18 March 2008

"Tate" Preacher Makes It Big

UGA's student center is called the Tate Center. It's a rather large building with a movie theater, game room, food court, and several conference rooms. And it's getting bigger. It's joined to the university's bookstore by a simple breezeway. It forms an odd U shape, which creates what we call "Tate Plaza" (honestly, I have no clue if that's the official term). Many campus organizations set up tables to recruit students, raise awareness, or what have you.

And every so often, we get "Tate preachers" - the hellfire and brimstone type. Some carry big signs condemning virtually everyone to hell (personally, I'm still waiting for the "God hates those who can read" sign). Others simply read quietly from the Bible (this guy is usually much older and very quiet - he doesn't get much attention - to be perfectly honest, I don't know if he's reading John 3:16 or all of Revelation - if I've pegged you wrong, old Tate preacher man, I'm sorry). Then we have those who get on stage, wave their KJVs around, read verses about going to hell, and talk about how most college students are drunk, high, and promiscuous.

That's Brother Micah. He gets up on the stage in the plaza and starts rattling off different attributes that God hates. The list goes on, and I think my favorite thing item on the list is "weak-kneed, pencil-necked men". Whenever Brother Micah's in town, you know it's going to be an interesting day. The day after the Virginia Tech massacre, he yelled at a Vietnamese student and asked him where his "gat" was. There is always a crowd watching. A lot of people ask questions, either targeting his theology or just making fun of him. I'll admit, there have been a few times I've "argued" (and by argued, I mean shouted "God is Love") with him. Brother Micah insists that if you are a Christian and still sin, then you are not a Christian, though he doesn't answer questions as to whether or not he still sins.

I mention all of this as a form of pointing your attention to this article.
It seems Brother Micah has made the news.

In the article, he says that people listen to him and that his sermons get people talking about faith.
Which is certainly true. Every time we have a Tate preacher stop by, there is always a crowd. And admittedly, their visits always lead to interesting discussions on faith and Christianity between friends (Christian or not) and I.

I really don't like the Tate preachers. I know most of them are just being dramatic, but I still think that they do more harm then good. But they are getting people talking. So my question is this: How does the Church get people talking without the theatrics? How do we engage our culture?

Rock on.

Edit: This reminds me of something posted on Think Christian a few months back.

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