This is my first personal story from the Halloween season. It is fresh in my mind and so weird that I thought I would share it first.
It was Halloween Night. I was changing the stage set up, because my friend from Wales, Sarah Louise Owen was playing next, and I was backing her up on the guitar. I turned and looked out over the street in front of the stage, and there had suddenly appeared a street preacher with a sign which said "Jesus Saves." The street preacher was standing directly in front of the stage, and his sign was tall enough to block the faces of musicians while they performed if he remained there. So I asked Jeff Cox to ask him to move on somewhere else.
Street Preachers with big signs apparently don't like to be asked kindly to move on from obnoxious locations they have procured. He took umbrage with the request and began to argue with Jeff, and then myself.
Then he shouted up to me and asked, "Do you have non-Christians playing on this stage?"
I responded by saying, "Yes, do you have a problem with that?"
He replied in some form that there is no fellowship with darkness and light, and then went on to say that I was not a real Christian. Well, I was setting up the stage, and didn't have time for this nonsense, so I said, "Well if you feel that I am doing wickedly, you should leave and not fellowship with this darkness."
So, our friendly street preacher commented, "You will be exposed."
I responded, " ."
Heck, what was I supposed to say? I was going to be exposed for having non-Christian musicians on the stage we provide for the city of Salem, and it's visitors? So. What's the big deal.
Then seeing that I was not particularly moved he said, "and John Paul Jackson will be exposed too."
I responded, "Hmmmmmm, I don't think he is going to care too much."
Later that same evening as the stage wound down, another preacher looking guy came by, and was videoing a girl who fell down near stage. My buddy Allan who helps run the sound, plays bass, and is a former pastor and YWAM leader put on Thriller and people were dancing. The guy began to video the girl up close as she was on the ground, and as people began to help her up, and make sure she was okay he only pressed in for a better shot. I certainly hope he wasn't one of those street preachers, because if he videoed the event of her falling to show something he thought was wrong, and did not help the girl (as our team of workers were doing)he is a Pharisee in the ultimate expression.
Later that same night he spoke to the leaders from the Streams Ministries internship, and said that he would expose me to John Paul Jackson. Hmmmmmm...so let's get this right: He will expose me, he will expose me John Paul, and then he will expose John Paul? Does something seem wrong with this picture? Could I have a little deception with that exposi[tion] perhaps? Oh well, what's one to expect.
The next day, I heard from a pastor friend who was that the Street Preacher appeared at his church at 8am (his church is an hour and a half away) and was taking notes. If you know this guy, write him and say hi. :-)
That's my first story from the fringes of Halloween in Salem. This one is weird. Others will be weird as well, and some will be graciously wonderful. Halloween in Salem is a weird and wonderful place.