It was a great day!
I discussed with Jed my idea of coming out later and staying later after he normally stops. He went out before me, and by the time I got to campus, he had a nice sized crowd.
As I did at PSU, he preached most of the day. I did get about 45 minutes in around 3:00. I spoke on evolution/creation and had the atheists foaming at the mouth. One fellow jumped up and started to teach me about C-14 dating. But when I told him that I understood about the dating technique, he responded by saying that obviously I did not because I thought one could find C-14 in coal, oil, natural gas, and diamonds. He said it is obvious that there could not be any C-14 in coal, oil, or gas because they were so many millions of years old. I had him.
"That is why I told you your belief in evolution blinded you to truth. Your assumption is that there can not be C-14 in those things, but recent testing is showing levels 10 times greater than the minimum detection level in the coal, oil, and gas. The problem is that it is there, where it can not be if uniformitarianism is true. The only conclusion is that the earth is young, not old."
He was to say the least somewhat taken aback. He tried to explain away the C-14 by appealing to "contamination", so I nailed him on the C-14 in the deep mine diamonds. Since they are the hardest substance on earth, it would be impossible to have C-14 leach into them two miles below the earth, while embedded in solid rock.
After a while I turned the crowd back over to Jed to finish out his normal time.
I took over again around 4:30 with a crowd of about 20 people.
It took a while to get the crowd calmed down, but when I did, it got very attentive and I was able to carry on many in depth discussions about the gospel, about holiness, and about true repentance. The last half hour, up till about 7:30, was the best. A young man, no longer a student, who had heckled earlier in the day began to open up to me. He told me about how he had been on fire for the Lord years before, but came to the place where he was assailed by the contradictions, the conflicts between what we are told to expect from Christianity and what it actually is.
He met a girl, and turned his back on the Lord. They moved in together, but before too long, she knew there were things about him that she could not stand. She had compelled him to abandon his faith, but when he did, she didn't like what she saw. In the end, she ended it because she saw she was standing between him and the Lord. She told him that God had much greater plans for him than her.
He knows he is separated from the Lord. He fully understands the situation, having analyzed it over and over again. He knows he must repent and turn back completely to the Lord, but there is something holding him back. I asked him if I could pray for him and he said no. So I told him I would pray for him anyway. I told him the story about Henry Bailey and Maria, and the "no rest day or night" prayer.
There was this one communist named Maria who constantly opposed us in our preaching. One day Henry ran into her in the supermarket and began to witness to her for the umpteenth time. She resisted Henry, so he asked her if he could just pray for her. She said "Sure, why not."
Henry prayed "Father I ask that you would let this girl rest, day or night, waking or sleeping, in her body, her soul, or her mind until she bows the knee to Jesus." Then he left.
Several weeks went by and Henry ran into Maria in the store again. She jabbed her finger at his chest and said in a loud voice, "YOU! You're the one who prayed for me! TAKE IT BACK! TAKE IT BACK! I haven't been able to rest since you prayed."
Henry did not take his prayer back, but again began to preach to her. To make a long story short, she got saved that night, and has served the Lord ever since.
I told him I wouldn't pray that but I would pray for God to open the door to full true repentance for him. This man is ready. He knows the level of commitment that is being required of him, but there is just something....
Pray for Laramie Shaffer that the Lord would grant him repentance and that he would have grace enough to make the full complete turn away from sin. He knows he must, and he recognizes that if he were to die today he would go to Hell. This soul is ready.
The day started out cold and threatening, so Jed decided we would go over to Kansas to KU. It was a good choice. KU is not as "preached over" as Mizzou is. There was immediate interest, and the crowds grew upwards of 200. I started out the preaching with some light preaching banter, trying to get a feel for where the hearts and minds of the students were sequestered in their flight from God. When Jed returned from parking the car, I turned it over to him.
[No pictures because the batteries, plus the backups, were dead]
The crowd was attentive and no too awfully disruptive. There were some Christians in the area who immediately tried to correct me in my method of preaching. They were on the square witnessing rather ineffectively for their Catholic church. I tried to be laid back and gracious, but every time she would make an objection, I would respond with the scriptures that supported what we do. Her response was always, "Well, I don't believe that". The longer I spoke with her, the more agitated I became. There was not a single scripture of any substance at all that she would accept, yet she continually insisted she loved Jesus with all her heart AND continued to sin.
