Off the Beaten Path
October 24, 2011, Western Illinois University,
WIU is in Macomb, Illinois; it is off the beaten path. I have not been here much over the years. However, it is a good campus. Our invasion is even more of an event on campuses that get few outside speakers. As soon as Bro, Sister Pat and I parked the car I received a cell phone call asking when we would be arriving. With my schedule posted on my website and so many following me on FB, I am often met by a welcoming committee of hecklers.
It was easy to draw a crowd. I only preached twice to the main audience. But throughout the day the three of us had serious inquirers surrounding us on the sidelines, which is a sign that the Spirit is moving.
|Bro Cope preaching at WIU|
I asked one Catholic girl who was wearing cut off short shorts and black mesh stockings, "Are you having sex?"
"Of course, I am in college. What would you expect?"
Unfortunately, immorality is the norm on campus, a dangerous place for parents to send their children. Regrettably, virtually every place is dangerous today, including many churches. Of course, it costs lots of money to go to college, where learning consists of a practical education in accepting any sort of sexual behavior as normal. I read that the New York City schools are going to have mandatory sex education classes which will include information on porn stars and bestiality. I have not yet heard bestiality defended on campus. However, within a few years, I expect it will be.
The Catholic girl and another girl, who admitted to fornication, did appear to be somewhat convicted in their facial expressions. I read to them 1 Cor 6: 9-10 and Gal. 5 concerning the works of the flesh. I also reproved the Catholic girl for flaunting her flesh, which resulted in modesty in dress being an issue among six girls who had surrounded me. None of them were appropriately dressed for an academic setting. But what can one expect when often even the professors are not appropriately attired for academia?
Sister Pat led a young man to the Lord who had requested prayer. She is convinced that he was serious even though earlier he had been "feisty" at the beginning of the day.
|Young Man that Sis. Pat led to the Lord.|
At the end of the day we each had a group of students around us; Sister Pat was dealing with the sodomites.
Occupy Till I Come
October 25, 2011, Illinois State University
The riff raff representing the Occupy Wall Street protestors has occupied the area between the Student Union and Library at ISU. Tents and sleeping bags and various kitchen utensils are spread about the area. Throughout the afternoon there were 6-10 of them sitting around amidst signs promoting their mainly socialist cause.
I usually speak on the green; however, I decided to take my stand near the occupiers to counter their demonstration. Someone needs to stand up to these vermin and give them a basic education in economics and point them to salvation in Christ.
The "Occupy Wall Street" Riff Raff
I preached, "We are here to occupy ISU, the city, the state and the nation. Jesus said, 'Occupy until I come" and 'make disciples of the all nations.' We are here to remove these protestors, not with violence but with the Truth. Christians are commissioned to take over the world with the power of the gospel. We intend to advance the Christian Empire. Don't worry, we will not be sleeping outside; later we will go to a fine restaurant and sleep in a comfortable motel, thus contributing to the economy. These people are not producing; they are parasites on society. They want to rob from the producers and redistribute the wealth among the unproductive or less productive people. They want to shut down the creators of wealth in this country and the providers of jobs. . ."
Soon several of the demonstrators confronted me with signs. One read, "People over profits."
I retorted that profits are good for people. One cannot separate profits from people. In the parable of the talents the lord commended the servants who had made profitable investments with his money and he ordered that the unprofitable servant to be cast into outer darkness. He took away the unprofitable servants one talent and gave it to the man who had turned his five talents into ten. Not like communists who advocate from each according to his ability to each according to his need. The lord in this parable does not equally distribute the wealth. He gives the most to those he thought would make the most, to each according to his ability. Profits are good for people because they enable the businessman to reinvest in his business and grow his enterprise, which then provides jobs and opportunities for others. The beauty of the free enterprise system is that it put the means of production in the hands of those who know how to create wealth. Wealth is not something to redistribute; it is something one must make.
One protestor, thinking he was setting me up, asked, "When is the only time that Jesus got violent?"
I responded, "Jesus drove the money changers (bankers) out of the temple of prayer, not out of the business district."
|Jesus Commands the Christians to Occupy!|
One important factor in tag team preaching is to turn the meeting over to the other preacher at the right time. I erred in calling upon Bro before I actually had the crowd solidified or committed to listening. Thus Bro did not hold the crowd. Meanwhile, I milled around the protestors camp reading their slogans. Eventually, one of the more cordial ones, who claimed to be libertarian, invited me to sit with them and discuss the issues. The others seemed to be outright socialists. However, there was one anarchist I talked to. The conversation was lively and one which I enjoyed. I sat with them for thirty minutes. We had one thing in common: they are practicing confrontation politics; I am practicing confrontational evangelism.
