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Acknowledgement and Commitment

Acknowledgement and Commitment

Note: The following document is written in the first person because it represents what all those living or working on Calvary’s campus will be asked to “acknowledge” and “commit” to this year. If you have any questions, please contact the Student Development Department. 

Calvary University ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND COMMITMENT

All members of Calvary University have an important role to play in keeping our fellow students and Calvary University community safe by doing our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19. As a member of the Calvary community, I know that I must take steps to stay well in order to help protect others and promote a safe return to campus for all members of the Calvary community. Because of this, I agree to take responsibility for my own health and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Calvary University trusts God’s sovereignty and goodness during this pandemic, but also acknowledges that we must also take personal responsibility for our actions. One of Calvary University’s highest priorities is the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and visitors. I know that by engaging in campus activities, including attending classes, pursuing my education, living on campus, eating in the dining halls, attending activities, and participating in sports and recreation, I may be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections. I also understand that despite all reasonable efforts by the university, I can still contract COVID-19 and other infections. In order to reduce my risk, I agree to be an active participant in maintaining my own health, wellbeing and safety, as well as the safety of others, by making every effort follow the guidelines and expectations outlined by the university.

As more information is gathered and known, I understand that Calvary University may modify these guidelines and expectations. It is my responsibility to make every effort to keep myself apprised of these changes to help protect myself and the university community.

It is my Pledge to protect myself, my peers, and the Calvary Community by doing the following:

  • Agree to testing for COVID-19 and potential subsequent self-quarantining if I am identified as a contact of anyone who has been determined to be positive for COVID-19.
  • If I test positive for COVID-19, I agree to self-quarantine in a designated location until:
    • My symptoms have resolved, and
    • It has been at least fourteen days since the start of my symptoms, and
    • I have a negative COVID-19 test result.
  • Timely report any known or potential exposures to COVID-19 to the ResLife team and/or supervisor
  • Monitor for the following symptoms:
  • If I develop the above symptoms to contact either the health department or my health care provider, and to follow their instructions, which may include being tested for COVID- 19 and self-quarantining while the test results are pending, and/or being evaluated by a qualified health care provider.
  • Stay at home or in my room if I am feeling sick.
  • Participate fully and honestly with the Reslife team and university, the Student Dean’s Office, or Human Resources for contact tracing to determine whom I might have potentially exposed to COVID-19. · Wear a mask or the appropriate PPE where required by campus authorities and in accordance with the law.
  • Practice physical distancing as much as possible.
  • Frequently wash and/or sanitize my hands.
  • Keep my personal space, shared common space, and my belongings clean.
  • Respecting the precautions of others and the choices they make to ensure their own safety.

I understand COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID-19 disease, even if I follow all of the safety precautions above and those recommended by the CDC, local health department, and others. I understand that although the university is following the coronavirus guidelines issued by the CDC and other experts to reduce the spread of infection, I can never be completely shielded from all risk of illness caused by COVID-19 or other infections. I agree to hold Calvary University harmless in the event of contracting COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, in exchange for the ability to participate in in-person classes, programs, and activities at Calvary University.

I have read, understand, and agree to comply with the commitment above. I also acknowledge that these expectations and agreement are a condition of my participation in in-person classes, programs, and activities at Calvary University, and that any failure to comply with the commitment above may lead to immediate removal from classes, programs, and activities and restriction from certain areas of campus or even campus as a whole. These expectations are for the entire Calvary Community and understand that continued employment and/or participation in Calvary programs, activities, and events constitutes my agreement to abide by these standards.

I take this commitment seriously and will do my part to protect the Calvary community. 

ABHE Visit Coming Up

ABHE Visit Coming Up

Comprehensive Accreditation Visit scheduled for April 21-23

Calvary University, Kansas City, MO, will be hosting a comprehensive accreditation visit by a team of evaluators from the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) April 21-23, 2020, to determine its compliance with the standards for accreditation. During the visit, representatives of the ABHE team will entertain comments from the public. Any members of the public interested in making a presentation regarding the College to the team should contact the College at the following telephone number (816 322-0110) or email teddy.bitner@calvary.edu to determine a meeting time. Persons wishing to submit third party comments related to the institution may send them to Director, Commission on Accreditation, 5850 T. G. Lee Blvd., Suite 130, Orlando, FL, 32822. Persons interested in reviewing the standards for accreditation will find them on the ABHE website at www.abhe.org. They appear under “about accreditation.” The institution is subject to the Institutional Accreditation Standards.

CU-backed Film Being Honored

CU-backed Film Being Honored

“Faith on the Edge” to compete for Feature Documentary Award

Faith on the Edge,” a documentary film backed by Calvary University in 2019, has been honored as an official selection by the Christian Worldview Film Festival based in Nashville, Tennessee.

The film was produced and directed by The Creation Guys, Pat Roy and Kyle Justice, who said, “We’re excited and honored that ‘Faith on the Edge’ has been selected to compete for the Feature Documentary Award in the Christian Worldview Film Festival.”

Roy and Justice created the film to address a new wave of Christians who are converting to a belief in the flat earth. It was designed to equip Christians to give Biblical and scientific answers to questions that they say “will inevitably come from family and friends.”

The film featured several experts and real-life experiments, including a weather balloon carrying a 360˚ camera 22.75 miles up into the atmosphere. This is how Calvary got involved.

Dr. Steven Boyd was one of the experts featured in the film. Boyd is considered an expert on the related subjects, especially the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. He holds a Master’s in Physics from Drexel University, a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary as well as a Master’s and a PhD in Hebraic and Cognate studies from Hebrew Union College. He is the Director of the Cataclysm Chronology Research Group and a specialist in Old Testament and Semitic Languages.

A generous donation from Calvary University also helped with the spectacular balloon launch in Johnstown, Ohio. The balloon went several miles into the atmosphere, carrying a 3D 8K camera. The Creation Guys videotaped the launch and included the footage in “Faith on the Edge” in order to “demonstrate the curvature of the Earth.”

Justice called the nomination, “Very cool!”  “Faith on the Edge” will be played to an audience attending the film festival March 18-20. “The evening of the 20th,” he said, “there is an awards ceremony where we’ll see if it wins for ‘Feature Documentary.'” 

Unseen Reality: God’s Call to Be A Nikao

Unseen Reality: God’s Call to Be A Nikao

…And behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

Revelation 4:2

“Why are You silent?” 

Pastor Richard Wurmbrand asked God this question in the midst of his sermon. But this was not the typical new year’s sermon. The message was delivered at some point during his 14 years in solitary confinement. If you’ve seen the movie about his life called, “Tortured for Christ,” you know that he had been imprisoned under the tyranny of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in the 1950’s and 60’s for teaching and preaching the Word of God. 

You read that right: a sermon preached in solitary confinement. Wurmbrand explained in a book he wrote later called, Alone With God

“During my years of solitary confinement I composed 350 sermons. I created them in my mind, because I could not write them down. I delivered them every night to an unseen audience. I also committed them to memory by using the simple mnemonic device of summarizing them in short rhymes, which I repeated again and again. When I was released from prison I did not sleep until I had committed all of them to paper. I managed to do so for 348 out of the 350.” (Prologue, p.7)

One of those sermons caught my attention as I read Alone With God. It was entitled simply, “New Year.” As you read a portion of that sermon, try to put yourself in his shoes for a minute or so. Put yourself in that dark cell. Alone. Not knowing when the solitary confinement might end. Not knowing when your torturers might return. Read Wurmbrand’s words with shoes removed. To enter that cell and listen in on a conversation between a tortured brother and the Sovereign Lord is to step onto holy ground: 

“HAPPY NEW YEAR, MY BELOVED FRIENDS. Outside, the wardens interrupt the silence. They wish one another a happy new year. It is midnight. The year 1948 has passed. I cannot congratulate Jesus. It has been 1915 years since He was crucified. The 1916th nail will now be driven into His cross. I know that every doubt of mine causes Him more pain, as if a new dart were piercing His heart… There was a time when Jesus ‘had no fault, or I no fault could spy, when He was all beauty or all blindness I.’ But now, since I have nothing left in this whole world but my wit to live by, it has begun to value itself very highly. All else seems of little importance. My wit has questions to ask and I cannot stop it.

“I realize now that the New Testament had never satisfied me really, because I found the miracles recounted there much too small for the Son of God. Three people were resurrected, but millions of corpses remained dead. Only three families had the comfort of seeing their beloved ones restored to life. Many widows whose only sons died remained without consolation. Jesus stilled a storm, but on so small a lake as Galilee. Tempests on the ocean sank countless ships, and men drowned. He did not help them. On one occasion 4,000 and on another 5,000 (plus women and children) had a good dinner through miracles performed by Him. What about the next day when they were hungry again? And what about the millions who have starved throughout the ensuing centuries? He sent an angel to free Peter from prison. The incident stands alone. James was beheaded, and since then thousands have been martyred. 

“Why? How can the world go on? It is New Year’s Eve … I don’t understand You. Don’t You have power enough? Don’t You have the will to wipe away all tears? …If I were in the pulpit today dressed in a beautiful cassock, I would speak about the one great miracle, that a lonely Galilean who hung upon a horrible cross became the subject of thousands of confident songs, that the painful execution of a Man deemed a criminal proved to be the means of salvation for the whole world. But inwardly I would be dissatisfied. What you have done is beautiful, but too little for an almighty God who could make the whole drama cease at once. Why are You silent?” (pgs.84-87)

We can relate — on some level — to Pastor Wurmbrand’s questions. We have questions of our own: Why did God allow 245 million believers (according to Open Doors International) to experience high levels of persecution last year? Why does He allow persecution to grow? Five years ago, only one country — North Korea — was on the “extreme level” list produced by Open Doors. Today, there are 11! Why did God allow 4,136 Christians worldwide to be killed/martyred for following Jesus last year?

Maybe — as you embark on a new year — those things are too distant. Your problems, your suffering, the struggles you face are causing you to ask, “Are you listening, God? Are you there? Why are You silent?”

No doubt, good Christians throughout every century have had the same questions. First-century Christians and churches were threatened by the same species of persecution as that which Pastor Wurmbrand faced some 1900 years later. 

But make no mistake: God was not silent. 

Jesus dictated letters to the Apostle John — not with promises of immediate health and wealth or deliverance from all trials and suffering and evil. No, Jesus instead challenged those second-generation believers to be “Nikaos” (“him who overcomes”; Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 21:7). How? What could possibly give persecuted, suffering and terrified believers the strength to overcome such horrible threats? 

God’s answer came in a vision given to John more than 60 years after Christ died, rose and ascended. John was shown something that was intended to give strength to all who live with questions. He was shown something that should help all believers keep the suffering and struggles of this life in perspective. John saw the unseen reality of God seated on His throne.

“After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’ Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.” (Revelation 4:1-2, NASB95)  

Of course, the “One sitting on the throne” is God Almighty. And even though Revelation 4-5 will mostly take place in the future, this part of John’s vision describes the present reality as well. John was given the privilege of seeing the future when the “Lamb” of God will take the scroll, break open its seals, and begin the end of evil’s tyranny. That moment will be the beginning of the judgments of God (see Revelation 6-19) leading to the return of Christ — the King of kings and Lord of lords (Ch.19) — the millennial reign of Christ (Ch.20), and “a new heaven and a new earth” (Chs.21-22). 

But don’t skip ahead too quickly. 

Stop for a moment and take it in — read Revelation 4 as an act of worship! Don’t miss the significance of the imprisoned apostle being shown God on His throne. Don’t forget those for whom this vision was being recorded. And then, join with the “four living creatures” as they “do not cease to say”:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.” (Revelation 4:8, NASB95)  

Fall down on your knees with the “twenty-four elders” who “will (future tense, but we can do it now too) worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying

‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.’” (Revelation 4:10–11, NASB95)

Why worship? Why fall down? Why cast our crowns at His feet? Why should we seek to be overcomers? Because God is on His throne! That is reality! It is the ultimate reality! It is the unseen reality! God is presently seated on His throne! God will forever rule and reign in majesty and splendor! No matter what nonsense is happening in the world, no matter how out-of-control it may seem, God is on His throne! 

Revelation 5-22 tells us God will — in His perfect timing — bring an end to the trouble, suffering and evil of this world. He is not neutral between good and evil. He is not disinterested in our struggles. He has a plan to wipe away every tear. But, Revelation 4 reminds us — those who are currently incapable of seeing the invisible reality in the heavenly places — of the constant invitation of the Bible: Trust the Sovereign God!

Pastor Wurmbrand’s “New Year” sermon did not end with the question, “Why are You silent?” He concluded with these words: 

“Probably I am too small — not Your miracles. I am a disciple of Yours… How could an architect explain his designs to a disciple? Only a master builder could understand him. I suppose that all the beautiful things I crave exist, but I cannot see them yet. We must also reject the mistaken notion that a whole can be perfect only if each of its parts is perfect. Iago is vicious, an intrigue-maker and a liar, but he is a necessary part in a perfect work of art, Othello. For my part, I am in a small cell. We are all confined to too small a world. Imperfections seen by me can be a useful part of a perfect reality. Thank You for one more year. I will try to use it well for growth. Perhaps I will question You less next New Year’s Eve.” (Alone With God, p.87)

These thoughts of John’s vision and Pastor Wurmbrand’s sermon are offered especially for the alumni, faculty, staff and students of Calvary who may share Pastor Wurmbrand’s dissatisfaction at the turn of a new year; who perhaps desire to cry out to God, “I don’t understand You!” 

