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Hundreds attend Mid-Atlantic’s 67th homecoming rally

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Staff Photo by Thomas J. Turney Alumnus Dave McCants speaks at Mid Atlantic Christine University as part of the 67th MACU Rally and Homecoming, Friday, March 20, 2015.

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William F. West

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hundreds of Mid-Atlantic Christian University alumni and backers crowded into MACU’s gymnasium Friday to hear one of their own discuss the perils of stereotyping others.

Dave McCants, a 1991 MACU graduate and lead minister at Two Rivers Church of Christ in New Bern, was the keynote speaker for an event during the final day of the university’s three-day 67th annual homecoming and rally.

McCants urged the crowd of approximately 300 to be careful not to make assumptions based on appearances or what they see on the surface.

“When we group people into stereotype groups, we neglect the individual,” he said. “And this goes against what God the creator intended for each of us.”

Referring to God’s creation of the earth, plants, animals and man, McCants told the crowd, “God chose to create us in a different way than he did the rest of creation.”

And by judging people by their outward appearance, he said, “We make ourselves more important and we marginalize others.”

McCants said he gets jaded sometimes because he sees people take advantage of churches and the kindheartedness of God’s people.

He recalled once telling his wife, after she had given two people asking for money $10, that he was certain they’d take her money and go buy liquor. He recalled how he felt when he saw them then go inside a Burger King and spend the money instead on food.

He acknowledged he made a judgment based on what he saw at face value.

McCants also talked about grace, which he defined as getting something that man doesn’t deserve, and about mercy, which he defined as getting something man does deserve.

God, who can’t have fellowship with people when they sin, punishes those who transgress against divine law, he said. “But because of grace, we’ve received mercy,” McCants said.

He went on to say that man hasn’t gotten the punishment from God he deserves because Christ took that on himself when he died on the cross for man’s sins.

McCants went on to remind listeners that they are “all in this world together.” While everyone’s perspective is different, “we’re in the same game,” he said.

Christians need to especially remember that when non-Christians show up for church, McCants said.

“When people come to our churches from different backgrounds than what we’re used to, they still need the same thing. They need the love and the grace and the mercy of Jesus,” he said.

The job of the church is to be the vehicle by which other people come to know Christ, McCants said, adding that there’s “no plan B.”

“If it’s not through the church, it’s not going to happen,” he said.

According to MACU officials, the theme of the three-day rally is “connecting cultures.” MACU alumni gather together during the event to discuss ways to build bridges to those who are different from the typical churchgoer.

About 111 people attended a gala Wednesday evening to honor MACU’s Mid-Atlantic Society members, each of whom give a minimum of $1,000 a year to support the university. Other events included a tailgate party that drew about 200 alumni and students, and men’s and women’s volleyball competitions that drew about 235.

George W. Bondurant, the first president of what was then Roanoke Bible College, attended Friday’s service. According to school officials, he will turn 100 on Aug. 9.

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