I confronted her over and over with verse after verse that show that if we say that we love God but do not keep his commandments, then we are liars. Bb's off a tank. I finally had had enough of her placing her feelings over the plain text of the scriptures, and told her that the pain she felt when I preached was the tug between Jesus and the world in the midst of the division I produced by my preaching. I pointed out to her that she was more offended by the fact that my preaching offends those whose lives are entirely given over to sin, than she is over the offense her friends in the world cause God. After I rebuked her for being a friend of the world, therefore an enemy of God. I more or less ended the worthless discussion.
Both times I preached, the students wanted to hear about science/evolution/creation. Since this is my forte, I obliged them. They tried to argue with me, but their knowledge of science is about as sharp as their knowledge of the Bible. Over and over I was able to shut their mouths with the evidences that are plainly evident all around us. The most effective arguments, though, had to do with Carbon 14 dating. The coal, oil, and natural gas deposits were supposedly laid down 200-240 million years ago, yet even today scientists are finding C-14 in those deposits. The students were not able to argue with the science. There were some whose understanding of science was so poor that they raised arguments bases solely on their ignorance of the subject. They were easy to route.
By the end of the day, I had been able to reduce the crowd at least twice to a quiet, attentive, speechless sea of wide eyes and interested stares. They listened, and then asked for more. A student asked me as we left if we would be back tomorrow. I don't think we will be going back this week, but may next week. I look forward to talking again about the evidences of science to crowd that is not so enslaved by the ruling fairy tale.
Also more than in the spring, students came up and shook my hand and thanked me for the bold stand we took presenting the gospel. Pray that those who were naysayers would be convicted of the fact that they had been placed into the situation when they had to choose Jesus over everything else, and they failed. They chose the friendship of the world over being worthy of Jesus
It was a divine day. The weather was beautiful, the sky clear, the temperature perfect. As on Monday, Jed preceded me on campus. When I arrived, there was a huge crowd gathered. Not only was Jed preaching, but a group of students trying to save their student radio from the financial chopping block had set up with bull horns and a boom box turned all the way up. Jed tried to preach over the cacophony, but turned the crowd over to me right after I arrived.
The first order of business for me was to call for the shutting down of the radio station. "What??? How can you say that", they cried out. I pointed out to the demonstrators that were fighting for 1st amendment rights, but doing so by trampling on our free speech rights. That made them hypocrites of the highest level.
"Shut it down!" I cried
The leader countered by saying that they had been there before us. My response was that the large crowd had not gathered to hear them, but to hear us, the crazy preacher men. By this time the crowd was well over 200. [I took some pictures of the scene, but unfortunately I corrupted them after downloading them to my computer. It took 5 shots to cover from one end to the other. And that was in wide frame.] Before too long, though, the students protesting for 1st amendment rights realized I was right in that they were hypocrites, and then turned down the boom box. Most of the time it was off, but when it was turned on, it was at a less intrusive level.
Jed had finished his time talking on human sexuality, then I came on to engage them again on the subject of science. One girl complained "I don't want to hear about science." Jed's parting rejoinder was "I talked about human sexuality, and now it is about science. Guess it's time for all you girls to leave".
But I never got to that subject. What followed was a stream of good questions and discussions on the nature of the fall, and how it is that Jesus has reversed the consequences of it. At one point the crowd grew exceedingly quiet as I pointed out how God was offering to them unilateral amnesty for their past sins, all the treasures of heaven for all eternity, and all the powers that Jesus manifested, and they treated such a magnificent offer as if it is a joke. I wasn't shouting then. I was almost in normal voice it got so quiet. Pray that those words will penetrate deep into their hearts.
The next time I preached, I got into it with a sin justifier by the name of Abraham. He has been a long time opponent of the preaching, often spending entire afternoons arguing from the scriptures his understandings of the gospel. I think I won the exchange because he quieted down. Later at the end of the day, I tried to re-engage him in the discussion, but he had to leave for a class. Tomorrow, I hope to pursue him again. I want to nail him on the question, "If your God can not free us from sin, leaving us for ever enslaved to sin, can he possibly be God." An all powerful God must be able to free us from all sin, otherwise it means that sin has more power to hold then God has to set free. His God offers nothing to the trapped sinners except the supposed escape from Hell.
I want so much for him to realize that if he can not be freed from sin, that the following verses apply to him:
2Pe 2:13 ...Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
At the end of the day, I did get a chance to talk at length to a young man whose father is a UCC pastor and missionary. He sought God for years but was never able to experience anything that would indicate God's reality. Consequently he became an atheist, and a bitter one at that. I told him I would pray for him. I don't know his name, but the Lord does. Please pray for him to finally have that break through when God becomes real and not just a concept. Most of us have had that experience. He is a pathetic soul crushed by unbelief.
