September 1, 2001
Many degree-seekers and few truth-seekers fill most college campuses said Dr. Dick Rader during his theme interpretation chapel service at Oklahoma Baptist University on Wednesday.
As vice president for religious life at OBU, Rader chose the theme, "The Truth Shall Set You Free," for this year's chapel services to relate living truthfully to the classroom environment and everyday life.
Rader said that those who cherish truth know how to handle freedom.
"As soon as we were born, we began to experience freedom," he said.
Rader said that freedom is not a blank check. The apostle Paul wrote that though everything was permissible for him, not all was beneficial.
In the search for knowledge, freedom can become distorted, he said. For example, some students will lie in order to gain what they see as a desirable outcome.
"We believe the end justifies the means. We think moral values are relative," Rader said. "Lies destroy the trust factor that allows for genuine community."
Telling the truth can become as habit forming as lying, he said.
"Truth can lead to another truth," he said. "Truth can become a lifestyle."
Students should seek to be the same person in a worship service that they are when they make daily decisions, Rader said.
"How do we raise our voices in song and then go into the classroom and dorm rooms to live truth as passionately as we have worshipped?" he asked.
The answer to consistent truthful living is discovered individually.
"The decision to live by truth will only come because you adopt a way of life where you cherish the truth," Rader told students. "We can become persons of integrity. Then we can know true freedom that brings honor to us, our campus community and glory to God."
Rader, who is also dean of OBU's Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service, has served at OBU since 1979.