Ordinary Guy (TM)
If you stood up on a bench in a crowd and started reading ANYTHING loudly even I would be offended and want you to shut up, even if you were reading the Bible. Impoliteness in the name of evangelistic zeal is still impoliteness.
There are places where public discourse and debate is acceptable and expected, such as Hyde Park or the Areopogus. On a bench in central park while people are trying to enjoy their days is not a good way to glorify God.
I see Paul going into places where it was accepted and expected for him to speak.
I am all FOR evangelism and missions. I am against BONE-HEADED evangelism and missions. To discern what is bone-headed and what is good, we need to use more precise descriptions of what we do.
I am sure that everyone on this board is for evangelism and missions but against bone-headed methods of doing this. I am also sure that all of us want to glorify God in our endeavors. I know that there have been times when I tried to talk to individuals and left thinking that I had not honored God in my attempt to make his name known and felt conviction for my actions.
Here is what I am confused by. From what I read in Acts 2, Peter seemed to be offending some of the people that he was preaching to. It is also not clear (at least to me) that he was in a place where people were expected to preach. However, he gave a clear evangelistic call to repentance and faith. Do you think Peter was improper in doing this? Perhaps I missed something in the text (honestly), so someone please correct me if I am wrong, but Peter gave a loud, bold evangelistic message to a group of people who didn't really want to hear it (at least not until the Spirit convicted them) in a place where people didn't seem to be that interested in listening to them. Why would it be inappropriate to go to a public place today and do the same thing? I ask this question in sincerity.
This sounds like a wonderful thing to explore, Peter's weirdnes or acceptnedness in standing up and preaching before the assembled crowds in Jerusalam and why he could do so, and whether this is normative for us.
Anyone got any info? And can Peter here be equated to a preacher on a street corner? Standing on a light post as the Mardi Gras parade passes by? Peter was still in the Jewish system of worship and the apostle Paul could, as a visiting guest, be invited to speak a word in the synagogues without being culturally inappropriate, and it seems that Peter, a jew, speaking to Jews on the Jewish Feast Day where everyone was gathered was not as amiss as Preacher Bob with his Big Heavy Bible, thundering down on 42nd Street.
One evangelistic activity I would like to do: The Annual Burning Man Festival, where it WOULD be acceptable to "express yourself with a booth and displays and activities about your faith. If I had time and could figure out how to register, I'd be there in a heartbeat!