DISHONORABLE OFFICERS AND LARGE CAPTIVATED CROWDS AT FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY-TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA-NOVEMBER 20-22, 2013
Wednesday November 20, 2013-Florida State University-Tallahassee, Florida:
I have always enjoyed preaching on this campus and had a great three day meeting last December (2012) the final week of the semester.
FELLOW CAMPUS PREACHER TOM SHORT AND HIS DISPLAY
Walking up near the free speech area I noticed there was some display of signs up and a crowd of about 50-60 gathered around.
The signs were pro Christian/anti evolution and the guy talking to the crowd was long time campus preacher Tom Short.
I appreciate Tom’s ministry even though we would not agree doctrinally on several issues. He has more of an apologetic emphasis than we do and his message is probably more geared to intellectual discussion than strong preaching emphasizing repentance from sin and holy living.
On the campuses of Ohio State University and IUPUI (Indianopolis, Indiana) I turned very large crowds I had been preaching to over to him.
I did not want to interfere with Tom nor look as if I was opposing him but the spot I would be preaching in was far enough away where it would not interfere.
I began preaching around 2:05 PM on this overcast day in the high 60’s. The crowd did not become very large right away but it did not take long to begin to gather listeners and start having people heckle and ask questions.
The crowd remained playful and civil while continuing to grow and I believed I was able to preach very and make my points very effectively.
Most of the crowd seemed to be composed of rank self professed heathens rather than the usual professing Christian hypocrites. I am figuring many of those may have been listening to Tom Short.
The crowd continued to grow to around 200-250. This is a good sized crowd on most campuses but is really not that large of a crowd for this campus.
The crowd kept their distance for probably slightly over one hour and then several moved in to try to give me a “group hug”.
I escaped and hopped upon one of the many ledges in the area. Several in the crowd sat down in front of me and the crowd was more rowdy than earlier and many hecklers were clowning around but the crowd remained fairly civil and I was still able to preach effectively.
The students really seemed to like the way I slapped my Bible when making points and asked for me to do it several times.
I had been scheduled to preach in a church this evening so I wanted my voice to remain strong. I stopped preaching around 3:30 PM and announced.
Sister Elizabeth and I stayed around and talked to the students for about 30 minutes longer before leaving.
Thursday November 21, 2013-Florida State University-Tallahassee, Florida:
PHONE CALL FROM TOM SHORT AND ADJUSTMENT OF PREACHING LOCATIONS
I received a phone call from Tom Short last night letting me know today he would be moved to the area I had preached in yesterday because another group had the area he was in today reserved.
I was a little disappointed but understood and did not want to interfere with him especially if he had that large display and had to reserve the area. I am not against his ministry but am for it.
Arrived on campus today around 1:20 PM. Tom Short had his large display in the area where I preached yesterday and had a group of about 20 students around him. I think some of them were the ones who invited him to come.
I moved down about 70 yards from where he was and began preaching at 1:30 PM in a grass area with a wall in front of it. Soon I gathered a crowd of about 60-75.
USING SCRIPTURES TO EXCUSE AND DEFEND SIN
A fairly polite black male began asking me about 1 John 1:8 and did an ok job of allowing me to put it in context. Just as I finished and made my points he ignored everything I said and tried to play scripture hopscotch and bring up Romans 7.
I blew his argument away by quoting Romans 7:14 and explaining what carnal meant in the context of Romans 8:5-7 and Romans 6:23.
Every time he would say anything the crowd would cheer. He would not admit if a homosexual died a homosexual he would go to hell. He also admitted to being in sexual sin.
Soon several other hecklers showed up who claimed to be Christians and pretended to be Greek scholars like the black male student I was already contending with.
Several loud black females kept rebuking me sharply and calling me names and judging me for rebuking sin sharply and judging sin.
Around 2:45 PM a student wearing suspenders showed up with a radio playing loud music and starting dancing as the crowd cheered and the music drowned me out.
I backed up about 25 yards and stood on a ledge and continued preaching as the crowd came to where I had moved.
DISHONORABLE POLICE OFFICERS
Two police officers had showed up and had seen the student drown me out with the radio and watched me move away from the noise.
In front of the police the student with the radio moved right to where I had moved and began blasting the radio in front of me.
The police officers had moved next to me and I informed them that it was not legal for me to be followed around by someone with a loud radio drowning me out while I was attempting to exercise my first amendment rights.
They denied this. I asked to speak to their superior officer. He supposedly phoned his superior officer and informed him of the situation going on and the superior officer supposedly said it was ok for them to do that.
