All posts by Roy Spears

The lost art of evangelism: Part Two

“A burning heart will soon find for itself a flaming tongue.”  Charles Spurgeon

I have been fascinated by the subject of “revival” for as long as I have been a Christian:  approximately 30 years.

I describe “revival” as an unusual outpouring of God’s Spirit on a particular church, town or city that brings His awesome presence to such a degree on the people that they are gripped by His holiness.

Lives are permanently changed.  Hardened sinners who were  haters of God now become devoted followers of the Lord Jesus.  The great subjects of sin, judgment, holiness, sanctification, heaven, hell, etc., all become the dominating subjects of discussion.

A true revival changes not only the people in the town, but the town itself.  Crime is dramatically decreased.  Bars and places of prostitution close.  Drunks become respected members of society and now attend church.  As unbelievable as this sounds, this happened frequently in early America.

America is in desperate need of revival.

One way in which the fires of revival are kindled and the flames spread are through the bold preaching of God’s Word.  This is why evangelism is critical to the health of America.   The lack of evangelism is one main reason why America is in the serious situation she finds herself in today.

It says in the book of Hebrews that “…the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  (4:12 NIV)

God’s Word is alive.  Most never think of it in this manner.  Though none of us can plumb the depths of what this means, the rest of this verse tells us what the results are when this living Word is unleashed into the world:  it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, penetrating deep into the souls of men and women and bringing conviction to their consciences.

To achieve its maximum effectiveness, such a living and life-changing entity must be “set free” from the cages where it has been long imprisoned within the four walls of the churches.  Certainly this living Word will works its miraculous effect on those inside the church walls who come to drink from its life giving fountain, but to revive society, it must be unleashed into the streets, lanes and other public gatherings of the common people.

Open-air preaching is one of the main methods that this transforming Word is introduced into society.

The Lord Jesus Christ was an open-air preacher.

Since this is true, why then are not hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of His followers not emulating their Master’s primary method of spreading His message in this way?

I will explore this in another post.


The lost art of evangelism: Part One

“And he (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”  Mark 16:15 (ESV)

Christian university students, generally speaking, are afraid to boldly share their faith in the public squares of their campuses.

The reasons for this fear are varied:  shyness, lack of training, not wishing to offend others, spiritual immaturity, sin in one’s life, etc.  But whatever the reasons, the consequences for disobeying the Great Commission found in Mark 16:15 are clearly seen.

What are these consequences?  Like the reasons for not sharing one’s faith, these are also varied, but one of the more serious is that the moral darkness pervasive on every secular campus has almost completely swallowed up the light of purity, righteousness and justice.

This has profoundly negative consequences that reaches into every nook and cranny of your average university and college campus.  When the gospel is not regularly and boldly proclaimed, its purifying effect on the students and faculty is diminished.  The power of sin and death gains ascendency over the power of righteousness and life; one must always give way before the other (Galatians 5:16-17).

Jesus told His followers that they were both salt and light (Matt. 5:13-15).  In His day, there was neither electricity or refrigerators.   Meat was kept from rotting by using salt to preserve it.  Salt was a preservative against rot.

Lamps were vital to keep people from stumbling around in the dark and possibly injuring or killing themselves.  It might have been suicidal back then to traverse an unfamiliar mountainous foot path at night without a lamp to illuminate your path; one wrong step and off the side you went.

Jesus tells His followers that we are salt and light.  We are the preservative that keeps the culture from rotting away in their sins and are the lamp that shows the world how to stop from stumbling around in the moral darkness.

We do this by being bold and unashamed in the public proclamation of our faith.  Being bold should not equal being obnoxious, rude, condescending, unmannerly or carnal (characteristics common to many Christians who claim to be open-air preachers and evangelists), but rather exhibiting behavior that reflects the character of Jesus.

Darkness and light cannot peacefully coexist.  One or the other must reign as King.  As sinners, we naturally gravitate toward the darkness:  selfishness, pride, laziness, greed, lust, etc.  Unless we are continually challenged to be vessels of righteousness, we go with the flow and are content to be like so many around us: self-centered and self-absorbed.

This is why the bold and public proclamation of the gospel is vital to the health of a university, town, city or nation.  Things, left to their own power, always disintegrate and break down–a mathematical and certain reality.

