There are many ways to evangelize people, but this is definitely not one of them. Came across a story from a couple weeks ago at LosAngeles.cbslocal.com:
‘If You Were To Die Tonight’: Preacher Causes Panic in Theater at ‘Avengers’ Showing
An outing to catch one of the season’s most anticipated films turned into a panic-filled afternoon for some moviegoers Friday.
Armed officers rushed to the Harkins Mountain Grove 16 theaters in Redlands, where people had just finished watching the latest installment of the “Avengers” franchise, fearing there might a gunman inside. Witnesses said when the movie was over, a man stood up and started yelling in what sounded like a preacher’s sermon.
“I think when he said, ‘If you were to die tonight, would your passage to heaven be guaranteed?’ — something along those lines — I think that’s when people started panicking,” Susie Arias told CBS2 News.
Arias said she and her partner were able to walk out, but they said people behind them started running and pushing in an effort to exit quickly.
“That’s when the kind of chaos happened in the little exit, where people were jumping over the railings, and kind of falling over, twisting their ankles and hitting their head,” recalled Adrian Arias.
The guilty party? Michael Webber, a 28-year old preacher with Truth and Triumph Ministries. In his attempt to spread the Good News, he instead frightened moviegoers into thinking he was going to spread bullets.
And get this. He’s done this before – though without panicked stampedes to the exits and subsequent injuries, I’m sure. According to the police, one woman needed to be hospitalized.
Dude – Jesus wants you to save people, not injure people. And evangelizing sometimes puts your life in peril, but never the intended audience.
The final graph of the story is priceless.
Webber has been charged with a misdemeanor. He told CBS2 this will not deter his evangelizing, but he might reconsider his setting.
I would hope so!
This perfectly illustrates that Oliver Wendell Holmes was correct: a man cannot falsely shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. Or Hellfire, in this case.
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