Most of us in campus ministries are well aware of what’s happening in the arena of campus access. The decision brought down by the University of California system is triggering many cases in other universities where Christian organizations are being told that they have to open their leadership to anyone, regardless of faith or practice, or be banned from campus.
I could scream in righteous anger, cry in indignant frustration, but this is the sign of the times that we are in now. It’s not fair, not right, but what do we do?
Flesh and Blood vs. Spiritual Adversaries
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
I was at a prayer meeting at NYU, one that was organized for all the Christian groups on campus to come together to pray for God’s purposes to reign there. NYU has a fairly good showing of Christian organizations compared to many other colleges in New York City, but as I sat in the prayer meeting, I was looking at just two organizations that were represented. On an ongoing basis, one or two organizations show up to stand together in prayer.
Now the campus access issue has landed in their lap, and there have been talks about what to do and verbal support for one another, but unified prayer has taken a back seat. I’m not saying prayer has taken a back seat, but that unified prayer is low on the priority list. It’s easier to act in person, more tangible, but where is the true root of the struggle? Isn’t that where we should start?
Not for Unity’s Sake
There is a general call for unity across the body of Christ, and it’s a popular topic that people quickly agree with, but what does it look like? How do we walk it out so that it’s not just a catch phrase, an idea to nod our head at? Reiterating a theme in our ministry, unity is not: the end goal (unity for unity’s sake), proximity (Israel and the Jordan are next to each other, but I can guarantee that they are not unified), uniformity (we are a body of different parts, but not all the same), or absence of conflict (Paul and Barnabas Acts 15:39).
Unity does include: relationships rooted in humility that change the spiritual climate, and common purpose – of the great commission and the personhood of Jesus. In order to act together, we need to be together. In order to be together, we need to align our beliefs, follow through on what we say we believe, and make being together and building relationships a priority. (James 2:14-26).
So let’s stand together hand in hand and fight against what’s important, and not only what we can see. Because that’s what wins the battles.
Akpene Torku is a campus worker who presently lives in New York City. She has a very strong passion to see the Body of Christ working together, and for the Campuses to be transformed by the Gospel of Jesus. She loves hanging out and playing games (the current favorite is Settlers of Catan), and can be bribed with chocolate.