But it is the power inherent in the bold and unashamed preaching of the gospel that acts like a preserving agent for society.   Preaching  awakens and stirs the conscience, acting like a “seat belt of restraint” to those who are contemplating criminal acts.  How many crimes have been halted because the criminal heard someone preaching and decided they could not go through with the deed?

The United States is bearing a heavy toll for God’s people refusing to be bold in their faith.  When the church began to turn inward and the emphasis was placed on a “come ye” (“come into our church building”) instead of a “go ye” (“go out into the highways and by-ways”), this was part of the beginning of the end of America as we knew it.

The old saying, “life doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” has special meaning here; something must fill the empty spaces of society’s existence.  In other words, whose voice or morals will exist in the public square?  The answer is the voice or moral values that shouts the loudest, because “life doesn’t exist in a vacuum.”  Something must, and will, fill the voids in our society.

When the gospel was boldly, lovingly, and loudly trumpeted throughout this nation by innumerable circuit preachers crisscrossing the nation, a national consensus of justice, truth and morality permeated the people’s conscience.  Certainly not all Americans were Christians, but the message of righteousness and faith in Jesus was as tangible as an early morning fog, felt throughout the nation.

In part two, I will discuss in more detail the necessity of bringing gospel preaching back into the public square.

The tragedy of a wasted life

“O you sons of men, how long will you turn my honor and glory into shame?  How long will you love vanity and futility and seek after lies?”  Psalm 4:2 (Amplified)

It is possible to for a person to live their entire life pursuing the wrong things, majoring on the meaningless and worthless.

It is possible to come to the very end of your life and, looking back on it, say, “What a total waste!”

That would be horrible and a tragedy beyond tragedies.

What is the purpose of life?  Question #1 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?”  The answer: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

I often ponder this and think about it often, desiring to bring my life into harmony with its simple beauty:  glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.

Do you share my conviction that this is how our lives should be lived, that the goal of our existence should be to glorify God and enjoy Him forever?

Some might claim this is the thinking of a religious fanatic, that such a medieval mindset has no part in our modern world and puts up unnecessary hindrances to the pursuit of happiness in today’s technologically savvy society.

If you think this way, I urge you to ponder Psalm 4:2; you are perhaps in the very condition that God’s Word is telling you to avoid.  You might be loving vanity and seeking after worthless pursuits that will leave you, at the end of your life, regretting you put so much time, energy and treasure toward.  That would be horrific.

The Psalmist is warning us that we can “love vanity and futility and seek after lies.”  This is usually due to the fact that we fail to give God His rightful place of prominence in our lives.  When He is not Lord, we make ourselves out to be our own little gods and everything we then do is just additional steps in the wrong direction, leading to futility and a wasteland.

Jesus said many incredible things; here is one statement that is astounding in its relevance to today’s post:

“And He said to them, ‘You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.'”  (Luke 16:15 NASB)

Allow me to repeat this for emphasis:  “for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”

The examples we could give to put flesh on this bone of truth is endless, but let me mention just one of these highly esteemed things which men delight in but are detestable in God’s sight:  sports in general and football in particular.

Many Americans worship football and all that surrounds this colossal waste of time, money and energy.  I don’t want to spend much time on detailing why I believe this, and perhaps this would be a blog worth writing at another time; suffice to say, most would agree that there are people in this country and around the world that love football far more than they love God.

Can I be so bold as to say that God despises football, mainly because it is something that so many men highly esteem?  I believe I am dead center and right on track, particularly when we see that the epitome of football, the Superbowl, has degenerated into a national orgy of alcohol consumption, overeating, sex, pride, lust and rock n’ roll…pure foolishness.

If there is any concrete example of one “seeking after lies,” “loving vanity and futility,” it is football, pure and simple.

But one will never see the truth of my statement until God opens their eyes.  Until this happens, men–and women–will continue to pay huge bucks and waste gigantic amounts of time and energy to indulge themselves in this national act of vanity.

On a side note, if you doubt what I say about football and sports in general, check you blood pressure as you read these words; this will give you the best evidence that what I’m writing about is absolute truth.

We are all going to die, some sooner than later.  I think one reason why the Lord allows us to slowly age is because it gives us the chance at gaining some much needed perspective on what is truly valuable in life.

As we lie on death’s door, thinking back on our lives, I don’t think one of us will ever regret that we didn’t buy that new boat or car that we had always longed for.  No, we will regret not spending more time with our kids and grandkids, or helping out the poor and needy, or making a real difference in the world.

