Akin encourages students to be ‘color-blind,’ ‘dollar blind’
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)--Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary will be a “discrimination-free zone,” seminary President Daniel Akin pledged to a Binkley Chapel Aug. 22 packed with students, faculty and staff for the opening chapel service of the school year.
Preaching just days after a record number of new students began classes at Southeastern, Akin brought a message from James 2 that he told the audience “has been on my heart for months.”
“Our God is a color-blind God; our God is a dollar-blind God,” Akin said. “The God in [Scripture] is an impartial God. He sees a genius and a fool the same way.”
Akin warned of the harm to the witness of Christ when those calling themselves Christians treat others with disdain because of their skin color, their clothes or their social status. He encouraged students to “look at others with the eyes of Jesus.”
Akin called those who discriminate based on outward appearances “theologically illogical,” because Scripture shows God reaching out to the unattractive and the outcast, a theme that especially can be seen in the life of Christ.
Furthermore, Akin said, discrimination is incompatible with the Gospel. Those who have been beneficiaries of the grace of God should be the last to show partiality among others, he said.
“The mercy we received is the mercy we should extend to everyone,” he said.
The convocation ceremony also featured Ken Keathley, professor of theology and the newest elected member of the Southeastern Seminary faculty, signing the seminary Abstract of Principles and the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message. Southeastern requires all of its professors to sign these documents, formalizing a covenant between themselves and the seminary that they will teach according to the core doctrines of the Christian faith and traditional Baptist principles.
John H. Sailhamer, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew, received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.