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 Copyright by Jed Smock 1985

Used by Permission

Confrontational Evangelism on Campus


 Chapter 5


It seemed like a routine day at Arizona State University in Tempe.

Many students had spent their mornings in classes-- English, humanities, math, physics, biology, psychology, sociology, political science, economics. Some were heading for the student union to have lunch with friends. The more studious had secured an afternoon spot in the library for homework.

A library window gave a view of various booths set up on the front walk by campus organizations. Students at the stands were offering information about different groups, issues and causes: pro-choice, pro-life, young republicans, young democrats, no-nukes, communists, socialists, homosexuals, fraternities, sororities, Moslems, Christians and Jews. But, the average student showed little interest in these. Behind the booths, Cady Mall was filled with sunbathers and a few frisbee throwers. Their thoughts were on the temporal:

"Will he ask me out for Friday night?"

"Does he really love me?"

"I wonder if that blue dress looks good on me? I better buy some eyeshadow to match it."

"I'll cram tonight for that humanities exam."

"I hope we win the game."

"Tomorrow night I'll get wasted at that keg party."

"I wonder if she'll go all the way?"

"I'm tired of school. I need a break."


No one suspected there was an unexpected visitor on campus. No one would have believed that within a couple of hours the whole campus would be buzzing with talk of "religion." The students were unaware that the benevolent God of the universe was about to take extreme measures to provoke them into considering their ways. The fourth-hour class ended and thousands of students flooded the Cady Mall walkways.

I took my position-- Bible clutched in right hand, left hand raised and aimed, and fired away. "HEARKEN UNTO THE WORD OF GOD . . ."

A large crowd surrounded me as I continued the message. "You homosexuals call yourself gay, but I have never met a happy queer in my life. You are not gay you are miserable. Nor are you liberated; you are enslaved. You are enslaved to your lust. But God will set you free from your abominable sin, if you will repent and believe in his name."

As soon as I got those words out of my mouth, a lesbian shot out of the crowd and hit me in the jaw. She knocked me off the bench on which I was speaking. Staggering, I returned to my platform and resumed my message. The crowd restrained the deviate but suddenly she broke away and tried to tear my clothes. Why this lesbian wanted to tear off my clothes, is hard to figure out!

The police were already on the scene wearing their riot helmets. When the sodomite attacked the second time, they quickly moved through the crowd to me. They escorted me to a squad car and drove me back to my motel for my own safety.

The next day the incident got front page coverage in the papers. When I arrived on campus, six policemen met me. Lt. Thomas Godbehere informed me, "Rev. Smock, we are here to guard you as you speak today."

I took my pulpit in the center of the mall with the six policemen encircling me. One of the largest crowds of my ministry gathered that afternoon but the presence of the police subdued them considerably. At the end of the day the administrator in charge of scheduling campus facilities told me, "This is the biggest thing we have had on campus since the student demonstrations of the sixties."

When Paul and his companions came to Thessalonica, the city was set in an uproar. The unbelieving Jews cried, "These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also" (Acts 17:6). A few Christians can stir and shake whole cities, states, nations, yea, the world.

When the council of elders, chief priests, and scribes accused Jesus before Pilate they said, "He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place" (Luke 23:5). He stirreth up the people. Oh! That his followers might be similarly inclined today. But alas, contemporary Christianity desires to soothe, placate, appease, pacify and compromise with the world and the forces of evil.

After I have completed a campaign on campus, the majority of students know Jed Smock professes to be a Christian. They may not approve of my manner or message. However, I am confident that they have been confronted with the truth. Yet, there are Christian students and faculty who have been on campus for years and relatively few people are aware that they profess the faith. This ought not to be so.

The Destroyers

A campus minister approached me at the end of a day's preaching at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and said, "Mr. Smock, in one day you have destroyed everything the Christian community has worked for in the last year. There has been a movement to expel Christian organizations from campus. We adopted a policy of peaceful co-existence with our opposition."

"Sir," I answered, "you are the problem. Jesus said, 'Think not that I come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword' (Matthew 10:34). You must wake up to the fact that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. Be a soldier, take the offensive. Destroy the works of the devil. Quit being such a pansy."

Often students ask, "Who are you people? What's the name of your group?"

"We call ourselves the Destroyers."

"The Destroyers? What kind of name is that for a Christian group?"

"It comes from I John 3:8: 'For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil;' and from I Corinthians 1:19: 'For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.' What better place to destroy the wisdom of the wise than on our state universities? Hence, The Destroyers!"

God told Jeremiah that his first job would be to root out, pull down, destroy and to throw down-- then to build and plant. Since my initial 1977 attack on the Arizona State University campus, I have seen an annual improvement. The hecklers are fewer, the students are more attentive and the Christians are more supportive. The extensive police protection is no longer necessary. Twice I was invited to address the largest class on campus-- the Human Sexuality class. The once-leftist newspaper was taken over by conservatives. The early editorial staff had scornfully called me "Heaven's Hamburger," but one of the later editors, Len Munsil praised my ministry for promoting a stronger Christian influence on campus. Mr. Munsil has since become a lawyer in Arizona and one of the nation's leading fighters against pornography. The following article written by Tracy Fletcher who later married her former editor Len Munsil appeared in the ASU State Press after we spent a week there in 1984:

"An Afternoon On The Mall

With Jed and Cindy"

"The late afternoon shadows stretched slowly across the lawn in front of Hayden Library. The six o'clock hour was drawing near, the chill of evening was settling in, and in the waning hour of daylight, Brother Jed Smock was still preaching.