If we are particularly astute, we will weigh our lives in the balance of God’s measurement, regretting that we did not spend more of our lives in getting to know Him and serve Him, bringing honor to His Name and advancing His causes in the earth.

I’m sure nobody, when they realize death is right around the corner, wishes they had spent more time in building up their bank balance or thinking, “I should have painted the garage floor when I had the time and chance to do it.”

Let’s stop pursuing vanity and futility in our lives and start today to rearrange our priorities in line with those that Jesus Himself modeled and practiced.  We will never regret it.

The disturbing rise of Islam: Part two

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.…” (1 John 2:22-23 NIV)

There are hard truths in the Bible; the verses above are just a sample.

Here is a question that eventually must be faced by those who call America their home:  does the Bible, or the Quran, teach truth?

You don’t have the luxury to sit on the fence on this, because the rise of Islam in America will soon force you to choose one or the other.

Islam is not content to be just another religious group in the world, peacefully co-existing along with others of different religious persuasions.  No, Islam seeks to dominate and exercise control over all others.  This is the problem.

Certainly there are moderate Muslims in the world who don’t share the jihadist mindset of many of their brethren.  These peaceful Muslims are much like you and I:  they want to live peacefully, desire to practice their religion free from governmental interference, and raise their families in an environment free from prejudice and fear of persecution.

But the problem with Muslims in general and the Quran in particular comes into sharp focus when they choose to live here in the United States and seek to alter the fabric of our Judeo-Christian foundation by claiming that the Quran is the inspired Word of God that all must follow and practice.

Again, for peaceful Muslims who simply want to do their best to raise their families alongside their American Christian neighbors in an environment of mutual respect and tolerance, the inherent differences between Islam and Christianity remain hidden and don’t usually create undue tension between the two faiths.

But when a group of Muslims begin spending big money in the heartland to put up billboards that boldly proclaim that Jesus is a Muslim, sparks are sure to fly and a line has been crossed in the sand.

I mentioned in my last blog how absurd it would be for the Mormons to dot the landscape with billboards that read, “Jesus was a Mormon!”  This would naturally cause a stir among evangelical Christians who recognize the falsity of this statement and the Mormons could rightfully expect a reaction from the Christian community.

It is unclear what kind of a reaction the Muslims expected the Christians living in Columbus, Ohio, to have when they woke up and were greeted with several billboards in their city which read, “Jesus is Muslim.”  Maybe they thought there would be no reaction at all, having already observed how lackadaisical the majority of people are to religious discussions and subjects.

Personally, part of my reaction is to comment on my blog and to point out that, according to the Bible in 1 John 2:22-23, anyone who denies that Jesus is the Christ is a liar and, even said more strongly, is an “anti-Christ.”

Those words from the apostle John, revered for his many references in the Bible to “loving one another,” suddenly take on an entirely different force and meaning when we use them as a measuring stick to determine the truth or falsity of the teachings of the “prophet” Muhammad.

Islam flatly rejects the belief that Jesus is either the Christ or the Son of God.

Islam finds it blasphemous that Christians believe that God has a Son whose name is Jesus.

Islam denies that Jesus died on a cross (Quran 4:157), striking at the very heart of Christianity and gutting it of its central message of John the Baptist when he exclaimed, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ESV)

If Jesus did not die on the cross, the concept of the “Lamb of God” is a mere sentimental idea that does nothing to reconcile guilty sinners with a holy God.  The death (crucifixion), burial and resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus the Messiah, is the cornerstone of Christianity.  Remove it and the entire edifice falls (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

This is why the billboard erected with Muslim money is not only repugnant to Christians, but blasphemous.  When Muslims claim that Jesus is a Muslim, they are denying that He was crucified, that He died on the cross, and that He was raised from the dead after being buried in the tomb where He was laid after His death from being crucified.

Since this is true, what two things can we confidently assert about Muslims and the teachings of Muhammad when we compare their beliefs with 1 John 2:23-24?

Hard truths may not be easy to digest, but so are lies.


The disturbing rise of Islam: Part one

By now, you have probably seen the billboards in Columbus, Ohio that brazenly trumpet, “Jesus is Muslim.”

Here is a picture:

In doing research on this, I discovered that this type of Muslim advertising campaign is not new and a similar campaign was done in Australia.

Here is one link to the article:

These signs are disturbing, for several reasons.

