The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession

Tim Brister —  March 6, 2008 — 68 Comments

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18

During the first hours of the morning that commemorated twenty-nine years of being alive, I never more felt that death was at work in me.

For those who do not know, I work the graveyard shift (3rd shift) at UPS along with several thousand other folks, most of whom are college-age students taking advantage of the great benefits provided them. During the 3+ years I have worked there, I have come to realize that there are huge segments of society where the church has effectively failed to engage with the gospel. I would argue that many if not the overwhelming majority who work with me are not only unbelievers, they have never been exposed to any personal encounter with the gospel or Christian witness (for instance, almost my entire belt of coworkers who have attended church with me, only one has ever stepped foot into a non-Catholic church). Simply due to their schedule, they by default become some of the least reached people in Louisville, and their lack of engagement comes from the fact that they are practically non-existent to the people who work in the day.

My current job is to train new hires when they come into the division and area where I and about 200 other UPSers work. Each week I meet a new employee and spend the next five days teaching and training them in their new environment and help them get adjusted to their work requirements. As you would imagine, during this time, I have the opportunity of getting to know my new hires and they get to know me as well. After training them, it is common for me to visit them weeks and months after their training to see how they are doing, talk about life, and hopefully continue the friendship that was started as their trainer turned friend.

Over the past week, I have been working with a young man under the age of 21 who grew up without a father in his life. He has four kids by four different women from three different states. We began talking about kids, family, and marriage, at which point he told me, “It’s against my religion to get married. I just cannot do that.” So I asked him, “So what is your religion, then?” He told me that one day is he going to settle down and start going to church, especially since the ladies he has been meeting appear to be faithful church attenders.

One thing I noticed was a shiny silver cross on his necklace. So I asked him, “What does that cross mean to you?” He replied, “It represents Christianity.” I queried further. “So it is just a symbol or does it have any personal meaning to you?” Stumped, he returned with a question of his own. “I don’t know. Is it supposed to mean more than a symbol?”

At this point, two other co-workers began listening attentively to our conversation.

I told him that the cross was an old form of execution that was one of the bloodiest, more gory means of death. Hands and feet where crushed and pierced by nails, driven with hammers; blood poured from all four extremities of the body; pressing up to breathe caused even further pain as the person would gasp for air to keep from suffocating. If necessary, their legs would be broken to prevent further attempts of getting air, and the person would eventually pass out and die. A long, painful, bloody spectacle was the cross before a watching crowd. The cross is not covered in sterling silver but crimson blood; indeed, the cross is the symbol of death.

Jesus Christ died on such a cross between two criminals. He was innocent, undeserving of such a death. Yet he willing chose to die there as a substitute for those who are deserving to die and bear the punishment for their sin. He who was innocent died for those who were guilty, so that those who trust in him, though guilty, would not face death but be given life and forgiveness through that bloody cross. The only hope that you and I have in this world as sinners is the cross of Jesus Christ where God purchased eternal life for those who would believe in Jesus who died and rose again to bring victory from sin, death, and the grave.

My new hire, not knowing what to say, remained silent. I did too. I didn’t want that moment to pass on with another trivial conversation. After a few moments, I began see that the co-workers listening in had moved away and were talking to one another. Having felt that I answered my new hire’s question, we eventually got back on the subject of our children. He came to the point where he asked, “So Timmy, what else is there worth living for other than myself and my children?” I replied, “When I came to Jesus, and that cross became a reality to me, I died, and from that moment on, I live everyday of my life for the one who died for me.”

As the night was coming to a close, a supervisor from the management team who I work under came to me, and the first thing he asked (in a rather firm manner) was, “Timmy, have you been preaching on the belt tonight?”

I replied, “Well, it depends on what you mean by “preaching”. If you mean sharing my life in the conversation with another person, then yes, but if you mean forcing Christianity down the throat of my co-workers then I have not.”

He replied, “I have been notified by others on the belt that you have been pushing your religion on other people, and they were deeply offended by what you said. You cannot pass judgment upon people and tell them how they should believe.”

