Bluefield College Students Challenged to 'Live' their Faith
Bluefield College students were told to "get up or shut up," "be hot, not cold," and to "live it or quit it" during the school's annual Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week, September 23-25, featuring the unapologetic discourse of youth and young adult minister Craig Tackett.
October 20, 2009
"I'm not here to entertain you," said Tackett, founder of Inlightened Ministries, about his invitation to speak for Christian Emphasis Week. "I'm not here to make you like me. I'm here to do what God called me to do, and I know in my heart and spirit that if I do, it will not return void."
During his opening session, Tackett, well known for his fun and energetic personality, shared the Bible's story of the Good Samaritan and encouraged BC students to compare the Samaritan's journey on the road to Jericho as their own road of life, where we often come into contact with robbers, churchgoers, and Samaritans.
Robbers, he said, claim, "what's mine is mine, and what's yours is mine," while churchgoers or people of faith are often guilty of asserting, "what's mine is mine, and you can't have it." But, the righteous, he added, declare, "what's mine is yours."
"Your challenge is to determine which person you want to be," Tackett told the students. "You can't be all three. If you decide you want to be like the Samaritan, then do it. Either live it or quit it."
During day two of the three-day lecture series, Tackett, whose messages are Biblical and relevant to the churched and un-churched, challenged BC students to consider the difference between hot and cold Christians and the meaning of Revelation 3:14-22. His contention was that there really is no such thing as a cold Christian, considering cold, by nature, is the absence of heat, and being a Christian is the admission of or presence of Christ.
"All the way through scripture we see this principle," Tackett said. "Cain and Abel, Abraham and Lot, goats and sheep -- even when Jesus was on the cross with the two men on each side. One chose Him; one did not. There are just two choices. You're either hot or you're not."
During his closing session with students, Tackett used the story of the healing pool from John 5 to demonstrate how important it is for Christians to "get up" and walk their faith, instead of making excuses for not. Like the invalid by the healing pool, Tackett said, we often look for other means to solve our problems when Jesus is right next to us with all the answers.
"The God of the universe is standing next to him [the invalid], and he's still looking at the pool for answers," said Tackett. "We do that, too. We look for answers in all the wrong places, when the solution to our problems is right in front of our face. We need to just get up or shut up."
Since 1992, Bluefield College students, faculty and staff have dedicated a week during the fall term to "examine their spiritual lives" through the facilitation of inspirational speakers, like Tackett. Created and funded through the generosity of Drs. Gene and Jane Duremdes of Princeton, West Virginia, who sensed "a special calling to share with the students of Bluefield College some of the blessings [they] have received from the Lord," Christian Emphasis Week provides the BC family and the public at-large the opportunity to "seek answers to life-impacting questions."
"They have a heart for college students, and they have a capacity to love because Christ first loved them," said BC campus minister David Taylor about the generosity of the Duremdes. "They've chosen to share that love with the students of Bluefield College through the annual Christian Emphasis Week."
Article by freelance writer Crystal Kieloch