TCU: How Should We Engage the “Change My Mind” Debate?
Recently we saw students outraged, crowds of people arguing and yelling, and behavior, that at the least, was out of the ordinary from what we’ve come to expect on the campus of TCU. All of this occurred because Steven Crowder set up a table to discuss whether or not” Rape Culture” is a myth. What I don’t want you to miss in the wake of this social disruption is this — the hurt and pain on display. The point of this response post is not to engage the topic of Rape Culture but rather point out something that might otherwise be missed.
On October 1, 2018, Steven Crowder, who you may know as the Change My Mind guy from YouTube, waded into a topic full of personal trauma, pain, and social outrage. I do not want to discredit the validity of any of these experiences. There is real pain, real suffering for scores of men and women with this topic. That’s why I think this is such a big deal. Because on a campus that is marked by perceived perfection, yesterday we got a look behind the curtain. We got a glimpse of what is actually happening beneath the surface in the life of many of our students — pain. We must not ignore this!
This is a rare opportunity on TCU’s campus for the gospel to shine undeniably bright. Because for the first time in recent memory the perception of perfection has been disrupted. And what’s left is a stunning opening for real conversation. We have a moment in time where there is a clear example that everything is not ok.
The dirty little secret on campus is that everyone has it together. Perfection is the persona that everyone buys into. This is partly why you work so hard at getting good grades. Why you are involved in every organization possible. Why you have an internship in the middle of your internship. Every minute of your schedule is filled so that you can look as close to the model of success as possible. And all the while, beneath the surface of so many students’ facades, there is a storm of anxiety, pain, suffering raging in thier hearts.
The story doesn’t end there. While the Change My Mind guy tried to de-personalize the topic, Jesus personalizes it. He does not turn a blind eye from your pain, your suffering. Jesus carried your sorrows and was acquainted with your grief (Isaiah 53:2-4). He has not left you, or your fellow students, in your storm. Jesus comforts us in all our affliction (2 Corinthians 1:1-7). He calms the raging storm. Your story, your peers’ stories, and TCU’s story does not end in the midst of that storm. In fact, the Bible tells us exactly how it ends. Instead of pain and despair, we are promised that “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea,” and as God’s people, we get to be a part of making that a reality right where God has placed us (Habakkuk 2:14).
This is the story we must proclaim today, tomorrow, and the next day. When the storms rage on campus, and in our own hearts, the gospel breaks through the clouds with the hope of Jesus Christ. Let’s be willing to brave our own storms as well as enter into others’ with the good news of the Jesus, proclaiming grace and hope in the midst of pain and despair.
Deacon of College at The Paradox Church