First, the claim that Jesus was a Muslim is absurd.   Muhammad, the founder of Islam, lived in the years c. 570 – June 8, 632, at least 550 years after Jesus was resurrected. The claim that Jesus was ‘Muslim’ when Islam was not even on the radar screen during the life of Jesus is disingenuous at best.  At worst, the claim is an outright lie, intended to incite the religious sensibilities of Christians in the United States.

A Mormon making the claim that “Jesus is a Mormon” would be equally ridiculous, for the same reasons cited above.

Second, the claim is disturbing because it reveals an Islamic hostility toward Christian orthodoxy in general and a decidedly unfriendly  and disrespectful attitude for these Muslims living in Columbus, Ohio toward their Christian neighbors in particular.

I have to admire this particular group of Muslims for their boldness, but they fail the test when this action is graded on diplomatic finesse.  If they believe that a billboard like this is going to create good-will among Muslims and Christians and bring the two groups closer together, they could not be more mistaken.  Their lack of sensitivity and wisdom is shocking.

Imagine the uproar in the American Muslim community if a similar billboard was erected throughout, say, Dearborn, Michigan, that trumpeted “Muhammad was a born again Christian!”  This would neither be factual nor effectual in bringing Christians and Muslims closer together.  It would be the same glaring public relations disaster that this billboard in Columbus is guilty of.

Third, the statement that Jesus is a Muslim is incorrect and this particular Muslim group responsible for putting up these billboards are spreading falsehoods.  It is one thing for someone to make the unfounded claim that a Chevy truck is a better vehicle than a Ford, but to make a blatant, false statement about the founder of Christianity and the Lord of Glory is to potentially bring out understandably negative and hurt feelings in the Christian community.

Fourth, the complete lack of wisdom that this Muslim group is exhibiting by putting up such a divisive and outrageous claim leaves one scratching their head and asking, “Why? What possible good can come out of such a brazen and offensive statement?”

It is not a move that will “gain friends and influence people” and endear non-Muslims to sympathize with their agenda.  The billboard is an act of foolishness which will only cause the already deep divide that exists between Christians and Muslims to grow ever wider.

Fifth, this unwise decision only reinforces the stereotype that many people already have of Muslims that they are intolerant, divisive, unwilling to peacefully co-exist with their neighbors, and are trouble-makers.

Again, they score high points for their shocking brazenness, but fail miserably on their diplomatic skills.  “Nation (or neighborhood) building” is an attribute that these particular Muslims need a fair amount of tutoring in.

If there is any good that can come from this foolish and unwise display, it is this:  God’s prophetic Word has once again been proven to be uncannily accurate.

We find the following prophecy in Genesis 16:12 about Ishmael, the father of the Arab race:

“He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” (NIV)

Clearly, this billboard and all it represents, is a stunning fulfillment of this amazing prophecy made over 3,500 years ago, proving once again the singular uniqueness of Holy Scripture.

Refreshingly, some Christians in the Columbus area are not allowing this affront to the faith to go unchallenged.  One man in particular, Dave Daubenmire, has rallied the troops to hold a peaceful, non-violent prayer vigil and rally.   Peaceful and non-violent are the important words here, and there can be no cause for anyone, Christian or otherwise, to react in any other fashion but to follow the words of Jesus when He said, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44).

Here is a quote from Mr. Daubenmire taken from the linked article above:

“Although we support the Islamic community’s right to free speech, as well as their right to post messages on billboards, we do not support the hi-jacking of the name of Jesus Christ in their attempt to lure uninformed Christians into their religion,” Coach Dave Daubenmire said.

“‘Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and resurrected over 600 years before the birth of Mohammed.  Although Islam honors Jesus as a prophet, they do not believe that He is the risen Son of God.  During this most Holy Lenten Season we find the messages on the billboards to be insensitive, dishonest and deserving of a response from concerned Christians. We will be on the streets to proclaim Jesus is NOT Muslim but Jesus is Lord!’, he continued.”

Daubenmire has a Facebook page dedicated to the upcoming rally:

If you are in the Columbus area, I urge you to attend this prayer rally.  Stand up and be counted for the sake of truth and the honor of the Lord Jesus.

Being “gracious”

“The Lord is gracious…”  Psalm 145:8a (NASB)

Are you a gracious person?  What does it mean to be gracious?  Does it even matter?

I believe it matters a great deal, because a gracious man or woman is a blessing to humanity.  If true, then an ungracious man or woman is a curse.

