Wayland opens semester with Convocation Chapel

August 28, 2014

PLAINVIEW -- Wayland Baptist University officially rang in the fall 2014 semester Wednesday morning in Convocation Chapel as WBU President Dr. Paul Armes addressed the student body covering issues such as ethics in learning, the importance of faith, and sexual morality.

Drawing from Romans 12:1-2 where the apostle Paul encourages the early Roman church to be transformed through the renewing of their minds and to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to God, Dr. Armes gave a poignant message as to why “there are some things that really matter.”

“Paul was writing to the Christians in Rome about what they were to believe and how they were to act,” Armes said. “Transformation for those of us who know Christ happens because Jesus resides within us and directs what we do and what we say.”

Based on the scripture, Dr. Armes challenged students with three points. The first was that learning matters.

“How you learn and what you learn is very important,” he said.

He pointed to Wayland’s mission of being learning-focused and how more than 80 percent of the Wayland faculty members have terminal degrees, the highest degree attainable within their chosen field of study.

“Our faculty feels that part of its calling is to enable you and empower you in your quest for knowledge,” he said. “This group of professors also wants you to understand the importance of faith and knowing a great deal about the one who created this world.”

Dr. Armes pointed to the importance of learning through an example of a man who earns a living writing research papers for college undergraduate and graduate students who don’t want to do the work themselves. Armes said cheating is detrimental in that those who cheat don’t learn much and are stealing someone else’s work and claiming it as their own.

Secondly, Dr. Armes said that, “believing matters.” He said that through faith, people are transformed.

“The changes we need the most can only occur when the Lord becomes involved and intersects our lives,” he said. “At Wayland you will be surrounded by a faculty and staff who are comfortable with the idea and practice of faith in God.”

Dr. Armes completed his address with saying, “how we live matters.”

He said the choices people make reveal the true character of their identity, and that Paul points out in his Biblical writings that people will eventually be held accountable for their thoughts as well as their actions.

Dr. Armes used an example of society’s view of marriage in a promiscuous world, and how society increasingly downplays the importance of the union of a man and woman. He said in a world that promotes promiscuity it is important to ask several questions before entering into a sexual relationship: Is this right? Is it fair to the other person? Will this please God?

Dr. Armes challenged students to accept and live according to a Biblical view of marriage and sexuality – abstaining from sex outside of marriage and remaining faithful to one’s spouse and the promises made when taking wedding vows.

“Does it seem that in our world today that promise means less perhaps than it ever has before?” he asked. “The bottom line is this – promises matter. Your promises matter.

“I hope that your commitments and your words will be strong and unwavering, and I hope they will be a reflection of the fact that you are totally, completely committed to Christ. Because that is where real life is.”