Samford is not a Christian school

Logan Greenhaw, Columnist

Samantha Nelson, Photo EditorIt is plastered on the gates to our campus. It is built into the architecture of our chapels. It is woven into the very fabric of our programs: Samford is a Christian school.

When I consider the implications of the word ‘Christian,’ however, I am forced to disagree.

In the letter to the Church at Galatia, the author writes, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (NRSV).

Allow me to briefly take this verse out of its proper context in order to form a definition of the word ‘Christian’.

This verse systematically abolishes racial, socio-economic and gender boundaries that typically exist within a society. According to the author of Galatians, when a society exists under the name of Christ, there is no longer Jew or Greek for they are both one in Christ.

The designations of ‘Jew’ and ‘Greek’ are racial designations. A Christian society, then, must have space for people from all sorts of racial backgrounds. In this sense, a Christian school should never have a dominant race.

This verse also claims that there is no longer slave or free, for they are both one in Christ. These are socio-economic designations. A society under the name of Christ abolishes and liberates those that are slaves, free, rich and poor.

In order for a society to be Christian, then, it must consist of people from all sorts of socio-economic backgrounds. A Christian school, then, is not one composed of a majority of middle to upper class citizens.

Lastly, a Christian society, in terms of the verse from Galatians, no longer gives authority to the designation of ‘male’ or ‘female,’ for they are both one in Christ.

A Christian society, then, consists of both males and females doing the work of Christ. Males hold no higher position in society than females.

All in all, a Christian society must value racial, socio-economic and gender diversity.

This type of diversity is absent at Samford. Samford University is not a Christian school, but a school of Christians. Of course, it is not our fault that many of us were born white. It is not our fault that we might have been born into a wealthy family. It is not our fault that we are males or females.

It is our fault as students, however, to remain content in the utter lack of diversity at Samford. We have to object to our complacency and smugness about our homogeneity. We must seek racial, socio-economic and gender diversity in order to hopefully become a Christian school.

Although this is an issue that cannot be solved overnight, if you are a Christian at Samford University, then I would argue that it is your obligation to pursue, protest and advocate for diversity.

The Christian call is a call to insurrection.

Logan Greenhaw is a junior religion major. Email him at lgreenha@samford.edu.

2 comments

  1. Nathan House says:

    Well spoken my friend. Well thought, well put, and much needed. Which makes it most difficult to bear. Perhaps a truth most prickly, but a truth nonetheless. These are the issues we face, this is the love, the life, of a Savior who with God re-created this world in Jesus’ own body, and living by God’s Spirit, imparts to us a life in that body. All of us, yes, all of us.

  2. Recent Alumni says:

    You know an article has issues when it begins with

    “Allow me to briefly take this verse out of its proper context in order to form a definition of the word ‘Christian’.”

    Sad to see what kind of students the religion department is producing at my alma mater.

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