One of our specific mission fields in João Pessoa is the China Taiwan Restaurant. The more we invest the more clearly a line is being drawn between those who are open to God and those who oppose Him. With early morning Sunday meetings, midnight evangelistic studies, Bible English classes, visits in workers' homes, and three Christians working in the restaurant, we are hopeful to reach more.
What doesn't help are the modern day Pharisees that give ammunition to the opposition. The waiters see everything and tell all, especially when it has to do with the behavior of the "religious". They take note of the pastors who sit in a hidden corner and order alcoholic beverages or when one is having a meal with a woman other than his wife.
This past weekend, though, took the cake: a group of pastors came in celebrating the collection they took up, actually counting the sack of money on the dinner table: 2000 reais. They whooped and hollered, the waiters hearing them talking about how they have to go back to that preaching spot, the people there are simple-minded, easy to dupe. Their table was right under the restaurant camera - the video has become a favorite in the restaurant.
Our brother Michel gets tired of them coming to him, saying, "See, that's why I don't want anything to do with church." "They are all the same." "I'm better than that - I don't cheat poor people out of their money."
Michel was silent the rest of the day. He didn't have any answer to give them. I told him to read them Mark 12:38-40:
"Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces, and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely".
See, Jesus talks about these people. He says their punishment will be most severe. I feel sorry for them. I feel sorry for anybody who uses them as an excuse to not follow Christ.