Today, as I was walking back from class, I noticed that my university’s token street preacher was out doing his thing– shouting at students, telling them that they were on their way to hell because of their sins of drunkenness, homosexuality, and fornication. You know the drill.
I also noticed that he was accompanied by several people holding signs. I thought, “Great. He brought signs too this time?”
But as I got closer, I realized that the sign-holders were students, and that the signs said things like:
“God LOVES fags!”
“I’m Catholic AND gay!”
The students were just standing there silently, smiling as the preacher got angrier and angrier. A crowd had begun to gather. I gave the sign holders a thumbs-up as I walked by, and went into the Union to grab some coffee.
When I came back, a man had emerged from the crowd.
I saw the street preacher point his finger at the student holding the “God LOVES fags!” sign and yell, “YOU ARE PREACHING A FALSE GOSPEL!”
The man who had emerged from the crowd had obviously had enough and yelled back, “NO! YOU are preaching a false gospel of hate and fear!”
Cheers from the crowd!
“Our Jesus came to earth to love people to righteousness!”
“Jesus loves these students, but they’ll never know it if you keep teaching this hate! You need to love them like He would.”
Cheers galore. A “Yeah! Love us!” and a “Woot-Woot” or two from the crowd.
The preacher went on with his typical wrath of God speech, seemingly unphased. I believe I heard him say something along the line of, “Jesus will love you straight to hell!”
But the crowd had heard the true gospel and was excited about it.
Love had won.
Eventually, a man wearing a long, white tunic; a colorful bandanna; a long, grey, hippie beard; and a pair of John Lennon shades went and stood next to the street preacher. With out a word, the hippie man whipped a harmonica out of his tunic and began to play and dance.
It was a celebration of Love’s victory.
And it was beautiful.