Messages from God never seem to stop for students walking past the Union.
Tom Short, a non-denominational Christian preacher, visited the U campus this week after a family of Christian missionaries greeted students on the first day of school.
Short was on campus Monday and Tuesday arguing with crowds of students gathered on the lawn outside the Union. He preached about the Bible, creation versus evolution, abortion and other topics that students brought up.
“My goal is that I want everyone here to turn to Christ,” Short said. “He is our savior and lord.”
Tim Short, Tom Short’s 18-year-old son, traveled with him to the U from Columbus, Ohio. Tim Short said his father is trying to prove to people that the Bible is fact and that Christ is the only way to salvation.
“He believes his message is true and that those who do not believe are condemned to hell?he feels he must tell everyone,” Tim Short said.
Tim Short said the difference between other Christian religions and the view he and his father share is that they believe they are saved only through following Christ.
“What separates us is that we believe we are saved only through him, and we put complete faith and trust in him,” Tim Short said.
Tom Short was invited to come to Utah and is sponsored by a local church in the Salt Lake valley called The Rock.
He travels on money raised by fellow supporters’ donations.
The Shorts began traveling to the U from Nebraska last week. They plan to go to North Dakota after their stay in Utah. They take a break from preaching to visit home on weekends and spend time with family.
Rachel Hakes, a junior in exercise and sports science, listened to Short speak and said she thinks he has some good points but that he is also a little off.
Hakes said she did not think that Short is trying to offend anyone by preaching. “He must care a lot, because he has nothing to gain by doing this,” Hakes said.
“Maybe all I’ll accomplish today is to get you to rethink your view on Christianity. I have thoughtful answers to tough questions,” Short said. “My guess is, if I come back next year, there’ll be some people here who will have become Christian. It happens all the time. The ones who argue the most are the closest to being there.”