(Portion of Article in quotation marks is an Excerpt from “From Dad, With Love: Letters to My Children About Life and Faith” Unpublished Work by Bill R. Morrison (c) 2022. Used by Permission).
“All of us live and interact with others on a continuum of Love. We move between Grace (No man condemns you and neither do I) and theological or moral correction (Go and Sin No More). If we embrace Grace to the exclusion of correction it leaves those we say we care about hopelessly lurching toward spiritual and eternal destruction. If we exclusively confront others about their sin, absent of Grace, we corrupt Love because we lack compassion and kindness. We implicitly and sometimes explicitly demonstrate we have never experienced Grace. Because of that, we can develop into judgmental people always looking at the splinter in someone else’s eye, ignoring the log in our own. There is a tension between Grace, and Moral or Theological Correction, that each believer must navigate in order to live in and express a full picture of God’s Love. Jesus met people at different places on this continuum: people caught in sin, His disciples, the Pharisees and Sadducees, etc.
Maybe a test to see where our personal ministry efforts are in relation to the continuum is to evaluate if we have Grace (compassion) toward people who behave differently than we do, differently than what Scripture teaches. You have heard me teach you many times that you can’t expect non-Christians to behave like Christians. But we need to evaluate if we Love them enough to encourage them to leave a pattern of sin in their lives by committing their lives fully to Jesus Christ – to use our relationship and friendship to move them to moral and/or theological correction that comes with a relationship with Jesus. Where we begin on this continuum of Love between Grace and Moral or Theological Correction is the tension of being Christian who is sent into this world with the message of the Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the means by which all people experience the full measure of God’s Love – Grace and Correction. This can only be applied in its most effective way by Christians who walk in the Spirit, seeking discernment in where to begin the encounter with others with God’s Love.”
There is no place where the gospel is needed to meet people somewhere on this continuum more than college campuses. I will begin my 35th year as a campus minister this month. I don’t yet know the names of the students who will get involved in BCM, nor those who will be impacted and changed because of the ministry efforts of BCM. I do know some of the struggles that students will share with me that will require a response somewhere on the continuum. Some will come to campus, mature in their faith because of the faithful ministry of parents and local churches. These students will become crucial partners in the gospel from their first day on campus. Some will come to know Christ as their Savior and develop into crucial partners in the gospel. Some will come with no belief at all, committed to an agnostic or atheistic worldview. Some will come broken, struggling with the pain of abusive parents or other family members. Some will be living with their girlfriend or boyfriend. Some will be considering or involved in same sex relationships. Some will be considering changing their gender identity. There will be International Students adhering to different world religions. There will be some who carry the addictions they struggled with in high school into this next chapter of life. I will see students accept Christ as their Savior and students commit to vocational ministry. I will see others walk away from their faith, even if it is briefly. The list is endless.
We, campus ministers, need your prayers as we interact with and guide students with Grace and Correction – with the full picture of God’s Love. We need your prayers for discernment as where to begin on the continuum with each person. We need your prayers for spiritual strength, courage, and compassionate hearts all while staying true to the teachings of Scripture. We are all beneficiaries of and thankful for your faithfulness in giving through The Cooperative Program and local Associations. We couldn’t do our ministry without this commitment to missions. Would you give us your prayers as well? They will be cherished, and they matter.