I WON'T BACK DOWN
February 27, 2012, Arizona State University
The sisters of Canaan in the Desert are hosting Sister Pat and me in Phoenix. After we gave them our report, one sister prayed that the Lord would give us tenacity and perseverance for tomorrow. These are two necessary traits that are required for campus preaching. Today about all one could do was to be tenacious and persevere; the crowd was very crude and vulgar. It was virtuously impossible to teach in depth on any subject.
My Columbia friend and musician, Rocket, calls Tom Petty's recording my theme song. Rocket sings it when I am on campus and in my home:
Well I won't back down
No I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of Hell
But I won't back down
Daily we storm the gates of Hell when we preach on campus and demons break loose against us. Standing my ground in extremely difficult circumstances was the best I could do today. The students were raging, cussing and some harassing us with handmade vulgar signs. Of course, they have every right to sign us. I only object when they are obscene and they stick signs in our face or follow us around and flash them in our face or block us. At the end of the day it was especially hectic. I jumped from the wall from which I was speaking and moved through the crowd reproving and rebuking and quoting Scriptures on repentance, judgment, wrath and Hell. When under attack I like to counter attack.
|The battle rages; Bro Jed refuses to back down!|
I received the following encouraging email this evening from Dean at UA, who announced to the crowd last Friday that he was going to carry on my ministry: "Just wanted to let you know I read a chapter of scripture in front of the hill...it was really hard. I was cursed at slandered and labeled "the new brother Jed" it was hard but I am finally unashamed of the gospel!!!! and hope to do more...no matter how much it hurts."
Hopefully, a new campus preacher was birthed this afternoon. Paul wrote, "Many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear."-Phil 1:14.
February 28, 2012, Arizona State University
Brandon asked, "Were you in the film, The Nature of Existence?"
When I answered in the affirmative, he continued, "I was really inspired by what you had to say when you were preaching at sunset at the University of Missouri and the girl [my daughter, Justina] was singing and playing the guitar in the background." He had to go on to class; but he looked forward to returning and hearing me preach another day.
|Note almost all male crowd listening to the Gospel!|
It did not take long to draw a crowd of about 100; however, they stood off at quite a distance which made it difficult to interact. As often happens after a rowdy day the students were not as bad today. Two who are very vocal are, Taylor, who "loves Eldon John," and Taylor's "girlfriend," Liz, who was raised by foster parents and boasts of the help she gives to the homeless. She sees nothing wrong with homosexual couples adopting children. Sister Pat calls it child abuse.
I was encouraged when a fellow said that he believed that a Christian could and should obey God. I responded, "It is unusual to meet a student who believes we must obey God. What church are you with?"
"The Unification Church," he replied. At first it did not register since it has been over a decade or more since I have heard anything about the Unification Church. Then I remembered, "Are you a Moonie?"
He admitted that he was. The Moonies had quite an impact on America and the campuses back in the 80's. It is my understanding that they were scattered mostly abroad. Maybe they are returning to the United States. We shall see.
"Will you be back tomorrow, Bro. Jed?"
I had difficulty holding a crowd for over 30 minutes today. However, at the next class break I would gather a new crowd. ASU is a late afternoon campus. I drew my best gathering from 4:15 to 5:30. As much as they protested, a number of them asked if I was returning tomorrow. As Sister Pat and I walked off campus, she said, "I cannot believe how juvenile their questions are. I mean these are supposed to be college students." Alas, she is right; it is rare to encounter a student who can formulate an intelligent question.
Thomas helped again today. Sister Pat remarked as to how good he is in witnessing to the students. He witnessed for 30 minutes to my first heckler, a female. I cannot overestimate the benefit of having a local Christian stand with us. I pray that when I am in town that Christians who are retired, like Thomas, would make it a point to come to campus and back us.
