Parker Willis

Brother Matt made his regular stop on Missouri Southern’s campus this week and, as always, drew quite a crowd of listeners.

As he stood in front of the Billingsly Student Center, Brother Matt yelled out words like “sinner,” “liar” and “whore” to attract attention and get listeners, but not all of those who gathered agreed with his methods.

“Theoretically he’s a little too gung-ho,” said Sam Pogue, freshman mass communication major. “He’s condemning more than he’s preaching.”

Brother Matt not only upset many students because of his name calling, he also upset several Christians for giving them a bad name.

“I read a study that said people believe Christians are anti-homosexual and very judgmental and when people see someone like this that’s the impression that they get,” said Shaun Cheney, senior international business major. “They forget people that are serving others every day of their life through organizations like Samaritan’s Purse.”

Cheney wasn’t the only one with something to say about Brother Matt’s tactics.

“To come here with hellfire on your sign is not the right way,” said Destry Allgood, freshman undecided major. “You have to present God as an entity that loves.

“I personally want to be a missionary because I love people and I want to save people and I believe he is making people like me look bad because of the way he is presenting himself as a Christian. I don’t think he’s a bad person. I just want anyone who hears him to know that is not the love of God.”

Brother Matt did however bring up many topics of debate amongst the crowd, especially with his tactic of calling nearly everyone who walked by a sinner and telling them they would burn in hell.

“I would like to know where he got this information,” said Jordyn Triboulet, sophomore nursing major, “because in the bible it says that God has forgiven us for our sins.”

Even Brother Matt admitted not everyone on campus was destined for hell.

“There are Christians here at MSSU,” Brother Matt said. “I know that. But the majority of students are not Christians. And we are seeking to win the lost.”

But did Brother Matt help anyone during his two day tirade on the oval?

“His heart is in the right place,” said Jonathan Saunders, sophomore political science major. “It’s just the way he’s engaging people. I don’t think it gets people to respond very well. If you’re going to speak the word it should encourage people instead of scaring them or making them angry.”

However, Brother Matt said he wasn’t necessarily on campus to bring people to Christ.

“I’m not here for converts.” Brother Matt said. “I’m out here to glorify God first of all. The problem with the method in America today is not only are we riddled with religious spirit, we’re riddled with such vain hypocrisy and such horrible methods that make no inroads into the hearts of men and deal with the issue. These TV evangelists aren’t dealing with anything. They’re only dealing with how quick you want to get rich.

“Many will reject Christianity, Jesus said they would. When Noah preached the gospel for 100 years only 8 people were saved.”

Brother Matt said he was also here to give people a choice.

“I’m drawing the line in the sand,” Brother Matt said. “You choose the world and sin or God. Don’t go in between two. You make a choice today. Nothing Jesus and, Jesus plus, Jesus in addition to; it’s just Jesus alone.”

Despite several students disagreeing with Brother Matt’s message, almost all of them agreed he had the right to be on campus.

“There’s a place on campus for everyone,” Pogue said. “It’s a public campus and he’s a human being who’s entitled to his opinion. It’s not like he’s killing people or starting a riot.”

Ken Kennedy, director of public safety, said his rights go even further beyond that.

“We’re a public institution and the federal court of Springfield has ordered us to allow him the opportunity to be on campus to speak,” Kennedy said. “So that’s what we’re doing. We’re not interfering with that unless he were to cause a riot or strike someone or if it became our of control and we could not let it continue.”