Friday, November 18, 2016

A street preacher's thoughts on "BLM are racist thugs" at the University of Oklahoma

On November 16, 2016, two street preachers of some infamy appeared on the campus of the University of Oklahoma to make a name for themselves. I am to some extent familiar with these men as we run in some of the same circles both in real life and on social media. I am compelled to offer some commentary based on a great deal of experience in similar situations, as a preacher, as an alumnus, and as an outside observer, given that the behavior, speech, and underlying theology of these men are awful and the student, faculty, and police response was approximately equally bad. The astute observer is thus left dismayed at how the main victims of the day were truth and righteousness.

First and foremost, any cursory review of my social media presence will reflect that I do frequently engage in street preaching and other community agitation. I stress here that I refuse any and all brotherhood or fellowship with men such as these, and I have done so for a long time (see here for a collection of links and videos substantiating such, notably this video), even to the point of experiencing challenges in mutual friendships I hold with other men whose discernment I would call dangerously immature. I have come into conflict with Larry Street, the preacher wearing a cap and sunglasses, while I was preaching and he was preaching at an Oklahoma City Black Mass. I first met "Brother Jim" Gilles around 1997 when he was preaching in front of OU's Dale Hall and I was a student at OU. As his preaching then is about the same as it is now, I rebutted him in public, especially on his claims that he no longer sins, that he is sinlessly perfect. My arguments were not wrong back then as far as I remember, but I have learned how better to combat ideas such as his in the 19 intervening years.

I have no part with these men and believe them to be dangerous false teachers. Their main message amounts to "stop sinning, sinner", which is far from the content of the main message of the Bible. As if his public proclamations weren't sufficient, Street's Facebook profile is even Gilles for his part denies numerous fundamental biblical doctrines, such as the doctrine of the Trinity. He affirms that works of man (such as water baptism) (in the name of Jesus only, by the way) are necessary pre-requisites for justification, the new birth, the forgiveness of sins, thus perverting the Gospel; in short, he is a Oneness Pentecostal, a heretic. In addition, as mentioned previously, he exalts himself as a sinlessly perfect man, rather than exalting the cross of Christ, thus setting himself up over all the holy men and women recorded in the Scripture (the best of whom, apart from Jesus Christ, are said to be righteous/blameless, which is not equivalent to sinless perfection) and violating numerous Scriptures, not least 2 Corinthians 4:5 and Galatians 6:14.

In keeping with their strategy of self-exaltation, these men consider that attracting a large crowd is an end that justifies whatever means required to achieve it. This is why Jim wears t-shirts declaring "Allah is Satan" with red dashes oozing drops of blood near the neckline, saying "cut along dotted line". This is why they print up needlessly offensive signs such as "BLM are racist thugs" and take them out in public. Their main interest is not to glorify Jesus Christ by saying the things Jesus did and acting the ways He acted. Neither Jesus nor the apostles nor the prophets are ever recorded taking a relatively minor societal movement and making it the centerpiece of social agitation. Rather, they generally focused on major, enormous sins that were common to most or all of society, such as child sacrifice, and often proclaimed the biblical response to that evil, the cross of Christ, repentance of sin toward God, the resurrection of Christ, and taking up one's cross to follow Him, leaving behind worldly ways.

Clearly their main desire is to puff themselves up and make people angry rather than to exalt Christ. That is one reason why they took cynical advantage of the shallow idiocy of the majority of our modern culture, leveraging the foolish Black Lives Matter movement and the mass of emotion surrounding it, to criticise the few leaders of that movement. This is not an objectively persuasive argument; while the message on the sign is true in the main, it is irrelevant to the justice of the BLM cause. Far better to demonstrate the hypocrisy inherent in the BLM ideology vis-a-vis its behavior, such as how BLM demonstrators usually take the most action after an incident of supposed police brutality while ignoring the fact that 1/3 of all black babies are aborted in the USA every day. No, they chose to restrict their offense to that which they calculated would maximise the emotional overload. They even calculate the way they talk and the things they say (such as "I don't let women tell me what to do") to enrage and trigger brittle, immature people.

Note also the (unsurprising) inability of liberals to respond in any substantive way. University president and former US Senator and governor of Oklahoma David Boren felt the incident important enough to address the mob in person, which is interesting in and of itself. Boren's speech is full of inane lib-speak. Consider these paraphrased nuggets:

"OU is a family."