February 29, 2012, Arizona State University
I started at the end of a class break. I did not capture the attention of anyone. I was about to quit for the hour when Taylor (the Eldon John lover) walked up and said, "Tell me why you believe in God and I will listen." He sat in a chair; I had not been teaching but a few minutes when his "girlfriend," Lisa, whisked him away. I started a conversation with my local helper, Thomas. Within five minutes Taylor and Liz returned. I expounded on the design argument and others gathered to listen. I had good dialogue going for about 30 minutes. Then Taylor read the Epicurean paradox, or the so-called problem of evil. This is no problem if one believes in man's free will and God's love. When God gave man the freedom to choose between right and wrong, he limited his power. God has chosen to always act loving; love puts limits on God. Love puts limits on us all. For God to eliminate evil he would have to take away man's freedom to choose. To take away man's ability to do evil, by default, man would lose the potential for virtue. To eliminate evil God would have to take away the image of God within man.
There were a two Christians in the group who in their zeal interrupted me, which resulted in the development of two little clusters. They seemed to have a profitable discussion going so I moved down the wall a piece and started preaching again. This time I gathered a crowd of fifty. It wasn't long before a flaming and vulgar lesbian stood on the wall beside me and zealously defended and promoted her perversion. She stood beside me for much of the afternoon from time to time some of her perverted cohorts joined her on the wall wearing t-shirts promoting "safe sex."
|Third day things were a little calmer with more listeners.|
Today there was somewhat of a turnaround as students were more attentive and less obnoxious, except for the lesbians. They even talked me into singing the gay song today. I tried to resist but fell back into my old homophobic ways of making mockery of their perverted choices. When I was asked about the Bible condoning slavery, I answered, "Slavery is not intrinsically morally evil. There may be times when slavery becomes necessary as a punishment or judgment on a corrupt people or evil individuals. For instance, convicted criminals rightly become slaves of the state. Men can forfeit their freedom by violating moral law. Slavery may become the best solution to discipline and control the wicked." I suggested that we might make the criminal Muslims at Guantanamo slaves of the families who survived of 9/11. Why should we take care of the terrorists and give them Korans at taxpayers' expense? After all, even Obama, who promised to close down Gitmo, does not seem to know what to do with these terrorists. Throughout the day some shouted, "Brother Jed is for slavery!"
Watch out, Obama would make us all slaves of the state! I considered today to be a good day. A few students made pleas for the crowd to reason and attempt to engage in intelligent dialogue. There were small clusters of students who responded to these pleas and seemed to be engaging in profitable discussions. Of course, reasonable discussion is difficult when so many of them have their minds between their legs. Despite all the opposition and battles with perverts, I held my ground.
March 1, 2012, Arizona State University
It was another chaotic day. The perverts, fornicators and other low life organized a "love fest." They held an abundance of signs and passed out cookies to those passing through Cady Mall. They were all around me pushing their signs in front of my face attempting to hinder my message from going forth. They said they were also collecting signatures to get "the hater" off campus.
Throughout much of the time I had to deal with decadent music coming from a boom box. One boy wore a t-shirt showing a man masturbating. It was bedlam. One student told me that the demonstrators tried to get him to sign something which did not state the subject of their petition.
The Secular Club had their table set up for the first time today. Averroes, the Muslim turned atheist, whom I debated last year, challenged me to another debate which will take place in the Student Union tomorrow at 6 PM. The question will be, "Who Is Jesus?" Initially, they wrote up the question in the past tense. But I do not relate to Jesus as merely a historical figure; he is the living God. Averroes is a personable fellow who is as zealous in his criticism of Islam as he is of Christianity for which I give him some respect. Many of the atheists are fearful of the Muslims.
Sister Pat had her Bible open the whole time in her hour session reading passages against immorality. Much of the time she had the heads of some of the students looking in the Bible.
Once again, this was one of those days in which all I could do was to stand my ground "having my loins girt about with the truth." The lesbian from yesterday held a sign and screamed, "It's OK to be gay." She and her bisexual cohort spent much of the afternoon saying to people as they passed, "You are beautiful."
