I saw love win today.

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!”

“Stop shouting!”

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!”

More cheers!

“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.

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  • Jessica

    That. is. awesome. Is the street preacher a student or does he just hang around campus to shout at students?

    • I’m not sure, but he’s older so I’m pretty sure he just hangs around campus.

  • I don’;t know if you watch Parks and Recreation but reading this story made me say awesomesauce which was something one of the characters on that show said. (i want to give credit where credit is due lol) but seriously this whole story is made of awesomesauce!!

    • Haven’t watched much Parks and Recreation (though it’s on my to-do list for when I have a job and can afford Netflix and graduate from college and have time n’ stuff…) but I’ve heard Awesomesauce! It’s awesomesauce!

  • So the spirit of Jonathon Edwards (Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God) lives on…
    Yeah for Love 🙂 One of my pastors likes to say we’re in the midst of the next Great Awakening, and I’m starting to believe it

    • Oh, Jonathon Edwards. I had to read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God in English class in middle school. Where’s the love?

  • Maria

    Jesus wants the rose!

  • Excellent tale of love’s triumph.

    Caused me to recall a street preacher I met a few years back. I just had to write about him, http://pauldebaufer.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/who-is-the-street-preacher/

  • Anonymous

    both groups were preaching a false gospel

    • Disagree. Very much.

    • Would you care to clarify why you believe that?

      • Anonymous

        The man on the box was preaching a false gospel because he was preaching wrath and hell. That is only half of the gospel. There has to be the good news of the gospel which is: even though we are all guilty of sin and deserve hell, Christ made it possible to have a relationship with him and go to heaven, because of this great love for us (Eph 2:1-5).

        The people with the signs were preaching a false gospel because they were preaching all love, with no responsibility for sin (Eph 2:1; John 3:23, 6:23). Those students who are gay are guilty of sin (6:9; Rom 1) and the punishment for that sin is hell (Rom 6:23), just as if someone who stole something or told a lie would be just as guilty and deserving of Hell. That is the amazing thing because we could never achieve that level of perfection that God has. That is why He sent His Son to die on the cross in our place because we couldn’t do it ourselves. Christ died for homosexuals just like he died for the rotten sinner that I am. But God is just as much wrath as He is love. That is why you have to present both love and wrath because both make up the gospel.

        Sorry this is kind of long.

        • long is fine! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

          I think we’d disagree on a few aspects of the gospel, but I must first clarify that the gay students were also Catholic, and therefore had accepted Jesus’ forgiveness for sins (though I think I’d disagree that being gay is a sin).

          Also, I think we can both agree that “Our Jesus came to earth to love people to righteousness!” is really the spirit of the gospel. He loves us, so he wants us to stop doing things that harm us. His wrath is toward sins that hurt us, because he loves us.

          Those are my opinions, but you can disagree if you want. thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

          • Anonymous

            Well if they had “accepted Jesus’ forgiveness” and they were truly repentent then, it would make sense that they would not be proclaiming homosexuality without any conviction, because the Bible says homosexuality is a sin.
            By the way could you give Scriptural support that shows your view that homosexuality is a sin?
            Romans 1 seems to be pretty clear that homosexuality is harmful towards us.
            I also dont think that defining sin as harm towards us is a valid defenition, because sin harms others as well, but more importantly sin is a slap in the face of God because it says that I am going to be my own god. It claims independence from God.
            I would also be realy interested in what Scriptural support you use for saying that God’s wrath is towards sin that harms us.
            by the way I have enjoyed the dialogue

          • By “us” I meant, us as a species, so including harming others! I believe sin is a “slap in God’s face” because it hurts and dehumanizes those that he loves. Thank for pointing that out–sorry for my lack of clarity there!

            Here is my view on homosexuality explained by someone much smarter than me! It took me a lot of studying and prayer (more like, “What the heck, God?!” conversations. haha) to come to this decision, so I understand if you disagree, but these thoughts reflect my own! http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php