Finally returned to preach at the University of North Alabama again. We had not preached here since the first time we preached here just over three years ago on April 4, 2012 on our way out to our first trip to Oklahoma.
After our April 4, 2012 preach at UNA I was contacted and challenged to a formal debate with a local Calvinist Baptist pastor. We agreed and set up the date as February 13, 2013. My challenger put us in a hotel the night before and we debated in a hotel ballroom in Florence, Alabama. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=what+is+the+gospel+debate+with+barry+carpenter
We arrived on campus yesterday around 11:45 AM but had to wait to register our vehicle. It was very overcast with temperatures in the low 70’s.
I began preaching on the gazebo where I had preached last time at about 12:10 PM. To the back of me behind the gazebo was a group of students with tables set up.
To the left of the gazebo was a group of students participating in some time of activity and they had music playing fairly low.
As soon as I began preaching the group with the tables behind me told me they were using the area for the next 45 minutes.
They were very polite. I decided I would preach on the steps leading up to the gazebo and try not to interfere with their activity although I did not think I really needed to.
As soon as I began preaching I began getting attention and students began stopping to challenge me.
I drew an immediate crowd and had a crowd the whole day although the crowd size never grew to a real large crowd. Most of the day the crowd size was only from about 40 to around 120 at the largest.
Soon I was surrounded with so many hecklers attempting to disrupt me and stop me on the steps I felt it necessary to head back up unto the gazebo to continue preaching.
The group behind me must have gotten so involved in trying to heckle and thwart me that they never asked me again to get down from the gazebo.
Of course soon the students with the music playing to the left turned the music up louder. The music was still not real loud but a distraction and obstacle to preach over nonetheless.
A real obnoxious white male student showed up following me around the gazebo as I preached and playing his guitar and singing. He flagrantly flaunted and admitted to sins he was committing claiming he was covered by grace and Jesus blood while he sang worship and love songs to Jesus.
Of course I rebuked him as well as others in the crowd. The Florence area is a real stronghold for the Church of Christ as well as baptist/calvinists. I believe Paul Washer regularly preaches at a church in nearby Muscle Shoals.
There was a heavy set white girl who was Church of Christ who boasted of her sins. I rebuked her also along with a Oneness Pentecostal girl in the crowd.
Later the Church of Christ girl’s boyfriend showed up and she behaved better. He seemed like a somewhat reasonable guy and listened to me as I refuted the subject of baptismal regeneration.
I had to battle the guitar player following me around most of the afternoon. At times he would stop and leave the area but then would return again.
One student must have let me know about 50 times that he was an atheist and a homosexual.
Police were on hand for much of the day but did nothing about the guitar singing hypocrite following me around. I would try to walk away or around him but he would try to follow me and block me.
The officers claimed the student could follow me all the way to my car playing his guitar and singing as I tried to walk away and they could do nothing about it.
Sometimes I would move away and stand quietly and wait for the crowd to move away from him over to me. Usually at that point he would stop for a while.
After about an hour or so the sun came out.
In spite of the heckling, interruptions and distractions I was able to cut through and destroy all their hypocritical unbiblical justifications for living in sin while claiming to be saved, washed in the blood, etc.
I was attempting to answer some of the students who had questions who seemed to be more reasonable and civil and settle things down.
At this point a black male student who heckled me fiercely three years ago showed up. I believe this student is totally full of religious spirits.
He showed up and began screaming at the crowd to listen to him. He claimed he heard I was here and he came from work just to come against me. He made a real humanistic, come together, let’s all get along, koombaya, ecumenical speech full of hot air.
I constantly heckled him throughout the speech. He said absolutely nothing and certainly nothing biblical. It was about like our president’s campaign speeches the first run. Zero substance.
I am sure if he were white he would have been totally ignored but the students are so brainwashed by political correctness they are afraid to not agree and ignore the black student.
After a while he continued his rant and the students were getting bored so they began to drift over to where I was quietly standing and began having some good dialogue.
The black male student eventually convinced a group to come with him and stand under the tree and form a prayer circle.
He prayed a long and loud prayer that had absolutely NO ANOINTING WITHIN A MILLION MILES OF THAT PRAYER.
It was a prayer with unclean hands and an impure heart that God promised not to hear. Once I looked over and about half of the 20 students in the circle were not even paying attention but looking at me to try to hear me and see how I was reacting.
Around the time the prayer finished I sat down on the steps at the top of the gazebo and was having some decent discussion.
The black male said he was getting ready to leave and asked to give me a hug. I accepted and told him I remembered him from three years ago and he also remembered me. He had seen me around town in his work place and had not recognized me but was watching me. I noticed him and we spoke but I did not make the connection that he was the one who had heckled me 3 years ago. We both laughed and we got along good for some time.
I began having a discussion with him and making some progress as the students around listened in.
However we parted ways when he claimed people who had gotten saved continued to commit sins like fornication, homosexuality and drunkenness and claimed they were “struggling”.
At that point he tried to stop listening to me and keep talking so it would not show to the other students how ignorant of the Bible he actually was. I gave him a few scriptures to refute him but he got away from me. He was a nice guy but full of religious spirits.
Amazingly near the end of the day I had a great discussion with the guitar playing singer who had heckled me most of the day and bragged to the crowd about the sins he was involved in and how Jesus forgave and covered him.
I really think I made progress and he was very open. I believe God was already dealing with him and convicting him of those sins before I arrived but I do not think this student really understood how Jesus victor was for us to have victory over the power of sin and not just the penalty.
It was just before 4:00 PM when I decided to leave the gazebo area.
There was now one lone black male police officer who had not been there earlier. I thanked him and told him I was leaving.
Sister Elizabeth had small groups around her all day also and was able to give away many tracts to students that were asking for them on various subjects.
As sister Elizabeth and I went into the student union to use the restroom a well dressed black male approached me to shake my hand and asked to talk with me.
We sat down and he told me he was from the Church of Christ and his father was a Church of Christ pastor.
He said he liked and agreed with much of what I preached and said it was brilliant how I exploited their ignorance. He said the people he worked with in the office got mad at him for saying that but he did not take it back.
He told me how this area was a real stronghold for the Church of Christ and how much of the Church of Christ were black.
He said he really wanted me to talk to his father the next time I was in the area and asked for my information. This black male Church of Christ student was part of the student government and also worked on campus.
I liked him and got along well with him but I could hardly keep from laughing at him when he told me how the Church of Christ had no headquarters and was not a denomination but they did not consider anyone else who was not a part of the Church of Christ a part of the real church.
I did appreciate his honesty on that though.
I jokingly asked him if he was trying to recruit me for the Church of Christ and he responded in all sincerity by telling me he was trying to recruit me.