The Journal: News of the Churches of God at

Ambassador University starts 50th year
WITHOUT subsidy from WCG

By Linda Moll Smith

BIG SANDY, Texas--Close to 700 Ambassador University students from 34 countries gathered in AU's field-house auditorium for orientation activities Aug. 16 and were welcomed to a new semester of instruction by the chairman of the university's board of regents, Joseph Tkach Jr.

But the school year also began with news that the Worldwide Church of God, the university's principal financial sponsor, will not provide the $1.2 million subsidy AU had expected (See related story).

In his address, which opened the 50th year of classes for Ambassador, Mr. Tkach spoke of a growing pluralism in American society, defining it as a society in which many belief systems coexist peacefully.

"Pluralism in our society is both good and bad," he said. "It's good because we are free to practice Christianity and we are free to love God with all our heart, mind and soul. The evil of pluralism is its underlying philosophy, its subjectivity, relativism and existentialism, which decrees that there are no absolutes. This is in direct conflict with Christianity and opposed to it, though by its nature it allows Christianity to flourish."

He cited statistics that 90 percent of Americans believe in God, but only a small percentage of believers attend church regularly. He said one of the reasons American society was still relatively peaceful was the influence of Christians, but he wonders if their decline will lead to a lack of peace and more crime.

He listed changes in American society by comparing the pop-culture icons of his own baby-boomer generation with those of the so-called X generation, the group he said he associated with most of the student audience.

"We had Dorothy Hamil, you have Tonya Harding. We had Tom and Jerry, you have Beavis and Butthead. We had drive-in movies, you have drive-by shootings. We had mood rings, you have rings everywhere you can pierce the skin. We had Gloria Steinem, you have Lorena Bobbitt. We had the Smothers Brothers, you have the Menendez brothers. We had Lassie, you have Snoop Doggy Dog. We had Dr. Marcus Welby, you have Dr. Ruth and Dr. Dre. And we had the Brady Bunch and you have the Brady Bill."

Mr. Tkach urged students to understand that, "in Christianity, the message central to our institution, the relativism of our pluralistic society can easily be defeated by the Logos."

"Jesus Christ is our absolute," he said. "He is Supreme, the only one, and when He lives in us, His morality is absolute. It is only He who can give value to it because He created it all.

"For us as Christians, the law of Moses is transformed by the newness of our life in Jesus. He removes our condemnation and our inability to fulfill the law."

Mr. Tkach also commented on the freshman reception of the evening before, noting, "This is the first class I remember where first-year students greeted me and said, `I pray for you.' I believe that speaks well of our incoming class because we are a Christian university."

Mr. Tkach ended his address to the students by presenting commemorative plaques to 15 of them who served on the Jordan project, a humanitarian mission in Amman, Jordan, conducted by the university and its sponsor, the Worldwide Church of God, in which students taught children with mental and physical disabilities.

Students honored were Tony Antonacci, San Antonio, Texas; Glen Aspenns, Altadena, Calif.; Jeff Campanella, Staten Island, N.Y.; Sherri Campbell, Bolivar, Mo.; Jess Dax, Sheboygan, Wis.; Daniel Espinoza, Pueblo, Colo.; Mike Guibord, Southfield, Mich.; Leah Kendall, Mountain Home, Ark.; Heather Kerr, Tallula, Ill.; Daniel Meek, Lawton, Okla.; Troy Meisner, Spring Valley, Minn.; Novella Meisner, Chatsworth, Ga.; Teresa Rhay, Eugene, Ore.; Seth Samuels, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Katrina Wright, Park Forest, Ill.

Church Links  -  Addresses  -  Church Logos  -  Finances  -  Photos  -   Memorial

The Study Library  -  In Transition  -  Messages Online  -  Live Services

Back Issues  -  Subscribe  -  Email List  -  Ad Rates  -  Site Map

© The Journal: News of the Churches of God