What a privilege it was to shed some Gospel light on the students at Yale on Monday and Tuesday! This delightful experience made me think of the good old days of Jonathan Edwards and Timothy Dwight. Yale has a rich evangelistic heritage. Edwards was one of your highly intelligent and holy alumni evangelists. (Do Yale students know he became a missionary to the American Indians after his presidency at Princeton?)
Considering the fact that Yale was a Bible college and Yale has been known throughout the past three centuries for intense theological debates, I would like to comment on your editorial (“The place for evangelism at Yale,” 2/27).
In the editorial, you write, “White is an extremist who is trying to spread a hateful message, and he appears to be incorrigible. Indeed, there is probably nothing we could write in this space that would convince him to stop. But his presence on campus also provides an opportunity for debate on evangelism at Yale.”
I think my message is as “hateful” as the message of Yale’s famous alumnus Jonathan Edwards. I am as much of an extremist as the hellfire damnation preachers Edwards, John Wesley, George Whitefield, the Apostle Paul and the Lord Jesus Christ. Edwards’ famous sermon, “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God,” seems like a “hateful message.” Even Jesus’ condemnation of entire cities for not repenting sounds like a “hateful message”! (Matt. 11:20-30) These are not messages of “hate,” but rather messages of repentance from sin. Sin is basically love of self and hate toward God. God does not take pleasure in wickedness.
Yale students must realize how the one true God feels about their lives of rebellion. God is angry with the wicked every day. (Psalm 7:11) The word of God teaches that all sinners are under the wrath of God until they repent their sins and have faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (John 3:36)
A degree from Yale can not hold back the flames of God’s wrath on Judgement Day!
I know that most Yale students will read this article and ridicule me for quoting the bible, an “outdated” text. Many students are not only ignorant of the word of God, but they scorn it and think it has no relevance for a person’s life in the 21st century.
Yes, I am incorrigible in my views and approach of evangelism. But I noticed the students listening to me yesterday were also incorrigible. Cigarette smokers refuse to stop their disgusting and deadly habit. And no matter how hard I preached against the “Tupac Talking” — or filthy language — flowing from the students’ mouths, they appeared to be incorrigible.
I do not agree with the contemporary style of evangelism most Christians practice in the United States. These “hot-dog-giveaways,” “I agree with Dave” campaigns, reach-the-rebellious-with-hard-rock Christian concerts, and the “I-do-not-want-to-turn-people-off'” lukewarm Bible studies are all unbiblical approaches to evangelism.
The least expensive and most effective way to get the Gospel to atheists, evolutionists, pagans, sodomites, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, drunks, liars, socialists and whoremongers is through the “Sermon on the Mount” approach.
Stephen White is a preacher from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.