November 16, 2001
"You cannot have any hate or prejudice in your life and know Jesus," Rev. Victor Cope said in his Nov. 14 chapel address at Oklahoma Baptist University.
Cope, a bi-vocational pastor who serves as the Title IX Indian Education director for Tecumseh Public Schools, spoke to OBU students about the need to be free of hate, spite and prejudice. He said that in order to be a son or daughter of God there could be no hate in the heart.
He gave a series of illustrations that showed hate through the eyes of different ethnic groups. He began with a Native American Indian camp where soldiers slaughtered all of the men, women and children. He spoke of an old chief who tried to stop the cavalry by wrapping himself in an American flag but found no sympathy from the troops.
He then described Emmett Till, an African American man from the North who came to the South to visit family. Because of a statement he made, Till was beaten, tortured and eventually drowned in a stream. The men who acted against him were acquitted.
Cope went on to tell about a white woman who tried to help Malcolm X in his civil rights movement and was met only with hatred. He also told of a Pakistani gentleman that he encountered while taking his youth to a YouthLink conference. Cope said the man told him they could never be friends because he believed in Jesus.
Cope went on to speak of the horrors of the September 11th tragedy and how the country is healing from the terror. To tie all the stories together, Cope told about another village that was under siege by soldiers. The men in the village saw the troops coming and hid the older men, the women and the children. When the soldiers finished their slaughter of the men, they began looking for the others.
A woman in the group had recently accepted Jesus and had a Bible with her. She walked in front of the cavalry and asked, "Do you know my Jesus?" and the cavalry stopped the slaughter.
As he told these stories, Cope explained that hatred cannot be in the lives of those who are trying to reach people for Christ.
"Is there prejudice in your heart?" he asked. "The scripture says that God is not with you. If you say you love the Father and hate your brother then you are a liar."
As he concluded his message he asked students to examine their lives and confess any hatred that was in their hearts.
"If we are going to reach the world, we are going to have to love the world," he said.
Cope and his wife, Liz, have two daughters, Chelsea and Madison.