I started preaching again and gathered a crowd which I thought was now ready for Sister Pat, who is very good at solidifying a crowd especially around the sexual issues. Sister Pat is the Christian answer to Dr. Ruth. Interestedly, both women are contemporaries; Sister Pat is 82 and Dr. Ruth is 83. Too bad Sister Pat does not have the ear of the media like Dr. Ruth has had.
I talked to some Christians including members of CRU who were respectful. They asked me on my positions on Christian perfection, predestination, Roman 7, and approaches to Evangelism. They were mature in that they were not attempting to correct me or argue but actually trying to find out what I believed and why I believe it. One fellow from CRU admitted that he effectively works the crowd while I preach. He acknowledged that in one of my previous visits to campus he met a Christian who became a member of their praise and worship team.
My last round I was on the case of a promiscuous girl who admitted that she got saved and baptized in a Southern Baptist Church. I asked her why she forsook the Lord. She answered, "I do not like their patriarchal hierarchy."
"Try another church then; there are churches that ordain women. I want to know why you are denying the Lord who saved you," I responded.
"Jesus and I are OK; I am against organized religion," she countered.
"How can you and Jesus be on good terms when you are being sexually active contrary to his teachings? He told the naughty woman caught in adultery, "Go and sin no more." When you are on good terms with Jesus, you will refuse to sin.
I made her my main focus for much of an hour; I repeatedly admonished her for rejecting the one who suffered and died for her.
Sister Pat noted just before I closed the day in prayer that the girl's head was hanging low and Pat thought that she detected tears in the vixen's eyes. She is a spirited and likeable soul. She listened and interacted throughout most of the afternoon.
Today was the first time that I have encountered the Wall Street occupiers. We shall see if their movement will become prominent on campus. I know these people well; they have the same spirit and ideas of the sixties protestors with whom I demonstrated back in my hippy and socialists days. Two of them I talked to were glassy eyed. I accused them of having been smoking pot; they did not deny it. Most of these people are primarily motivated by sex and drugs, not the politics they promote. The demonstrations and the camps they build add a little interest to their otherwise boring and unproductive lives. They are a forlorn group much in need of salvation. I hope to encounter them on other campus. I can help them come to their senses.
Jesus asked, "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
Most Christians seem to have a defeatist attitude, thinking the Christian witness will grow weaker and weaker at the coming of the Lord draws nearer. I am determined that Jesus will find faith when he returns, that our investment in his Kingdom will turn profits. I hope for a hundred fold return for Jesus' investment in me and other saints of God who are working in his vineyard. The laborers are few; if one is not sowing, neither shall he reap. With so few sowers no wonder so few are expecting a harvest.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, O, Lord.
RUBBING THE CAMPUS WITH ABUNDANT SALT
October 26, 2011, Illinois State University
"You are witnessing all wrong, none of the Christians agree with you, you are turning everyone off, you are unloving, you are hurting our cause, and your sign is offensive . . .," said an Intervarsity student to Sister Pat as we were preparing to leave campus.
Then one of his Christian friends, who had not heard his negative review of our preaching, said to us, "Thanks for coming; I am so glad that you came to our campus."
Another Christian, who had earlier been critical of my "tone," handed me a note where he had printed Colossians 4:6 (NLV), "Speak with them in such a way they will want to listen to you. Do not let your talk sound foolish. Know how to give the right answer to everyone."
I had challenged him a few hours earlier to give me scripture supporting his criticism.
|Cold Day--Hot Topics|
I responded to the note by saying, "Most teachers and many ministers lack authority. We speak with authority which makes them want to listen to what we say."
We back up our words with the ultimate authority which is God's Word as written in the Bible and spoken through his Spirit. It is often not considered appropriate or intellectual to speak with certainty about anything around campus.
We know how to answer questions; we have heard them all countless times. I do not know the translation the student is citing concerning sounding "foolish." Paul warned that the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God."-1 Cor 1:18.
Instead of translating Col 4:6 as sounding "foolish," most translations say that our speech ought to be "seasoned with salt." According to Vincent's Word Studies, "To both Greek and Latin authors, salt was used to express the pungency and wittiness of speech. Horace speaks of having praised a poet for rubbing the city with abundant salt, i.e., for having wittily satirized certain parties so as to make them smart as if rubbed with salt, and so as to excite the laughter of those who are not hit ("Satires," 1 x., 3)."
In my experience so many Christians when speaking of the things of God are flat, insipid, colorless, bland and dull. And few want to listen. We rarely want for an audience. Today the weather was cold, cloudy, wet and windy. Despite the inclement conditions, we constantly had people around us asking questions, talking and wanting to hear more, although we never had more than 20 gathered at one time.
A group of students from the Wellness Center was passing out packages on how to overcome sleeplessness. The girls distributing the information were made up as zombies.
I took the opportunity to challenge the students, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."-Eph 5:14.
