Being Christian on campus isn’t easy, said LSA senior Tanya Sit. Despite the campus’ appearance as a diverse and accepting environment and the opportunities to find Christian fellowship on campus, Sit said the label of “Christian” sometimes carries a negative meaning and is misrepresented.
“Christianity has had a bad rap because people automatically assume you are closed-minded because you believe in certain things,” she said. “Where you can be passionate about everything about God and Jesus, you can be passionate about football or whatever they have protests for, but you can’t be passionate about the Bible and what it says a lot of the time.”
She added that Christianity is about more than the arguments about evolution, abortion and homosexuality. People often find themselves trapped into explaining and defending their beliefs, she said.
“It’s about a lot more than that – it’s about a loving relationship with Jesus Christ – those issues are important but I think Christianity is a lot more than just those issues.”
While people often pigeonhole Christianity into a political arena, people should look away from the stereotypes to what Christianity is really about, she said.
“It’s a faith, it’s a life, it’s a religion,” Sit said.
Sit and over a 1,000 others gathered together Sunday night to express their faith and unity as they worshiped together.
The worship band from the New Life Church played, the University gospel chorale sang and students joined their voices together in praise.
There were moments of group and individual prayer as well as testimony from people who talked about how their lives have been guided and impacted by God.
Ann Arbor resident and University graduate David Shin, who was part of the planning board for the event, said the significance of the event lies largely in the fact that it brings so many Christian student groups together in celebration of their beliefs.
“I think as an event it’s a rare thing where so many different groups with so many different backgrounds can actually come together with one single unified thing – it’s not common so that alone makes things exciting,” Shin said.
“I think because people are more aware of spiritual matters, having something like this really helps people to reaffirm their faith and also to show that this is who we are, to show that this is who we are in our identity as Christians.”
Shin said he thinks the campuswide message of unity is important as it applies to people of other faiths who are impressed by a gathering of students expressing their faith and unity and as it applies to students who come together to say ‘this is what we believe in’ and celebrate it.
Shin added that he hopes people took away from the event the idea that their individual beliefs or group’s beliefs are part of something larger and that the Christian faith is not just one way of doing things. Rather, he said, it is diverse but unified by the faith’s central beliefs.
“If someone can leave the event and say, ‘wow, my faith is bigger than what I know with my group’ I think that would be awesome, that it is bigger than just one style of worshipping God, than my denomination, than my campus group,” he said.