The weather was great again, just as I had prayed for. The students started out very quiet when Jed started preaching. He challenged them to ask serious and deep questions, which some of them tried to do. There will always be that famous question "Can God make a rock so big He can't move it?" It was of course offered, probably by a sophomore.
When Jed turned the crowd over to me, they became unruly. It seems I had prayed for good weather on Wednesday, and it had rained - all day and hard - in Columbia. But Jed and I were in Lawrence KS. There it was perfect. They were not satisfied when I told them the prayer was that it would not rain on ME! When our plans changed, so did the object of my prayer.
At one point, one annoying fellow used the often used tactic to stand in front of me and follow me back and forth in the speaking area. He kept on asking me if he could "Blow my whistle". [I use a whistle at times for crowd maintenance]. This behavior went on for about 20 minutes, but I kept my cool. I questioned him if his use of the word "whistle" was a euphemism for something else, because earlier the crowd had been defending the idea of a "gay gene". I asked him when he popped out of his mother was he singing Cher songs? It took several seconds for the crowd to get my drift. Eventually he left to go to class.
But almost immediately, a bunch of the hecklers decided to augment the side show. They surrounded me and began to do a rather lewd homosexual dance. I stood my ground until they finished with their display of depravity. Even though I was tooooo cooool, it still did creep me out. I felt like the only hen in a house full of roosters.
The big success of the day was that I was able to re-engage Abraham in a discussion of what it is we do. It was after the day ended and I was about to leave. He returned and a small group surrounded me. The discussion was dispassionate and cordial. He objected to the division that always follows the preaching. He quoted me passages about unity in the church I tried to explain that the role of the pastor is unity, but the role of the preacher is division:
Mt 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
We are trying to bring believers OUT of the world, not to build unity with the world.
The outcome the discussion was that I think he is beginning understand what we are trying to do. We parted with a handshake. He said we would disagree, but his resolve was greatly diminished. I am praying that the Lord will allow him to see the fruit of this kind of ministry for himself. Those we influence do not email our detractors, they email us to testify of their salvation. For some examples, we have posted a few on our bulletin board . Fruit
First thing in the morning we drove up to Truman State University only to find they were in their Fall break. So we turned around and came right back. We got to Mizzou about 1:20 PM and I started to preach while Jed parked the car. I thought I would try another subject this morning, so I began to talk about how different world views fail to explain our reality. Only Christianity can explain reality because only Christianity can bring understanding of mankind. BTW, Abraham was around all day and never inserted himself into the fray. As I had suggested to him yesterday that the preaching could be made much more effective if we had Christians working the crowds. He worked the crowds all day. I hope that we will have an ally from now on. If only he will leave himself open to God instead of the mind numbing theology of Campus Crusade, sin's greatest defender.
Before long I switched over to the subject of what a real man is. For some reason that subject got them highly incensed. I talked about how a real man would treat his woman, and how a real man would lay down his life for his family. A real man will love the truth and again lay his life down for it. He will endure pain and hardship without complaining He will be brave and courageous. He will not compromise the truth. He will not be ruled by his passions, but by his virtue.
The crowd did not take to well to that. Three times my chair was stolen, and the third time it was stolen and broken. I turned the crowd over to Jed, and he read from the Bible to them. It quieted them down, the rascals. At one point, a lewd female came out to Jed and began to dance around him. His composure never wavered.
His composure never wavered.
That was not all the surprises for the day. Something showed up to trouble my dreams for weeks to come. I am pretty sure it was a man because it had a beard. But who knows in schools as wicked as Mizzou
In the end of the day, I was able to get in some quality time with a small group of students who were respectful and intellectually honest. They had questions about the nature of God and why there is evil in the world. Almost everyone who has that problem always believes that God is like the God of Calvin. If God predestinates evil, and sends people to Hell for doing something that they cannot refuse to do, then He is a tyrant. Almost every conversation starts with this line, "If God knows everything...". As soon as I hear that, I stop them. I have already uncovered the root of their unbelief - a God who defies logic and in so doing must be evil - the God of Calvin.
It was an exciting week, and I am sorry it is over. Next week, Jed will be going to Iowa, and I will be heading down to speak at the SOAPA conference in Marietta, GA. Please pray for traveling mercy for both of us. Next stop Georgia.
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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