The Bible describes God as being gracious; since this a fact, ought His children–Christians–strive to be like Him?  And if He is gracious, we who are called by His Name should strive to not only mimic His behavior, but become like Him in every aspect of our lives.

We are exhorted in Scripture to be “imitators of God, as beloved children…” (Ephesians 5:1).  This Greek word “imitator” is an interesting one:  mimetes.  It comes from another Greek word, mimeomai, which means “a mimic, an actor.”

In other words, we are to “mimic” God’s behavior, much like what an actor does when he or she plays a part in a movie or play.  You may have heard the term “getting into character,” a mental and physical process actors use to absorb themselves into the mindset of the person they are imitating on the set.

Similarly, we are to “get into God’s character” by studying and meditating on His Word, striving to bring our personalities under the control of His Holy Spirit.  This is easier said than done, of course, but is an endeavor worth every ounce of effort.

My childhood was a disaster, filled with violence, hatred, rage and other dysfunctional weirdness.  It was so bad, in fact, that I ran away from home at 15 years old and never went back.  All this to say, graciousness was not an attribute in my home that was  regularly practiced and mentored.

When I began to walk with Jesus, I knew that I had countless issues that I had to deal with.  It was easy for me to acknowledge that I was a messed up individual, and I longed to be a better man.  At an early age, perhaps as young as 17 or 18 years old, I decided that Jesus was someone I wanted to emulate and chose Him as my role model.

For a couple of years, I have been studying about the gracious character and nature of the Lord.  Psalm 145 has become one of my favorites and speaks of His gracious nature.

The word gracious is defined in several ways; I like the way “free” describes it and will list just the first three definitions:

1. Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy.

2. Characterized by tact and propriety: responded to the insult with gracious humor.

3. Of a merciful or compassionate nature.

One could spend a lifetime in musing over these three characteristics of the word gracious and still not exhaust every nuance of meaning.  In looking them over, the obvious question to ask is, “Am I gracious?”  Better yet, let my personalize it by asking myself:

“Roy, is your personality and the way you deal with other people characterized by kindness and warm courtesy?”  Asking such a question takes moral fortitude, because I am probably not far off the mark when I suggest that most of us are deficient in this area.

“Roy, is your personality and the way you deal with other people characterized by tact and propriety?”  In other words, how do you and I treat people in our everyday lives?  How do we treat our wives, husbands, or children?  Our roommates?  Co-workers?  Rude or clueless people on public transportation?

How do you treat your enemies?  People who neither like nor respect you?  This is a tough one.

“Roy, do you have a merciful and compassionate nature?”

Have you noticed that people, in general, are kind to animals?  Did you know that Adolph Hitler was an animal lover?  I bring this up because, contrary to popular opinion, someone who is kind to animals does not always guarantee they will extend that kindness to their fellow humans.

Being a gracious person is a high and holy calling.  I understand that there are people who are seemingly born with a gracious nature and are elegant and royal in their treatment of others.

An image that comes to my mind when I think of a gracious individual is someone from the antebellum South or a 19th century well-bred English gentleman or lady.  A person with impeccable manners who carries themselves with a certain noble air and demeanor.

God is a gracious God.  His character is marked by compassion and mercy.  Jesus was no doubt the quintessential gentleman, exemplified in the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11.  I long to be like that.

Being around a gracious individual is like walking around in a comfortable pair of slippers.  They are easy to get along with.  An excellent test of whether or not you are a gracious individual is how you are when you are traveling with others, or staying as a guest in their home.

I had a friend that I traveled with every now and then.  He was not a gracious person.  For example, whenever he made a cup of coffee, he never thought to make me one while he was in the process of making his.  I know this is a little thing and not something to make a big deal over, but this kind of behavior was not isolated to this one particular incident.  He is a selfish individual who is concerned primarily about his own needs and wants.

When we were deciding where to eat, he always wanted to eat at his favorite place.  Again, not a big deal, but indicative of a man who was neither gracious nor that pleasant to travel with.  Everything had to happen on his schedule, and as long as you were on the same timetable as his, things went smooth.  If I wanted to do something different that he might not have preferred, he would accommodate my request but didn’t enjoy it as much as if he had called the shots.

Finally, after years of dealing with his selfishness, I cut ties with him; it was one of the best decisions I made and I was glad to be free of that constricting mentality.

