Last month, MidAmerica Nazarene University’s (MNU) chaplain Randy Beckum gave his usual morning sermon, but the backlash he received after relaying what most would agree is a age-old Christian message was a little unsettling.
Referring to the film “American Sniper,” Beckum’s sermon focused on America’s addiction to violence how that poses a problem for Christianity, which was a religion supposedly founded based in the principles of nonviolence.
Here’s an excerpt of the sermon:
As you know, two movies came out recently. Selma, the story of one of the 20th century most influential Christian leaders, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led a non-violent movement that changed the course of American History forever, and American Sniper, the story of the most deadly Navy SEAL sniper in American history. Selma has made 29-30 million so far. American Sniper made over 103 million in the first 4 days. Gives you an idea about who our heroes are. I don’t think it is an under-statement to say that our culture is addicted to violence, guns, war, revenge and retaliation. Unfortunately, so are a lot of Christians.
He added that people have to “be very careful about equating patriotism with Christianity,” asking that those who were listening be “controlled by love, compelled by love for everyone.”
From The Raw Story:
Shortly after Beckum’s sermon, it was announced that he would no longer be the vice president of the university’s Community Foundation. Although the university president claimed Beckum had previously expressed interest in stepping down from that position, his daughter disputes this assertion.
Many in the MNU community are wondering if Beckum was “punished” for his pro-peace sermon, and the timing of his dismissal as VP of the community foundation seems to validate those concerns. “Even the people that were frustrated with what (Beckum) had to say in chapel, or wanted to challenge it, were confused and almost offended by the demotion,” said Kristi Rose Jackson, who was elected to be student body president.
Watch a video of Beckum’s sermon below. You can read the full text of his speech here.