Today my heart is grieved. I’m feeling the weight of last week’s massacre at a Kenyan University, a college friend who attempted suicide today, and students protesting with a hunger strike in front of my Alma Mater, Simpson University. Without a doubt, the spiritual battle is at hand. Let us take up our armor and stand our ground!
I am so thankful to have received a private Christian education. Few have this privilege and I do not take it lightly. I am proud of Simpson’s roots as a small bible school founded in 1921 to prepare missionaries to bring the good news of Jesus all across the world. Many left America and died in foreign lands for the sake of the gospel. Our broken world is in desperate need of this message of HOPE and Simpson has prepared many for faithful service. (Simpson University in Redding, CA, is affiliated with the Christian Missionary Alliance which was established by A.B. Simpson.)
But today things are different. Simpson has grown into a University with a Seminary. With numerous programs and majors in the liberal arts, Simpson has diversified and attempted to deliver a Christ-centered education in many fields. Unfortunately, though, it feels that only the Bible and Theology department and Tozer Seminary retain the original DNA of the institution.
I believe we are in a crisis bred by years of falsehood, fiscal mismanagement, and lots of decisions made behind closed doors. The ears of the decision-makers seem closed to the cries of students and faculty. Because of this, this week, a few students, supported by faculty, started a hunger strike and slept in front of the school administration building. They have enumerated their grievances in a carefully-crafted document on their blog SIMPLESINU NEWS and have also provided a petition addressed to the Board of Trustees for us to sign in solidarity.
Over the last few years, many have spoken but their words have echoed into an empty void. Today we have another opportunity, as a community to voice our concern, to pray, and to remember the ministry of reconciliation that God has called us to as his children. This reconciliation must happen within Simpson before it can be extended to the world. I pray that the administration will listen this time.
Please join me today in praying for Simpson and fasting if God leads you. Also, if you are in solidarity, please sign the petition.
It seems like the right time for me to share a poem I wrote a few years ago…
June 6, 2013 — I woke up praying for the fate of Simpson as Dr. Sarah Sumner takes them to court. The first two stanzas popped into my mind and this poem was birthed in my heart.
Truth lies bruised at Simpson’s door
“Why was she thrown out?”
No one is sure
They look upon the crumbling facade
And ask themselves
“Where is God?”
She once resounded with glorious praises
Missionaries were sent
To far off places
The message she knew was healing and true
While its depart leaves Servants
Black and blue
“It’s a Scandal!” Scoffers say,
While with blood thirst
they swarm their prey.
Fixated on eating their meal today,
Unaware that she’s a sacrifice
Pointing the Way.
To days of peace and restoration
Of wisdom, love,
And godly passion.
“Repent and nail pride to the cross.
It must come now
Before all is loss.”
As truth lies battered at Simpson’s gates
their fragile fates
How did a fortress become a sandcastle?
…the brick of truth and mortar of love
Become too big a hassle?
We’ve forgotten the enemy is outside our walls
And become drunk with blood
As our own family falls.
Sound the cry! The battle rages!
Hold sword against the enemy!
Prophecy, you sages!
The Prince of Hate lusts for our end
In unity and faith, him to the depths
Then our children can grow strong in the land
Feasting on truth and love
Mighty they’ll stand.
“Bring good news to the poor,” the Lord has spoken,
“Free the captives,
And bind the broken.”
“Touch the blind and they will see
It’s the year of my favor,
Set the oppressed free”
Lovers of Truth, let’s take our stand.
Hold up her cause.
Alone she appears in the witness box
But it’s our case she represents
When the plaintiff talks.
On our knees we fight as we watch and pray
Our own words of Truth
Pave the way.
Since the Living Word is on our side
Stand firm without fear
We’ve nothing to hide!
Truth wins. Truth restored.
Truth the gateway.
Truth our reward.