I was going to talk more about forgiveness today; however, this video came to my attention along with the plight of Dr. Randy Beckum, who gave this wonderful sermon. It seems that the MidAmerican Nazarene University (MNU) decided to go with the masses who objected to this sermon and promptly fired Dr. Beckum.
This is such a disgrace as MNU’s Faith statement is
Our Christian Faith
As a Christian, evangelical university we believe Jesus Christ is Lord and the final authority for our faith and our lives. Thus every aspect of university activity, from instruction to student life to business practices, flow from this truth.
All students, whether traditional, professional and graduate, commuter or online, are encouraged to find spiritual growth and fulfilment at MNU. While MNU is one of 11 Nazarene institutions of higher education in North America, our community is diverse and represents 44 denominations and six different religions. Our courses, activities and services are designed to support a culture that promotes Christ-centered love to one another, our community and our world.
So how does every aspect of the university’s activity show what they did to Dr. Beckum flow from His truth?
His whole sermon is full of Christ teachings, teachings that some American Christians found hard to deal with. There were so many parts of this sermon that resonated with me and many of the things I have been saying for a very long time. Especially poignant was the part about God and… ‘how many times have we heard God and Country, God and America, God and this nation or just God and nation’? He explains this very well, along with our obsession with violence as Americans and especially as Christian Americans.
For many the truth hurts, and unfortunately the truths spoken in this sermon seemed to hurt a lot of Christians. Why? Dr. Beckum only spoke about Christ, being Christ-like and following in Christ’s path. That is what I pray for EVERY SINGLE time I pray to God, “Please help me to understand your words so that I may follow in your son Jesus’ path (and to change it up I will add).” Does loving your enemy, praying for those who persecute you and repaying no one evil for evil sound to far-fetched? So maybe what Amos says in 5:10 to Israel should also be looked upon in our time – “They hate the one who reproves in the gate and they abhor the one who speaks honestly … The wickedness of Israel’s upper class is evident in their hatred for any leader who dares to oppose their interests and SIDE WITH TRUTH AND JUSTICE.”1
After watching this video if you are left angry, mad, shaking your head in disbelief, or just thinking he must be some sort of bleeding heart liberal, then maybe you need to grab your Bible, go off into a room by yourself, close the door and go into a deep prayer/discussion with God your Father ~Matthew 6:6.
1 Faithlife Study Bible note under Amos 5:10. Emphasis mine.
Dr. Beckum asked that this conversation be kept going. He suggested using the hashtag