Monday, 30 April 2007
To Preach or Not to Preach?
Or maybe to just turn down the volume?
OK, so I thought I would comment on this situation in Calgary. There is an open air preacher that sets up downtown on a pretty regular basis. Things had been going pretty well, until some people complained that his amps were breaking sound bylaws and were, quite frankly, really annoying to the to people who lived in the area. Ah, tempers flared, including the preacher's. The man in question, Art Pawlowski, is holding to his claim that no sound restrictions were being broken, and that it's the message people are opposed to, not the noise. Apparently, he says that he's willing to go to jail if that's what it takes to get the message through to people. The news reports say that city officials have been trying to hit a compromise with him, but that he's refusing. That's him (on the right) arguing with the bylaw officer in the picture.
Here I'm thinking "Dude, they can hear you from across the river, plain as day. Turn down the speakers!" I may be all for his message, I don't know. From his quotes, he sounds somewhat... abrasive. But whether he's in the right or wrong in claiming he should be allowed this amps... well... if it were some Muslim call to prayer being issued above and beyond the sound bylaws, I'd be more than miffed. As Christians, we need to follow the laws, unless they go directly against what God teaches. And He never said that we must use speakers.
I suppose I don't know whether he actually was breaking sound bylaws or not. The media has a way of twisting things to be seen from a certain bias, so I won't be committal either way. Art Pawlowski is adamant that he was not breaking laws. Most other people are adamant that he was. But if they can hear him from the other side of the river, I'm guessing he probably was. If that's the case, my advice to Pawlowski would be "Apologize and turn down the speakers, then carry on." If not, and this is a case of the city rejecting the message, then my advice would be "shake the dust off your feet and move on." Sometimes it's worth going to jail over an issue, but I'm not sure that this is one of them. More good, I think, can be done if he just takes his ministry elsewhere.
You can read an article on it here and here if you've missed it in the papers.
That's all. Still waiting on VTI and exams (three left!). I might be getting a job for a few months, doing yard work. Yippee! (Surprisingly, that's actually not very sarcastic).
I don't remember who said this, but I thought it pretty fitting considering the topic of this post: "Great witness is ruined by not remembering to return the Tupperware."