PSU Week 3 Ė Sept 8-12
Monday was another typical day.† Gary Cattell preached from noon until 3:20, then he turned it over to me.† While he was preaching, I got a chance to talk with a student who has serious questions about how to know if what we believe is the truth.† He was a serious seeker with good questions.† We discussed his objections for about a half an hour.† He had to go to class, but thanked me for taking the time to talk to him.† He seemed to be under mild conviction.†
Garyís crowds tend to be very low key, as his approach is somewhat different than those of us in CMUSA.† Since Gary always has a ready made crowd at Willard Building, he doesnít need to gather attention.† Consequently, his approach is to go directly into theological debate.† The atheists donít seem to give him as hard a time as they give me.
So when I started up at 3:20, it was like the atheists were biding their time to pounce on me.† The president of the atheists group, Nat, is a persistent gnat.† He buzzes all around twisting everything that is said into a depraved contortion of the truth.† Today he was as annoying as I have possibly ever experienced.† He yelled nonstop for about 3 hours mocking every word I said.† I tried every ploy to get him to stop, but he continued.
Finally, in exasperation, I cried out to God to fill him with 1000 demons.† I hope that God will come against him in some way.† He is about the most arrogant, irritating atheist I have ever met.† It would do so well if the Lord would dip the tip of his little finger in the fire of Hell.† Anything to cause him to realize that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.†† He keeps challenging me to strike him with cancer. †He promises in his God defying manner that if he comes down with cancer, he will preach Jesus just like us.† Likely story.
I awarded my first Marble Award today.† It is awarded to the first person to make an idiotically stupid statement.† Nat won the prize.† I donít remember his comment, guess Iíll have to write them down.† But it was a doozy of a stupid statement.† I blew the whistle I had around my neck and awarded the marble to Nat the atheist for ďBeing as sharp as a marbleĒ.† (Those of you who have preached with Mitch Metzger may be familiar with the whistle prop Ė it can be very effective for crowd retention and control).
Tuesday dawned rainy and cold.† I didnít even know if I would be going out to preach.† But by 2:00, it had cleared up considerably, so I loaded up and trekked up to campus.† When I got there, Gary had a small crowd.†
It was about quarter after 3:00 when he asked if I wanted to preach.† I made my way up front and began to preach against atheism.† My main point was that atheism offers no hope to mankind.††† Since atheism presupposes nothing beyond the material world, there can be no hope other than what can be experienced in this world.† In fact, the only thing that an atheist can offer is unbridled pleasure as the meaning of life.
Furthermore, an atheist must use arguments that presuppose the existence of God to try to make their point.† Mathematics do not have any material existence, yet they describe all of the universe.† Unless there is an intelligence to understand them, the equations do not exist in and of themselves.† The same goes for using logic from the materialistic point of view.† The rules of logic do not have any material existence, yet atheists always try to argue using logic.† Since a materialist says he does not believe in anything that does not have a material basis, they canít use the metaphysical rules of logic.
In their arrogance they insist that I show them proof of God, but when I do offer that proof, they scuttle back into materialism as a defense.† Yet to attack their materialism, they deny that they are materialists.† It is like trying to pick up mercury with your fingertips.
One of the atheists, a Russian transplant with a very mathematical mind named Yasik, opened up to me and sincerely said that he wants to see a miracle.† He wants to believe but canít get past his high intelligence coupled with decades of atheistic and evolutionistic materialism.† I think some of my arguments from science are starting to break through to him.† At one point he actually stopped Nat and defended my point.
Another interesting event happened late in the day.† I allowed Yasik to recite his overview of the failures of God taken from a cursory reading of the Bible.† He spoke clearly for about 20 minutes and I did not interrupt him.† When he was done I said I wanted to give the rest of the story and show what was going on behind the scene of these ďfailuresĒ of God.† I pointed out the continuing battle between good and evil, God and Satan, as reflected in the events that he used to show Godís failures.† I also pointed out that it appeared to me that God was learning what works and what does not work.†
Yeah, I know that sounds heretical, but a critical view of history might to some show God failing to be able to implement His goals.† Rather than be forced to admit to my opponent that his analysis had any merit, I just asked him could it not be that God is modifying His methods and tactics to try another means to break through the thick darkness that envelopes the hearts and minds of the lost by means of the devilís lies?† After all, if God learned in Gen 22 the sure state of Abrahamís heart when he raised the knife to strike at Isaacís heart, then perhaps the history of Israel and the world portrays the seesawing vagaries of open conflict in an open war fought out in the minds of men.
Toward the end of the day, I spoke with a young Jewish boy and explained how Jesus fulfilled the covenant that God made with Israel in Deut 28.† He seemed very open and when he left, shook my hand.† It is unusual for a Jewish person to shake my hand and thank me.† I think the part that got to him was explaining how Jesus made it possible for Israel to keep the covenant.†
The condition was if Israel would listen to Godís voice (Kahl), an audible spoken voice, they would be blessed.† Then I contrasted the difference between knowing God in the Spirit, and knowing about Him from second hand information.† I think he understood the difference.
The day was long when I left at 6:30.† I left with the two biggest atheists, and took dinner with them.† In person they are personable, but given an audience, they play to the crowd like a couple of vaudeville whores.† They walked me to my car and carried my things.† See you when I return from the hospital tomorrow.†
Wednesday Ė hospital visit in Pittsburgh.
Tomorrow I leave for the Philadelphia area.† Sister Pat and I plan to preach at University of Penn on Friday, and Temple on Monday.† I also will be meeting with the gentleman who has asked me to come over to India to preach.† Again, hopefully some of you will† feel led to commit to this trip and help me raise the needed $5,000.
went down to Philadelphia to say good-bye to my friend Abraham Matthew from India.
He is the gentleman who has invited me to go over to India for a speaking and
preaching tour. I have made a commitment to go over around the first of August
of next year. He will be arranging a series of meetings for me throughout the
interior of India. I can hardly wait.
I also made contact with an Indian church pastored by Abraham's friend Joseph, a very unusual and accomplished individual. I was impressed by the fact that Joseph has 5 degrees culminating with a PHD from Oxford. He has taught all over the world and was called to pastor a large Indian church in Philadelphia for 4 years. He is coming to the end of his time in Phila, so he is with great anticipation waiting for what the Lord will have him do next.
Of all the highly educated pastors I have met, this man was the most solid man from the street preaching perspective. He supports street preaching, hates the feel-good false gospels, and easy believism of today. He was a solid man. I have to admit that I have very very very little respect for the vast majority of pastors I have met over the years, but Joseph was a HUGE exception. I hope he will be able to accompany me on my trip to India.
After a time of fellowship, we went out to dinner for some authentic Indian cuisine. Talk about HOT. Delicious, but dangerous. Just the way I like it.
Friday, was cloudy and spritzing rain all day. We could not seem to get any rise out of the students. While my Sister Pat did strike up some good 1-on-1 conversations, I couldn't get a crowd if I had set myself on fire. We left campus early when it began to rain harder.
All in all, the trip was good as I reconnected with a friend.† It was good to see you Abraham.
Please, consider supporting me in my ministry. I don't have a whole lot of years left. I want to end my course on the front lines, battling for the Kingdom of God. If you can't support me yourself, would you be able to give me any contacts you have of churches that might be open to my ministry as I travel? Any help you could offer would be much appreciated.
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