I Am A Proud Liberty Flame
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Politics and Activism

I Am A Proud Liberty Flame

And why living in a bubble isn't bad.

I Am A Proud Liberty Flame
Joel Coleman

Liberty University has never been shy when it comes to controversy. Our founder, Jerry Falwell Sr. was often in the news for his outspoken Evangelically-based views on the modern culture. We’ve been in the public eye for comments about our founders' comments about the homosexual lifestyle, debt and spending, and most recently, the Donald.

Our current president’s endorsement and friendship with Donald Trump has obviously sparked controversy and an uproar. Between CNN and Fox News, Jerry Falwell Jr. has spent quite an amount of time on air, conversing with T.V. hosts about his stance on the republican nominee. Especially in the last few weeks, this beacon of light (Liberty) has been letting a little bit of media portray a school that is tearing itself apart.

Regardless of the negative or foggy-glassed press, regardless of my school president’s view on politics, regardless of the way CNN writes about us, I am proud to be a Liberty Flame.

Politics aside, some people are ashamed or embarrassed because of the rules we have here. Some people shy away from identifying themselves as a Liberty student, not to associate themselves with an Evangelical and Conservative institution, but not me.

This is why: because Liberty University trains champions, not losers, not half-hearted sluggards, not fourth or fifth placers, but champions for Christ. We are not here busting over homework, hoping we are a mediocre nurse. We are not here studying until 2 a.m. to do nothing with our lives. We are out here in pursuit to make a difference in our world.

Not only that, but we are working hard for the name of Jesus. We can be the best in aviation, FACS, mechanical engineering, math, marketing, etc. but if we do it for our own glory, we are not doing anything at all.

Mark 8:36, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul?”

We are working hard to be the best we can be for the glory of God alone. And that mandate is one that I will always be proud of. And if Liberty ever goes away from that mission, then I will revoke my pride — but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

Here is the truth: controversy at a large institution is normal, we need to chill out. This is what huge schools all over the country encounter on a daily basis. As a student body, we need to stop letting a bit of press here and there get to our head and hearts.

Here is some more truth: Liberty is not moving away from the gospel. We are sending out humanitarian relief teams, we are seeing classmates and roommates get saved and baptized, and we are pursuing the real Jesus, turning our back on works only religion. If you don’t see God working here, you need to check your priority: what are you using to gauge our university’s success?

Liberty is great. We get a front row seat to some of the most predominate culture shakers in the world. We can talk out tough issues (like politics) in a safe place, where the majority of people have the same fundamental values as us. This is good, this is not ignorance or a bubble; Liberty allows us to learn (because who of us knows everything?) and converse with people who love Jesus. We can formulate our ideas with the help of other Christians and then go out into the world, where Satan is prowling around like a lion, seeking to destroy us, and be strong in our values.

The culture at Liberty is different. There is still sin and temptation, but it’s different than ‘the real world.' We are with other believers all the time, we are held accountable by our neighbor’s and classmates. Our bosses (professors) want what is best for us and are willing to invest in us. When will you ever encounter a culture like this again?

In athletics, you practice with your team for hours a week. You practice together. Sure, you need to spend extra time alone in the gym getting your three-point down. Yes, you need to run on your own, outside of practice. But the majority of your training is communal, with other teammates and a coach. You learn and run plays together as a team. You practice defensive skills with your friends on your team. You watch your friends and yourself succeed and fail in practice, before the heat of the game with a real opponent attacking you. Team practice is a safe place to figure out the sport.

Then you get out there, run your race, shoot the puck or hit the softball on your own accord, in ‘the real world’ of the game. In the game, you have a real opponent and you can be confident of what you believe about your teammates because you have practiced.

We are in training here at Liberty, of course we need our teammates around us! Of course we need to stay in our conditioning bubble until we are 22, get out there and take on the real world. No matter how much we think we know, we are not ready for the real world at 18, 19, 20, 21 or 22 years old. We need to talk out our faith with our fellow believers in a safe place and “learn our plays.” Without this, we will crumble; there is a reason why seasoned players get the most field time, because they have practiced the most and know the plays. There is a reason why new weight lifters don’t start out with the world record weight. They get built up in training and after a good amount of training, they are ready and they are strong.

Liberty is training champions for Christ with the hope that after four years here, we are strong in our faith, enough to box out and defend our faith and values on the real world court.

Don’t diss the bubble, we are conditioning and training here, and for that reason, I am truly and genuinely proud to be a Liberty Flame. I can grow in my faith here, with enough challenge to strengthen me without breaking me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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