Sidewalk Menace

January 19, 2006

Here a story about a sidewalk preacher in Birmingham: 'It's all about Jesus, man'. John Brown, also known as “Jesus Man” (sounds like a badly title superhero), shouts out his sermon to people as they drive or walk by. His teeth have gold embossing that spells Jesus (and he wonders why people don’t take him seriously?).

He is apparently being blamed for a traffic accident. It would be pretty sad if a “preacher’s” diatribe killed someone who needed to hear about the love of Jesus (if you are going to put people asleep during your sermons, make sure they are not driving).

Despite numerous complaints, Brown attempts to justify his “preaching.” He attacks his critics by saying, “They go to church, but there's no God in them” (apparently, he knows people’s heart—maybe he thinks he is Jesus and not “Jesus Man”).

He justifies his location: “That's the best place. … I reach everybody up there. They have to stop at the light, and they have to hear the word” (he might be making people more spiritual as they all pray for a quick green light so they can get away from him). He also claims, “If I don't stand in the street and preach God, I'm not worthy to be called a man of God” (in reality he probably has that backwards).

One of Brown’s daughters stated that Brown, who divorced his wife of 21 years, did not even attend her mother’s funeral but went to the street to preach instead. Brown explained, “I'm going to let nobody stop me. … I believe God comes first” (how heartless is it to go “preach” instead of going to comfort your children—that could still be putting God first).

It is so sad to see a man obviously dedicated to God out there making Christians—and thus Christ—look so odd. Tragically, his aggressive and loud style of “preaching” probably drives more people away than it brings to God.

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