It's all about us!
Missouri State University, April 29, 2008
We had an outstanding day on campus for the "Jed Fest." The sponsors of the charitable event, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, received contributions of almost $300 for the Heifer Project. We had a steady crowd of up to 100 listening all afternoon. I won the hearts of a lot of students for participating in this event, at least for the day. I even agreed to let them water balloon me, if they could raise $100 for one throw; which they raised within 30 minutes. The students gave me an ovation for that. I did not get too wet. Several students commended me for being a good sport, good humored, etc.
One notable incident was when a girl named Sharon approached me while Bro was preaching. She thanked me for giving her a copy of my autobiography a few weeks ago at Southeast Missouri State where she had been visiting friends. When I first started preaching, I had asked how many in the crowd were following Christ. She was one of about six who raised her hand.
She said my book had already influenced her.
I asked, "How?"
She referred to this paragraph where I write, "Jesus was motivated by love, but He only speaks of God's love for humanity in six verses in the four gospels. In 163 verses He speaks of wrath, Hell, condemnation and judgment."
Soon she had all sorts of thoughtful questions for me. She received my answers without gainsaying. She said that she had read the Bible through twice.
She asked a few times if one could be a Christian and be a lesbian. I finally asked if she was a lesbian. She said yes; but she claimed she had not done anything sexual with her girlfriend, just hugged and kissed. I have heard that a lot in recent years. She told me that her father was a transsexual, who had an operation schedule in a few months. There is so much confusion among the young; they do not know what they are.
I conversed with her for at least 30 minutes. I asked if she would give me her email address so that a local pastor friend of mine could contact her. She agreed. I believe she is a very bright girl with a lot of potential. She needs to be reached before she totally gives herself over to the lust of the flesh.
While I was preaching to the main crowd, Bro or Pat would have a group of students surrounding them. This is always a good sign that the spirit is moving. Bro reported that he had a very low key and profitable conversation with six Christians concerning Godâ€™s grace which teaches us to live holy (Titus 2). The students did not argue with him but listened and seemed to be receiving. Pat was pleased that in her sessions she was able to simply read many scriptures to her group.
Christian Student witnesses on the sidelines
Bro Cope Talks with a Student
You Tube link to Jed Fest:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX_hJEwIAfs&NR=1
THE DEVIL INTERVENES
MSU, April 30
We preached in another area on campus today which actually has more traffic. The Spaghetti Monster gang with their signs was out once again; but unlike yesterday they were trying to interfere with our preaching. At one point two boys read obscene poetry beside us at the top of their voices. But between Bro and me, we were able to persevere despite this distraction. At 4:30 PM Bro was preaching to an attentive group of fifty when a girl said, â€œThe only reason they are here is because we are giving them an audience. Letâ€™s all leave.â€� Bro perceived that this was the devil speaking through this woman.
Bro said later, â€œI had them in the cup of my hand. Satan knew it and he was determined that the students were not going to hear his message.â€�
This is a tactic that the devil will sometimes use; it usually does not work. However, virtually all the crowd left as the woman walked away to Broâ€™s rebukes directed towards her. Since it was late in the afternoon, we decided not to preach again. We did converse with a few students for a while. A psychology major, Max, who is a Christian, thanked us for coming and praised our courage and boldness. He admitted that our ministry has opened all sorts of opportunities for him to witness.
Bro Cope preaches (hat and suspenders in center).
Earlier in the afternoon I had had addressed Max and female psychology major, Amber, and the crowd concerning the psychologiesâ€™ failure to make a proper distinction between a causation and an influence. With causation one is bound to have a certain result, with an influence one may or may not have a particular result. Psychologists will usually teach that man is a product of his genes and environment. They fail to recognize a third alternative; that man is a product of his choices. In life we all fall under good and bad influences; and we may have some good and bad genes. However, bad social influences and weak genes can be resisted. Therefore, man is accountable and responsible. Most psychologists do not hold man responsible for his actions.
Last week, I attended a lecture on â€œmental illnessâ€� in a church setting. The speakers had two solutions; we must remove the stigma of mental illness and the mentally ill need to stay on their medication.
I asked, â€œWhat could we as Christians do to help these people? After all, when Jesus encountered a man behaving in a bizarre manner, He brought him peace of mind.â€� The answer I got was unsatisfactory in that nothing was offered that any non-Christian could not offer to the â€œmentally ill.â€�
I am convinced that most of what we call mental illness is a result of people living selfishly and irresponsible lives. In the past common sense affirmed this in the minds of most men; so there was rightly a stigma associated with this â€œdisease.â€� There are few mental problems that a good sound conversion experience will not solve. Now I realize that sometimes there are physical causes that may be beyond a personâ€™s capacity to overcome. But even then with the power of Christ amazing transformations can take place.
Regrettably, the Church usually teaches that Adamâ€™s sin caused us to sin; if true, then men should not be accountable or held responsible by a Just God. But the truth is that Adamâ€™s example has influenced us all to sin. Thankfully, we have the good example of the second Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ, to influence us to righteous living. It is our choice, to follow Adam into sin or Christ in righteous. We have in the past all made the wrong choice. But by the grace of God, some of us have made a new choice. We have chosen to follow Jesus. He changes everything!
AN UNBELIEVING HOME SCHOOL FAMILY
Brother Jed talks with the Mother of the Unbelieving Family
MSU, May 1
We moved to another location in front of Strong Hall to preach today. The weather was very windy. Sister Pat started and drew a crowd of about 30. She turned the meeting over to me. One of the students, Kent, who read Alan Ginsburg poetry loudly yesterday to disrupt, once again resorted to this tactic. I decided not to try to preach over him. So I walked away from the crowd. I know and I think that they know that they really do not have a show without me. So I did not care to put up with their tactics at least that early in the afternoon. Meanwhile, several students gathered around me for a good conversation, while the Spaghetti Monster crew continued their crazy tactics. After a while, Bro decided to get into the action. Bro did quite a preach for an hour or so standing fast in the midst of the zany tactics of the Spaghetti people and their noisy interruptions. Late in the afternoon I had a good conversation with Kent, who is an English major. We talked of literature, history, politics and, of course, religion.
Finally, I decided to get back in the action, which had the effect of subduing the students because they really want to hear what I have to say. The leader of the Spaghetti cult, J.T., engaged me in an informal debate over various issues. Eventually, the crowd became stirred again; and I turned the meeting back to Bro since some geological questions had been raised and Bro is very knowledgeable in this field. Bro presented many facts that refuted the wild fantasy of evolution.
Sister Pat at Jed Fest
For two day I engaged in a lengthy conversations with a 55 year old man named, Mark. He brought out his wife Donna. They have homeschooled their four children. All of their children are involved with Church of the FSM. The oldest girl, Amber, will be working on an advanced degree in psychology next year at the University of Arkansas. Mark is a former drug addict who has successfully gone through the 12 point program. He has a sense of spirituality, but he does not know the Lord. Nevertheless, we had good fellowship together and I liked the whole family despite the blasphemous ways of the children. On the sidelines I had pleasant and in depth conversations with them all.
I stopped preaching about 4:45 since we had a three hour drive back to Columbia. On the way home Sister Pat remarked, â€œStudents when they gather in a crowd usually have to have beer, loud music, drugs, sex, or have something to entertain them whether it sports or a movie or a band. However, they gather to hear us for hours without any of these things that are generally thought of necessary to have fun or a so-called good time. Yet they will gather for hours to hear us speak against those things which they love so much. This demonstrates the power of Godâ€™s Word preached with the power of the Holy Ghost.â€�
Many students have told me over the years, both believers and non-believers that my preaching meetings have been the highlight of their college years. Oh, if the college ministers would consistently preach an uncompromising message against sin, we could have a revival!
Bro Cope and One of the Homeschool Girls
University of Missouri, May 2
Today only Bro and I went to Speakersâ€™ Circle. It rained all morning and the afternoon was windy and partly cloudy. We did not start until 12:45 to give the weather more time to clear. The crowd never was above 25 and it was difficult to hold their attention. We stopped preaching at 3 PM. In Christ, Bro Jed