Bethel has a problem with welcoming the stranger.
By the Editorial Board
Benson Great Hall hosted the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration Feb. 1. The night featured prominent gospel artists, such as Donnie McClurkin, Mary Mary, Sounds of Blackness and many more. Then there was Snoop Dogg. Yes, the rapper who wrote “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
Critics trashed Bethel University in Clarion letters to the editor and in Facebook comments for allowing Snoop to perform on campus. Some asked for the university to publicly apologize. Some called for those in charge to resign. According to a social media post from a campus pastor, some thought Bethel was “going to hell” for the decision.
Not everyone feels this way, in fact, The Clarion talked to handfuls of students last week asking their opinions on Snoop Dogg’s appearance and the response was almost entirely positive. So clearly, the critics are fewer in number than the volume of their voices makes them seem.
The Bethel community, which includes current students, faculty, staff and alumni, has a problem with welcoming the stranger. For a university whose vision is to demonstrate Jesus Christ, we need to start welcoming the people Jesus welcomed. When we limit admittance to pietist Christians, we’re limiting Christianity to an exclusive, closed club for the healthy.
And who did Jesus come to serve?
Campus pastor Laurel Bunker addressed the situation in chapel Jan. 31 saying,“the minute (Snoop Dogg) steps foot on this place, he ought to be met with the Holy Spirit.” Christians are good at judging each other, but like Bunker said, “if we, ourselves, were the judge, none of us would be allowed.”
We can list all the things we shouldn’t do and all the things we aren’t supposed to be, but what about the things we should be doing, the things we should be and the things Christ did?
How are we to be the salt and light while policing who can and can’t enter our campus based on the outward appearance of their faith walk? As far as we’re concerned, Snoop Dogg, the Samaritan and anyone else is not only welcome on Bethel’s campus, but invited.