Jesus before America
Sep30

Jesus before America

By Dennis Greeson “My first allegiance is not to a flag, a country, or a man. My first allegiance is not to democracy or blood. It’s to a King and a Kingdom.” So sings Derek Webb in a counter-culture anthem that challenges the mistake of exalting America above all else. This fervent nationalism is held by many, but it conflicts with everything Jesus stands for. The love of Christ for people of all nations and races, his unshakable love for people, is the model for all who follow him. Yet there has been a subtle arrogance woven into our faith that tells us we have the freedom to pick and choose who to love. Jesus died for Muslims, for communists, and for all who we have been convinced to hate. Countless numbers of my own friends, people I’ve cried for, would be scorned the moment they stepped off the plane into an American airport, let alone into an American church. Nationalism makes distinctions, sees borders and throws up barriers between people. We who claim to be following after Jesus have a call to be different, revolutionaries who love beyond man’s delineation. In 1994, my family and I found ourselves on an airplane bound for Asia. Just after my fifth birthday, my parents yielded to a call to give up their lives for foreign missions, and we moved to Bangladesh, a small country on India’s eastern border. I spent the next 13 years of my life amidst swollen cities and ripening rice patties, in three countries and countless houses. I watched my family step out across cultural and linguistic barriers, serving passionately a people they did not know with a love the world does not understand. Upon returning to the United States at the beginning of my freshman year of college, I discovered what my Asian experience had stolen from me. I had lost any ties to a country that I might have once had; America did not quite fit me. What I gained, however, was a sense of homelessness, which I count a blessing. Through Jesus we become adopted sons and daughters of God, born into his Kingdom. Therefore, at the deepest part of our identity, we are neither American nor Bolivian; we are neither Anglo nor African-American; we are neither Republican nor Democrat; we are, above all else, children of God. Nationalism is not wrong in itself. Commitment and submission to one’s country is important and even biblical. However, nationalism that eclipses our identity as people born into a Kingdom “not of this world” needs to be reconsidered (John 18:36). Paul told us not to be “conformed to...

Read More
Performances to feature faculty and special guest
Sep30

Performances to feature faculty and special guest

By Krystle Danuz See the music. Hear the artwork. Great artists are known to captivate and intrigue audiences with their ability to represent ideas in ways many cannot express. On Oct. 2 and 3 the English, art and music departments are going to be on center stage that also includes a guest performance by 2008 Texas Poet Laureate, Larry D. Thomas. The event is free of charge and open to the public. The art department is hosting a show displaying a few of the campus’ most creative professors and guests from the area. Called a “cross-discipline arts event,” the production will combine poetry, music and visual pieces. “It’s going to be fun,” chair of the music department, Dr. Lon W. Chaffin, said. “This is a unique event—something we’ve never tried before … that will become a regular event for the College of Visual and Performing Arts.” Since last spring, he has been working with artists, musicians and writers to develop the event. In the program, the title “Faraway Nearby” is described as “something (that) can be distant but remain close; foreign, but near at hand; long gone, but ever present.” The art exhibit will begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in Hughes Recital Hall. Immediately following, the concert will commence with a screen displaying images to illustrate music and readings, as others perform. The reading will feature new and original poetry from three English professors: Assistant Professor Dr. Brady Peterson; Professor Dr. Cleatus Rattan; and English Chair Dr. Audell Shelburne. Musical accompaniment is composed by Chaffin and Justin Raines and performed with the assistance of special guests from New Mexico State University, Celeste Shearer, James E. Shearer and Martha Rowe. Visual images will be provided by six art professors: College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean,  Ted Barnes; Associate Professor,  Helen Kwiatkowski; Professor Phil Dunham; Associate Professor John Hancock;  Art Chair Hershall Seals; and Associate Professor Barbara Fontaine-White. Serious consideration went into the creation of each piece of art. Each poem describes a scene which is brought to life by music and art. “The objective of the series was to work from a piece of music and interpret it as a story in a nonobjective manner with a beginning, middle and an end,” Fontaine-White said. “The music I chose for inspiration was from the movie Fantasia. The colors work in harmony because they are complementary. Together the colors and shapes are meant to flow from panel to panel much as music would.” Acting as a guest poet in the production, is Larry D. Thomas. On Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. in Hughes he will read from his latest book, Larry D....

Read More
Page 68 of 68« First...102030...6465666768