STOLEN THUNDER

They are saying what we should be saying.  Millions have seen their videos.  They are credited for starting a revolution of thought in North America.  Here’s the rub: they are stealing our thunder.  They are putting preachers to shame.  They are Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro. 

You may be the last human in America who hasn’t seen their confrontations and then eliminations of post-modern secularists.  They tackle every hot button issue from transgender, abortion, gun rights, feminism…in short, everything your pastor may be afraid to preach on.

Here’s the thing—they do it with an aplomb that devastates their opponents.  They produce clear facts and irresistible common sense to show how ancient morality is key to sanity.  In other words, they are doing our job.

There is one audience that is especially resonates with Jordan Petersen: young men.  This is a key demographic that the church has almost entirely lost. 

Ben Shapiro destroys the case for abortion in take-no-prisoners style on the most liberal college campuses.

Jordan Petersen champions free speech in a way that you are not hearing in any pulpit today.

What they are, is what preaching used to be in America.  What they have done, is destroy our great excuse: the lie that young audiences do not want to hear classic morality. And they have destroyed the sister lie that if you take on the false arguments of the left you will be shot down in flames.

The fact that they don’t preach the Gospel or refer to that many Bible verses only increases our embarrassment.  That’s because, they are still closer to the counsel of God than most celebrity pastors.

While most mega church pastors seek the non-offensive sermon, these two wade into the fallacies of sin and atheism.  They prove that there is a vast young audience for moral absolutes.

They prove what I have long declared: it is time for sermons with content.  Paul said he did not come with the excellency of man’s wisdom but the demonstration of the power of God.  That does not mean he was not compelling.  We are not compelling because we are so afraid of telling people where they are wrong.

There was a day when a Jordan Petersen and a Ben Shapiro would not have been such a novelty.  We used to have preachers who were anointed with content that exposed the bankruptcy of secular culture.

Billy Graham was such a preacher.  He stood unapologetically before lost souls, of all races, and educational levels, and declared the Word of God.  He left nothing out. 

The notion that he was a simple preacher is misleading.  He once said, “the new morality is nothing but the old immorality.” A simple yet profound observation that is more at home in a meeting with Jordan and Ben than our present churches.

Billy  seized headlines, current events and never shied away from explaining why sin destroyed and Jesus offered peace that passes understanding. 

Today the church is talking to itself because it does not know how to talk to modern minds.  We do not change hearts and minds.  We are not adding daily to the church such as should be saved. 

You know I believe in miracles.  However, those who continually offer the world emotional experiences are missing the great power of preaching like Jesus promised, “I will give you a mouth and wisdom that your adversaries will not be able to gainsay or resist.”

On the other hand, those who leave out the power of the gifts of the Spirit—that are a sign to the unbeliever—are equally crippling the Church’s power to transform lost souls.

This dynamic duo of gifts of power with piercing preaching was embodied by Paul the Apostle.  Until Paul, the church was led by Peter.  Peter had fire but not the trained mind of Paul the Apostle. 

When Paul told the initiative his dual gifting of heat and light caused the Gospel to spread to all the known world.  It can be that way again.

It is not enough to tell harmless stories to the already converted.  We need to penetrate those who never darken the door of a church.  It is not enough to dazzle them with logic as Jordan and Ben do.  They need both a convicting declaration and the confirming signs of the Holy Spirit.

Jordan and Ben have done the heavy lifting.  They proved our shallow sermons are unjustified.

Maybe we needed to be shamed into action by two men who have proven that millions—many who we thought wanted nothing to do with Christ—are hungry for truth.

THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT JUST DIED WHERE IT BEGAN

The violent, mentally lazy thugs who rioted in Berkeley last night bear no resemblance to the famous protesters of the 1960’s and 70’s.  I know because I preached on the Berkeley campus from 1970 until 1980.

THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT JUST DIED WHERE IT BEGAN

By Mario Murillo

The violent, mentally lazy thugs who rioted in Berkeley last night bear no resemblance to the famous protesters of the 1960’s and 70’s.  I know because I preached on the Berkeley campus from 1970 until 1980.

milo

Not only do they not represent the free speech movement—last night, they embodied everything the protest movement hated most.   They did not take up the mantle of free speech—they dismantled it.