I believed the officer was flat out lying and the phone conversation was totally phoney. I told him I was recording and he said he was also. I told him he would not be reporting the incident but I would. I informed him I was moving to another area.
Another black male student who had been listening from afar told me after I moved the officer told the students after I left that they were not allowed to follow me around with the radio like they did.
I noticed the area where Tom Short had preached yesterday that had been occupied earlier today was now vacant.
NEW LOCATION IS GREAT PREACHING SPOT
I moved over to that spot and began preaching around 2:55 PM. In a very short time the crowd swelled to 200-250. I preached very effectively and strongly to the large crowd until around 3:30 PM.
The guy with the radio showed up again and began blasting me out. I was getting ready to stop anyway when the guy showed up.
I stopped preaching and moved into conversation mode with a small group.
WINNING OVER FORMER OPPONENTS DEALING WITH DIFFICULT QUESTIONS
One girl struggling with lesbianism asked me sincerely about how to overcome her desires. I counseled her for some time as my would be detractors listened in and attempted to critique me. I think they were impressed with the way I answered her and dealt with her and seemed to at least partially win some of them over.
I honestly don’t think they would have known how to respond to her and counsel her. The girl thanked me and declared to all that I had answered her question thoroughly.
I next had a very good discussion with a young man who really seemed to desire to walk with God in a pure way as my former hecklers and critics continued to listen in.
We had a great, fruitful and profitable discussion as several listened in. Some of my former hecklers from earlier in the day thanked me and seemed to appreciate me.
A snaky calvinist asked to talk to me as I was leaving. He was a typical innocent acting scripture twisting, sin defending, grace mongering, “I exalt my calvinism over any and all scriptures” calvinist. Not all are this way but many are.
I ended up rebuking him sharply before we departed.
It was around 4:45 PM when we departed.
Friday November 22, 2013-Florida State University-Tallahassee, Florida:
Today was sunny with temperatures in the mid 70’s. I arrived in the free speech area around 12:40 PM. Tom Short had his display up and had about 10 students around him.
He was in the same spot he was in on Wednesday and the spot I preached in yesterday after I moved from the first spot.
I was back to my favorite spot to preach and have had massive crowds here in the past.
I began preaching at 12:40 PM and gradually built a crowd that gathered in a large circle of about 250 all around me. I had some heckling but very little interruption.
DISRUPTION FROM DISHONORABLE POLICE OFFICER
About the most difficult opposition I had was one of the school’s dishonest, dishonorable police officers who showed up with a motorcycle to observe.
As the crowd reached it’s largest point, was listening and the preaching was going great he decided to leave by passing as slowly as possible and revving his engine up to drown me out.
I simply stopped, ignored him and waited for him to leave. Although the crowd said very little about this I almost got the impression they could not believe the officer was behaving in such a manner. Soon he left and I continued preaching.
Soon my crowd dwindled down some to around 70-75 and I felt very winded after only 45 minutes of preaching. I pressed forward and continued.
Steadily the crowd grew in a nice large circle to around 200-225 and remained that way for the rest of the time I preached.
Last year the crowds were large but after a little over an hour they would close in on me and would break out into pandemonium.
This year the crowds were not as large but they kept their distance and remained civil and attentive.
I think today I had almost a perfect crowd for a crowd that size as I had heckling and interruptions but then the hecklers would be quiet and listen as I preached and answered their questions. They never tried to close in on me and sabotage the meeting.
I continued preaching to the crowd of 200-225 until 2:55 PM and then called upon my dear wife sister Elizabeth Armstrong to preach.
I left the scene to avoid the crowd following me and being a distraction and prayed for the preaching. I observed from behind the wall and plants where the crowd could not see me.
I also observed Tom Short now had a crowd of about 50 around his display. I believe our meeting helped him get a larger audience.
As sister Elizabeth took over all the cowardly bullies showed up who were too afraid to attempt to try to bully me to bully her but she did an excellent job and the crowd size increased to around 300 or more.
Of course all the students would also want to find out if she agrees with what I was preaching and try to get her to contradict me.
At 4:00 PM I returned to the preaching area to the applause of the crowd and announced we needed to leave for the day. We also let them know brother Jed Smock would be coming to preach the next week.
BREAKING UP THE GROUND
Brother Jed preached on this campus last year after I had preached there three days and claimed he believed this was the reason his crowds were so calm and attentive. This is often the case and a fact often overlooked by those who criticize and do not participate in plowing the campuses in the open air.