From the Archives: Reasoning at a Rum-Shop

Originally written March 22, 2021

I was walking by what is commonly called a “rum shop” in the community Tuesday morning when a man called out “pastor!”, and invited me to come in.

A “rum shop” is a small store that sells a number of items. However, it’s most popular item is rum, hence the name. Its common to see men and women spend much of the day sitting in these shops drinking strong rum mixed with water.

As you can imagine, trying to share the Gospel with someone at a rum shop is difficult.

  1. They are usually blasting music filled with profanity
  2. Their language is filled with profanity and blasphemy
  3. Since they have been drinking, outbursts of anger or rage are common
  4. They enjoy attacking my beliefs
  5. And things are done in a very disorganised way 1

A part of me didn’t want to walk into the rum shop Tuesday. But I passed out tracts, and tried to share from the Bible, as profanity blasted from a nearby speaker. Finally because it was too distracting I promised to come back at a better time.

I continue to visit those rum shops though because it’s a Christians responsibility to go to the world instead of expecting the world to come to them

the great commission clearly states that the disciples, along with ourselves, are to “go and make disciples.” The idea here is we don’t wait for them to come to us, but approach them ourselves with the Gospel.

This is because Satan has blinded their eyes to Gods truth, and wants to keep them from church 2. The greater motivation however is the Gospel in which Christ came to me in my own sinfulness. The Lord didn’t wait till I had “cleaned myself up” before coming, but came to me in my sin with the Gospel.

In the same way, christians must go to the unsaved.

For me personally there is a greater reason for sharing at places like a rum shop….

it keeps me from believing in my mind subconsciously, or acting as if I am better than them.

The truth of the matter is we are all sinners desperately in need of God’s help. Till the Lord takes me to Heaven, I will daily struggle with my own sin-nature.

Now my rebellion against God isn’t the same as others, but the Lord doesn’t have different levels of sinner. Instead He proclaims all of us “fall short of the glory of God. 3. Though I don’t believe those other individuals are worse sinners than me in my heart, my actions may speak this message very loudly.

To be honest it can be frustrating when individuals willingly choose sin over the church. Thursday night during prayer meeting a group of men sat on a set of steps directly across the road from where my vehicle was parked. Instead of coming in, they sat there listening to music 4, smoking weed, and cursing. Last night after the evening service I passed a large group of men just up the road from us drinking and listening to music while the service was going on.

Some righteous anger and frustration is right in a situation like this. But it should be anger towards Satan who blinded the minds of these men instead of the men themselves. And this anger motivates me to come where they are with the Gospel instead of developing a heart of bitterness towards them.

  1. They enjoy asking dozens of questions at a time
  2. 2 Corinthians 4:4
  3. Romans 3:23
  4. They did turn it down during the service

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