By Holly Jo Evans, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. Lewis Brogdon, visiting professor of Religious and Black Church Studies at Baptist Seminary of Kentucky and chair of Simmons College’s Religious Studies Department, talked about group temptations as he kicked off the Black History Month celebration at Campbellsville University Feb. 5 in Ransdell Chapel.
Brogdon read a passage of scripture from Matthew 6, the “model prayer.” He pointed out a specific phrase in the passage that says, “lead us not into temptation.”
He said, “When we talk about temptation it’s always personal,” from an individual standpoint, but the words in the scripture say, “lead US not into temptation.”
He said we have missed that “not only is sin and temptation an individual thing, sin and temptation is also an us issue, a group issue.”
Brogdon told the audience people act differently in a group. He said, “Some people would never bully a person, but once they get in certain groups, groups start to lead themselves to temptations and things they would not otherwise do on their own.” He said in a group the dynamics are different than when you are on your own.
Brogdon said we need to pay attention to three things — we need to be aware that we behave differently in groups; “we need to be aware of all of the different groups we are a part of and how we function in relation to other groups;” and we need to have “discernment and strength and courage to resist what comes naturally to the peers in our groups.”
“American Christianity is in trouble,” Brogdon said. He said from a numerical standpoint, more and more people are less interested in the Christian religion. He said one of the reasons is because people see how Christians function in groups, how they are going along with what the group is doing whether it is right or not.
“We live in a world where we all need each other,” Brogdon said as he referenced the Bible when Paul talks about the Body of Christ, how every part of the body is important for the body to function properly.
He said often we want to put “our group” in a hierarchy, and other people beneath us, but that is not the kind of world we live in. He said we are all in this together.
He quoted Martin Luther King Jr. who said: “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.”
He said don’t let a group pull you so low as to persecute or belittle other people. He said to have the courage and strength to stand up and not participate in their actions.
Brogdon warned, “Do not allow the push and the pull of peer groups and peer pressure, pressure you into saying and doing things you know are wrong.”
He said we need to pray within our groups and for our groups, so that we can stand up for, and not participate in what we know is wrong.
He ended his message encouraging the audience to reflect about the groups they are in, to reflect if the groups they are a part of are ones they even want to be in, and he said to pray for those groups.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 11,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.
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