President Brokke addressed us this past Wednesday in Bethany Chapel, a regular Wednesday morning gathering for the community. Retirees, students, ministry interns, and staff all sat together under the friendly and gentle voice of our beloved president.
I remember walking briskly through the administrative building, hearing the sound of worship coming from the chapel down the hall. It was one of those busy days, you know, when it feels like you have a million things to do and every minute counts.
My demeanor was hurried. My satchel carrying my books seemed to trail behind me in my rush. I walked into Bethany Chapel, the shut of the door was drowned out by sound of acoustic guitar. I was late, but not too late. I found a spot and sat down. My friend Rachelle sat down in the seat to my right, and Mr. Shelter joined me to my left as Mr. Brokke took up the mic.
After worship, President Brokke stood up and spoke about the importance of integrity, which was great. He brought up Psalm 51:10, and talked about how David was acutely aware that his heart was the heart of the matter. Integrity seemed to be the theme of this Psalm.
Brokke then spoke of how ‘Christians’ have done terrible, terrible things in the name of God, and how throughout time there have been people who have acted without integrity and called themselves Christ-followers. As he spoke I thought to myself about how many times I had to bear through being associated with the Crusades, the colonization of Africa, or the Spanish Inquisition. It irks me whenever I and other believers are labeled with such a past which doesn’t even remotely reflect our lifestyle or what Christianity is all about.
People who know Christ cry out “Selflessness!” but the world looks at the past and sees a fake Christianity which cries out “Selfishness, in Christ’s name!” We all know this. All of us have heard negative reports of how supposed Christians have done things in the name of Christ, blemishing our reputation. But what Mr. Brokke shared with us that day in chapel was the most encouraging report of true Christianity shining through the darkness.
He shared with us an article written by a renown atheist named Matthew Parris. The article’s title: As an Atheist I Truly Believe Africa Needs God. Read it and be encouraged by the report of real Christianity.