The MU SASHA Blog

The official blog of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics

A Misconception I Had about Christian Groups on Campus

A group of student on a Summer Welcome tour.

A group of students on a Summer Welcome tour.

The University of Missouri has an event called Summer Welcome where freshman and transfer students are welcomed to the university. Each day, students can walk around a large room that has been filled with many of the campus groups and organizations so that students can see if there are any they would like to join.

Last year, seven religious groups and SASHA decided to participate and the people in charge of Summer Welcome decided to put us all together. The Jewish and Muslim groups on campus decided not to participate, so all seven of the religious groups that did participate were Christian. SASHA was put directly in the middle of the Christian groups.

Summer Welcome runs four days a week for two months, so it’s fair to say that we all got to know each other pretty well. I made really good friends with an intern from the Baptist Student Union (BSU), a minister from the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), a member of the Navigators Ministry, and several members of the Chi Alpha Ministry. Throughout the school year, I attended several services hosted by the BSU and RUF, and spent time with everyone I met at Summer Welcome.

Mizzou BSU, one of the most prominent religious groups on campus.

Mizzou BSU, one of the most prominent religious groups on campus.

I was not sure how each Christian organization differentiated from each other, so I thought that each Christian group was a different “type”. I thought there was the fundamentalist Christian group, the conservative Christian group, the liberal Christian group, the pro-equal rights Christian group, the anti-homosexuality Christian group, and so on and so on. I was dead wrong.

There is a diversity of beliefs within every Christian group – those who view people that do not accept evolution to be essentially idiots, and those who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old. In one Christian organization, there is a girl who volunteered and worked for Obama’s 2008 campaign. There is another girl in the same Christian organization who views Obama as a Muslim socialist destroying America.

Gay marriage is another issue that I have found divides the Christian ministries on campus. From my personal experience, the majority of students are in support of it. However, there will always be members that can be found to be strongly against it. It’s interesting to see how these members interact with each other.

I asked a member of one of the Christian organizations who I happen to know is in favor of gay marriage if their ministry has ever worked with the LGBTQ center at our school. They answered no, and most likely never would. He explained that he personally and even the majority of that ministry would have no problem with it, but there would be people who would raise objections and it would not be worth the hassle, fear of dividing the ministry and starting arguments between members.

The lessons I have learned from all of this are that it’s true never to judge a book by its cover, a few rotten apples can ruin an organization from attempting to move forward, and that politics play a part in most organizations and the Christian ministries are no exception.

 

Jeremy Locke is a graduate of the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s in biology. He is currently taking a year off from school and plans to attend graduate school in the field of evolutionary biology. 

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About jllfh3

Jeremy Locke is a graduate of the University of Missouri where he earned a Bachelor's in biology. He graduated in May 2013 and is currently taking a year off before attending graduate school. His interests include evolutionary biology, increasing the understanding of science, and waiting for the St. Louis Blues to win the Stanley Cup. Feel free to contact Jeremy at Jeremy.Locke11@gmail.com with inquiries about science, general questions, or visiting to give a presentation!

5 comments on “A Misconception I Had about Christian Groups on Campus

  1. Pingback: A Misconception I Had about Christian Groups on Campus | ChristianBookBarn.com

  2. Scott Parsons-Facetti
    June 12, 2013

    Thanks for sharing Jeremy. I really appreciate your fair assessment of both the positives and negatives you saw in our groups. Definitely let me know about your future posts. If nothing else, it will provide a good lens for us to see how we can become better–more loving and more accepting.

    • jllfh3
      June 12, 2013

      Will do Scott!

  3. Tony Lakey
    June 13, 2013

    While this is not a misconception I held, I am glad to see it is something that people are beginning to see. I am aware of the huge range of diverse beliefs within SASHA and would only assume something similar from christian groups. What *I* was recently surprised by was that there are even groups that encourage their members to make up their own minds and don’t push their doctrine. This is wonderful and something I wish all groups would do.

  4. rocketkirchner
    June 21, 2013

    good article . as i have said before to dave , tony and seth ..and others at SASHA is that i would like to see more christian –atheism dialogue , which means not just hashing over the same old stuff about stereotypes on both sides but a real dialogue , and then working together on projects to help the needy and make the world a better place .

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This entry was posted on June 12, 2013 by in Author: Jeremy Locke and tagged , , .
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