It is worth noting that yesterday I got received an unsolicited offering $40 and today $48. If I were to given that much daily on campus, it would be significant. Usually, all I receive from the loving Christian community is criticism. The unbelievers are obsessed with wanting to hug me and others. Yesterday, several lesbians gave me a group hug. Usually, I resist such attempts. However, for their sakes I allowed the embrace. I figured it may have been the first time they hugged a real man. Who knows? Down deep there is still may be a long forgotten woman that might be awaken through embracing a man with self-control. Temperance is the essence of manhood, and also womanhood.
WHO IS JESUS?
March 2, 2012, University of Arizona,
It seems as if only half the students are on campus on Friday. The demonstrators of the last few days were not around. There were several loud and brazen women promoting, "The Vagina Monologues" in the name of non-violence towards women. They called themselves "vagitarians," one of them wore a t-shirt using one of the vulgar terms for the female private part. These girls had no sense of propriety or modesty. It is becoming exceeding difficult to find a college girl who does. It is a disgrace that womanhood has been totally debased by the feminist movement and men have been emasculated. I mocked the screaming females for crying out from between their legs instead of speaking from their minds.
We soon gathered a group around us ranging from 15-25 for the afternoon. They were attentive listeners. One of the vagitarians even joined our group and somewhat settled down. It was really the first day of the week that I was able to effectively teach. Thomas, the retired maintenance man from the Scottsdale Schools, continued to be active. Thomas is on campus virtually every day witnessing to students one on one. Every campus should and could have a Thomas if Christians would simply act on the great commission. It is a shame that more retired people don't do mission work. Many of them have the means and the time, but evidently not the motivation. Sister Pat was as active as ever.
|Bro. Jed addresses the "Free Thought" Club.|
Thirty showed up for my debate with Averroes on "Who is Jesus?" This is the fourth year in a row in which I have either spoken to or debated before the Free Thought Society who sponsored the debate. My primary text was Jesus' question to his disciples: "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am?"-Matthew 16:13. My opponent's strategy was to attempt to debunk the Bible. I pretty much ignored his attacks on the Bible to take the opportunity to teach without interruption to a group of mostly unbelievers that the Bible teaches that Jesus is God manifested in the flesh and the Savior of mankind. Peter received a revelation from the Father that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God." My objective in these debates is not particularly to win points or necessarily convince my opponent; it is to speak out as much of the written word as I am able, trusting that the Holy Spirit will do his work of convincing and that the Father will reveal his Son to those who seek him. There is great power in a man filled with the Holy Ghost speaking God's words.
|The atheist listeners.|
It is noteworthy that Joshua, the former president of the Free Thought Society, was in the audience refuting my opponent during the Q & A. Afterwards, I asked him what brought about his conversion. He merely answered, "I had a religious experience." He did not indicate in any way that my defense of the faith before the Free Thought Society in the past influenced him to change his mind.
During my cross examination of Averroes, I asked, "You have told us who you think that Jesus is not. You have made it clear that you do not believe him to be the Son of God in any sort of divine usage of the term. Please tell us who you think Jesus is?" Averroes has a tendency to ramble considerably; he was always going over his time limit and the moderator was not aggressive in stopping him. I understood him to answer he does not know who Jesus was or is. I asked, "Do you believe that he was a good man or liar or lunatic?" He answered that he considered Jesus to be evil and a liar; he did not indicate that he considered him a lunatic. Sister Pat and I concluded that Averroes, even though he denies he is a Moslem and confesses to be an agnostic, is still a Moslem at heart.
|We trust the Holy Spirit to work on their hearts.|
I try to keep my answers short and to the point when I have Q & A in a debate format. I discerned that Averroes' long winded and rambling bored his audience. Atheists and agnostics have no answers to the great metaphysical questions of life. Remember agnostic means one who is uncertain of all claims of knowledge, in other words, one who is ignorant. We studied Christians "speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and they receive not our witness."-John 3:11. But I have confidence that some will receive our words eventually, perhaps never realizing that they heard it first from the campus preacher.
|The Revised and Modernized Gospel!
