Campus preacher’s approach is a disservice to Christianity


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Jordan Dollenger

If you haven’t seen him by now, it won’t be long before you do next time you’re walking to class. Controversial preacher Micah Armstrong began speaking on the Ole Miss campus this month.

Many videos of Armstrong can be found on YouTube, and he often speaks in public areas on college campuses. His hostile attitude and approach has left many students angered and offended.

ImageI am proud to be a Christian. I take great pride in my faith, and I understand the true importance of sharing Christianity with others. My faith has shaped me as a person and helped me through tough times. I hope that every person will come to God and connect with his or her faith.

While I want to share God’s word as much as possible, it is completely out of line for me to go out of my way to purposefully, negatively disrupt the lives of others to get my point across.

Interested in learning about Christianity? Awesome, let’s talk. Not interested? Okay, your choice. Don’t expect me to get in your face every time I see you because you don’t share the same views I do.

It is disappointing that in the year 2015 there are people like  Armstrong who feel the need to stand on a sidewalk for hours and shove their religious opinions down the throats of others. However, it is more disappointing that people defend Armstrong’s actions.

As much as a disagree with Armstrong’s approach, I disagree more with people who defend him by saying what he is preaching isn’t wrong.

The Daily Mississippian recently published an article on their website justifying Armstrong and using the Bible to do it. The article said Armstrong’s method is correct, citing an excerpt from the Book of Matthew about how the Bible “says that if a brother (any other Christian) sins, show him his faults.”

What he is preaching is in the Bible, so we must not be offended. Right? Wrong.

What the writer of this article failed to do was finish the entire verse and view it for all it is worth. Matthew 18:15 reads, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”

Nothing about that verse gives me the impression that “just between the two of you” can be substituted for roaming around outside the student union deliberately talking down to every passerby. The Bible should not be used to personally attack students.

If Armstrong really wanted to get his point across and truly change people’s minds about Christianity, he would acknowledge the need to listen to people as much as he talks at them.

James 1:19 reads: “Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

Armstrong could preach at the chapel in an organized fashion where he would have the opportunity to talk, listen, and truly connect. Instead, many find his approach unappealing.

I wonder if Armstrong has ever really thought about the consequences of his actions. If you were struggling with your faith and needed a little guidance continuing, would you be inspired to keep going after seeing someone like Armstrong shouting in the middle of campus? Probably not.

I hope Armstrong thinks about how many potential Christians he has turned away because of his actions. The Bible tells us to let our light shine before others so they may see what God has done for us and so they will want to be a part of it.

What kind of light is Micah Armstrong spreading? Christianity looks full of judgment and guilt the way he is representing it.

I hope the people who defend Armstrong understand that while everything he is preaching may come straight from the Bible, the purpose of Christians preaching to others is to spread God’s word in a positive way. It means nothing if what you are preaching does a disservice to your faith.

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