Sorry about how late this post is. I had a couple of major assignments due at the end of this week(advice for professors: don’t make major projects due the week after midterms). Hopefully I can get caught up on my posting this weekend.
How much can one statement change the meaning of a message? The answer is a lot. In the last ten minutes of his message, Wednesday’s speaker, Bob Beaudine, dropped the phrase, “as I say in my book”. And that simple phrase changed everything. Not because it changed what he had said previously, but rather because it revealed his true motive for saying it in the first place. It changed his message from a relatively cliché motivational speech, into an extended advertisement for his book. To be fair, my assessment could have been wrong, if they hadn’t ended convo by telling the students that they could buy his book in the vine center. Being able to sell his book in the vine center means that he had planned to advertise and sell his book before he even came here (Unless Liberty determines if they are going to offer a book at convo without consulting the author). I recognize that this is not a big deal to some people, however this is personally one of my biggest complaints about convo (the other being too much politics). Now that this little diatribe is out-of-the-way, lets look at the actual message.
Wednesday’s message wasn’t bad, but it also was not very good. It was simply okay. The primary subject of the message was love, and how important it was for us as Christians to demonstrate our love for others. Beaudine claimed that as a society, we have become less open to expressing love and to even saying the word love (I don’t know how true this is, history doesn’t exactly give us a picture of loving societies). He argued that by expressing love and telling people that we love them, that Christians can fix many of the problem in the world. As evidence of this, Beaudine gave several anecdotes of people who had texted people they knew that they loved them, and how it helped.
Overall, I thought it was an okay message. My only major disagreement his message is regarding the level of impact that say “I love you” and expressing love will have on the culture at large, especially as it involved the church. In America (I can’t really speak for any other country), it is often not appropriate to tell someone who you do not know very well that you love them (individual experience may vary). Breaking this social rule can result in other becoming uncomfortable and pushing us away at best, or ostracism at the worst. Beaudine argues that we can change the culture by telling others that we love them, but by doing so we risk driving those within the culture away. As the church, whose primary goal is to bring more people into itself, driving people away is highly undesirable. If we wish to try to engage and change the culture, we must be aware of the reaction of those within the culture to our actions.
Other than my disagreement about the role of love in our culture and my continued irritation with book sales in convo, it was a pretty solid convo.
- Beaudine used the Greeks and their many words for love as an example of historical societies being more opening to expressing love. I don’t know if I would label the Spartans as a very loving society.
- Was I the only one who was not a fan of the whole ‘interactive’ convo experience? Maybe it is just me, but if a speaker is trying to get a message across, gimmicks like that don’t really help. Let your message speak for itself.
- I can only really speak for America regarding love in our culture, but I would love to hear from people in or from other countries about their cultural rules regarding love.
Bible verses quoted: 0
Bible verses quoted all semester: 55
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Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Liberty University leadership or administration in any way. The opinions expressed here are solely my own and should be not be taken as the opinion of the University, its staff, or the student body.