I wonder what kind of a traveling companion Jesus must have been.  Did He insist on using the shower first in the morning?  Of course not.  Would He get up in the morning and only make coffee for Himself?  No, I couldn’t imagine that.

Do you think Jesus, when Him and His disciples went into someone’s home for the first time to spend the night, checked out the spare bedroom to find the most comfortable bed to sleep in and, finding it, put his tunic on the bed, signifying to the disciples that He claimed it for Himself?  Again, I couldn’t imagine Him doing this.

But we do this, don’t we?  I mean, if you go to someone’s house and have the choice of sleeping on a nice bed in your own private room with its own bathroom or the living room couch, which one would you choose?  Friends, being gracious is not an easy thing to be.

Again, I long to be a gracious man, but I realize I have a long, hard journey ahead of me in this area.  Hopefully, as the Scriptures teach, “… we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  (2 Cor. 3:18 KJV)

I know I’m not where I want to be in this area, but I’m hoping I’m not where I used to be.  To be slowly transformed from “glory to glory” is the great hope, so that one day we can hear from others as they hang around us and observe our characters, that we are gracious individuals.

Like an old pair of comfortable slippers.


Berkeley Blitz: Final week

“A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…”  Proverbs 13:19 (NKJV)

The “Berkeley Blitz” has officially ended.

Almost three weeks of daily, bold and unashamed evangelism was concentrated on the liberal campus of UC Berkeley.

The results far exceeded my expectations, so much that I am planning on extending my stay here in Oakland for at least another month.  I believe the Lord showed up, answered some prayers, and blessed our efforts.

I have seen an increased fire for evangelism being fanned into flames, with Berkeley students becoming more enthusiastic for sharing their faith in Jesus with their fellow collegiates.  It has been remarkable in many respects.

There is a vibrant and growing community of believers on the campus, something I never expected to see in such an ungodly place.  And what has been even more surprising is that the vast majority of these young, passionate believers that I met are Asian.


(Above photo:  Asian Christian students from a local church being bold for their faith in front of famous Sproul Hall, the place where the Free Speech Movement started in 1964.)

They come from exotic places like Hong Kong, China,  South Korea…and not so exotic Los Angeles.  Some were born overseas and others here in the States.  They bring a freshness, respect and seriousness to Christianity that I have not often seen in their Anglo counterparts.


(Above photo:  Arnold, from Hong Kong (holding Bible), witnessing to another student (middle).  Matthew (left) is another Christian joining in on the conversation.)

I have been stunned by their respect towards me.  For example, I previously blogged on a lunch that I had with three believing Asian students.  The restaurant where we ate was a place you order your food at the counter and then find yourself a table. When the meal is ready, you are called and return to the counter.

When my order was called out, I was in the bathroom and didn’t hear it.  When I exited and went to our table, my bowl of duck soup was waiting for me along with a glass of water, my silverware and napkins; one or more of the Asian students had done this for me.

This act of respect and kindness stunned me.  In all my years of ministry and dealing with predominantly Anglo students, I cannot recall this happening to me before.

For our evangelism meeting on campus where eleven of us ministered together, a female Asian student, Rachel, whom we had just met that morning, came to the group with four large Gatorades in her arms and handed them out.  I was blessed with one of them.

An hour or so later, Kali, a Russian, gave me a bottle of water.  Several days later, another Asian student walked by and handed me a Korean pastry.  Elizabeth, another Asian student, wrote a poem for me.

Arnold, a student from Hong Kong, bought me lunch.  Vieng Wong, co-pastor of the campus fellowship “In Christ Alone,”  bought me lunch twice and invited me to his home for dinner.

Looking back on these incidents, it all becomes somewhat surreal.  I have had kindness, generosity and respect poured upon my life like few times before.  This alone would make me want to return to Berkeley on a permanent level.  Compared to what is happening here, Tucson is a dry and barren desert.

The difference between the Asian and Anglo students are startling.  I grew weary years ago with the disrespect and immaturity of Anglo university and college students.  College was at one time a place of serious preparation for life, but has been reduced, on many campuses, to just another playground for young men and women who have yet to grow up.

My sudden immersion into a university environment where Asians command a large percentage of the student body has been an unexpected breath of fresh air.  And I must admit that I prefer the oftentimes serious and sober demeanor of the Asian students far above the usual tomfoolery of your average Anglo one.

So much happened at UC Berkeley that it is hard to process, but the experience was so positive and uplifting that I will prolong my stay for at least another month.  I covet your prayers as I seek the Lord’s will for further direction.


