Welcome to JBU
Hello and welcome to the first issue of the Threefold Advocate for the 2017-2018 school year. My name is Samuel Cross-Meredith, and I will be your editor-in-chief for the coming year. For many of us, myself included, this will be our last year as undergraduates. For many others, this is an introduction to life by way of academic institution. For all of us, we’ve got our work cut out for us. Our world is fraught with riots in the streets, international threats, and a technologically sedated public, but, it’s not all bad. It’s a foundational belief of mine that we can find redemption in everything.
The Threefold Advocate is a new beast every year. It tends to shape to the personalities and the attitudes of the people writing and editing. While we try to stay as unbiased as possible, we will fall short in some areas. The Threefold is your paper more than it is ours. We’re writing for you, to inform you as best we can of the issues that affect this campus and its place in the world. To this end, we hope to transition to writing content in a longer form that represents the context and complications of every story to better show you, the readers, the contexts that we all fit in.
History is a strange creation. As demonstration, many of us believe in a faith that was officially founded 2,000 years ago, a faith that has roots in a historical kingdom that started way before that. Placing that in scope, the United States is only around 230 years old, with problems that started more than 300 years before its founding. There’s not an event that occurs in a vacuum. Everything ripples outward to affect and effect everything and everyone else. The homeless woman in Britain is affected by a dip in the U.S. stock market; the Chinese executive is affected by the conflicts in the Middle East. The Mexican college student is affect by the Japanese Yakuza.
It’s like we’re all connected to this great spider web, and every event and tragedy wiggles and ripples across the web in confusing and unknowable ways. Complication is almost a story in and of itself, and as Christians, it is in our job descriptions to know the truth of a matter before we speak, just as Christ did. The Lord was never ignorant of his surroundings. To this end, we wish to see and represent in great detail the many facets of this glittering American life.
We will fail. A lot. There’s no way we can possibly cover everything completely. We will fall short, we will offend, and we will ask forgiveness. By the grace of God we persist, and by the grace of God we will see. It is my prayer this semester that We, The Threefold Advocate, will serve you, the Church established by our Lord.
Response to Charlottesville
At 11:28 a.m. on August 12, Eastern Daylight Time, the city of Charlottesville declared a state of emergency in response to a protest organized by the group “Unite the Right”. The protest was in response to the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The protestors organized and began chanting the phrases “blood and soil,” and “white lives matter.” At 1:42 p.m., a car driven by James Alex Fields Jr. slammed into counter-protestors, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 more.
America is a nation with a complex history. We are a nation built by immigrants who jettisoned their homes to seek a new life. Our nation was built by a diverse aggregate of peoples, and that has remained until today. Our nation, like many, was founded on blood and sweat, and the inhabitants of the United States of America enslaved thousands to accomplish that work.
There are certain times in the history of every nation wherein the citizens must take stock of current events and acknowledge them as they are. Our nation is in a period of turmoil and division. After the violence and terror in Charlottesville this summer, we must acknowledge who we are, where we come from, and where we are going.
We, The Threefold Advocate, acknowledge the national indifference to racial tensions and trials and look upward to peace and unity on John Brown University campus in light of these recent events in Charlottesville, VA. When we view one another in the context of the history of our nation, we will see that we are all Americans, and we all have a right to live on American soil. When our ancestors ripped thousands of lives from their homes in Africa, they gave permission to their descendants to be American citizens, with the same rights and privileges of every other American citizen. America is not a white country any more than it is a European, African, Hispanic, or Asian. America belongs to all of us, or belongs to none of us. That is America. That is our country.
We are a diverse community, living under the banner of America, learning under the banner of John Brown University, and, most importantly, co-existing under the banner of Christ. We have chosen to follow and believe in these institutions, and because of that choice, we are each obligated to uphold the values they champion.
Tragedies centered around race and politics consistently make front page news. Though we may read these articles and see the faces of the peoples that are impacted by such events, are we taking the time to understand their plight and be a brother or sister to someone in need of love? Christ calls us to love our neighbors. What do you do when your neighbor is struggling and hurting due to the hatred of those around them? Do you help them or look in a different direction?
We The Threefold Advocate acknowledge and admonish the actions of hatred by those that choose to>>> We admonish people to Do not ignore the crisis of racism in America or let a brother or sister be hurt by the words and actions of those around you.
We the Threefold encourage you as followers of Christ to break free of indifference and apathy, to make an effort to remedy the ignorance to the discrimination of our brothers and sisters.
Samuel Cross-Meredith – Editor