"The day of evangelizing had begun at 11 Thursday morning and except for a brief respite when Sister Cindy stepped in, Jed had been holding forth all day.

"Earlier in the week, the word began spreading around campus. 'Jed's back.' For those who had spent springtime at ASU, there was no need to explain who this Jed was. We all knew who had returned. For those who hadn't, it was only a matter of time.

"This year's visit brought with it a couple of changes-- Brother Jed and Sister Cindy are now carrying on the crusade together as man and wife. Over the course of a day, they took turns speaking outside the library, ringed by a curious, sometimes hostile, and always animated circle of onlookers.

"Their approach is at times a bit jarring. But then, it is meant to be. Most college students don't spend much time thinking about anything of true importance-- especially the way they're living their lives.

"At one point Thursday, Brother Jed pointed out that most college students run around utterly confused about their sexuality. He observed that college men spend most of their time in a sensual frenzy trying to add another notch to their bedposts or wondering about whether or not they should eat quiche-- the latest measure of what a 'real man' should be. College women spend most of their time fretting over expressing their 'sexual independence.' It's no wonder that they never develop the moral foundation necessary to address their sexuality in a mature fashion.

The more vocal members of the audience are living examples of the confusion bred by the moral vacuity of our modern 'lifestyles.' The comments they threw back-- most of which are unfit to print here-- only illustrate Jed's point. If these people are so comfortable with the way they live, you wonder why they feel the need to defend themselves so vigorously. No one forces them to stay and listen.

"Cindy and Jed are not the first preachers to come to the University. A student in the audience told me that a man named `Holy Hubert' used to come to campus. Although I had never heard of Brother Jed's predecessor, the student could recall, to the last detail, listening to 'Holy Hubert' preaching on the day President Reagan was shot. A student broke through the circle of students who surrounded him and announced news of the shooting. The audience became still while 'Holy Hubert' led them in a prayer for the wounded president.

"I later learned why 'Holy Hubert' no longer makes the preaching swing through college campuses. It seems he had been hit so many times in the face by frustrated spectators, he developed glaucoma and lost his eyesight. I couldn't help but think of 'Holy Hubert' when I heard members of the audience screaming about Brother Jed's intolerance.'

"There is definitely a message behind the seeming madness of their oratory.

"At one point Thursday, Sister Cindy told a story about a student who lived only to satisfy his own insatiable appetite for pleasure. 'He really thought he was living it up. Parties. Parties. Parties. But one day he realized he had a giant void in his life.' For a brief moment the hecklers were silent. They heard in that parable a description of their own lives and felt the same emptiness.

"Watching the sideshow outside the library over the course of the week, I saw the same faces keep popping up in the crowd.

"One tormented young man heckled Jed on and off for 45 or so minutes Wednesday. Finally pushed to his breaking point, he flew into a mad rage and charged up to the preacher. He spewed incoherently for a couple moments, then stomped away in utter confusion and frustration. A few minutes later, as I was walking down the mall, I saw him standing outside the Social Science building with a few others, proudly relating his brief moment at center stage. Thursday afternoon, there he was again in the front row of the audience.

"But he wasn't the only one who kept coming back for more. Another very vocal young man found a forum for airing his own inner turmoil. He was one of the last to leave Wednesday evening, spent most of Thursday in the front row and was one of the last to leave again that night. Like the others, no matter how angry he became, something in Brother Jed's words drew him back.

"By early evening, the complexion of the audience had subtly changed. It had thinned substantially and the atmosphere of unbridled hostility Thursday afternoon had been softened by a genuine sense of curiosity. Watching as that small circle of students dispersed, I wondered whether that curiosity would remain after Brother Jed has left."

Personal testimonies prove that we have been able to help build and plant the Kingdom of God at ASU. After one of my crusades, I was mailed this thank you note: (It is a striking contrast from the lesbian's fist that greeted me on my first visit).

"Brother Jed,"

" I wanted to write and thank you for what you have done for me, and also to encourage you to keep up the good work.

"Recently, you visited my campus, Arizona State University. I went to listen to pass time-- just like many other students. I had always believed n God, but never felt I could rid myself of my selfishness, and live a Christian life--nor did I really want to.

"I had heard you, in passing, talking quietly with your associate, Bro. Cope. You weren't talking about the Lord, but about the attitudes of the students on our campus. Initially, I hadn't much respect for the way you were preaching to the students, and thought you were another rambling Jesus freak. I realized that you preach that way (after hearing you talk quietly with Bro Cope) to draw a crowd; and therefore, spread the Word of God. It was then that I was ready to focus on what you were saying not how you were saying it. It wasn't long after you left that I accepted the Lord as my Saviour. You are truly a part of my testimony!

"I thank the Lord, and I thank you, Brother Jed! I know you will continue to lead others to Him!"

In Christ,



Marianne boldly related her testimony to a crowd of students in our 1984 meeting at ASU. The next day more joy flooded our souls as Christians joined with us at the end of a five-hour meeting in a closing prayer for revival and the singing of "Amazing Grace." At least one convicted student concluded "how sweet the sound." He publicly decided to repent and follow Jesus.

Sadly, the conservative revival at ASU did not last, by the end of the eighties the liberals had once again taken over the newspaper and the Christians seem to have gone back into the closet.


George Smock spoke on the mall for almost five hours yesterday, drawing crowds which totaled an estimated 3,000 students --The Purdue Exponent


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