Christianity is a tortured topic; it’s the topic that gets everyone treading on each others’ toes, the one that crucifies us.
Some believe it is detrimental to human society, its dogmas, its rituals and the unwavering faith it instills in its followers that some people find somewhat ludicrous.
Others resent Christianity, believing it is becoming the root of hatred, dissension, discrimination and a money making machine instead of a beacon of humanity and love.
They may say Christianity has lost its way; I know Gandhi said “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians, for they are so unlike your Christ.”
I know there are many people who agree with Gandhi’s statement. I champion it because encountering un-Christlike Christians has often been my experience.
But amongst the bad apples, there are good ones.
Speaking of the good apples, I commend the Christian students on our campus: the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship.
They still strive to be Christians who are like their Christ, who emulate his generosity, fairness, love and want for unity within our communities.
There are many students here who are not of a specific faith including myself, yet these students manage to uphold Christianity in our university.
They adhere to their religious values—we should all be so brave, especially during this period in our lives where our values are prey to the pressures and temptations that come with youth; where we do stray into sinning against ourselves.
As I walk to Sykes, I see the chapel rising, taking shape and it reminds me of the efforts of our fellow students.
They too are rising, taking shape and hoping to leave footprints in the sands of this establishment we call our university.
My two roommates are great examples of that community; they follow their values wholeheartedly, yet they don’t try to press them upon me, the way that I have experienced with other Christians. I appreciate this.
I think their efforts should be applauded; there should be more support for them because they set an example of the need to preserve something that is dying, something more important than religion—our own personal values.
It’s nice to see that there’s someone safeguarding personal values, even here.
This article is not intended to say everyone should be Christian, or that everyone should join the university fellowship.
That’s none of my business, that’s between you and your god (if you have one).
This article is intended to bring attention to a unique group of young people that I think should be commended for preserving their values.
It takes a lot to defend one’s values, to resist the demands of outside forces and to exist in conflict with our own conscience. It takes a lot to turn the other way, wrestle against our demons and walk on our own path.
The presence of Christians here at UT reminds us to walk on our own path with our own values, whatever they may be or wherever they may have originated—regardless of the backlash.
I think that’s what they have to teach us.
Our values are crucial, thus as individuals, we must establish our own values and protect them.
One should never compromise preserving what we hold closest to our hearts in terms of our values, especially out of fear.
It is the only way we can ever be able to exist at peace with our own consciences.
Philippa Hatendi can be reached at email@example.com.