Here is my response to this recent article. I couldn’t help but feel called out in this article, “we”, “student body”, and “theology majors”, so here is my take on this.
Coming to Union College I expected a lot. This is because I didn’t put my faith in man, but rather in God. I didn’t think, I knew that this is where God wanted me to be. From the moment I walked by campus ministries on my first visit, I felt the spirit moving on this campus. I was led to Union College.
As my first semester progressed, I was elated to have prayer incorporated before my classes. I had not experienced anything like this in many years. Furthermore, I found spiritual counsel and perspective on numerous occasions from my Greek teacher, Ben Holdsworth. To say the least, I couldn’t have been a better environment for the struggles I was facing. After spending 8 years on active duty, in the United States Navy, then spending a year at a community college, Union College was a breath of fresh air. I found a place where spiritual dreams can become reality. If you are passionate about sharing Jesus, Campus Ministries will support you 100%.
To imply that Campus Ministries is not passionate about evangelism is a rather dubious claim. Sharing the gospel can come in different forms, and we should never discredit or undermine those who are seeking to share Christ to others just because our “expectations” are not being met.
One thing that the Navy taught me is if you’re going to complain about something, bring a solution to the table. Furthermore, as I continued to read this article on the “Adventist” part, it became perfectly clear what needs to be addressed. Before you begin checking “the observable majority of the student body” and somehow concluding that being an Adventist means nothing to us, check yourself first. Ellen G. White gives counsel on this matter in her writing, Criticism Involving Relationships with Other People. In chapter 42, White states, “He who takes upon himself the work of judging and criticizing others, lays himself open to the same degree of judgment and criticism. Those who are ready to condemn their brethren, would do well to examine their own works and character.”
So what are we called to do as Adventists? The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is to call all people (even the student body of UC) to become disciples of Jesus Christ, to proclaim the everlasting gospel embraced by the three angels’ messages (Revelation 14:6-12), and to prepare the world for Christ’s soon return. You are right when you stated, “we seem hesitant to define the term.” Maybe if this term were embraced, I would not be reading an article that raises complaints of other people’s shortcomings or questioning.
As Adventists, it is easy to want to rush out to the “world” and spread the good news. But what good are we doing if we bypass those directly around us. We should embrace any window of opportunity God gives us to share his love, even if it takes us out of our comfort zone.
If you can, imagine what our lives would be like if Jesus looked down on our planet and decided not to be our atoning sacrifice just because he saw us cursing, or not observing the Sabbath in the right manner. Luckily God looks at our hearts, not outward appearances. Likewise, it would be prudent for us to follow his example.
Finally, I only ask that you take more thoughtful consideration before labeling, grouping us (the student body), and then sending us over a cliff. Get to know us, get to know me. Together, let’s become Disciples of Christ and finish His work. After all, that is the “Adventist” part, right?
-Darren Robinson, Junior, “About the ‘Adventist’ Part”