At this point, it hit me that the co-workers who had been listening found the cross as folly and a rock of offense. Making my appeal to the manager, I said, “What was said tonight has to be taken in context. I was having a conversation about life, about family, kids, and the kind of jewelry on people’s neck. If you are going to have such a conversation like that with me, which happens everyday here, Jesus Christ is going to be talked about. It’s just who I am, and I cannot change that.”

Not liking my response, my manager again reprimanded me, “Timmy, you cannot do that. You cannot talk about your religion and tell people how to believe. You are pushing your religion on other people.”

Making my final appeal, my heart began churning, voice started shaking, and eyes were being moistened with tears. I said,

“Every day I work here at UPS, people are pushing their religion upon me. They are atheists and live like there is no God, there is no day of accounting, there is no purpose in life except living for oneself. And everyday, that religion is preached from one co-worker after another, calling me to unbelief, and I am offended by that. Everyday I hear godless talk, my Savior’s name slurred, and hear of things that used to make people blush, and I am offended by that. Without fail, my coworkers are being entirely intolerant. One would tell me of their love and passion for Kentucky basketball and another for Louisville football, and to believe contrary to them would be against their “religion.” Yet I have the same passion and devotion, not to sports or girls or parties, but Jesus Christ. So why is my “religion” the only one being called out here at UPS? Why am I the only person who is being labeled judgmental when I am doing the most merciful thing in telling people about the love of Jesus Christ? If we were to apply the same standard to others as you are applying to me, we would have to shut down all conversation among all co-workers from this moment on, and believing that will not happen, then you have forced yourself to settle with a double-standard predicated upon hearsay of those who found a portion of my conversation as offensive. On the other hand, I exhort you to visit with everyone of my coworkers and supervisors for the past three years, people who I have worked with and talked to on a daily basis, and determine whether the claims uphold any warrant. If at that point you believe that I am unfit to function as a trainer at UPS, I would resign immediately in deference to your judgment and the goodwill of UPS. But I want to make it clear to you that this is not about me, and it has never been about me. Young men like my new hire need someone who will actually take personal interest in them and want to genuinely help them in life, not shove them off like a package on a conveyor belt, and I am of the opinion that those whom I have been given to train, they will be to me of greater worth than a package to be delivered in five days but hopefully a friend for many days to come.”

Well, my manager kindly listened to me, and during the course of my appeal, gave me due consideration as I affirmed to him my desire to respect the standards of UPS as a trainer while not compromising my character or commitment as a Christian. We came to an agreement, and hopefully the Lord will continue to allow me to be a useful employee for UPS as well as a faithful representative as one sent into the night to reach the people of the night.

One thing I learned for sure that morning: the cross isn’t sexy. The cross is offensive. And while I believe life is at work in them, death is at work in me. And in that I rejoice, for on the day that I am supposed to think about myself the most (my birthday), I was ushered into the reality that denying myself and taking up my cross is the least I can do for the one who loved me and gave himself for me. It was never more important to breathe in that dying man’s confession when I was blowing out candles, and for that, I praise God.

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
2 Corinthians. 2:15-17

Share Button
Print Friendly

68 responses to The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession

  1. Excellent post. What a great testimony. Way to contend for the faith.

    Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

  2. Death is at work in us. Thank you for this example of how God is teaching you. May we all walk worthy of Christ.

  3. Thanks guys. I have both a greater joy and burden as a result of this week. I have been meditating on Eph. 2:1-10 for a school project which is quite timely. I feel like I am living in Eph. 2:1-3 and praying for a “but God” moment in the lives of my co-workers. May there be a life-changing divine intervention to open eyes and give new life to those dead in sin and trespasses.

  4. Timmy,

    thanks for the post. I have the same exact type of encounters, particulary when I worked at Honda in Ohio on the second shift-pretty much an identical situation. It can really be a moment in which you truly realize that our belief about Christ is not some system we have made up or just go along with (of course we we don’t think that way, aside from normal temptations) but a truth that has power to shake the foundations of reality-and you see this by how it affects those around you who are certain that something wrong or offensive has been done.

