Micah Armstrong is a campus preacher who travels across the Southeast. He’s a fundamentalist Christian. On April 1st, he visited the University of Mississippi campus like he has done many times before. However, this time many students came out and confronted him. Many people held signs saying declaring that he wasn’t a true Christian, and a few student religious groups played Christian songs. This was my response.
Reprinted from the DM Online:
He’s not wrong. He’s just an asshole.
Before I begin, I feel it is imperative to state I do not agree with Micah Armstrong and find his rhetoric abhorrent.
When Micah Armstrong began speaking on campus last Wednesday, people’s reactions were fierce, angry and aggressive. Signs proclaimed, “This Isn’t Christianity,” and people were eager to explain to Mr. Armstrong exactly how he was misrepresenting Christianity. Unfortunately, I think people are missing the point. Mr. Armstrong’s Christianity isn’t false; in fact, his ravings are supported by scripture.
Here’s a short list of things students find offensive about Mr. Armstrong’s preaching:
– Women shouldn’t wear pants: Deuteronomy 22:5
– Women shouldn’t cut their hair: 1 Corinthians 11:5-6
– Men shouldn’t have long hair: 1 Corinthians 11: 14
– Getting drunk is immoral: Ephesians 5:18
In fact, even his method is correct under the teachings of Christianity. Matthew 18:15-16 says that if a brother (any other Christian) sins, show him his faults. His proclamation of the student body’s sin is his attempt to educate those who claim to be believers, but go against the Christian scriptures. In one of the most religious states in the nation, Mr. Armstrong would be correct in assuming the majority of the student body identifies as Christians. By rebuking the student body, he is doing more than being arrogant and rude: he’s being Christ-like.
The verses he uses aren’t taken out of context. The Bible has strong voices condemning things that we in modern society have deemed acceptable. We allow women to teach men. We allow women to wear pants. We don’t condemn and say all those who practice homosexuality are deserving of death. We drink. We have sex. When confronted with uncomfortable truths about scripture, many Christians quickly shout, “Oh, that’s the Old Testament!” as if the Old Testament were not three-fourths of the Bible. Regardless, most of his condemnations come straight from the New Testament. Whether or not you agree with him, it isn’t fair to condemn him and say he isn’t a Christian because he reads and practices the parts of the Bible that others ignore.
I’m Micah Armstrong’s white whale: a tattooed, queer, pants-wearing, pre-marital sex-having, alcohol-consuming feminist with altered hair and a bad attitude. I’m the person he wants to convert, and he has the scripture to support him. If I want to continue living genuinely as myself, I have to say: “I don’t care what your scripture says.” I don’t care that the Bible says I can’t cut my hair and wear pants, and that I can only be redeemed and saved via childbirth (1 Timothy 2:15).
If we hate Mr. Armstrong’s message, perhaps it is time to look at the source material.