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"Public Day of Repentance" at University of Virginia

By Editorial Staff
Published December 2, 1988

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. (FR) – Students at the University of Virginia had a “Public Day of Repentance” late September marked by weeping and smashing of rock music albums. The closing event of a week long series of Rock ‘n Roll seminars, students testified about Jesus Christ and repented of the sin of the university and the nation.

About 400 students crowded the amphitheatre to hear Pastor Mark Beliles and evangelist Ken Dew, both of Maranatha Campus Ministries, share about the Gospel. Students who wanted to debate current issues, such as the local screening of “The Last Temptation of Christ,” or who had questions concerning religion, were encouraged to attend.

Despite some heckling by spectators, fraternity and sorority members and athletes testified of their relationship with Jesus Christ. Charles Wilbur, a senior in Finance and former drug user, said, “Jesus is the ultimate high.” He shared that he used to take acid and LSD. “I used to smoke so much marijuana … but Jesus set me free from all those drugs.”

The campus paper, The Cavalier Daily, announced the Public Day of Repentance as a “party” to bring albums “that you don’t mind smashing.” The Cavelier Christian Fellowship, an outreach of the Maranatha Center, promoted the event with orange posters inviting “all students who wish to show their intention to get right with God …”

Al Dodd told the University Journal that the main purpose of the event was to encourage repentance among the students on the Charlottesville campus. Dodd, associate pastor of the Maranatha Campus Ministry, added that immorality and drunkenness were their main concerns. Beliles said he wanted to appeal to students who have “rejected organized religion.”

Records were purchased from the local Salvation Army store for 10 cents each and distributed to the crowd. Students were cued by Dew to smash the records. He told the University Journal that the main reason for opening the event with the destruction of records was that “a lot of rock and roll is degrading to the human dignity. A lot of rock-‘n-roll is diametrically opposed to the Word of God.”

Beliles shared about the Christian history of the university and then led students in a prayer of repentance. “People started crying. There was a sense of cleansing, forgiveness and God’s mercy,” he said. “We felt that it was the beginning of a mighty revival.”

Beliles who has researched the history of the University of Virginia for many years, said that the school has an extensive Christian background. Fraternities were started in 1852 as Christian organizations where “brothers and sisters in Christ could establish close supportive relationships and social activities to combat atheism and non-Christian trends.” Fraternity members were originally defined as “First of all, believers in their creator. They must be loyal students of their college, so long as their college itself is loyal to their Creator.”

In 1858, prayer was increased seven-fold and church membership doubled. Two years later, a student, David Culbreth, said “We were great churchgoers. We went to church Sunday morning and night and some attended Bible classes taught by professors Sunday morning and afternoon. No student of that period can fail to recall the seriousness of the great majority of the student body.”

Over half of all students were in Christian student organizations and 25 percent were in a Bible class which led to a school of Divinity two years later. About 72 percent worshipped in churches – which was higher than anywhere in Virginia in 1907.

During 1948 the university suspended classes because so many students wanted to attend the university preacher’s series. The first university president, Edwin Alderman, said the university’s purpose was to “distill an atmosphere of Christian living and to furnish spiritual power to the flow of life.”

The University of Virginia is also America’s first non-denominational Christian university. It’s official motto, inscribed on one of the main campus halls is, “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”


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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

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All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

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Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

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Freedom: The Model of Christian Liberty (DVD)

“Give me liberty or give me death!”

Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.

The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

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This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Running Time: 257 minutes

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