(I’m sitting with Teddy (middle) and his friend Freddie at UC Berkeley, ready to have a bible study.)




Evangelism explosion!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014, was an incredible day for the “Berkeley Blitz.”

On this day, a team of eleven men met together on the campus for the specific purpose of bringing the gospel to UC Berkeley.  The picture below shows the team, minus one student, who joined us minutes after the picture was taken.


This was the first on-campus evangelistic meeting for this outreach where various men and students met on the campus of UC Berkeley for the expressed purpose of implementing plans for reaching the campus for Jesus.
After a brief introduction, we prayed and split up into teams to evangelize on campus.
At one point, we had at least four teams open-air preaching (simultaneously) on the campus that I was able to count as I walked around.
There are, of course, too many stories to tell from just this single outreach, but one fact is clear:  UC Berkeley is hearing the gospel and students are being affected.
I had two Christian students come up to me several days ago, one of them informing me that because of my preaching, they have been encouraged to evangelize more.  The other student, David Kim, is interested in learning how to open-air preach himself.
Note the following story in Mark 1:35-38:
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.  Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.”
Jesus said that He came to preach.  This is of such singular importance that it must not be overlooked.  Since the mission of preaching is of such vital importance to Jesus, why is it that so few are doing it?
“Wait a minute,” a Jehovah’s Witness or a Mormon might say, “we are preaching the gospel.  We go door-to-door, spreading the good news, and spend a significant amount of money and manpower to accomplish this all important mission.”
I can’t disagree with either of these two groups that they are expending much time and treasure in going house to house to spread their perverted viewpoints of what they consider the gospel.  Quite frankly, they put the vast majority of Christians to shame with their zeal for spreading their own heretical version of the gospel.
My focus is on the true church of Christ and the mandate given to His  Church to spread the gospel to every corner of the globe, and in particular, my own country of the United States.
Why are Americans, in general, so timid and afraid to share the gospel?  Why do we not look on preaching, the main method of spreading the Good News, in the same way that Jesus did?  As we have previously noted, preaching was the main mission of the Son of God.
I hope to explore this topic in other future blogs and how our neglect of this has resulted in untold amounts of damage to our culture.  But for now, as the above picture shows, there were at least eleven men who were concerned enough about the Great Commission to dedicate a portion of their Tuesday to bring this precious message to a decidedly liberal and God-hating university campus.
The fire still burns.  I hope to see it spread across the land.

Berkeley Blitz: End of week two

“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?”  Romans 10:14 (NASB)

Week two of the Berkeley Blitz was nothing short of remarkable.

On Friday, March 14, Larry and I had an evangelism meeting with three UC Berkeley students:  Arnold, Matthew and Todd.  This particular meeting was suggested by Matthew in a text to Arnold and I that read:

“Hey Roy and Arnold!  This is Matthew.  I thought it might be a good idea to meet up sometime for lunch or dinner to discuss some concrete things we can do for the Berkeley campus…”

We had lunch at the Lotus House in what is known as the “Asian Ghetto,” mere blocks from the Berkeley campus (I had duck soup…very good).  Over 36,000 students attend Cal, of which we estimated that only 3,000 are Christians.  This translates to 92% of the student population not knowing Christ as their Lord and Savior.  How can this vast number be reached with the everlasting and life-changing gospel?

I have to be blunt with the students…gentle but truthful.  The reason for this disparity is due, in large part, to the disobedience of the Christians on campus to take the Great Commission seriously.   Until the Christians on campus understand their vital role in evangelizing their fellow collegiates and do what Jesus commanded them to, this lopsided percentage will only grow wider.  They must be challenged to reach their generation.

This week I also met with Pastor Vieng, one of the pastors whose campus church I attended last Sunday.  Vieng is on fire for evangelism.  I suggested we have a meeting with whoever is interested in evangelizing UC Berkeley and hammer out some ideas on the best way for the campus to be reached.



(The photo above is Pastor Vieng boldly preaching on the campus for the first time in years.)

He was enthusiastic for the idea and we have set that meeting for tomorrow, March 18, at 1:00 pm.  Immediately afterwards, we will break out into teams and begin bringing the light of the Gospel of Jesus to the campus.  Please keep this in your prayers.

