Southwestern Seminary celebrates Black Heritage
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – Closing Southwestern Seminary’s Black Heritage Week, Feb. 17, chapel speaker and Ph.D. student Anthony Moore urged students and faculty members to strive to make the Gospel known no matter the costs.
Although Scripture calls Christians to suffer for the Gospel, Moore said that many Christians desire to free themselves from this obligation, just as people desire to avoid the side effects from pharmaceutical drugs.
“It is my fear that most of us who bear the name of Christ look at the Gospel in the same manner that we look at a pharmaceutical drug commercial,” Moore said. “Namely, what we want is the cure. But of the effects, we want no part.
“We want the cure—and this is the Gospel—of being made holy, righteous, justified, a child of God, being born again and blameless. But of the effects—that is, of laying down my passions, my goals, my pursuits, a life of surrendering to the demands of the Gospel, of picking up my cross and following after him, dying to self that he might live—of those effects, of those demands, we want no part.”
Before Moore presented his message, President Paige Patterson highlighted the value of black heritage for the seminary. “Slavery was the most incredibly evil entity (imaginable),” yet God used it to bless the church with such gifts as Negro spirituals, Patterson said.
“The singing of the black community,” Patterson said, “grew out of those tragic days of slavery, and they learned to sing of the providence of God, and of the intervention of God and the coming of better days.”
Similarly, Patterson said, God has blessed the church with the “remarkable ability and imagination” of black preachers “to paint word pictures.” He suggested that students and faculty read the biography of one these gifted black preachers, Rhapsody in Black: The Life Story of John Jasper, by Richard Ellsworth Day.
Patterson also thanked God for the contribution of Martin Luther King Jr., who stood against the evil of racial discrimination through nonviolent protests.
Despite the grand efforts of such men, Patterson said, “Racism is not eliminated in the United States of America.” Such an attitude as racism, however, seems strange in light of the biblical perspective.
“The Bible says we’re all a part of the same race,” Patterson said. “We’re all Adam’s race. We have got some differences in ethnicity and in some physical attributes, but we’re all one race. Eve was the mother of us all. If we don’t come to grips with that, we are going to be unhappy in heaven. So let us preach that message everywhere.”
During Black Heritage Week, the seminary also welcomed chapel speakers George Tynes, a seminary trustee and pastor of Truth Baptist Church in Philadelphia and Martin E. Hawkins, president of the Southern Bible Institute in Dallas.
In his message, based on Acts 2:36-47, Tynes urged students and faculty members to follow God’s plan for reaching the world.
“God has clearly outlined in His Word the ingredients that are needed to reach the world,” Tynes said. “The world is not being reached because we’re not following the recipe.”