It was bound to come out sooner or later, but the issue of the word Christian in the name of our university has eaten at me for quite some time.
Riding in the elevator, I hear the Lord’s name taken in vain. In the library, I can hear the f-word ring out while some other kids are talking about popping Adderall to help them stay awake long enough to cram for exams. Looking at some of the attitudes on campus, one has to wonder what the significance is in attending a “Christian” university.
In some of the religion course work I have taken, we read from a Bible that explains away the supernatural in the footnotes, and in another class we were taught that the Bible does not really say that committing fornication or being homosexual is sinful.
So far, the people I have found that disagree with my concerns the most are representatives of what is supposed to be the most prestigious Christian elements on our campus. Go figure.
Some will feel that what I am saying is extreme, but wasn’t Jesus also extreme in his convictions and his faith? The last time I checked they crucified him for it. Jesus never made room for sin or made excuses for it, and nearly everyone who followed him understood that and offered up their very life to be able to call themselves Christian.
The word Christian was coined a slanderous term; the early Roman historian Tacitus said the word Christian was what the vulgar called the followers of Christ. As where we find it mentioned in the Bible as a label birthed in Antioch, the word itself was associated with great persecution.
I wonder if Ignatius, a bishop of Antioch, who was devoured by lions in the coliseum for identifying himself as a Christian, would take it so lightly that the word Christian is in our name. For that matter how would Christ himself react? The hard truth is that the word Christian is not an adjective, it is not American tradition, it has been and still is for many people in this world, a death sentence. According to Voice of the Martyrs, 175,000 Christians from across the globe were martyred in 2008, and in the meantime we sit back and consider it inconsequential that we do.
What I am saying is this: For a word as loaded as the word Christian, which stirs up emotion in many people, it is high time that we stop trampling it under foot and either pay it homage, or remove the name all together.
Andrew Weatherford is a junior religion major and pastor of Deliverance Bible Church in Fort Worth.