    I miss these encounters, even with the scaryness that can accompany it. Finishing up college, most students just want to debate, not talk, especially about things like this.

    This encouraged me to see God’s grace working in other believers.

    In Christ,

    Steven

  5. Amen to that Timmy. We will keep your co-workers in prayer.

  6. Timmy,
    I have never commented here before, but read your posts and thoughts often. Thank you for your testimony and courage in contending for the faith. Bless you and your faithfulness as you remain faithful to Him.

    Blessings,
    Tim

  7. Wonderful post. Just wonderful. I pray that God would continue to use you at your work to point to Christ and bless the work of your hands in the process.

    And I pray that the rest of us would be bold enough to do the work of an evangelist humbly arm-in-arm with you.

  8. Way to go, Tim. Keep holding out the light, friend. May your tribe and your faith increase, and may your manager come to Christ!

  9. Here’s the sad thing, dude: as far as I’ve been able to find, UPS does not have any policy prohibiting you from “preaching on the belt.” In fact, for that supervisor to tell you what he did is actually in violation of company policy. I can’t remember the exact wording, but as management we cannot “disrespect” (so to speak) an employee’s religious views nor can we use them against their jobs. So you’ve just had policy violated on you.

  10. That is a fantastic. I am praying for the man you talked to.
    I want to say thanks for this inspiring post and if I may, also request prayer. I am a small business owner, and deal with many different people and have many of the same encounters with the guys who wear the cross but don’t understand it. More than once I have weakly let opportunities pass by not asserting myself. Please pray for me to make a habit of taking advantage and being bold and loving while sharing Jesus.
    Thanks Timmy.

  11. One of your most powerful posts Timmy!

    Your post today reminds me of the words of Flavel to write what has greatly affected you today so that 1. we will not forget 2. make them useful for others.

    Your post today not only honored your testimony of Christ but glorified our Father! I will pray for you and the work of Providence at your workplace.

  12. May I be so bold in my witness…

    I wonder who your testimony had the profoundest effect on:
    1. Man with the cross
    2. The people listening
    3. Your supervisor
    4. Us – your readers

    Thank you for sharing. Will be praying for these co-workers.

  13. Thanks for the encouraging post, Timmy. Your witness at UPS is a humble example for all who read, brother, :)

    Happy belated bday,
    Alex

  14. Press on, brother!

  15. Forest Aalderink March 7, 2008 at 2:14 am

    Timmy,

    Commendations on contending for the faith. You were pressed in a difficult situation and were able to give a defense for the hope that is in you. Stay strong brother.

    I work as a server at Carrabba’s Italian Grill here in Louisville. My position there is similar to yours. I am a trainer and headwaiter. These are indeed people of the night that many others will never have an opportunity to reach and they do indeed speak openly about things for which we should be ashamed. It is a great mission field. Your post really encouraged me and I pray you continue to be a light in the darkness, even at these times when Seminary work continues to pile up and all you want to do is go home, spend time with your wife and kids, and study the Word. Press on!

    True doctrine drives devotion

    - Forest Aalderink

  16. That was a great testimony. Good job of being firm, but respectful- good witness to your co-workers too. May I learn from your example.

  17. Wow! Your encouragement and prayers are so appreciated.

    Tonight, before going to work, I got a phone call from my good friend Dan who is now a supervisor at UPS. He was the first person God allowed me to see the grace of God bring a transforming work, and over the past three years we have become really good friends (he is the one who got me into photography). He called to tell me that he is going to be baptized at Sojourn on Easter Sunday and asked that I would attend. What a great encouragement to see continued growth and obedience in the life of my young brother! God knew I needed that, and seeing the grace of God in his life compels me to continue with passion to share the gospel. Isn’t God good that, in his providence, He sends me a word of encouragement from one of my “sons” in the faith?

    Anyway, I wrestled with writing this post for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is being misunderstood. But I felt that providing a small excerpt from a big moment of my life could serve as an encouragement to you, to “stir one another up” to love and good deeds as Hebrews says. When it comes down to it, we need the encouragement, prayer, and exhortation of one another to do the hard thing, and I thank you for helping me in that. I am a weak man and too often paralyzed by the fear of man rather than compelled by the love of Christ. May the aroma of Christ continue to spread the knowledge of Him everywhere. And may we be together for the gospel when and where it counts the most.

