When religious advocate Paul Mitchell took up his metaphorical orange box and megaphone and came to Citrus College, the views he expressed urged students to take a side and speak out.
Mitchell held a sign with the words “Go to hell” at the top and “Or repent” at the bottom in bright red, print. It also detailed a list of people, who he believes, the Bible condemned as sinners. The opposite side of the sign quoted Romans 6:23, saying “For the wages of sin is death.”
Mitchell proclaimed his views boldly, and Citrus students responded in kind. Those who agreed with his beliefs argued as vehemently as those who opposed them. While Glendora police on site advised students to ignore him, they had trouble doing so due, no doubt, to his choice of contentious words, such as “girlie men,” and “sluts.”
His abrasive words immediately brought on the crowd’s disapproval. Mitchell said that he did not come expecting acceptance.
“Does the Bible tell me that when I come out here and proclaim the definitions of sin to a culture and give that culture the answer that I’m going to be received and everybody’s going to like me? Oh no. No; the opposite is true….What the Bible tells me is there’s a good possibility I’m going to get hurt,” Mitchell said.
The president of the Christian Club, John Mendez, began speaking about his idea of “true Christianity” and urged students to attend a Christian Club meeting if they wanted to hear more.
As the clashing opinions rose to a crescendo, one student did the unexpected: he defended Mitchell.
Nursing major, Will Brown said that everything Mitchell was saying was true and everyone, including himself, needed to ask for forgiveness from God.
“Everybody deserves death, after the death you have the love of Christ. I’m depending on grace and mercy…I face hell every day… Every day I ask for forgiveness,” Brown said.
Whether or not the Citrus College students were changed by Mitchell’s sign and speeches, the sight of so many of their fellow students standing up for what they believe in was cause for lasting inspiration.