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University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Freedom of Speech in America?
After many years of campus preachers coming through Tuscaloosa and having the liberty to preach the Gospel on this campus, the administration has decided to change their policy to that of censorship. This censorship policy is known as “sponsorship” which limits the speech on campus from outside groups to that which the students approve of. This policy gives unfounded authority to students over the rights of the general public.
While I had preached on campuses throughout Alabama before, this particular campus was new to me. I was aware of their change in policy so I attempted to preach from a street sidewalk near their Student Center. I was able to draw in a good size crowd until the Police came over and shut me down. They said that the street and sidewalk were campus property and that I needed a permit, which requires sponsorship from students, in order to preach.
I attempted to preach the Gospel from another street which appeared to be public. It was “University Blvd” which is a state highway that runs right through the middle of campus. After preaching for maybe forty five minutes and drawing in a large crowd, the Police once again shut me down stating that I was on campus property.
After going to the City Hall to find out if these sidewalks were in fact campus property or not, I discovered that they in fact were. However, they are used as City sidewalks and there is no public notice stating otherwise. My Attorneys believe that this is a good case for us to pursue, not only to challenge their limitation of free speech on what appears to be public easement or public right away, but also for their limitation of speech to only that which the students approve of. I will keep everyone posted with the legalities of this situation.
Still Reaching the Students
While I was not permitted to preach on the campus, some students from the University contacted me about doing an video interview for their video class. They even drove all the way to Birmingham to film the interview! I spoke about my testimony, the ministry, and gave a Gospel presentation. Even though I was not able to preach out in the open air, God made a way for me to preach right in the class room!
Shelton State Community College, Tuscaloosa AL
More Censorship of Free Speech
After my attempt to preach the Gospel at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa had failed, I went to a local community college in the area to see if I could preach there. These smaller campuses are usually harder to preach on because they tend to think of themselves as private schools, though they are not. From my experience in the past, I was not anticipating this campus to being open to free speech but I was hopeful.
I found a grassy courtyard area with a bench to stand on. With my banner and Bible I began preaching and students started to gather around and listen. It was not long before a Security Officer arrived who told me that if I was not a student I would have to leave. I began reasoning with him when another Security Officer arrived. He said that I would have to talk to the Dean of Students to get permission to do this.
I went to the Dean of Students office and spoke with the Dean about their policy. Their policy states that no religious activity can occur on the campus, from an outside group, without sponsorship from a student group. He went as far as to say that I could not so much as talk to a student one on one about my faith unless I either enrolled as a student or found sponsorship. He did however say that The Gideon’s come on campus to talk to people and pass out Bibles without sponsorship. He said that they have “special permission”. However he said that I could not do that myself. This is a clear case of discrimination and I notified my attorneys about the matter.
University of Alabama in Birmingham
Whether they Hear or Forbear
My first visit to this campus was during the beginning of the spring semester. I was apparently the first preacher to come to this campus in a long time and had a great impact. I remember one student in particular last time who, while at first was a mocker with a sign protesting me, realized that I was preaching the truth and gave his life to the Lord. I was excited to return to this campus.
While the administration does require some type of permit to preach on the campus, I find it unnecessary because there is a city sidewalk right in front of the University Center. For two weeks I preached at this location and had great crowds every time. At times the crowd would mock and make fun, at other times they were just downright mean and angry, still at other times they just sat and listened. We must stand for the truth whether it is accepted or rejected. I noticed that the crowd was tamed after my persistence of two weeks. The mocking and heckling became less and tense and less frequent and most just seemed to listen and consider.
The campus paper did cover the preaching but it was as unfavorable as you could think of. They only found quotes from those who were opposed to what I was doing. They didn’t publish any quotes from my supporters. Neither did they publish in their article any actual quotes from me preaching but only content of what the students said I was supposedly preaching. I was very bad journalism but I was glad to see that they put a picture on the front page. This let the whole campus know about the preaching, if they didn’t know already, and maybe some more students came out to hear the Gospel who otherwise would not have.
Georgia State University
Taming the Campus
For many years I am told this campus did not allow any open air preachers on it. Last year, however, the Southeastern Open Air Preachers Association was able to get unto the campus and make it wide open. The free speech area has a stage where you can preach from and has thousands of students walking through that area. Last year it was nearly a riot during our time preaching there.
This year the campus was a little tamer. Many of the students who heard us this year also heard us last year. Last year they seemed angry at our presence, but this year they seemed happy that we were back. Still, there were many mockers and hecklers as we called the campus to repentance. At times the crowds were so loud that the preaching itself could barely be heard. But during my time on this campus it never became that “riot” atmosphere it had last year. I believe the more this campus is preached on, the tamer it will become.
Every time that we preach on this University, the homosexual club and the Satanist group comes out to heckler us. And the professing Christians on campus are more upset with what we are doing then what the homosexuals and Satanists are doing. I hope to come through and preach on this campus more often and I pray that others will do the same, as this campus really needs it.
Where Are All The Preachers?
I had the joy of attending this year’s SOAPA Conference in Atlanta. These conferences are always a great time of good fellowship and good preaching. Different teams from the conference will go out to the different campuses in the area. One day I was a part of a team that was going to Georgia Tech. However, somehow the other vehicle going to this campus ended up going to a different campus, so when we arrived I was the only campus preacher there! My vehicle had another brother who had never open air preached before and our wives.