    Lord, I pray for your name’s sake that you would stir our hearts with love for the lost and passion for your glory. We acknowledge that apart from you, we can do nothing. Yet it is also true that with you we can do all things as you strengthen us. Grant us favor with our co-workers and supervisors and great faith to esteem all that you are for us beyond the grave. May your glorious gospel ravish our hearts anew and never cease to be marvel at your mercy and be amazed by your grace. Amen.

  18. What is really sad is when you get a similar reaction at a church. When everyone wants to talk about basketball and football and various parties and programs and you get looked at like you have two heads when you want to talk about Christ and Him crucified.

  19. Marc,

    “What is really sad is when you get a similar reaction at a church.”

    Please do not charge to me vanity for speaking about myself, I only want to highlight a couple of things.I have been a confessing believer for six years. I did not grow up in a religious family. I grew up in Dayton, Oh, and most people were not overtly religious or evangelical. It was normative to just be non religious.

    When I became a believer, I backpacked to Texas. I decided the best way to learn about the scriptures (I became a believer primarily through the reading of scripture due to God’s graciousness) was to go to the Bible Belt. I started attending church. I found I had little in common with most people. They were middle class or upper class, and saw the world through a certain lense that didn’t match my understanding. I liked these people, I just didn’t have much in common with them.

    I had been on the road for five years, so I didn’t know much about sports. I couldn’t do parties very well because people felt uncomfortable around me (perhaps my clothing was a bit different or unkempt) and frankly, I can’t blame them. I was a total alien to the world of Texas- in word and deed.

    Because of this, and also because I was so excited about the things I was learning about the scriptures and myself, I tended to keep conversation’s about Christ and the Gospel. Something that was difficult for me for my growing faith was the reaction I got to speaking of Christian things. I had this idea that biblical fellowship perhaps had room for christian matters, spiritual matters, matters of depth. Most people seemingly had fled from such discussion-or thought it was only needed in the sunday school class.

    Looking back, I learned that God gives us grace to love our brothers and sisters even when they don’t operate on our assumptions of what’s correct, both them and my own.

    I also learned that the shepherd’s of the church have great opportunities to model and preach on these types of activities; if they don’t, the sheep probably do not know to do them.

    Isn’t grace grand? and Timmy, as you probably know, even short moments like you have described can aid a soul whom God is drawing to Himself. I know that was true in my case.

    Praise be to Christ, Steven

  20. Wow.

    Humbled and encouraged.

    Timmy, your “methods” of evangelism are truly authentic, such that I wouldn’t call them methods at all — yours is not a “canned” method — the words and wisdom come out of who God has made you to be, and you cannot help but be salt + light. It is now your DNA in Christ — you are bleeding the message of 2 Corinthians, Christ and Him crucified. That is true evangelism, affirming the dignity and worth of people seeing them not as projects but in God’s image even though marred, speaking of the Savior’s love and beauty, and revealing a humble consistency of life matching the message. Never give up.

  21. Timmy, thanks for sharing.
    All we are required to be is faithful and obedient, and I believe you did that when called upon, faithfully, appropriately, and confidently. I will pray for you, the trainee you mentioned, and other co-workers. You dont know me, and I dont know you (although you gave me a reading list for 2008!). But that doesnt matter. I know what is most important about you. Be encouraged!

  22. Preach on, brother.
    Be strong in the Lord.

    Thanks for your obedience, and your testimony. May we all be so encouraged to proclaim the Gospel and love lost people. To His glory!

  23. Yeah, man. This is good stuff. I needed to read this.

    I love contagious evangelism…it doesn’t just convict me for my half-hearted efforts, it encourages me to learn and grow in telling people about our great Savior. Thanks so much for posting this.

