PREACHING AT UNIVERSITY OF CLEMSON
Monday October 17, 2011-Clemson, South Carolina: Sister Elizabeth and I drove over in the morning from the northeast corner of Georgia to apply for a permit to preach at the University of Clemson. This school requires 48 hour advance notice to make sure security is on hand and no one else has the area reserved.
I preached here for 3 days back in April 2009 and again in November 2009 and seemed to have had great meetings with large crowds and the students becoming more and more receptive as the days went on.
Well as we arrived on campus we noticed hardly anyone was around. Going to the office I found out the students and staff was on fall break. Staff would return tomorrow and students would return Wednesday.
Tuesday October 18, 2011-Clemson, South Carolina: We now had moved over to the Clemson area and applied for a permit on Thursday October 20, Friday October 21 and Monday October 24.
Wednesday October 19, 2011-Clemson, South Carolina: Preached in a local church that evening and was invited to return again Sunday.
Thursday October 20, 2011-University of Clemson-Clemson, South Carolina: We arrived on campus just after noon and our permit was from 12 PM to 5 PM. We seemed to be having some technical difficulties with my voice recorder and this caused some delay.
COLD DAY FOR FLORIDIANS
I arrived in the free speech area in the Cox plaza around 12:45 PM. They always fence in an area for us to keep the crowd from getting too close. I like this. I talked to the man in charge of security for a few minutes and began preaching at 1:00 PM.
It was a cold day (high in upper 50’s) and was very windy but the sky was clear and sunny. There were almost no students anywhere when I began preaching so it took a few minutes to begin to gather a crowd.
GATHERING A CROWD
Gradually a small group gathered mainly to listen to one atheist who kept asking me questions and I kept answering his questions. From here the crowd gradually grew to 30-40 and remained calm and civil. Although the crowd was small I was able to preach and expound without interruption and the students would listen well and then ask more questions.
The crowd grew to about 50-60 and then around 2:40 PM I turned the preaching over to Sister Elizabeth so I could take a restroom break. She preached until around 3:10 PM and by now the crowd was about 70-75.
During the restroom break I was approached by a black male student who knew just enough Bible to be dangerous. He was the typical student in the South who knows verses like “all have sinned”, “judge not”, “God so loved the world”, and “something about if we say we have no sin we are a liar” but did not know anything else. He let me know he was a “Christian” and a “minister” (I was impressed) and wanted to know was I aware of all the Christian groups on campus that are preaching the same message I am but in a way the students can relate to. He really liked to hear himself say the word “contextuuuuual” and I was also impressed with this. He also told me the school had one of the largest FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) organizations.
After talking to “Mr. BIG MAN on Campus” I preached on for another hour from 3:10 PM until 4:10 PM and although now the crowd was a little larger they remained civil and listened well.
By now the crowd of 40-65 had closed in all around the fenced in area and I continued answering their questions until the permit expired at 5:00 PM.
Sister Elizabeth and I remained in the Cox Plaza area until around 5:40 PM continuing to talk to students and answering their questions. Most of the better conversations are at the end of the day after the preaching has stopped. This is where the Nicodemuses (John 3) show up seeking the truth.
Friday October 21, 2011-University of Clemson-Clemson, South Carolina: We again arrived on campus just after noon mainly due to traffic congestion in Clemson over the football game on Saturday.
I stepped into the free speech area around 12:25 PM and a young female approached me and introduced herself. She told me she was a staff member and was there to let students know I had gone through proper procedures to be there and had a right to be there. I talked to her a few minutes and began preaching around 12:35 PM.
Today was somewhat warmer than yesterday with clear sunny skies and no wind. It again took a little time to get things going but not quite as long as yesterday. The crowd went from a handful to 25 and continued growing to 50-60. Like yesterday they remained civil. At times they were more rowdy than yesterday but comparatively civil and for the most part I preached without much heckling or interruptions.
STIRRING THE POT
The crowd grew slightly larger than yesterday also and by 2:00 PM was about 70-75. I needed a restroom break and turned the preaching over to Sister Elizabeth. Sister Elizabeth preached until about 2:30 PM and the crowd built up to about 100-115. They were somewhat rowdy when I took over the preaching around 2:30 PM.