When we got to the free speech amphitheatre, there was a crowd of students sitting there waiting for us. They had seen a team the day before and came out again for more. This was helpful to me because I didn’t have to use time and energy trying to draw a crowd, which can be difficult on this campus in this location.
I preached the wrath of God and the mercy of God. I warned the sinners on the campus that they were heading for hell but that they could be heading for heaven. I explained how they were damned but they could get saved. God simply asks that we repent of our sins and believe the Gospel. I also answered many of their questions and engaged in different dialogs about various topics. A few students came up to me afterwards and told me that this was their favorite day and that they enjoyed it very much.
The brother who came out with me, who had never open air preached before, actually addressed the crowd for the first time. I asked him if he wanted to share a word or a testimony and though he was hesitant, he took that step of faith! He also wants to go back out with me on that campus again sometime when we come through in the future, even offering for us to park our 5th wheel at his house!
Kennesaw State University
Hope for Homosexuals
When the team that I was a part of arrived on this campus to preach the Gospel, we set up our banners and signs for all to see. It wasn’t long before a small crowd of students formed which were clearly the some of the devout and advocate homosexuals of the campus.
One man in particular was dressed like a woman, while a lesbian woman was dressed like a man. This is something I never did understand. I asked the man, “If you are a homosexual that is attracted to men, and you want to attract other homosexuals that are attracted to men, why are you dressed like a women?” And I asked the lesbian, “If you are a lesbian that is attracted to women, why does your girlfriend look like a boy?” These were questions they never were able to answer. It may be that even in their sexual perversion they cannot escape the design of God for men and women. One person in their perverted relationship plays the role of the man while the other plays the role of the women.
Since these homosexuals made up a majority of our crowd, homosexuality was a major emphasis in our preaching. I went through Genesis, Leviticus, Romans, Corinthians, and Jude on the topic. Though clearly and plainly condemning them for their sin, I just as clearly and plainly pointed them to Jesus Christ who can save them from their sins. I even gave them testimonies of ex-homosexuals whom God has saved, in the hopes that they will realize that they too can choose to change their ways.
University of Georgia Football Game
I have had the joy of preaching at UG games in the past. We also stood at the main gates during the beginning and end of the game, so that thousands are able to read and hear the Gospel from the banners and bullhorns. This year, however, we only had one preacher at the gates during the game while the rest of us ended up preaching on the streets in the downtown afterwards. This is because by the time we arrived at the game it was too late.
Though there were not as many people in the downtown as there was at the gates, the people in the downtown were the revelers. They were the party scene. When we lifted up our banners and lifted up our voices, it caused no small stir. The sinners were hostile. They were more hostile than we’ve ever experienced before at a UG game. It could be because they were caught “red handed” in pursuit of their sin.
While the men would mock, get in our faces, and even though footballs at us (one which hit me in the face as I kept preaching), it was the women who seemed to give us our most adamant opposition. One woman “dirty danced” in front of me for a pretty long time, but praise God I had a sandwich board on so she could not get too close. Another woman tried to take or steal one of our banners. And other women made their own signs to protest us. Though I did hear that one preacher who was a Pastor from West Virginia ended up being punched in the gut by one of the men. The Police apparently saw what happened and brought him to jail.
Despite all the opposition and hostility that we faced, we loudly and boldly proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were able to use our bullhorns to call this area to repentance during the entire time that we preached, except for at the very end of our outreach we were told by the Police that we could not use amplification. All in all it was a very good outreach and was very exceptional in comparison to times past. We drew a crowd that stayed and listened for a very long time, whereas in times past when preaching at the gate we were only able to preach to sinners as they walked by. The Lord was able to take what looked like a lost opportunity, because we missed the game, and turn it around for good!
The red line shows where we have already been during our fall tour. The blue line shows where we are still going on during our fall tour. We will be preaching on campuses in Pensacola FL, Mobile AL, and Baton Rouge LA, and Tyler TX. After that we will be flying to CT where I will continue to preach on Universities before Christmas break. If we are coming to your area and you would like to come out to campus or get together for fellowship, just let us know.
Theologians have used the phrase “the imputed righteousness of Christ” as if this were a Scriptural phrase, when in fact it is not. While the Bible talks about “imputed righteousness” it does not talk about the imputed righteousness “of Christ”. Actually, such a view implies that the grace of God and the atonement of Christ is not enough for our justification but that we also need works of the law to be justified. I have heard people say “When God looks at me He doesn’t see me. He see’s the righteousness of Christ instead.” This is an terrible misunderstanding of imputed righteousness, which not only makes men feel safe and secure while they are in sin, but also which denies the omniscience of God!
In order to correct these types of errors, I have made the following video series:
The Myth of the Imputed Righteousness of Christ: PART ONE
The Myth of the Imputed Righteousness of Christ: PART TWO
We know that the economy has affected a lot of people and it has affected us as well. We are praying that the Lord will help us with more financial supporters so that we can continue to travel and preach across the country and are also praying for the support that we need to have our next baby. If the Lord has made it possible for you to help support us as a family, will you consider doing so?
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