Understanding Bible Jim’s preaching
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On-campus preachers offend many but they deserve our respect
If you are a student at UNLV, you have most likely seen this group of people at some point, outside the CBC.
They are Christians who come on campus to tell people about Jesus, or, more accurately, to tell people about Hell.
They have signs that read about the sins proclaimed in the Bible and they attract so much attention that they don’t even need megaphones.
As much as I would expect only those who don’t know Jesus to be offended by this group, Christians at this school are also standing up to these preachers.
I am a born-again Christian and even I cannot make up my mind about these people.
I have my problems with them and as shocking as it might sound, my admirations for them.
The largest message I saw on the main sign was “Jesus Saves.” Of course, the infamous list of sins and sinners that people are often offended by was also there.
I asked “Bible Jim” (the group’s leader) about their message: Unless people know they are drowning, they will not cling to a raft.
I guess in this scenario, Jesus Christ would be the saving raft and you have to understand you are a sinner or else you won’t turn to him.
Their whole point is to make you recognize that you need Jesus.
They present the message abrasively, but the message isn’t meant to harm.
I cannot decide if these people are wrong or if I am wrong. I don’t think I am doing any better than them. In all honesty, I am probably doing worse.
The Bible tells us to go out and preach the gospel to the world, but I don’t go out and talk to complete strangers about Jesus and what he did for them.
The people preaching on campus really are just following what they think is the right way. Isn’t that the point of freedom in America?
We all know that they aren’t forcing anything on any of us.
Jesus told us to go out and tell people about Him and what He did for them and they are doing just that.
These preachers might be spreading their message in a way some people don’t like but that doesn’t make them wrong.
But are people mad because the message is being presented in a harsh way or because it is being presented at all? The gospel of Christ is offensive. There is no way around that.
Jesus calls us to turn away from sin and this world and to follow Him.
His message makes it very clear that we are all sinners and we all need His perfect sacrifice in order to be saved. That is offensive to many.
These people are bold to go out and tell others about the gospel and to put feet to their faith and I admire that.
Nonetheless, here’s the one fault I found in their method: I expect that when genuine people go out and tell others that they are on a path to Hell that they would do it with tears in their eyes.
The Bible teaches to love one another and I would have liked to see from this group a genuine concern for people rather than just fulfillment of the scripture.
When they go out and preach their message, I should see sorrow for the fate of souls, not anger for the sins. But these preachers were rude at points and I could tell that Bible Jim had a temper.
He wasn’t showing Christ the way Christ should be seen, and therefore, was almost a bad example of what a Christian should be.
But their worst flaw was not in their attitude. It was in their message.
They could not connect the idea of humanity being born into sin (and therefore being in need of Christ) to the idea that Jesus loves them and came down not to condemn them for their sins but to rescue them from their sins and to bring them into a personal relationship with him.
If I had been a person ignorant of the Word of God and I believed their message, I would still not know anything about salvation and how to apply it to my life, as none of that information is presented.
Even if people believed the preachers, they walked away guilty and confused instead of overflowing with joy that a God so big came to rescue them.
While I cannot claim that these people are not offensive or that I agree with everything they do, I do urge college students to be level-headed when talking to them because, in my experience, I was most horrified by the reactions to these preachers.
The people who argue with these preachers make UNLV look ignorant.
I expected better reasoning skills from college students. While you do not have to agree with their message, I implore you to be respectful.
Right and wrong seems to be a matter of personal opinion these days, so let them act on what they know to be right.
And if you get the chance, talk to them, pick their brains and understand what they believe.
Because even if you end up disagreeing with them, you will be able to intelligently respond and make me proud to be a part of this community.