The so-called great commission according to Mark needs to be revised for the modern world. Today Jesus would surely put it more like this: "Since you are already part of the world and have thoroughly adapted worldly ways in dress and hip talk, share your experience of me with all who will listen. Don't preach or lift up your voice too loudly; you might disturb someone. Spark conversations concerning the good news with everyone who seems interested. Gospel is a kind of an old-fashion religious term; you probably don't want to use it, especially since I hate religion. Anyone (homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual or transsexual, do not us the word 'he' that is a sexist term) who that asks me into one's precious heart shall go to heaven when one dies. Be careful about using out dated terms like 'saved'; people will not be able to relate. Do not say anything about the consequences of not asking me into peoples' hearts. If you must simply refer to what used to be called Hell, refer to it 'as the other place.' Whatever you do, do not say anything about damnation. We do not want anyone to feel condemned."
"Matthew's rendition of the great commission is entirely inappropriate. So let's try the following: "At your convenience show God's love to internationals having a proper respect for their culture. Find a suitably credentialed clergyman to administer baptism which is a nice ritual but it really does not have anything to do with being dead to sin or arising out of the water to a new life of obedience to moral law."
"I would not advise that you teach, that might leave the impression that you know more than others. Simply share you faith with all peoples. Sweetly tell them (always with a smile) that they really should keep my commandments but it is impossible to always obey. After all why would I give commandments, and then actually expect people to keep them? Remember, I am with you wherever you go and whatever you do. I am with you in the bars, at the parties, all the games, whenever you are lusting after the opposite sex or same sex, whenever you abuse yourself, etc. Whatsoever, you do, do it in my name and you will be OK. I am OK you are OK, we are all OK. Once you make a confession of faith you are sealed as my child no matter what you should do."
"Oh, and please ignore Luke 24:47;nothing should be said about repentance and remission of sins. Repentance is another one of those old words to which people cannot possibly relate. After all repentance only means sorrow over your past wrong doings. I hesitate to even use the word wrong, no one is really wrong. Tell them I will solve their problems and heal their hurts. It is best not to use the word sin. Oh yah, Luke uses that word 'preach' again; just like Mark. Those guys really turned people off. Preaching is so offensive to the modern world, simply share your faith and start conversations about me after you have made a friend and built a relationship. Always remember all people are born sinners and all will die sinners. There I go using that ugly word 'sinners.' I should say we are all weak."
|Arizona State University|
"About my cousin, John, the one they call the Baptist. He has only made my ministry more difficult. He talks more like an OT prophet speaking of an angry, judgmental God. My father has become kinder and gentler since the days of old. I have never heard John once speak of God's love. He is much too austere. You all know how I enjoy imbibing in wine and good food. I party and drink with sinners. I am their friend. I know how to relate. As all John does is turn everybody off. He simply engages in name calling. He called the religious leaders vipers and hypocrites. He is giving me and my followers a bad name. He uses the Bible as a club; he even referred to it as an ax. He is so hateful. He is just another one of those Hell-fire and brimstone preachers."
"What is all this talk about a baptism of fire? I much prefer my people to be lukewarm. Fire is so destructive. I have not come to bring fire upon the earth. He actually called me the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." I cannot take away sin, bulls and goats could not even do that, I cover peoples' sins just like the animal sacrifices did. I no longer see my people as sinful. I see in them myself; all I see is my blood covering all their wrong actions. If I were to take away peoples' sins, then they would no longer need me."
"What is everyone going out into the wilderness for to see? How can anyone relate to a guy who wears an old camel hair coat and only eats bugs and sweets and wanders around in the desert? John seems obsessed with the sex life of Herod. Can't he just live and let live? He is an extremist, who is going to get himself in trouble if he is not more careful. It seems like he is trying to bring conviction of sin to Herod. Doesn't he know that this is the job of the Holy Spirit? John needs to show love. I love Herod. I love everybody. Praise the Lord!"
Tentative Schedule for Spring Semester 2012
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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