Feb. 9, 2016
For Immediate Release
|Rev Michael Rice, pastor of First Baptist Church Glasgow, Ky., speaking on freedom during Campbellsville University chapel service. (Campbellsville University photo by Rachael DeCoursey)|
By Josh Christian and Jesse Harp, student news writers
CAMPBELLSVILLE, KY- August 28, 1963 shook the nation, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his most famous, “I have a dream” speech. More than 52 years later, the speech still resounds with Americans as one that addresses injustice and social oppression. On Wednesday, at Campbellsville University’s own Ransdell Chapel, Rev Michael Rice, pastor of First Baptist Church Glasgow, Ky., quoted King, in his own address titled, “From Bondage to Freedom.”
“And in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., we have to, ‘Let freedom ring,’” Rice said. ‘“When we let freedom ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all God’s children, black and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thanks God almighty, we are free at last!”’
Rice focused his address on the book of Philemon from the Holy Bible. Philemon tells the story of a slave, Onesimus, who runs away from his master, Philemon. Onesimus finds the Apostle Paul and accepts Christ as his savior shortly after. The Epistle of Philemon is Paul’s plea to Philemon concerning Onesimus, asking Philemon to accept Onesimus as a brother in Christ and not a slave.
Rice made connections between both Martin Luther King and the apostle Paul, saying that both “looked at slavery from the standpoint of Calvary.”
According to Rice, multiculturalism, various, ethnic backgrounds, and other dissimilarities among us are God-given and to be embraced. However, Rice said we are not to allow these differences to separate us, as we are all of the same value before Christ. Rice quoted King, saying, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re on the same boat now.”
Rice referenced Galatians 3:28 which says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” He spoke on how all were rendered equal at the foot of the cross, saying, “Calvary reduces all men, black and white, to the same level.”
“Throughout history, slavery has been callous and cold,” Rice said. “The slave wasn’t even considered a person, but property.”
Rice explained that it was Jesus who changed lives and if a change in social injustice were going to take place, it would only be through an individual person having been changed by an encounter with Jesus.
“Paul sought to transform relationships,” Rice said.
Rice said that it was the ‘Christian way’ to transform relationships and through those changes, there would be a transformation in the world. Those that were transformed through Christ would be moved from bondage to brotherhood.
“We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools,” Rice said, quoting King.
Chris Wright, CU Senior, led the campus community in worship. With him, Kathryn Weeks, CU Freshman, and Aaron Smith, CU Sophomore, also sang.
Fontez Hill, CU senior, gave the invocation after Ed Pavy, Campbellsville University’s campus minister, gave the opening comments.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.