Whatever questions you carry over from 2019, whatever the 20’s bring, whatever frustration you feel, whatever struggles you face, whatever suffering you must endure, let us thank Him for another year. Let us seek to use it for growth. And, let us seek to be true “Nikaos” by keeping our focus on the “One sitting on the throne.”

Shaun LePage is Chair of the Ministry Studies Department, Instructor of Ministry Studies, and Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Calvary University.

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?

The names and titles for God found in the Bible are carefully brushed strokes on the canvas of God’s most awesome work: The revelation of Himself.

Shakespeare’s Juliet asked, “What’s in a name?” 

The irony of the question lies in the fact that her name was her biggest problem! The reason she could not be with her Romeo was precisely because her name was Capulet and his was Montague. Capulets didn’t love Montagues — they hated them. But Juliet protested:

“That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet. So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title.”

Juliet didn’t think his name mattered at all — what mattered was the person. And perhaps in that case, she was right. And perhaps in many cases, the name or title of something makes no difference whatsoever.

Ask for the whatchmacallit or the doohickey or the thingamajig and you’ll probably get what you want. Call him Santa Claus, Father Christmas or Saint Nick — it doesn’t matter. Name your son Austin, Peter or Max — it probably makes no difference. 

But not so with God. 

If Juliet was speaking of God and said, “What’s in a name? Call Him whatever you like,” she would be dead wrong. It’s true that this “Rose” — the true and living God — would “retain that dear perfection which He owes without (the Biblical) titles.” But, the names and titles of God found in the Bible were not given to us in a random and pointless way. They are not incidental. 

The names and titles for God found in the Bible are carefully brushed strokes on the canvas of God’s most awesome work: The revelation of Himself.

Each time we come across a name or title of God in the Bible, we learn another great truth about the God who created us. 

“YHWH” tells us He is eternal and personal. 

“Father” tells us He is the perfection of love and discipline.

“Shepherd” tells us He is our protector and provider and guide.

On and on it goes. The more we encounter these one-word revelations, the more we know Him, the more we appreciate Him, the more we — along with the psalm writers — see that “His name alone is exalted” (Psalm 148:13) and we want to “sing praises to His name for it is lovely” (Psalm 135:3). 

When we come to the stories of the birth of Jesus, we find them rich with names and titles for the newborn King. He is…

“The Messiah…son of David, son of Abraham…Jesus Christ…Immanuel…King of the Jews…a Ruler who will shepherd…son of Mary” in Matthew 1-2. 

“Jesus…great…Son of the Most High…the Holy Child…the Son of God…A Savior…Christ the Lord…her (Mary’s) firstborn son…a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” in Luke 1-2.

“The Word…light…life…the Only Begotten God (God the One and Only, NIV), who is in the bosom of the Father” in John 1.

“Jesus” is just one example of how each of these names is like a blast from God’s trumpet of revelation. The “angel of the Lord” told Joseph to give this name to the Boy because “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). “Jesus” is a Hebrew name that means “Jehovah is salvation.”

Notice the word “son” popping up several times: “Son of David…Abraham…the Most High God.” He is called Mary’s “firstborn son”. All the “Son” references add up to tell us that He alone was qualified to fulfill two of the greatest covenants God ever made with humans — the Davidic and Abrahamic covenants (see the very first verse of the New Testament). As Mary’s Son, He not only took on human flesh that He might bleed human blood for the sins of the world, but He also became Heir to the promises God made to David and Abraham. 

“Son of the Most High…God” tells us His life did not begin in Bethlehem — He has always existed in an eternal relationship with the Father. This explains what kind of King can have a kingdom that will last forever: the Eternal King, God’s only, unique Son.

Or what about “Word”. What is a “word” for? Communication! What did this “Word” do, according to John? He wasn’t just another self-proclaimed guru speculating about things he didn’t understand. His perspective is like no other: “No one has ever seen God. But the one and only Son is himself God and is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us” (John 1:18, NLT).

With all this in mind, read the Birth Narratives as part of your Christmas celebration. And when you do, let God’s Self-revelation — through His names and titles — renew your mind as you celebrate Christmas. Stop and enjoy every name. Underline every title. Each one is a delicate brush stroke deserving of close examination. But when seen together, they are a jaw-dropping revelation that should result in nothing less than what the Magi did when they saw the Child in His mother’s arms: “They fell to the ground and worshipped Him (Matthew 2:11).”

_______________

Shaun LePage is the Ministry Studies Department Chair and Assistant Professor in Ministry Studies and Bible and Theology. He also serves as Associate Vice President of the CU Marketing and Communications Department.