The good news has come to Oklahoma State University.
Keith Darrell, affiliated with The Whitefield Fellowship in Dayton, Ohio, appeared on campus yesterday afternoon to preach to students.
The main theme of his message was God’s love despite man’s inherent wickedness, and students called out questions for clarification or to spark debate.
Matt Alvarez, a computer science freshman, said that he is an atheist, but that if he learned God was real when he died, he would bow and acknowledge God’s reality.
“If you’re wrong and it turns out that the actual god is Allah, will you bow and acknowledge Allah?” Alvarez asked .
“Absolutely,” Darrell said. “If my whole testimony is false, and God did not crucify Jesus Christ and raise him from the dead on the third day, then I am a false witness.”
Alvarez is an enemy of God, and so are everyone who does not follow the 10 commandments, Darrell said.
“When you turn your back on God…You’re an enemy of God,” he said.
Darrell cited the existence of slavery, porn and the sex trade as evidence that men are wicked.
“If we are honest with ourselves, our hearts are wicked,” he said.
Life is predetermined to an extent, Darrell said.
“I did not determine to be born in America,” he said. “I did not determine to be 5’6’’. If it had been up to me, I would have eked out a few more inches.”
Darrell advocated when a person loses their virginity to another person, they must marry, citing Deuteronomy 22.
“Women, if you come to college and you happen to maintain your virginity, and a man buys you a drink and takes you home, you ought to marry that man, and he ought to marry you,” he said. “Whoever you’ve lost your virginity to, you have to marry that person. That’s what the scripture is teaching… Anyone having sex outside of marriage is wrong.”
During his speech, Darrell equivocated same-sex marriage with bestiality and called it “shameless”.
Looking at pornography and masturbation are also wrong in most cases, he said.
“But if you are a man and you go off to war and are separated from your wife, I would not tell you that you’re wrong for masturbating,” he said.
Darrell concluded the afternoon by reiterating that he is doing God’s work.
“The reason I come out here and preach is that you need to be reconciled with God,” he said. “The scriptures tell that God didn’t come for the righteous. He came for the unrighteous. I’m here for the unrighteous.”
Reactions to Darrell’s message were mixed and students stood around discussing his performance after he left.
Kameron Morris, a human development and family science junior, said Darrell was the best preacher who has been on campus.
“He was definitely more polite that other preachers we’ve had,” Morris said. “I’ve seen Preacher Bob twice when OSU police have been working the crowds to make sure nothing went down… This guy was really respectful.”
Keith Harris, an undecided freshman, said he liked that Darrell had an open forum.
“A lot of people just stand out here and just read but don’t answer a lot of questions,” Harris said.
Zach Reus, a psychology sophomore, engaged in several verbal sparring matches with Darrell, particularly on the Bible’s teachings about homosexuality, but he said it was “fun” to ask questions.
Andrew Tretiak, also an undecided freshman, said he was glad Darrell’s appearance sparked debate and discussion among students.
“Discussion about religion is necessary on a college campus,” he said.