How much time and effort and money are spent to address insignificant student problems is astounding. Actually, students need to party less, sleep less and study more. The real problem is that students are spiritually asleep and dead in their trespasses and sins. They are like zombies.
Thus, I was using wit and satire to demonstrate the emptiness of the lost students. I commend the Wellness Center in using make up and theatrics in attempting to draw attention to their relatively unimportant and misguided message. On the other hand, Christians have a life saving message, yet they are usually lacking in saltiness. Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor, how shall it be salted? It is thereafter good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men."-Matt 5:13.
My last hour, I had a good conversation with Alex about many issues. Last year I also had talked with him considerably. They usually want to hear more and more. Bro reported that he had productive discussions with several Christians. As we were leaving campus I commended the occupiers for actually cleaning up their camp and neatly folding their sleeping bags.
|Bro Cope and Bro. Jed had great conversations.|
SEND IN THE CLOWNS
October 27, 2011, University of Illinois,
Both at the noon and 1 PM break I struck out as far as gathering an audience. A medical student, who stopped to listen, encouraged me. He remarked how college life promotes self-centeredness. I added that I do not know anyone who graduated from college a better person than they entered, unless they got converted during their college years. I suppose some who were Christians upon entering had their faith strengthened as a result of the much touted "college experience," but I fear more often their faith is weakened if not out rightly denied at least through their behavior.
After my failure to draw a crowd, I decided to go in out of the cold and take a lunch break which I rarely do when on campus. I was happy to come back out about 1:30 and find that both Pat and Bro had several students surrounding them engaged in animated conversation. Before going inside I had prayed with Bro, who asked the Lord, "Bring in the clowns." Hecklers always help draw attention. Also, I returned to the car to get our signs which turned out to be helpful in bringing the groups around Bro and Sister Pat.
At 1:50 I started preaching again and managed to draw about 50 people; the numbers remained 35-50 for the rest of the day. On the sidelines a boy asked me to further expound on a subject I had been addressing to the crowd: that any religion or philosophy must give intelligent, reasonable, and coherent answers to the basic questions of life concerning origin, meaning, moral obligation and destiny. After answering his questions he shook my hand and said, "Your answers are coherent and reasonable." Then pointing to the crowd he said, "They are foolish and incoherent."
A group of Moslems were in the center of the quad with a sign which read, "Ask a Moslem." Every now and then I directed disparaging comments in their direction. They claim to respect Jesus, while they deny that he is the Son of God and Savior of mankind. The Moslem with whom I had such good dialogue back in September engaged me again late in the afternoon. I hope he returns tomorrow; he is the most sensible Moslem which I have met. There was also a group of Moslems selling cupcakes to raise money for victims of the Joplin tornado. There were several groups selling cupcakes including next to the Moslems a group raising money to support our troops. When I expressed my surprise to Bro concerning the Moslem solicitors, he sarcastically said, "Hopefully the money is not going to Al-Qaida."
We preached until 5:45. Each of us concluded that we had a lot of good listeners. There was a revealing buxom girl who eyes were riveted on me the whole time I preached. Keeping my eyes focused on her facial expressions, I sensed that she was contemplating my every word. Sister Pat had also noticed her. Sister Pat had considered telling the girl to button up, as she often does with girls who expose themselves. However, Pat feared that might distract the girl from her listening.
|Lots of Listeners Today!|
We Are Saved By Hope
October 28, 2011, University of Illinois
I received a head's up the other day from an informant that the Illini Secular Student Alliance was planning an organized demonstration against me with signs. Actually, I was somewhat disappointed when they did not show yesterday. But today about 20 of them did turn out in force with hand made signs which were better than one's who have protested me on other campuses.
The action started today with Bro, Sister Pat and me all having a group of students surrounding us drawn by our signs. I had a quiet and attentive group around me. I expounded on the necessity of hope for a happy and fulfilling life. I taught, "Students you have no grounds for hope because you deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is the foundation for having hope in this life and beyond the grave. No wonder so many of you are on anti-depressants. You have nothing to live for and certainly nothing to die for. A simple acorn turning into a great oak tree is evidence of resurrection. One day those of us who believe will have a new, glorified and recognizable body, which will be a far greater transformation than that of the acorn into the mighty oak tree. However, that acorn must die before there can be a tree."
Christians often speak of the necessity of faith and love for salvation; however, they often fail to include that "we are saved by hope."--Romans 8:24.
I urged my audience "to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, . . . even Jesus."-Hebrews 6:18-20. The students have no anchor; consequently they are adrift and wanton and depressed and bipolar and have all sorts of anxieties. Hope provides an anchor for the soul, which carries men through all the difficulties and challenges of life.