How ironic!  What a blasphemous, poetic end!   The free speech movement died where it began: in Berkeley…right where Mario Savio gave his famous and  impassioned speech against the machine.  (see video).

An autopsy will reveal the cause of death: terminal hypocrisy.  Protesting alleged hate speech with actual hate speech.  Condemning fascism by being fascist.  pauley-copy-copy

I once saw a cringe-worthy moment on American Idol.  Simon Cowell blasted a young singer because she had the gall to sing a Whitney Houston song.  He excoriated her for not only having a mediocre voice but for choosing a song that would automatically compare her to a legend.  That is what happened last night.

By staging their melt-down on the hallowed grounds of Sproul Plaza these squealing brats forced an automatic comparison to a real movement.

In case you were under a rock, here is what happened last night:  A speech by Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled by UC-Berkeley police as security failed. Yiannopoulos was evacuated from the area.

News of the rioting made cable news last night as students smashed ATMs and bank windows, looted a Starbucks, beat Trump supporters, pepper sprayed innocent individuals, and set fires in the street. Others spray painted the words “Kill Trump” on storefronts.

“The left is profoundly antithetical to free speech these days, does not want to hear alternative points of view, and will do anything to shut it down,” Yiannopoulos told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview on Wednesday night. “My point is being proven over and over and over again.”

Here are the glaring differences between these coddled punks and the protesters I knew in Berkeley:

 Substance:  Back then you heard speeches—speeches that made a case.   They could answer questions.   Today’s so-called left cannot answer questions.  They scream things they hear someone else say.  They make claims that they cannot back up.  If you ask them directly, for example, what does Milo say that is a lie?   They get a deer in the headlights expression.  Today’s campus snowflakes and agitators simply cannot bear to have their viewpoint challenged by facts.  Is it because they intuitively understand that they have no substance?

Free exchange of ideas:  Open mikes were common in Berkeley.  Sometimes wackos would speak but opposing views and open debate were respected. The protestors in Berkeley in the 70’s were often atheists who hated the Gospel.  Nevertheless, they defended my right to preach the Word of God.  Occasionally, I was attacked but my attackers were condemned by most leaders of the movement.

Assisted suicide:  The bottom line is that today’s rioters are killing themselves and their movement. However, it is an assisted suicide.  Older professors, mainline Democratic leaders, aging hippies and a toxic media could intervene but they won’t.   CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, The New York Times and The Washington Post have a vested interest in silencing opposing views…even if it means crippling the next generation’s ability to think logically.

Last night was nothing but hooliganism.  It had all the nobility of domestic violence.

In the video, you see Mario Savio railing against the machine.  He decried a University that simply would not allow opposing views.  Listen rioters, you are now the machine…worse yet, puppets of the machine.

In related news:

University of California denounces the violence and violation of free speech

Campus condemns violence, defends free speech

UC Berkeley condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of individuals who invaded the campus, infiltrated a crowd of peaceful students and used violent tactics to close down the event. We deeply regret that the violence unleashed by this group undermined the First Amendment rights of the speaker as well as those who came to lawfully assemble and protest his presence.

The university went to extraordinary lengths to facilitate planning and preparation for this event, working in close concert with the Berkeley College Republicans. Dozens of police officers were brought in from UC campuses across the state. Numerous crowd-control measures were put in place. But, we could not plan for the unprecedented. Last night the Berkeley campus was invaded by more than 100 armed individuals clad all in black who utilized paramilitary tactics to engage in violent, destructive behavior designed to shut the event down. At that point the University of California Police Department concluded that the speaker had to be evacuated from campus for his own safety, thereby bringing the event to an end.

For the campus police, the primary objective is always the safety and well-being of our students and the public. That is what informs their strategies and tactics. In that context we are relieved that, as of now, there have been no reports of serious injuries.

We are proud of our history and legacy as the home of the Free Speech Movement. While we have made clear our belief that the inflaming rhetoric and provocations of Mr. Yiannopoulos were in marked opposition to the basic values of the university, we respected his right to come to campus and speak once he was invited to do so by a legitimate student group. The violence last night was an attack on the fundamental values of the university, which stands for and helps to maintain and nurture open inquiry and an inclusive civil society, the bedrock of a genuinely democratic nation. We are now, and will remain in the future, completely committed to free speech as essential to our educational mission and a vital component of our identity at UC Berkeley.