  24. David Sullivan March 7, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Tim, coming from one who wasted too many opportunities during my time at ups, I urge you to contend earnestly, plead with men to be reconciled to God, and may the light of the only Gospel shine forth from you, a city on a hill.

  25. There are a number of things I have learned from this experience:

    1. This experience reminded me of the woman at the well and how tempting it would be to land on how many men are in her life. This I find as the typical fundamentalist position. The other thing would be to think that he is “too far done” for the gospel to transform his life. There is the temptation to grade sinners as though the power of the gospel works for some and not others! I find myself praying, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief!”

    2. Gospel proclamation is spiritual warfare. Not only are sinners offended by the cross, so are princes and principalities who are defeated and judged. The enemy would love to distract and divert us; if that doesn’t work, then to discourage us. Furthermore, I have come to find that the spiritual bondage of others with whom you are witnessing will be something you need to be prepared for with the armor of God and shield of faith. In that which they are enslaved, that very thing the enemy would love to cause you to stumble. I must be on guard at all times, not just for the progress and advance of the gospel but also for the defense against the enemy who strives against my sanctification and usefulness in the kingdom.

    3. Everyone has a worldview; everyone has a religion, whether they accept that or not. There is no neutral ground or tabula rasa (blank slate). To attempt to disarm Christians from their convictions and identity and not do that will others is outright hypocrisy and double-standard. There is the domain of darkness, and there is the kingdom of light, and there is no middle ground. We should not buy into the naked public square and put Christ on the shelf when at work or at school.

    4. There is no greater place to be than in the heart of the world, in the living room of people’s lives and not peeking through some stained glass window of superficial Christianity. Far too many unbelievers have a skewed understanding of Christ and the gospel due to little to no personal exposure regarding Him. Part of the goal of incarnational witness is to cleanse the lens of their understanding so that they can know and experience aright the dynamic, transforming life of Christ in us.

    5. While opportunities to share the gospel may not happen all the time, I do have the privilege of being a hard worker all the time. One’s theology of work and one’s theology of evangelism go hand in hand. If you don’t work well, you have little ground to stand upon. Their ears become closed after what their eyes have seen. Being a considerate helper and faithful employee says something to those whom you work with. If you are lazy, whiny, inconsistent, and undisciplined in your work, then I am quite confident that you will have little to no opportunities for gospel witness. Work hard. Pray often. And the Lord will bless those labors with laboring in the harvest field with the gospel.

  26. Timmy, I’m impressed by your heart for your coworkers, your desire to tell them about Jesus and your boldness in standing up to your supervisor in regards to Jesus, and also your humility. It’s a great example for all of us Christians in non-Christian workplaces to live by. This thought just came to me to tell you – God will take care of you and your family, as you faithfully serve Him, not in ministry but as a man. UPS has no say on your life. As you seek Him, He will take you out of there in His due time. God be with you and your family, Tim.

  27. Thank you, Brian, for those kind words. I don’t think I mentioned this earlier, but I received a random text message the following day from someone apparently in the management loop which said the following:

    “I heard some rumors about you preaching at work, and I want to commend you because the Bible says spread My Word to the masses and do not be ashamed of Me.”

    I don’t know who wrote that, but the news of what happened appears to have spread in the offices, encouraging some and perhaps upsetting others. In any case, I rejoice that the Lord used this experience in my life to help me and others to entrust ourselves to the Lord and lovingly stand for the sake of His name.

    I am learning the importance of what Paul said to the Ephesians that, after having done all to stand. There are times when we run this race, and the picture of the Christian life is “running in such a way so as to win” (1 Cor. 9:24-27). Yet, another picture of the Christian life is standing still when your world seems to crumble. Mine isn’t crumbling (yet), but if or when it does, I pray God by His grace and Spirit helps me to stand.

