As a Christian Liberal Arts University, Oklahoma Baptist pursues the idea of integrating our faith with all areas of learning. OBU has even ventured beyond the notion of integrating this faith in the classroom and has created a Christian environment for almost every organization, and social club, that can be found on campus. One of the arenas in which our ‘Christian’ faith or religion has been lacking is within the pages of OBU’s very own, campus-wide, newspaper: The Bison. If Oklahoma Baptist University is going to teach its students to integrate faith in every area of their lives, then the university itself needs to exemplify this very behavior in every way that it possibly can.
Taking into account that not every organization, or social club, on campus is under the authority of Oklahoma Baptist University, the responsibility of applying the ideas of a Christian Liberal Arts University falls to us; the students. Do we, as a student body, include Christ in student led organizations, or social clubs? Do we include Christ in our individual lives? The answer to this question is yes for practically every student on campus. We are made to listen to lectures, which include the name of Jesus for a majority of the time. We are required to attend chapel once a week, which tends to always focus on one thing, God. Of course we include God in everything that we do. We are forced to, but applying the ‘integrated’ faith idea should be much more than only including God in everything that we do. We need to give God control of everything we do, or attempt to do, on campus.
There is one question you might ask, “How can OBU possibly be more focused toward Christ?” Every professor on campus is doing his or her job. They are integrating the Christian faith into their lecture for each day. Not only do they include Christ as a foundation for learning, but greatly encourage each of their students to live life for Christ outside of a classroom setting. Chapel is purely Christ-centered, offering worship and teaching three times a week on some occasions. OBU hosts a number of events, including 905 and Canterbury, which revolve around Christ, and help build on the foundation that we should all hold dear; our relationship with Christ. Now, even The Bison is seeking that very personal relationship. We, as students, embody the reputation of the university and the reputation of the body of believers. People look at this university and its students to find out what it could possibly mean to be a Christ centered community. There is essentially only one way to improve the ‘Christian’ setting on campus, and that is for the students to be absolutely consumed in serving the Creator of everything we have grown to admire and love.
How can the student body begin to show a more righteous lifestyle? Certainly not by asking God to help us remember information we did not study for the next exam. Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, wrote this: “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23) As students, we need to begin pursuing a growth in our relationship with Christ as individuals. Then and only then will that relationship show among the body of students as a whole. Then, and only then, will we find everything that we are looking for in a university. Will this be an easy task to complete? No. Everything worth doing takes work. “All hard work brings a profit.” If we are not willing to work, even on something as eternal as our relationship with Christ, then what is the reason we came to one of the finest Universities in Oklahoma? “…Mere talk leads to poverty.” Do we intend to study harder for a knowledge that will only last while we remain on the Earth? I most certainly hope not.
Fellow students, here is the challenge; to become a more adept follower of Christ in our individual lives, and to practice integrity in its most pure form. We must bring that relationship with Christ into everything that we might even dream to accomplish on campus, and not compartmentalize our faith and our learning. We must also be willing to apply our relationship with Christ within the classroom, and build all knowledge upon the foundation of what we already know about Christ. We must ‘work hard’ in everything that we do, because everything that we do, ultimately, will bring glory to God. Live unashamed.