“Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:11
Dr. Stephen Jones offered a poignant reminder of this truth last week on a day set aside in honor of the legacy of one of the nation’s greatest civil rights pioneers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“When you look at creation, when you look at individual species … there is incredible diversity, and that’s God’s idea,” Dr. Jones said during chapel on Monday, Jan. 20.
As the current students of BJU, it is our privilege to follow in the steps of our president in furthering a new era of Christ-like love. While BJU released its official position on racism in 2008, Dr. Jones’ address to the student body is an invaluable step in solidifying the University’s image as an all-inclusive institution.
“There are things in the University’s past that I wish were not. And I wish it had been different,” Dr. Jones said. “We had the light of Scripture, and we should have understood. We let society’s views set our lenses.”
While recognizing past wrongs and the hurt that was caused, the president has his sights set on a brighter future. “The past we can’t change. We can say we’re sorry for it and ask forgiveness for it. But the present we can make choices about.”
It is now our responsibility to carry out this mission. After all, this isn’t merely Dr. Jones’ mission, but the mission of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:22-23 says, “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
The Collegian staff urges the entire student body to join in continuing the University’s journey toward shedding an image that is no longer true.
The Bible clearly teaches us that believers are all equal in God’s eyes. Romans 8:17 clearly states, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Racism is not just shown in outward actions, however; it can manifest itself in our thoughts, in our feelings and in our hearts. Until we can change the way we think, we are still wrong. The Savior of the world never told a racist joke, nor did He think so much as one disparaging thought about a race apart from His own.
It is also our responsibility to reach out in new ways to the community around us. Dr. Jones shared his vision with us: “My burden for the University is that we increasingly — that our complexion as a university — that we increasingly look like the nation around us.”
It’s no secret that our University and the churches we draw from are not very diverse. Why is that? God forbid that it be because we have failed to love others and accept them as we have been commanded. Jesus not only respected other races, but He also boldly ministered to social enemies of His own people (such as tax collectors and Samaritans). We can make a difference: let’s rally around the cause and uphold this year’s goal, “Reflect God,” by demonstrating how believers know no ethnic or racial differences.
In his final semester as president of BJU, Dr. Jones has set a course for us to follow.
“One savior, one God, one father. That’s who we are as Bob Jones University,” he said.
“That’s what we believe. And that, by God’s grace, is what we are committed to live out, today and in all the days to come.”