  28. 12 years ago I was in the same position you are…seminary student, working 3rd shift at UPS. UPS is a wonderful (yet very difficult) mission field. Continue to follow the promptings of the Spirit. You will always encounter resistance from some sups. As you said this is primarily a spiritual warfare issue, But there are some temporal things you can do to protect yourself. Get a copy of the contract (see a union steward) get copies of UPS employee guidelines, learn where you stand legally. Some sups thrive on intimidation. When they find out that you won’t be intimidated and you know where you stand legally, many will back down. Finally, “Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” God will use your witness at UPS for years to come.
    God Bless

  29. Bryan,

    Thanks for that helpful advice. I am one of the last people to look at that legal stuff, but as you noted, it could be important. I’ve got a friend, Stephen Newell, who worked in the training dept. and knows a lot about that stuff, so I will be sure to check back with him. I typically have a very good relationship with my sups, but there is such a huge turnover with them that they rarely stick around longer than 3-4 months on a belt. Such instability could be both good and bad, I suppose, depending on who is your supervisor!

    Thanks again for those encouraging and helpful words.

  30. I could very well do just that. I’ll leave early for work today and hunt down a hard copy of those guidelines. It’s true we have high sup turnover these days, lots of young-uns getting promoted and either washing out or leaving when they graduate college. But many of those young sups are from that same body of employees we’d like to impact for the Gospel. In the meantime, I think I’m gonna do a short study on evangelism, which I’m sure we can all agree is the most neglected practice of believers in the SBC today (aside from all those “personal” disciplines necessary for growth).

  31. Timmy,
    I just read on Founders that you’re heading to serve in Florida in May. Congratulations! In that case, don’t worry about management. Do as Dr. Mohler recommends and be “promiscuous” with the Gospel. If the management did try to terminate you, it would probably be May before you made it through all the grievance hearings anyway.

  32. A belated happy birthday to you, Timmy.

    What an encouraging post. I weep as I think of all the times I have failed to be a bold witness. Your example is outstanding. Praise God.

    If I get to meet you in Louisville, feel free to push your religion down my throat.

  33. Good to read your testimony.

    We overcome by our testimony, and His Cross. The powers unseen will be relentless, but “the devil is God’s devil”.

    Keep on.

  34. You know I meet men all over construction jobsites just like this guy man, they wonder on the job and we talk and then we go our own ways, there are a few men I’ve been praying for over 10 years for their salvation. Pray for your manager, sometimes a confrontation is just Christ waking us up to another lost soul needing redemption. You have also reminded me to keep my focus on Christ. He said, if He was lifted upon high He would draw all men to Himself. If our lives, and words exhault and lift Him up, He will draw men to Himself.

    Take care man, and thanks for the encouragement

  35. Truth Unites… and Divides March 12, 2008 at 12:53 am

    1st-time visitor. Popped over from a Calvinist blog.

    All I can say is “WOW!!! Way to be a witness for Christ, both to the new hire and to the rest of us on how to stand firm for the Lord!!”

    You are a good brother! Thanks for sharing this with all of us!

  36. Timmy, first timer as well.

    I was deeply blessed by your dedication to sharing Christ with your coworkers. Don’t let discouragement get you down. Be faithful to the Lord and He will greatly use you.

    Don’t compromise the message of the cross either! Thanks brother for being a light in the darkness.

  37. Truth Unites and Jim,

    Welcome, and thanks! Your encouragement is well-received and appreciated.

  38. Found the hard copy. There is nothing in the language that says you can’t do what you did. Rather, the language expressly prohibits management from doing what this supervisor or manager did to you, just as I suspected. Like I said, you just had policy violated on you, bro.

    I suppose it’s all moot now that you’re going on perpetual vacation to Florida, but like Flavel says, one day you’ll know exactly why God allowed you to experience this!

  39. Stephen,

    Thanks for verifying that brother. At least I can know in the back of my mind that I am not doing anything in violation with my employer and can share with a clear conscience in that regards.

  40. Oh wow… that is amazing! I know it is hard to believe and feel sometimes but you are blessed when men say all kinds of evil about you for Jesus’ sake. You are in our prayers.

