Students need to be active in pursuing change
Identifying a problem without pursuing a solution is nothing more than complaining. There exists a murmur of distinctive affairs among the Biola student body — issues of social relevance, economic deficiencies and bureaucratic corruption. But the faint rumble has only proven that most students hold an apathetic approach when it comes to politics. Vibrant voices have promulgated the advocacy for social justice or tuition reduction but little is done to seek a legislative influence in alleviating these disputes. So what is to be done? Let me remind you that you have a voice, so let it be heard!
The problem is apathy. The 18-25 age group boasts individualism, impact and social reform. However, the pursuit often falls short of favorable results because the pursuer fails to initiate the appropriate avenue of approach.
“In general, most young Christians that I've encountered genuinely do care about issues in our society,” said junior Amanda Andrews, director of Biola’s Social Justice Ministry, in an email. “However, they also rarely take action on them … The remedy for apathy: courage and commitment. We need to be courageous enough to ask God to break our heart for what breaks his.”
It appears a pattern has originated where students will display dramatic, though sometimes impulsive, enthusiasm towards an issue, but once the dust of excitement settles they soon abandon the desire to rectify the deficiency.
We have to be strategic in our approaches given the dichotomy of church and state. That said, let us also not shy away from integrating our faith into the political arena. Daniel chapter one discusses the favor that was granted Daniel and his friends due to their diligence. The application of loyalty toward God in Babylon earned them an envious reputation that was favored by their superiors. Joseph’s performance took him from prisoner to second in command in all of Egypt. He had a compelling influence on Egypt’s economic status, which at his time in office was impaired.
Students should exhibit assertiveness in pursuing change
Commitment is a key component in pursuing innovation. An animated member of British Parliament, William Wilberforce spent 26 years pushing for a synodical change in global slavery. His passion was strong enough to persevere through constant legislative disapproval. Wilberforce carried two unique burdens: One, his fellow members of parliament owned plantations kept by slaves, so they were unfavorable towards his bill. Two, many Christians owned slaves. Still, his engagement resulted in the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833.
But do not assume that these patterns are beyond the league of a young adult. Legislative pressures are being formulated on our own campus.
“Anti-human trafficking policy is in major need of legislative reform,” said Andrews, who is also a political science major. “Currently, the law is set up to criminalize the victims of modern day slavery. Since trafficking often takes the form of prostitution, victims of sex slavery are often misidentified and criminalized. Pimps and johns, however, receive little to no consequences.”
Andrews initiated a petition on Biola’s campus that will contribute to the California Against Sex Exploitation Act. Campus wide she received 500 signatures which contributed to the total 865,000 votes across California since this past January.
“This is a 2012 ballot initiative, which will increase prison terms for human traffickers and require criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for victim services,” Andrews said. Andrews’ sources informed her earlier this week that the bill will appear on the November ballot.
Assertive action based on thorough preparation is the recipe for successful reform. If you discover a problem it is time to gather the facts, collect resources, assemble the troops and formulate a solution. This preparation will not only earn the respect of the powers at hand, but will increase their ability to follow through with your appeal.
Politics can be intimidating. There are numerous facets covered by this umbrella and with each you have a spectrum of thought. I encourage you, fellow siblings in Christ, to take on these obstacles. Produce righteous results, deter evil and engage the world in a manner glorifying to God.