picture of Fran and Al's grandpa Bert James - taken by Al Meservy 1967 St Petersburg FL
Accidentally WitnessingBy Frances M. McCrory-Meservy
Before Al became a Christian, I went to clubs with him and our friends. Our friends knew I was a Christian because I talked about my belief. I was not pushy so they were not offended by it. I had a habit of saying things like "Guess what Jesus did for me today." Even the hardest core Atheist would turn and say, "What?" Of course I would then tell them in detail.
I had been taught that a Christian should never to smoke, drink or dance because it was a sin and a bad witness to the world. After studding it in the Bible, I found neither was a sin. Then I was told it was a sin because if your brother saw you doing those things or going into a club or bar, it could cause them to sin. What they did not say was scripture also told us to gently teach our weak brother the truth. It also says we are not to allow anyone to condemn us for what we know is permissible.
I would order a daiquiri with an olive in it and sip it for about an hour or three. Then I would switch to water with an olive in it and no one ever know I was not drinking alcohol like everyone else. I also smoked at that time - so I had a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. And of course I danced with Al when he so desired (usually after he had finished a drink or two).
Every time we went out to a club, strangers would approach me and ask questions about Jesus. I always answered their questions as simply as possible. Al never objected to my answering their questions. In fact he was amused that they knew I was a Christian. I just figured God sent them over to remind me who I was. Anyway because of what I was taught, I was surprised that they recognized me as a Christian. I had a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other and was dancing with AL.
Curiosity got the better of me one night and I told the stranger I would answer all his questions; but I wanted to know if he had a Christian friend who would be happy to answer them. He answered, "I wouldn’t give them the privilege of answering my questions. They think they are too good to come to my house or go where I go. But you are different – you don’t think you’re too good and you care enough to come where I am."
That's when I realized that the non-Christians recognized the fruit of the Spirit (LOVE) in a Christian. They did not look at outward appearance. Christians on the other hand did not know how to recognize a Christian because they were taught wrong.
If we never do anything that might make our weak brother sin because he has been taught wrong, the church will become as weak as it's weakest member. We belonged to Freeway Manor Baptist church in Houston for a while and were truly excited that our pastor was teaching the truth in love so there would no longer be a weak brother in our midst.
Our pastor taught that if you thought something was a sin in your heart, it was a sin for you to do it; but you were not to condemn your brother who knew it was not a sin.
I had a brother in Christ tell me that even though he knew it was OK to dance in his head, he would never be able to believe it in his heart and it would be a sin for him. He understood the difference in head knowledge and heart knowledge.
He could not dance in faith. It was too ingrained in him all his life by the church, his parents, grandparents and friends. Some things are so deep into us we can not change them. The only sin left was condemning people who danced. He would never do that again. Rather he said, "I wish I could do that in faith."
I have no idea how many people I led to Jesus during that time. I just knew that I answered their questions and in so doing, Jesus turned it all into his glory. I pray they all met Jesus in those clubs.
Our pastor in KS years later asked our Sunday School class what we would think if we saw a member of our church going into a bar. I said, "I'd think their car broke down and they went inside to get help or call for help or that they went in to witness to someone."
He could not believe my statement; so Al told what had happened the first 13 years of our marriage. He said that was a very special love that enabled someone to only think good of someone else. I personally believe all Christians should have the kind of love that would prevent them from jumping to wrong or bad conclusions of someone else because of appearances. Love after all is the fruit of the Spirit.
John 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
Mat 11:18-19 "For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children."
Luke 5:36-39 Then He spoke a parable to them: "No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. "But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. "And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, 'The old is better.'"
Luke 10:5-8 "But whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house.' "And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. "And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. "Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you.
1 Cor 8:9-11 But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol's temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
Rom 14:22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
1 Cor 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Rom 14:16-18 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Col 2:16-23 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations; "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using; according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
Rom 2:21-24 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," as it is written.
Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
I've Seen & Heard of Jesus