  41. Way to go!
    Your faith at work is a real faithbuilder for me and others I have passed this onto – Maybe you should show your boss the clip from ER we used a couple of weeks ago…In this intense clip, a dying man’s guilty heart and the intense yearning for forgiveness is amazingly and powerfully exposed in this clip from the NBC hit show, ER (so unusual for a network show – way to go NBC). The story unfolds as a dying man seeks forgiveness due to the weight of his sin — murder. He knows he will be judged after his death. Not like the many new UPS recruits you see each week — this guys know that truth is an important concept to him NOW

    As he lay in his hospital bed, this man seeks the truth from a squishy, new age hospital chaplain that cannot give him the truth because she does not know the truth herself. The man asked her how he can find forgiveness, and told her that her new age religion was not helping. She kept saying that she just wanted to comfort him, to which his response was that he didn’t want comfort, he wanted the truth. He wanted to real chaplain who believed in forgiveness and hell…because he needed to know and hear it. He needed answers and wanted someone to look him in the eye and tell him how to find forgiveness.

    You can check out the clip here

  42. Great story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  43. Praise God for your boldness!

  44. If I had worked at UPS, I, too, would have reported you for proselytizing. How dare you use your job to promote your religious fantasies? Unlike others, though, I would have take you on in public, in addition to reporting you to your superiors. It is nutjobs like yourself who are giving religion a bad name; it is no accident that the number of people in this country who self-identify as non-religious have doubled in the last ten years. We of no religion are sick and tired of your bible-bangers trying to force your perversions down our throats, and we are not going to take it any more.

  45. Lee,

    I am not sure what you mean by “taking me on in public,” but the point of sharing with my coworkers about Jesus Christ is not to win an argument or debate. It is simply to share with them what God has done for us in sending His Son Jesus Christ to die for sinners like you and me. If you would ask those whom I have lived, worked, and share my life with, I am confident that they would tell you that I am not forcing Christianity down their throats.

    In any case, I find it ironic that you would come and stick it to me. How dare you use my blog to promote your atheistic fantasies? :)

  46. Timmy, I love you my friend, I thank the LORD for you,you greatly encourage me tonight as you always have,as I read your writings I could hear your voice as you spoke in the furace years ago,May the LORD bless you and your family indeed.

  47. Cheryl Beckwith June 27, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Dear Timmy,
    The comment and blog is in April.Are you still out their?You are an inspiration to those Christians who want to be all they can be in Christ. Jesus is the true meaning of life.We were made for Him.If you are still out there I would like to get you opinion on how to share the love of Christ with person in a unique situation.beckwith2004@netzero.com Again,you are an inspiration.Keep up the great work. Someday you will get to hear those words,”well done my good and faithful servant”.Music to our ears.Cheryl

  48. i hate when my gf uses god 4 things not being right she should wake up

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. The cross isn’t sexy | Talking Out Of Turn - March 6, 2008

    [...] Here is a must-read testimony from Timmy Brister. Keep on contending for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints, brother! This entry was written by Patrick Chan, posted on 3/6/2008 at 10:14 pm, filed under Asides. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Get up! [...]

  2. Toward the Goal » The Cross Isn’t Sexy… - March 7, 2008

    [...] You’ve simply got to check out Timmy Brister’s site, and read his post, “The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession”. [...]

  3. The cross isn’t sexy…a must read | Micah Fries :: Husband Daddy Pastor Learner - March 7, 2008

    [...] wrote an article yesterday entitled “The Cross isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession” that you need to read. It is a powerful statment of gospel faithfulness. I know it has [...]

  4. Paul Before Felix « Reformanda - March 8, 2008

    [...] I told him that the cross was an old form of execution that was one of the bloodiest, more gory means of death. Hands and feet where crushed and pierced by nails, driven with hammers; blood poured from all four extremities of the body; pressing up to breathe caused even further pain as the person would gasp for air to keep from suffocating. If necessary, their legs would be broken to prevent further attempts of getting air, and the person would eventually pass out and die. A long, painful, bloody spectacle was the cross before a watching crowd. The cross is not covered in sterling silver but crimson blood; indeed, the cross is the symbol of death.” http://timmybrister.com/2008/03/06/the-cross-isnt-sexy-a-dying-mans-confession/ [...]

