By Phoebe Suy | Reporter
Baylor’s “Christian atmosphere” is both the reason I chose to attend this university and the reason I, at times, longed to leave.
What does it say about us as Christians if the only thing connecting us to Christ is the Bible verse we quote on social media? If the mission trips we take turn into photo-ops? If the only time we pray is following a crisis or before a meal? How can we educate students for worldwide leadership and service if our Christian commitment only goes as far as we are comfortable?
When being a Christian becomes the norm, it’s natural we all grow comfortable, hiding layers of pain and brokenness beneath the façade of Proverbs 31:25 (She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future) or Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me).
I didn’t come to Baylor expecting sanctimonious crowds, but I also didn’t anticipate some of the negative effects of Christian culture.
We sing praises to God in Chapel, at lifegroup, in the sanctuary, all the while living our lives the way we personally desire in virtually every other aspect. We seek the kingdom of God after the rest of our earthly kingdoms have seemingly fallen into place.
Although I’m nearing the end of my Baylor journey, I am beginning to see the university in the same way I see the church. Baylor will never be a perfect place because it is made up of people like you and me.
The “Baylor bubble” is a real thing, and it is truly sad that at times it becomes a pseudo-world in which we have only enough of Christ to appease our superficial desires to be named with Him but not to suffer with Him.
In Philippians 3:10 Paul writes, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” In his commentary “Barnes’ Notes: On the Old Testament” theologian Albert Barnes said, “Many are willing to reign with Christ, but they would not be willing to suffer with him; many would be willing to wear a crown of glory like him, but not the crown of thorns; many would be willing to put on the robes of splendor which will be worn in heaven, but not the scarlet robe of contempt and mockery.”
Throughout the gospels, Jesus encourages His disciples time and again to forsake everything to follow Him.
Living for Christ in a Christian context often means we don’t have to give up much in order to follow Him. We don’t necessarily feel compelled to go out of our way to show Christ to others when it’s assumed the person sitting next to us knows Jesus.
Some of the so-called struggles we face as Christians in America (and in the Bible Belt, at that) are nothing in comparison to the persecution millions of Christians face throughout the world. However, didn’t Jesus also say to whom much is given, much is to be required?
Whether we realize it or not, each of us have been given so much, including the opportunity to be at the world’s largest Baptist university. Let’s be good stewards of the gospel that has been entrusted to us and quit playing it safe.
“Aslan is a lion–the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh,” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“…Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe