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Statement from the President: Events at the Capitol

January 8, 2021

Dear Biola Community,

When we come to deeply troubling moments like we have just witnessed in our nation, we go to God’s Word for truths by which to live. Today I found myself reading and rereading Romans 12, heartened by the Spirit-inspired exhortations of Paul.

Let your love be sincere. Hate what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be devoted to each other in love. Don’t lack in zeal, but make sure your zeal is all about serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope. Be patient in affliction. Be faithful in prayer.

And then Paul said what I need and have needed to hear. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Watching all of the vitriol and chaos in the Capitol, the events Wednesday reminded me of why more than ever our nation needs Christian institutions like Biola steeped in the unchanging truths of Scripture and called to make disciples who are grace-filled. Contempt for others is not in the realm of the gospel. As far as it depends on us, we are to live at peace.

Christian peacemaking is not spineless. Rather, we are to live at peace with everyone as men and women of abiding biblical convictions. As much as we are to be ambassadors of grace we also need to be ambassadors of truth. Preparing hearts and minds includes loving our neighbor and being reasonable in thought. The antithesis of these was on display Wednesday, reflecting deeper wounds in our nation, in our world.

What we expected this week toward a peaceful transfer of power was disordered by those who were anything but peaceful.

As I urged in the days following the election, join me to pray fervently for the unity of our nation and for the blessing of God on our leaders. Now is the time to follow the words of Paul to young Timothy when he said, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made in behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity (1 Timothy 2:1-2).

Principled civic engagement is of utmost importance right now. This is why Biola’s mission must be preserved as we educate our students in a community committed to both grace and truth. I am so thankful we live in a nation that respects our religious freedoms and embraces Christian universities like Biola that contribute to the common good. May this not be thwarted. As we rise above the mayhem and disdain, let’s continue with zeal our mission to educate the rising generation for the cause of Christ. For me, Wednesday raised the urgency of our sacred calling. 

For some of you, your sense of peace may have been rattled by what you observed. You are not alone in your anxiety or fear or anger after this week’s events. If you’d like to talk to someone, Biola’s pastoral care team is available now by scheduling an appointment or leaving a message at 562-777-4041.

As we begin 2021, I wish we could all be together. But as the pandemic subsides that day will come. And so by this letter I want to thank you for your role in moving us forward to our best days as a faithful academic community. I am with you. The Lord is with us. His rule and reign will prevail. We trust in God's sovereignty.

Blessings in Christ and grateful for you in this new year,

Barry H. Corey