They closed in around the fence and all began firing questions at the same time, making accusations, threats, etc. I made them get quiet before I answered any questions and just took one at a time. They were somewhat riled up but I kept making them get quiet before I resumed preaching. This worked well and they would eventually settle down and listen before exploding again.
I preached until 3:30 PM and the crowd size was still around 50-70 all crowding the fenced in area and firing questions. I stayed in the area and answered their questions until my permit expired at 5:00 PM.
One of the students invited us to eat. I did not care to eat but I accepted his invitation so we could talk. If this student would stand up for God, His Word and against sin the same way he stood against me for preaching against sin he would be a world changer.
We started to head to the school library but about 10 other students followed us. As we were entering into the library the woman who had been in charge of security told me politely that if I wanted to have a discussion with that many students we must leave the campus as it could cause problems.
We walked to a nearby coffee shop and four students joined us. The one who invited us I thought was a hypocrite, one was a professing Calvinist who later turned out to be a total hypocrite , and the other two seemed to be Nicodemuses.
The hypocrite copped out of all the scriptural arguments I gave him for living sin free by using Romans 8:39 by saying that not even sin could separate us from the love of God. I quoted him John 15:10 where Jesus said “if ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love” but he said that did not apply and neither did Isaiah 59:2 because “that was before salvation”. I also showed him where Hebrews 3:12-13 said we could depart from God by sin but this was also to no avail.
We left the coffee shop close to 7:00 PM.
Sunday October 23, 2011: I returned to the church I preached at Wednesday evening and preaching at the pastor’s request on the top five questions we get on campus and how we answer them scripturally.
Monday October 24, 2011-University of Clemson-Clemson, South Carolina: My permit today was from 2 PM to 5 PM because another group reserved the area from 12 PM to 1:30 PM.
The weather was perfect for preaching. I arrived in the area around 1:15 PM. The other group was taking down their set up. I just sat and waited to see if any students would approach me. Around 1:30 PM several students approached me and began asking me questions. Soon a few more had come around and a small group of listeners gathered. The crowd grew some but for a good while was only around 20-35. They were civil and listened well.
The Calvinist student from Friday approached the crowd and began hollering cuss words. Oh well I guess it doesn’t matter since even sin can’t separate you from God.
Eventually the crowd grew to around 50-70 but that was the largest for this day. I took a short bathroom break for about 2 minutes around 3:30 PM while Sister Elizabeth covered the preaching. They were somewhat rowdy at times but would settle down again and listen well.
THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND
Around this time one student came up with the usual “God loves you no matter how much you sin against him all the time but he still won’t send you to hell if you pray the sinners prayer” message and interrupted the preaching and told the students if they wanted to talk to a “sinner” about real issues, real “scriptures”, etc. then follow me over here. I guess all the scriptures I had been quoting the last three days were not “real” scriptures.
About 5-10 students followed him over there and predictably he ran out of things to tell them pretty quickly but then he must have gotten them all saved because I saw them all joining hands and praying. Maybe they were praying against me. It doesn’t matter because he kept calling himself a sinner and we all know the Bible says “now we know that God heareth not sinners” (John 9:31), but hears the righteous (1 Peter 3:12) and makes a distinction between the two (1 Peter 4:18).
Soon he was back over interrupting again and trying to steal the crowd since he could not get one himself. To his credit he did let me respond and answer him after I let him say what he wanted to say.
SLINGING THEOLOGICAL TERMS
He reminded me of a lay person who picks up a medical book and reads a few definitions of terms and then starts slinging them around like he knows what he is talking about. That is how this student sounded slinging around theological terms he had not studied for himself.
Around 4:50 PM there were still about 40-50 students crowding the fenced in area and I was asked to give my testimony. The students listened well as I gave my testimony.
At 5:00 PM I exited the area and thanked the security person. Sister Elizabeth and I stayed around talking to students around 5:40 PM. I had some good conversations with a few of the students and one student seemed to have really opened up to what I had been preaching.
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