For Immediate Release
CAMPBELLSVILLE UNIVERSITY HEARS HERALD-LEADER
COLUMNIST TALK OF GRACE, HUMILITY AND LOVE
By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Grace. Humility. Love.
The Rev. Paul Prather, pastor and contributing columnist with the Lexington Herald-Leader, spoke of evangelical Christians and the intersection of faith and the public policy at a Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy (KHIPP) address recently on campus.
Prather, who pastors Bethesda Church in Mt. Sterling, Ky., said grace, humility and love will serve evangelical Christians well in life.
“We ought to be humble,” he said. He said the church is declining in influence, citing statistics, and more people have no faith at all.
“What evangelical Christians need to be is for the grace of God by helping others, forgiving, accepting and loving others,” he said. He said we think we speak of God, but we really speak of our self.
Prather said sometimes it isn’t what people say, it’s the tone in which they say it.
The Rev. Paul Prather speaks at Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy. (Campbellsville University Photo by Munkh-Amgalan Galsanjamts)
“Jesus is neither Republican or Democrat,” he said. He said people are sometimes mean spirited in the name of Jesus. “Once you get God’s approval to do something back, there is no holding back.”
Prather said he thinks every issue is a religious issue. He has been a journalist for 20 years and a minister for 30 years and said the columns he writes bring strong reaction from the public.
“We are all trying to live out our faith and people are very serious about their faith, but our priorities are different.
“Be careful that you don’t confuse our will for God’s will,” he said. “We claim sometimes that we’re speaking for God, and we can convince ourselves that we can get the Bible to say anything we want it to say.”
Prather was born in Somerset, Ky., and grew up in Taylor County where his father was a pastor and administrator at Campbellsville College. “My roots run deep at CU,” he said. Prather also attended Campbellsville College for one year.
He said he learned conservative religion in rural churches where folks were in favor of the separation of church and state. He said he wrote a column to that affect and got many calls about that idea. He said what used to be liberal is now conservative and vice versa.
Prather said the primary sin in the Bible is pride. “We as evangelical Christians can’t admit to the world that we are as messed up as others. We are trying to be good, and we could be wrong.”
“When we enter into the political arena, we must be humble and meek,” he said. “We need to be people of love,” he said.
He said people do not see evangelical Christians as being people who are manifesting the love of Christ.
“God loves everybody,” Prather said. “Love is the tool of God that never fails. God loves those who blatantly hates him.”
He said said acceptance is not the same as agreement. “We are to focus on intrinsic worth, not faults.”
Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 3,006 students who represent 97 Kentucky counties, 30 states and 37 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South, tied for fifth in “most international students” and fourth in “up-and-coming” schools in baccalaureate colleges in the South. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and to G.I. Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.