Steve Maye, moderator of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian General Synod, spoke to Erskine College and Seminary students, faculty and staff Thursday in Lesesne Auditorium at the opening convocation of the spring semester.
“Put yourself in the mind-set of a visionary, someone who can think big,” he said. “This is where our denomination’s leaders were in the 1830s when they founded Erskine College.”
Today, there are some 4,300 colleges and universities in the United States. Large percentages of students in these colleges, Maye said, “come out no different from when they went in,” some unable to write clearly or distinguish between fact and opinion.
Erskine’s founders, he said, were following “a mandate to learn to love God with our minds.”
Maye assured students, “The ARP Church wants you to think,” and added, “The ARP Church wants you to think about things that really matter.”
We must train ourselves to think, he said.
Some may pride themselves on “multitasking,” but there is no real multitasking, Maye asserted, only fast transitions from one task to another.
“Thinking requires solitude and silence,” the moderator said.
Urging students to “wrestle with the important questions of life,” Maye suggested a few that could top the list, dealing with identity (Who am I?), the meaning of life (How do I find significance?), and the veracity of the Bible (Is the Bible really true?).
He posed a central question for Erskine students — “What do we think about Jesus Christ and his claims about himself?”
In response to that critical question, some in the audience might be “mentally yawning” and “have theological mud in your ears,” Maye said.
To those who might be angered by such a question, he said, “You have unrest for a reason.”
Still others might be seekers who “have seen things that are attractive—you don’t have all the answers yet.”
Maye enjoined those who are already Christian believers to be faithful. “God has a one-word definition of success — obedience,” he said.
Erskine President Dr. David A. Norman introduced Maye, a 1983 graduate of The Citadel and the managing partner of Drake Capital, LLC, a commercial real estate investment firm.
Maye founded the non-profit Christian ministry “Lead With Character” and lives in Waxhaw, N.C., with his family.