The Spirit was moving with convicting power. However, my pulpit is not controlled as in a church. The devil was alert to the situation. He sent a stocky, profane, man in his forties, who obviously was not a student. Where he came from I know not. But I do know who sent him. He screamed, "Do you hate homosexuals? Did you say homosexuals are going to Hell?" His face was contorted; he seemed on the verge of violence. I tried to ignore him but soon others were joining the chant. So I finally addressed the subject of sodomy. However, Satan has a way of overplaying his hand. All the commotion which this degenerate caused worked to quickly enlarge my crowd to 100. The profane man eventually left and the students settled down.
About 1:30 the ISSA showed up with their signs. They made a dramatic entrance with all of them arriving at once. Their signs were better made than most atheistic groups which protest me. After about 30 minutes I turned the meeting over to Bro. However, soon the protestors began to drift back over to me wanting to get their pictures taken with me. I posed with them for a group picture. Eventually, most of them returned to listen to Bro. However, several stayed around me and questioned me.
For the rest of the afternoon Bro and I each had a crowd and Sister Pat had a smaller assemblage around her. A man introduced himself to me. He heard me 34 years ago on this campus. He was a Christian; he was on campus visiting his son for the weekend. He commended me for my ministry and patience. He said, "Brother Jed you are the man for this job."
Later another man took my hand in the presence of a number of students and said, "Years ago I burned you with a cigarette at Beloit College. I want to apologize to you."
Of course, I forgave him. He was a professing Christian but confused doctrinally. He is doing graduate work in mathematics.
By 4 PM many had left, including the ones listening to me. Sister Pat was taking pictures. A reporter interviewed me about the impact of our ministry. I pointed out that there were six clusters of people who were standing around discussing issues which we had raised including a group of around Bro. We left campus at 4:15 with the other groups still dialoging. Bro headed back to Columbia where he will teach Sister Cindy's Bible Study next week then drive to visit his daughter in Denver. He will rejoin me in Missouri next April. Sister Pat and I will move on to Indiana for two weeks.
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Brother Jed's Team's Tentative Schedule for Spring Semester 2012
Sister Pat and I will be preaching along with a retired couple from Michigan, Dave and Doris Metz, who will be with us through February. Sister Cindy, Martha and Priscilla will likely meet us in Arizona. Should anyone else like to join us along the gospel road, please contact me before coming to campus since this schedule is still subject to change. If anyone would like to offer hospitality, contact me. The Metzs travel in a camper so no room is needed for them except perhaps a place to park their vehicle. Dinners are also appreciated if you are close to campus.
Pastors, please contact me if you would want me to speak in your church while in your area. Also, if anyone would like to arrange a home meeting, I am available. Local Christians coming out to stand with us is very helpful. It is usually a life changing experience for anyone who has never witnessed on campus.
This is a rugged schedule; we will be preaching five to six hours daily; also, I anticipate that Sundays and Wednesdays will be filling out soon with church meetings. We covet your prayers and your financial support. A long trip like this is expensive. Meanwhile, bills must be paid on the home front. Bro Jed
January 8, Centenary UMC, Friendship Class, Terre Haute, IN
January 9 & 10, University of Florida, Gainesville
January 11 & 12 University of South Florida, Tampa
January 13, University of Florida
January 17 & 18 Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers
January 19, USF
January 20, UF
January 23-27, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
January 30 & 31, Sam Houston State, Huntsville
February 1-3 Texas A&M, College Station
February 6-8 Texas State University, San Marcos
February 9-10, University of Texas, Austin
February 13-15, New Mexico State, Las Cruces
February 16 & 17, 20-24, University of Arizona, Tucson
February 27-March 2, Arizona State University, Tempe
March 5, San Diego State
March 6 & 7, San Marcos State, San Marcos
March 8, San Diego State
March 9, UCSD
March 12 &13, Fresno State University
March 14, UC Davis
March 15 Sacrament State
March 16, UC Davis
March 19, Cal State Fullerton
March 20 &21, Long Beach State
March 22 & 23 Cal State Fullerton
March 26-30, Texas Tech, Lubbock
April 2 & 3, University of Oklahoma, Norman
April 4, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond
April 5 & 6, University of Oklahoma
April 9-27 Campuses in Missouri
April 30 & May 1, Ohio State, Columbus
May 2, Oberlin College
May 3, OSU
May 4, Ohio University, Athens
May 7, Oberlin
May 8, OSU
May 9, Wright State
May 10, Priscilla Smock's Senior Recital, Columbia, MO
May 12, Priscilla Smock's graduation
May 14 & 15, University of Washington, Seattle
May 16 & 17, Western Washington University, Bellingham
May 18, University of Washington
May 21-25, Eastern Washington University
May 29-June 1, University of Washington
June 4-7, University of Oregon, Eugene
June 8, Portland State
- Wisdom and annointing of the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel.
- Move of the Holy Spirit convicting the students of sin, righteousness and judgment!
- Health and physical strength.
- Favor with the authorities.
- Favor with the Christians on campus.
- Open doors.
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