At one time Vieng would open-air preach on campus but has not done it for some time.  Because of the Berkeley Blitz and our emphasis on the public proclamation of the Gospel, the fire for this kind of evangelism has been rekindled in him and he open-air preached this week.  As Vieng ponders the Word, he is convinced that he needs to once again take up the holy mantle of open-air preaching  and make this a regular part of his evangelistic efforts on campus.  Hallelujah!

Others are catching the fire to up their evangelism efforts on the campus.  Gerard is an open-air preaching friend of Larry’s who has come out on campus twice since I have been here.  He preached non-stop for almost two hours this week, pouring out his heart to the students.   He did a tremendous job, so much so that Arnold, one of the Asian students on fire for the Gospel, jubilantly shouted out “Hallelujah!” as he listened.

I am praying that both a revival and an awakening break forth on the campus of UC Berkeley.  If the Lord might answer such a prayer, I am convinced it will happen when the Christian students lead the charge and begin to boldly and unashamedly proclaim their love and devotion to Christ in the public areas.




Berkeley Blitz: Hatred towards Jesus

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  This is why the world hates you.”  Jesus, John 15:18-19 (NIV)

Larry Dubois, my co-laborer in the gospel, is just beginning to lift up his voice on the campus of UC Berkeley and unashamedly proclaim the excellencies of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Within minutes, a woman approaches Larry, angst etched in her face.  She interrupts him and says that her elderly grandfather and her are unable to have a conversation because Larry’s voice is too loud and she can’t hear her grandfather’s soft voice.

This is where I step in.  People often interrupt street-preachers for a myriad of reasons; the majority of them are because people become riled up when someone is speaking about Jesus, sin, judgment and one’s need for salvation.

Larry is an excellent preacher; very Jesus based and biblical.  He has memorized more Scripture than I have and quotes freely from the Bible in his open-air sermonette’s.  We are in the midst of a class break where we have an opportunity of reaching thousands of students in a matter of minutes, but only if Larry stays focused and does not have to deal with distractions…like this woman.

I approach her, deflecting her attention from Larry.  She asks me if I am with “that guy.”


“Can you do me a favor?  I’m sitting with my elderly grandfather trying to have a conversation with him.  He is old and can’t talk loud and we’re having a hard time hearing his soft voice over your friend’s preaching.  Would it be all right if you stopped for about ten minutes so we can finish our conversation?  I’m not against what you are doing, but I just can’t hear my grandfather.  Can you give us ten minutes?”

She is presenting me with a true conundrum.  I don’t want to be a jerk and tell her to go take a hike; after all, I’m a Christian preacher and how would an attitude like that go over?  It certainly would not give glory to God and would also reinforce the stereo-type of open-air preachers being loud-mouthed idiots.

Certainly I don’t want our preaching to ruin her conversation with her frail and soft-spoken grandfather.  Her request seems reasonable, but something doesn’t seem right.

“Let me stand by where you are sitting so I can hear for myself if Larry is too loud.”  We walk the twenty to thirty feet over to the wooden bench where her grandfather and two other men are chatting.  I stand a few feet from her grandfather and can hear him perfectly.  His voice is not as soft as she described it; I was expecting him to barely squeak out a whisper.

“I can hear him just fine,” I say to her.

To be fair, I wait until Larry turns in our direction.  At this point, Larry is loud, but they can still carry on a conversation.  When Larry is not facing them straight on, there’s no problem.  The woman is lying.  I don’t like that.

I repeat that I can hear her grandfather just fine and can’t understand her issue.  She becomes angry and asks, “So you’re not going to ask him to stop, even for ten minutes?”

“No, I’m not.”

Our conversation is finished and I walk back to where Larry is preaching and stand near him, holding one of our gospel signs.  Within minutes, the four of them leave, passing right by us.  As they do, the feeble, soft-spoken grandfather that speaks so softy his concerned granddaughter could not hear him shouts out, clear as a bell and almost as loud as experienced street-preacher Larry with his trained voice, “Jesus su*ks!”

I’m dumbfounded.  Now the issue becomes clear:  the granddaughter knew of her grandfather’s hatred of Jesus and Larry’s preaching on Him was what was ruining their conversation.  The lie about him being soft-spoken was a ruse to get us to stop Larry boldly lifting up His Name.

“That’s a wicked thing to say and you should be ashamed of yourself!” I call out after the old man.   As they walk away, one of the other men, the grandson or even the husband of the granddaughter, lifts high his right hand and gives me the middle finger.


These are the four people sitting on the bench left of Larry.