Skip to comments.Ashamed of the Gospel? Missed Opportunity at Virginia Tech
Posted on 04/22/2007 4:42:02 AM PDT by Kaslin
Let’s test your knowledge of world religions. Below is the entire message delivered by one of the four religious leaders at last week’s convocation at Virginia Tech, in the aftermath of the horrible mass murders that left 32 dead and 21 injured.
The test is simple: determine the religion being represented.
We gather this afternoon for many purposes. To weep for lost friends and family, to mourn our lost innocence, to walk forward in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, to embrace hope in the shadow of despair, to join our voices in a longing for peace, and healing, and understanding which is much greater than any single faith community. To embrace that which unifies, and to reject the seductive temptation to hate. We gather to share our hurts and our hopes, our petitions and our prayers.
We gather also to drink deeply of the religious streams which have refreshed parched peoples for many generations. We gather together, weeping. Yes, we weep with an agony too deep for words and sighs that are inexpressible. But also we gather affirming the sovereignty of life over death.
At a time such as this, the darkness of evil seems powerful indeed. It casts a pall over our simple joys, joys as simple as playing Frisbee on the drill field. We struggle to imagine a future beyond this agony. If we ever harbored any illusions that our campus is an idyllic refuge from the violence of the rest of the world, they are gone forever. And yet, we come to this place to testify that the light of love cannot be defeated.
Amid all our pain, we confess that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. We cannot do everything, but we can do something. We cannot banish all darkness, but we can by joining together, push it back. We can not undue yesterday’s tragic events, but we can sit in patient silence with those who mourn as they seek for a way forward.
As we share light, one with another, we reclaim our campus, let us deny death’s power to rob us of all that we have loved about Virginia Tech, this our community. Let us cast our lot with hope in defiance of despair. I invite you to observe a moment of silence.
Difficult, isn’t it?
The message was delivered by Reverend William H. King, Director of Lutheran Campus Ministries at Virginia Tech, and a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The video of the message is available online.
Each of the four speakers were there to represent their religion, to bring the message of comfort and hope rooted in their faith tradition. The Muslim speaker read passages from the Koran in Arabic and appealed to Allah, the Jewish speaker read from Ecclesiastes 3 while an assistant repeated the passages in Hebrew, the Buddhist quoted the Dalai Lama, while the Christian did not even quote from the Bible, nor mention the name of Jesus – the namesake of his religion.
What Mr. King said should be studied in every seminary in America. It is precisely what not to do when given the opportunity to bring the message of the Gospel of Jesus to those grieving the loss of loved ones and struggling to make sense of the evil visited upon them.
The nearest thing to Christianity anyone heard at the Convocation was the playing of Amazing Grace and the unison recitation of The Lord’s Prayer. There was far more Bible coming from the pews than being preached from the pulpit.
No wonder Christianity is so easily and regularly attacked on college campuses. With advocates like this, who needs opposition? We’ve got guys in our uniform playing for the other team.
Mr. King could have spoken the truth. He could have explained why Christians are confident in divine justice, why we believe that good will ultimately triumph over evil, why we know that there is life after death for those that trust Christ. He could have explained that Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins on the Cross that Friday long ago, and rose bodily from the dead on Sunday to prove His sovereignty over evil, sin and death.
In short, he could have preached the Gospel. After all, the murders were only a week removed from Easter.
But, Mr. King decided to do something apparently more important in his mind. He decided to be politically correct and not offend the members of his interfaith community by offering hollow words of humanistic philosophy lacking any real substance, and by appealing to various “religious streams” and by validating the search “for a way forward,” he insulted those of us who actually believe Christianity is true and other religions false.
In so doing, he denied his faith.
He offered those mourning no hope for the present nor any hope for the future.
He left the hearers dead in their sins.
