LOS ANGELES — On a breezy Sunday afternoon, Biola University is a postcard of serenity. A soft light filters through a small prayer chapel where a plain wooden cross stands in front. At its base someone has left a message on a scrap of paper.
Jesus, you are my guide, the joy of my heart, the author of my hope, the object of my love.
Ascetic and minimal, the room invites conversations with God. Wall niches contain similar handwritten notes.
I pray that you draw me back to you. Teach me what the weight of the cross means fully.
Biola is a private Christian university in La Mirada, whose mission is to equip its students “in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.” They know the work will be difficult. So much around them is thought to be sinful.
Jesus … I’m afraid. Your people have hurt me. My brothers and sisters in the church, betraying Black brothers & sisters with racism and hate on their lips. And Biola is no better.
Biola has attempted to shelter its students and itself from the social and civil disturbances of recent years, but its efforts have been marginally successful. Like evangelical institutions across the country, the university is facing growing disillusionment among young Christians who believe their faith should be more progressive and socially minded.
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