly[7] received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers."
(Act 2:41-42)

I have no doubt that Spurgeon would encourage open air preaching, and likely open air evangelism.

Two thing this has me thinking... 1) Is there inconsistency in my own view if the Gospel is "the power of God unto salvation" and 2) historically speaking, was discipleship an understood "postlude" to the preaching.

Hmmm... a whole bag of worms my brain has opened. It's starting to sound like a Doctoral Dissertation.

Thanks again


Brazen Hussey's said...

Azou and Tax -

Oh, yes - if there was no sovereign God bestowing grace, you'd have no hope. As it stands, you have all the hope in the world.

No matter the depths of sin, it pales in comparison to the strength of God's mercy.

You can't 'muck it up,' as the Lord's perfect wisdom is what a sinner is up against, and His omnipotent mercy.

Jeremy -

Funny thing. I've been now struggling with the same question. I've gone full circle on this...

Though the prophets, etc., did open air - and not always received (seeing as how they were more or less systematically executed for their efforts)...

But God still chose the "foolishness of man" to shame the wise.

Paul talks about that when he discusses his own feeble-minded preaching, as he puts it.

I've gone from the Ray Comfort method to Mark Cahill's...

Don't know that it's a dichotomy that we can clearly delineate.

However the Word gets out, the focus should be on the Word getting out.

My thoughts are:

I don't think I'll open air, when not in context or expected. (I said "think" as it may change.)


I don't want to prevent a single soul from doing what God has placed on their hearts to do.

Share the Word. Let's not debate how, is my thinking.

Azou said...

Thank you, Brazen, for that cruel edict from your lord.

I think it is a rather important point of debate in the religion, as God choosing that people burn in Hell for eternity kinda eliminate the whole mercy aspect. I mean, letting people choose not to believe because you've left squat for evidence and burning them for eternity is also pretty darned evil, but at least there's an element of free will.