This week Texas A&M saw the return of Jed Smock. Jed Smock, known as 'Brother Jed' across American college campuses, is a campus evangelist and a horrible representative for the faithful. While Christian culture isn't near a perfect community, it is not the disgusting hate speech spewed by Smock. For a man who claims he and all Christians are saints, he has the mouth of a sailor and the vocabulary of a 13-year-old boy.
Many are quick to write him off as a loon or even a humorous distraction. I understand how easy it is to write off this silly looking man but what he's doing and saying is actually extremely harmful. I'll let the man himself help you to understand his message. These are but a handful of documented quotes from Jed Smock.
"Who are you, Bob Marley?" *in reference to a black student in dreadlocks*
"A masturbator today is a homosexual tomorrow"
"My wife goes from kitchen to bedroom, kitchen to bedroom"
"You deserve Hell"
"How is it possible for a man to rape his own property?"
"I don't get how the whores stay in business - you sorority girls are giving it away for free!"
"Hey! You in the red sweater! How many men have you slept with this week?"
"It's NOT okay to be gay"
"Anyone dressing like this woman (motions to girl) is obviously looking for FORNICATION!"
"Close your legs and stop dressing like a whore"
"The only thing Mexicans contribute to society is burritos and Jewish people are only good at making bagels and running banks"
This isn't the Word of God - this is all the Bible detests wrapped up in nice big red suspenders. This form of preaching is referred to as Confrontational Evangelism and involves aggressive targeting of the audience and public humiliation for 'sinners'. The more attention he gets, the more affirmed he feels in his actions.
He's counting on the shock value of his words (which are not Biblically based) to bring people to God. The problem is his perception of God is inherently wrong. He believes loving and accepting Jesus as a savior isn't enough for salvation, which is the Cornerstone of the New Testament and the Christian doctrine. He's not speaking for God because he does not truly understand God.
As with all religious and social groups, the extremist outliers are bound to get the most attention. In our dialogues, it seems that the one with the loudest voice, the largest signs, and the craziest theories win the day.
As a member of the Christian community, I do not want this man to speak for me or my God so I must work even harder to show the radical LOVE of Jesus. We must all be that much kinder, that much more empathetic, and that much more willing to meet people where they are.
If this were any other religion, a student group, or political organization, would it be as amusing?