Bible Study group members turn other cheek
Bible Study is a new addition to the many clubs at Douglas High School. Students from different churches gather every week on Tuesdays in Ron Mogab’s room to discuss their faith. The meeting opens with prayer, then scripture from the Bible is discussed to show how God’s Word is relevant in the everyday life of a faithful Christian.
However, the members of Bible Study have recieved some negative criticism. While the criticism for Bible Study is in the form of derogatory remarks and teasing, more serious retaliation has taken place in churches all over the nation.
Mass shootings and killings, not unlike the school shooting at Columbine, have taken place in churches and synogogues. Despite the random acts of violence that have plagued churches over the past year, students in Bible Study group look on without fear.
The Bible Study group uses their faith in God and their support from each other as their strength.
“You’re not safe anywhere,” said Chris Lee, a sophomore. “The shootings only make me want to become more secure in my faith. I want to make sure I’ll go to heaven.”
The last church shooting to gain national attention happened in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 15. A man walked into a Baptist church, killing seven people before turning the gun on himself. When Bible Study members were asked about their feelings toward the shooter, all responded with feelings of forgiveness.
“Who are we to judge?” questioned Jennifer Vaughn, a senior. Vaughn and the others agree that hate towards people who commit these mass murders won’t solve anything.
Bible Study members use their faith in God and their support from each other as their strength. The students in Bible Study all look to Jesus Christ as their role model. They emphasize forgiveness and look at the Christian men and women who died as martyrs.
Senior Alicia Burns says that dying for her beliefs would be an honor. She also has a reason for why the men involved committed the shootings. “The more you take a stand for the truth, the more people are going to be against you,” said Burns.
Amanda Crandall, a junior, has a strong desire to do something about the shootings and wants to make changes.
Garret Fauria is a youth pastor at Calvary Chapel. Fauria comes to Douglas High every Tuesday to lead the Bible Study group. He says we must “spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” This was his solution to ending church shootings and violence in general. He also stated that if the people committing these murders heard the word of God, they would feel acceptance. “The common denominator with these people who commit the murders is that they are outcasts,” Fauria said.
These students attending Bible Study have experienced some teasing from their peers. People making snide and sarcastic remarks is the extent of the teasing, but it shows that even at Douglas there is a lack of respect for personal beliefs.
Senior student, Beth Ripley, has experienced such ridicule from peers. While walking into Orlyn Fordham’s class for the group meeting, some boys in the hallway shouted, “Satan loves you.” Instead of becoming irritated by the statement, Ripley simply turned around and replied, “Well, Jesus loves you.”
Other group members, like Crandall and Burns, said they frequently hear snickers and remarks about the Bible Study group when it is publicized in the morning announcements.
Crandall said, “I’ve heard people say things like, ‘I’m a pagan, please save me!’ to me and my friends.”
Jesus Christ stated in Matthew 12:25 that, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Despite a person’s religious beliefs, the students of Bible Study and the students of Douglas High School have seen the results of a nation struggling with an epidemic of prejudice that it can’t understand.
n Leslie Pearson is a junior at Douglas High School.