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Midwestern graduates challenged to uphold ‘the true map’ for li


LIBERTY, Mo. (BP)–Cherish the Bible as truth and light in a world of error and darkness, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Mark Coppenger exhorted graduates in his May 22 commencement address at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, Mo.
Displaying a variety of U.S. maps from the 19th century, Coppenger said they reflect “a significantly different world from the one we know.” Just as the 1873 regional divisions put Kansas City in the center of a massive prairie range, Coppenger said, “It reminds me that a prairie fire of awakening in this heartland region would put America on its spiritual ear.”
In looking at the old maps, Coppenger told the 102 graduates they reflect “the false and misleading maps which plague our culture.” Though people are looking for the way, they’re misdirected by variances, he said. Just as some objects are larger or smaller than they appear on the maps, the scriptural account of David looking into Goliath’s eyes and Elisha viewing the host of Arameans give evidence that “the world underestimates the size of the forces of God,” he said.
Maps can feature non-existent sites or even omit them, Coppenger added, noting that Kansas City wasn’t mentioned on one map. “Balaam didn’t see the angel, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t one. The donkey saw it. And though the Balaam’s of modern academia may tell you that angels and demons don’t exist, we Bible-believing donkeys know they do just the same.”
And just as maps often “get the routes wrong,” Coppenger said the routes to God offered by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons are wrong as well. Incorrect boundaries occur among Christians, too, he said, referring to the Apostle Paul’s dismay at the Corinthians’ failure with church discipline. “The next time you hear of the ‘fatherhood of God’ and the ‘brotherhood of man’ you might observe that only in Christ may we call God ‘Father’ and other Christians ‘brother.’
Coppenger encouraged the graduates to be ministers of the map of God’s Word, describing it as “the true map” that shows the way to God and an abundant life.
“There is no place on earth God hasn’t mapped, and you would be a fool to travel without his guide.”