I had the pleasure of walking around campus asking
students their opinions about those love/hate signs when they first came out.
The response was interesting. Some thought the posters were an eyesore; others
thought the signs spiced up campus. Some took them, some wrote on them and
others just avoided them.
To be honest, my first reaction was fear. I figured like
most that it was one of the big religious organizations, maybe the Baptist
Collegiate Ministry or “Six Flags over Jesus” on campus. And to be perfectly
honest, I figured like most that it would be a campaign to push people to
Jesus. To be still even more honest, I feared the response of the students to
be what it had been when most religious organizations tried anything on campus:
hypocrites. Much to my surprise that was not the case at all. Yes, the
organizations did include the BCM and several of the local Baptist churches,
but the aim was not familiar to most.
I think a lot of students wrote words on the blogspot, at lovehatelatech.blogspot.com, or on the posters
hoping to shock the masterminds behind the signs. But it didn’t. The church
asked for answers because they wanted real answers. They wanted to know where
Christians were messing up, and that is amazing. The Bible-thumping Baptist, a
group that is usually looked at as being close-minded, was opening its mind to
what others had to say. I like to think that one of the greatest qualities
people can have is a teachable spirit. With that we can learn from any mistake
and become whatever we aspire to be. If people are willing to hear where they
messed up and work to overcome those flaws, there is have
all the potential in the world. Getting defensive and denying it only leaves us
where we started.
So for those of you who have been offended by me, I want
to know about it (that’s what that e-mail at the end of this column is for). I
want to know because I don’t want my actions to negatively affect how you see
Jesus. And if it has,
I love that many Christians, including me, who were blind
to the thoughts of other students now know what kind of persona we give off. I
hate that it is such a negative one. I love that God forgives everyone for
every sin if we ask, even the sins we think are unforgivable and gives us a
second chance. I hate that I don’t always give that same chance to others.
If you listen to anything that those so-called “big
religious clubs” tell you, listen to this. It is the closest representation of
Christ I have seen. We, as Christians have made a lot of mistakes in the past
two thousand years. We haven’t loved at all times, and we have become a big
clique. We have been pushy and selfish. But this little campaign isn’t about
telling everyone something they need to do. It is apologizing for what we
haven’t done already and working to be like what Christ is. Anybody who is
involved with the campaign will tell you, “We [Christians] are not perfect, but
our God is.” We take no credit for who God is but can only hope that our lives
will point to Him.
So before you make up your mind about the whole love/hate
issue, I would ask that you would reopen your mind. I would go so far as to say
forget about whatever you know about the church up until this very moment.
Don’t take everything for fact but check it out and decide for yourself whether
you love it or hate it.
Valerie Metrejean is a junior journalism major from Lafayette
and serves as associate managing editor for The Tech Talk. E-mail comments to