Friday, April 22, 2011

preach it.

"You are like whitewashed tombs,
which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.
In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness."
-Jesus (Mat. 23:27-28)

In the past few semesters, I remember seeing/hearing about some preacher that came to campus and got people all riled up. I remember thinking, "I don't think that is the best way to tell people about Jesus. I don't agree with doing that, it just makes people mad."

However, this week, the preacher was back and I happened to get out of class early so I went over to join the huge crowd to see if I agreed with what he was saying. To my amazement, I was (along with everyone else) captivated by the conversation going on. It was an open forum where people were asking questions (usually screaming them) and "Tom the Preacher" would answer them.

I ended up listening to him talk two times that day. The first time, the crowd was surprisingly calm and civil. The second time,
however, was...slightly horrifying.

Angry people say and do stupid things. Click here for a video from my school

For instance, I heard that the day before, someone grabbed Tom's iPHONE and threw it across campus where it shattered. I guess the guy was later arrested. There was one point while I was standing there that the crowd kept on getting crazier and angrier by the second. A girl and guy (my age) came up to me with hands full of rocks. She said, "Grab one! Get ready!" with a huge smile on her face. I asked what the heck she was talking a
bout and she said, "We are going to all throw them at him all at once to make a point." Thankfully, myself and a few others who heard what she was trying to do convinced them to put them back. You may be thinking, "Wow! What a total IDIOT!" That is just one of the many examples of how INTENSE this whole debate was. I was praying over Tom FERVENTLY a few times when I was almost positive the crowd, that was slowly closing in on him, would beat him up (which has happened multiple times in years past).

I must have been listening to him for a good hour or so and I could feel him wrapping up for the day. I wanted to stay and see how he would close all of it and to my surprise, it was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced.

He said to the crowd, "I want to ask everyone who has decided today or before today, that believes in God and wants Him to be their Lord and Savior, to come to the center of the circle." The crowd started moving and dispersing until there were like 30 people. We then all grabbed hands, formed a small circle and sang:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

It's hard to explain, but it was such a...moment. To stand in the middle of my secular school, be united with other Christ-lovers that I didn't know, and sing a song that simply tells of how AMAZING God is. I mean, wow. EPIC.

Tom closed it out by praying over us and our campus. We then returned the favor and laid hands on him and prayed over his ministry.

I do believe, that was (by far), my favorite moment on my campus. I truly believe lives were changed by what happened that day. God can work through anything.

I still don't believe people should be "preached at" but I truly believe that wasn't what was happening. I saw real conversations, real emotion, and the one real God. I just pray that no matter where I am or what I am doing, I'd have the courage to do the same thing and stand up to the lies of this world and spread the amor de Jesus.

If you want to learn more about Tom, go to his website.


  1. What a sweet moment. Literally brought tears to my eyes. Tom has a boldness I've never seen and I'm so thankful you got to see him!

    Also, remember that time the creepy guy who followed me everywhere came up to us at something like that? Creeeeper.

  2. Yeah, he's awesome! He wrote a little blurb about his time in Denver on his website:

    Haha, YES! I totally remember that guy. I seriously see him all the time. And he is indeed super creepy in my book.

  3. Dude, I saw this crowd! I kind of figured it was him. I personally am still kind of torn with how evangelism is to be done. I actually need to pray more about this. I dunno, I guess I feel that people are so relational, and that Jesus' evangelism consisted of relationships, you know? He never really set aside certain days where he would go to 'that' part of town and do evangelism. He just hung out with the sinners and the poor as a habit. I'm still workin this part of my faith out haha

  4. Nate, I totally know where you're coming from. I think I'm in the same boat as you. I don't think Tom expects anyone to come to Christ right at the moment they are speaking. Instead, I think he does this just to get the word of JESUS spoken on the campus and to get people thinking about what they believe. He challenges people on what they think and what they believe and therefore get them searching after the truth. And I think that is one of the first steps to coming to know the LORD - to be searching for the truth.

  5. Yeah, I agree! It's definitely good to at least put the word of God into the world. I would say however that I disagree with "shock evangelism", or sharing Jesus by way of conviction. I think going into town and saying "You need Jesus because you've done such and such" (while there is truth to it) isn't going to do much except make them want to punch you in the face.