It’s been a little over a month since Regent said goodbye to President Carlos Campo. Although students still have a lot of questions about why he left so suddenly, we think it’s more important to focus on what Campo’s legacy and wisdom have to teach us as students and Christian leaders.
Recently, Campo was interviewed by Christianity Today. Here are the highlights from that conversation that Regent students should be reflecting upon.
Immigration: Regardless of your stance on immigration reform, Campo has an important message about undocumented immigrants. Campo reminds usthat as Christians, we are to “forgive those who trespass against us.” He also makes the point that America is partially responsible for the current immigration crisis, considering we have failed to secure the borders and that “from the ‘70s through the ‘90s, we gladly allowed immigrants—especially from Mexico—to flood into our country to help deal with labor shortages.” The most important point to take away from Campo’s stance on immigration is that Christians are called to forgive and demonstrate compassion. We can interpret this in different ways and offer varying solutions, but the main point to remember is that we are to be the hands of feet of Christ in everything we do, and the way we deal with this issue should reflect that mandate.
The LGBT Community: Campo tells CT, “Christ calls all people no matter what their sexual tendencies are.” Our first duty to the community is to show them Christ’s love. Campo also comments that does not mean we “deny what we believe what the Bible says regarding sexual purity and what that really means.” During his presidency, Campo had to deal with this issue head-on when a group of LGBT leaders scheduled a protest of a lecture by the Regent Psychology Graduate School’s Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity (ISSI). Instead of allowing the protest to erupt at the lecture, Campo met with the protesters and even welcomed them on campus to listen to the lecture. This led to an apology by the protesters for their misconceptions about Regent. This event reveals so much about the power of dialogue to break down barriers and change people’s perceptions about one another. Campo says, “We have been so separate and so vocal and vitriolic in our relationship. It has been anything but positive… We have not led the way we should as Christians. We have a more powerful narrative.” No, this doesn’t mean we compromise what we believe the Bible says about homosexuality. But it does mean that we treat the LGBT community with the love and compassion of Jesus, first and foremost, because this is how we are called to treat every person.
Christian Education: Probably the most important thing to take away from the Campo interview is to realize the immense opportunity we have at Regent to make a difference in our community and in our world. In reflecting upon his time at Regent, Campo says, “At Regent, I saw academics who were really committed to their discipline. I saw a trans-denominational and diverse campus. I fell in love with the students. Above all else, it was the student body that really attracted me to the campus.” Regent provides students with a unique platform for learning as well as expressing their faith and growing as Christian leaders. We’re in a place unlike any other we will likely encounter in our lives—a university campus that not only challenges us academically but also encourages us to grow spiritually. We only have so much time to take advantage of what our Christian education has to offer. So let’s not take that opportunity for granted. Get involved with the groups and extracurriculars the campus has to offer, stay engaged with the events and opportunities presented and get the absolute most out of your education as you possibly can, because this is the time when you are being shaped into the leader your will become.