A family which one pays to be part of. A family in which sexual assault and immorality are rampant. Hazing, drunkenness, hatred, opposing factions, totally opposite worldviews... apparently families exist where someone merely proclaims they exist.

"These preachers have no right to be here."

Yet the university is public, supported by Oklahoma taxpayers like Larry Street, and its outside spaces are a traditional public forum for free expression of ideas. On what basis does Boren remove that right?

"They preach division."

Jesus did too. Boren conveniently ignores those passages of Scripture so that he can put forward his own ideas of the foundations of unity and what unity is supposed to look like.

"I request as a human being - leave."

Apparently it is "human" and good to plaster over divisions and perpetuate ideas of false peace.

"Diversity is our strength."

The amazing irony is evidently lost on Boren as he preaches diversity while removing dissenters from the grounds of the public university by threat of force. This is the oft-observed tolerance of the intolerant. Diversity for me, not for thee.

Of course, it should surprise no one whose eyes are open that liberals have no good, grown-up answers to problems like police brutality or racism; nor can they countenance enormous problems like the abortion genocide against black people. Yet the saddest part of this entire episode is the response of "Christians" to these preachers of wickedness. It is no surprise that a church culture that itself won't even try to offer real answers to systematic child sacrifice has prepared none of its 20 year old students to deal biblically with men and situations such as these, but it is heartbreaking. That the church people see fit to stand with the liberals and say the things they are saying tells us all we need to know about the health of the churches.

At some point an apparently professing student-athlete and church person by the name of Najee Bissoon stood up to take the megaphone. His message? "There's only one thing that can conquer hate, and that's f*cking love."

As that sinks in, consider that he apparently went on to lead a post-mob prayer circle in which they repeated the same liberal nonsense that Boren had affirmed, frosted lightly with christianoid verbiage. Very little in the way of biblical response is in evidence. Bissoon himself barely even blushed to offer his obscene reply to the preachers' words, yet put himself forward and allowed his to be seen as the Christian and commonsense response. Whether dropping an F-bomb in public in the name of Jesus is as bad as preaching what Larry and Jim preached is beside the point. Bissoon showed what is in his heart (Luke 6:45). When under pressure, it wasn't Holy Spirit that was squeezed out; it was wicked, foul language. I hope someone has gone to Bissoon to call him to repentance, as the profanity came out of him smoothly, by all appearances after much practice. I wonder why no Christian stood up to oppose these men and preach a message of true fidelity to Jesus' Gospel, neither partaking in the lies of the culture as encapsulated by President Boren nor the lies of self-righteous religion as demonstrated by Larry and Jim.

As one who ministers fairly regularly in roughly the same spot as these men used, I wonder now how this incident will affect other preachers like me going forward. Usually agitation at Dale Hall goes without opposition from campus police. Apart from that question, how will the student population be pre-disposed to judge anyone who stands in public and raises his voice and says stuff like "sin" and "Jesus"? As a crazy, racist, self-righteous moron, right? But I am none of those things, by God's grace, while Larry and Jim are. Yet Larry and Jim make themselves more visible by their disgraceful behavior.

Humanly speaking, therefore, true Gospel preachers will be viewed with unmerited suspicion by these people who have been exposed to Larry and Jim. In a sense the throngs reveal their hearts in that when righteous agitation exposing things like the sin leading all to Hell and the child sacrifice Holocaust comes their way, they largely ignore it, but when unrighteous agitation on a relatively minor topic crosses their path, they flock to interact, persecute, and be near. Ironically, this is a fulfillment of prophecies from the Apostle Paul -
1 Tim 4:1-2 - But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron.

2 Tim 4:3-4 - For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.
Usually those passages are cited to make sense of the huge followings of the likes of Joel Osteen and TD Jakes. The likes of Larry and Jim make a mockery of the Gospel just as JoelO and Jakes do, just in a different way, and people flock to them for similar reasons - to flee from the truth, embrace delusion, and feel justified in doing so.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 - those... perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

It is actually a manifestation of the wrath of God that crowds flock to surround men like Jim and largely ignore righteous Gospel preaching. They can't even be bothered to actively hate the message; they just flit from one entertaining attraction to the next, indifferent, apathetic, and complacent. Wickedness comes in many forms. May God bring Larry and Jim to repentance, and may He deliver us all from all wickedness in all its shapes.