  5. Missions and Southern Baptists Today - March 8, 2008

    [...] evangelistic, and most of the missional guys I know are rather Calvinistic. That holds true for those who are in the states and those who are serving in other [...]

  6. Double Standards « Off The Wire - March 8, 2008

    [...] Thanks, Timmy, for speaking truth balanced with grace. Read the whole post: “The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession.” [...]

  7. No Jesus Stuff At Work - What Would You Say? | Said at Southern Seminary - March 8, 2008

    [...] how Timmy Brister answered this question from his boss at UPS. As the night was coming to a close, a supervisor from the management team who I work under came [...]

  8. Seminary Student - Faith at Work | Going to Seminary - A Resource for Men and Women Choosing or Attending a Christian Theological Seminary - March 9, 2008

    [...] blogs I track on  google reader I picked up on a pretty amazing post by Timmy Brister about sharing his story on the graveyard shift.  It is pretty amazing.  I’ve worked in a warehouse before and I could see and hear [...]

  9. The State of Evangelism at UPS « The Silent Holocron - March 9, 2008

    [...] friend Timmy Brister, a fellow 3rd shifter at UPS, recently shared a story that illustrates quite graphically the challenges I and other believers face in the secular [...]

  10. How bold are you? « From The Unknown - March 9, 2008

    [...] bold are you? Read this post and ask yourself that [...]

  11. Monday Links | Subverting Mediocrity - March 10, 2008

    [...] TB: The Cross isn’t Sexy (forgot to post this the other day). Read it. [...]

  12. Words of Life : ReformedParty.com - March 10, 2008

    [...] Check out this scenario that God has provided as a lesson for us all (me included).  How much we should be about our [...]

  13. Missional Work « Provocations & Pantings - March 17, 2008

    [...] My post, “The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession” continues to be one of the leading posts though it is no longer on the front page, and one [...]

  14. Linkathon 3/19 at Phoenix Preacher - March 19, 2008

    [...] The Cross Isn't Sexy: A Dying Man's Confession has nothing to do with death. But it does have to do with bearing one's cross, while proclaiming Jesus,  working the graveyard shift amongst pagans.  [...]

  15. Don’t Waste Your Work! « Provocations & Pantings - March 21, 2008

    [...] Putting in Time or Preaching the Truth: What’s More Valuable? * Missional Work * The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession * 2:00 a.m. @ Mars Hill * Elemental Evangelism Summary Explore posts in the same categories: [...]

  16. cigar-theology.com » Blog Archive » Offense of the Cross - March 22, 2008

    [...] "Not liking my response, my manager again reprimanded me, “Timmy, you cannot do that. You cannot talk about your religion and tell people how to believe. You are pushing your religion on other people.” “Every day I work here at ___, people are pushing their religion upon me. They are atheists and live like there is no God, there is no day of accounting, there is no purpose in life except living for oneself. And everyday, that religion is preached from one co-worker after another, calling me to unbelief, and I am offended by that. Everyday I hear godless talk, my Savior’s name slurred, and hear of things that used to make people blush, and I am offended by that. Without fail, my coworkers are being entirely intolerant." "Why am I the only person who is being labeled judgmental when I am doing the most merciful thing in telling people about the love of Jesus Christ? … If we were to apply the same standard to others as you are applying to me, we would have to shut down all conversation among all co-workers from this moment on …" continue reading here at Provocations and Pantings [...]

  17. Missional Work Compilation « Provocations & Pantings - April 14, 2008

    [...] of sharing the gospel at work that was an intense moment in my life. I entitled that post “The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession.” That article produced considerable feedback, both for and against my actions. Given that [...]

  18. Missional Work: mind, heart, hands, lips | deTheos - April 14, 2008

    [...] want to read his gripping recount of sharing the Gospel while on the graveyard shift at UPS: "The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession [...]

  19. Toward a Missional Mindset at Work « The Crimson Window - April 16, 2008

    [...] The Cross Isn’t Sexy: A Dying Man’s Confession (by Timmy Brister) 2. Missional Work (by Timmy Brister) 3. Putting in Time or Preaching the Truth: [...]

Leave a Reply