A minister ashamed of the Gospel should not have been on that podium. The Frank Pastore Show is heard in Los Angeles weekday afternoons on 99.5 KKLA and on the web at kkla.com, and is the winner of the 2006 National Religious Broadcasters Talk Show of the Year. Frank is a former major league pitcher with graduate degrees in both philosophy of religion and political philosophy.
The Frank Pastore Show is heard in Los Angeles weekday afternoons on 99.5 KKLA and on the web at kkla.com, and is the winner of the 2006 National Religious Broadcasters Talk Show of the Year. Frank is a former major league pitcher with graduate degrees in both philosophy of religion and political philosophy.
Jesus was very clear about what happens to men who deny him in front of other men........
How very sad. Jesus was very specific as to the fate of those who denied Him while here on Earth. This is a sin of omission, his failure to hold out the Gospel was as damning as if he had denied Christ.
Is it any wonder our nation is in the terrible shape it’s in with regard to morals and courage?
Why should anyone have any respect for the Christian message if its proponents are ashamed of it themselves?
No reason at all.
I thought so too
I don’t get you
This article is a keeper. Thank you for posting it.
You are welcome
Hey, at least Mr King didn’t offend anybody and was totally, you know, inclusive.
Thanks for posting...
I don’t understand why some seem so afraid of mentioning Christianity...and this guy was a pastor?
Superb. Thank you.
"...those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on themdo you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:4, from New International Version translation)
How would you have felt if the muslim speaker had invited the audience to find salvation through the acknowledgement of Allah as the one true prophet?
IMO, a memorial service of this sort is not the place for proselytizing - by anyone - and to have done so would have been found highly offensive by many listeners.
There is a time and a place for everything it is true, but I don’t think that was what the author was getting at.
I think what he was condemning was not that this pastor avoided heavy proselytising, but that the message he gave was not in any way uniquely Christian AT ALL.
Apparently he did offend; else why the article and the responses to the article?
I mean that there are some people who are so afraid of being thought “bigoted”, “exclusive”, “condemning” or anti anything that they reduce the gospel down to the lowest possible denominator of a few pious platitudes.
In the short term, this works. Few are going to be offended by this speech. In the long term however, it gives the impression that the Christian faith has nothing that it regards as absolute and unshaking. And non believers are not going to be impressed with that.
His homily reminds me of the grace said by “Aunt Bethany” at the dinner table in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
He did quote the 5th verse of the first chapter of Saint John’s Gospel, “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” The light refers to Christ. So, there was at least some Christianity in the sermon.
I would have said he was wrong in his belief and would have tried to lead him to Christ through the Bible.
IMO, a memorial service of this sort is not the place for proselytizing - by anyone...
IMHO, EVERYWHERE is the place to talk about the Gospel of Christ. Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
...and to have done so would have been found highly offensive by many listeners.
Yea, look what happened to Jesus when He offended the religious leaders of His day.
At the very least he quoted the Koran. Would you have found an ECLA minister quoting the Bible to be “proselytizing”? In these PC times I’m guessing the answer would be “yes”.
Yes, as all who deny Him will find out, If you deny me before men, I will deny you before God. Jesus, Mt 10:33
They shouldn’t have allowed a Muslim to speak anyway, that’s BS.
Please remember that when you next . . .
visit the public library,
go to a theater,
or eat at a nice restaurant.
And don't just speak in hushed tones to those nearby. Be obnoxious! Speak quite LOUDLY to all who are present and forget all about propriety, courtesy, and good manners. Go for it!! Afterall, Christians should not be ashamed of the Gospel, should the?.
Go Get em, Wiley!
My wife mentioned the very same thing to me after we heard the respective invocations. We also noticed that they put the Buddhist lady b/w the Muslim and the Jewish speakers — perhaps also not to “offend”...
I believe that Richard Nixon right now is with Pat again, because I believe that in heaven we will know each other. The Bible says, "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain." There's a gaining about death. For the believer, the brutal fact of death has been conquered by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the person who has turned from sin and has received Christ as Lord and Saviour, death is not the end. For the believer, there's hope beyond the grave. There's a future life.
