Vandy students have hissy-fits over open-air calls to repentance...

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Back when I was an undergrad at UW-Madison, I was strengthened in my faith by the open-air preachers on Library Mall.

Once I was privileged to protect one of the men when the student body vice-president, Leon Varjian (see pic above from the famous Lady Liberty prank) assaulted him. Varjian was pelting the preacher with eggs. Clearly it hurt, so between Varjian's trips back to his wagon to stock up (he had many dozens), I picked the eggs out of his stash and smashed them on the pavement.

Varjian got mad, but back then I was a longhair and I think he realized if he could batter a man with eggs, I could batter the sidewalk. So he stopped what he was doing and I stopped, too.

Another time a man was picking the preacher up from behind and humping him while the law enforcement officers watched and laughed...

I filed a formal complaint with the Madison police department that time. It was inexcusable: here was a man exercising his First Amendment rights being assaulted while law enforcement officers looked on and laughed.

Which is to point out the obvious. The Academy's proudest accomplishment the past fifty years or so has been indoctrinating its charges in immorality and rebellion against the Holy God. As Allan Bloom pointed out in his New York Times bestseller, The Closing of the American Mind, within the modern Academy there is little tolerance of Truth or Truth's God. Values reign supreme.

One of the saddest aspects of open-air preaching on Madison's Library Mall was the anger and opposition the preachers got from self-professing Christians. The students involved in parachurch organizations were very irritated that anyone had the temerity to speak of Jesus, calling their neighbors to repentance out there in public for everyone to hear.

All this is brought to mind by my friend, Elliot, forwarding this video clip of open-air preaching on frat row at Vanderbilt last weekend.

The preaching above was the talk of the campus (see this and this) and Elliot reports that Christians joined in the hissy-fits. "Why, how dare they speak for God against fornication and drunkenness--and right out there in public just before our Commodore football game! This preacher is an enemy of the people! He's disrespecting our holy things! Great is Artemis of the Commodores!"

When my son Joseph was doing his undergrad work at Vandy, he benefitted from the PCA's campus ministry there, Reformed University Fellowship. Sadly, Elliot reports RUF joined other Christians in condemning these faithful servants and their call to repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 (TB, w/thanks to Elliot)