Yesterday, as his body was escorted to the plane for its final journey here, the band played and the familiar strains of a hymn he especially loved -- maybe the hymn that he loved the most were played: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I've already come. 'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, for grace will take me home.
That hymn was written 200 years ago by an Englishman named John Newton. He was a cruel man, a captain of a slave ship. But one night in a fierce storm, he turned to God and committed his life to Christ. Newton not only became a preacher of the gospel, but he influenced William Wilberforce and others in Parliament to bring an end to the slave trade. John Newton came to know the miracle of God's amazing grace, and it changed his life. And it changed our lives as well.
Wasn’t he representing Cho?
Oh I do try...but with a little, "meekness and fear". (1Peter 3:15b)
The verse reference below the crosses is John 14:6, btw. Wiley
Are the other drivers supposed to know John 14:6, have a Bible handy, or just remember the reference until they get home and rush to look it up?
Btw, the decal looks great as does the truck.
I usually get one of three reactions...(1)They'll ask me what that verse is (Opening an excellent opportunity to witness), (2)They'll already know the verse and we begin a conversation about Christ (Which is very edifying to me), (3)No response at all.
Either way, I don't shove it down any body's throat but it does open the doors.
btw, on the last point of your question ...or just remember the reference until they get home and rush to look it up?
If that happens, didn't the purpose of the decal just work??? hmmmm?
Being able to listen to Rush, Bible studies, audiobooks, or great music is a reason I've always envied truckers. But not having the ability to even park my small car ass-in (or whatever you call it) or knowing the first thing about engines, etc kind of puts me out. Still, I'd love to be out there on the open road, driving a truck, crossing the country and going to places I've never been -- just as long as I don't have to navigate city streets. .
I do have a long commute. Besides the Word, I enjoy audiobooks (far better than radio). Michael Connelley murder mysteries help.
Checkmate. You won.
BTW, if you see my truck, wave...with all fingers!...lol
So you think that freedom of religion is actually freedom of your religion, or that there were no muslim students at VT?
Pretty much just as freedom of speech is actually only freedom of the speech as long as it doesn't include Jesus or God and that it doesn't offend some liberal group.
One can worship a fence post and be heralded as a 'free thinker' but when we say that Jesus is the ONLY way, we are branded as hate-mongers and intolerant. I know that your question wasn't aimed at me, but...I've had just about all I'm willing to take of "tolerant" people trying to make me feel guilty for worshiping Jesus.
So yea, that same freedom of religion.
I’m no fan of Governor Tim Kaine, but it was rather amazing that in the entire convocation, he was the one who mentioned Christ.
Just so you know, the comment that I was responding to was someone who felt that the Muslim clergy should not have been allowed at the VT memorial. They had a Buddhist, a Christian, a Rabbi, and an Imam. I don’t understand why the poster felt a Muslim should not have been allowed to speak.
Fox was showing a video this morning of a Methodist church in VA - they were having a special service for the families and inviting them to come and speak. The way they explained it, it sounded like a good thing - and the Pastor of the church commented that we needed to rely more on JESUS and His ability to get us through this difficult time.
It was a little late in coming, but I hope it will help some people get their lives back to normal. I can speak from personal experience that losing your child is a horrible thing to go through .. no matter how they die.
My personal relationship with Jesus, and the loving counsel of my Pastor and his wife have been very helpful.
You're right, and perhaps I took it wrong and shouldn't have been so quick to 'jump on you'.
I think that the tolerant attitude towards everybody except Christians is very frustrating...it is to me anyway. I may have incorrectly grouped you into that category. If I did, I apologize.
The only one, as I recall.
You're correct. I meant to type "only one."
Apology accepted. I too am a Christian and would like my religious rights to be preserved. But, I also have a strong love of my country and the principles that it was founded on, including the freedom of religion. I want the right to practice my religion as I want those of other religions to have the freedom to practice their religion too.