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Christian college uses controversial moment to talk about redemption with students
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Soccer players from Whitworth University, a private Christian school in Spokane, Washington, recently got a red card from school officials after an Instagram photo of the players dressed as the Jackson 5 while wearing blackface and afro wigs went viral across the Internet, according to The Washington Post. - photo by Herb Scribner
Soccer players from Whitworth University, a private Christian school in Spokane, Washington, recently got a red card from school officials after an Instagram photo of the players dressed as the Jackson 5 while wearing blackface and afro wigs went viral across the Internet, according to The Washington Post.

Five of the teams players have been suspended from the colleges match last Wednesday because of the photo, The Post reported.

In light of the impact that these actions have had on Whitworth and the greater Spokane community, we feel it is in the best interest of all involved to take this action at this time, team coach Jael Hagerott said in a statement last Wednesday. While their intentions were not malicious, the outcome of their actions was painful for many in our community. We feel that this punitive response is proportional to their actions.

Other than the suspension, the school wont enforce any more punishment on the team. Instead, it hopes to use the controversial moment as an opportunity to teach students about redemption and the implications of their actions, The Post reported.

As a Christ-centered university that believes in the value of all individuals, we are seeking to use this situation as an opportunity to educate, redeem and restore, athletics director Tim Demant told The Post.

Redemption is a major component of the Christian faith and dates back to Jesus Christ, wrote Jack Wellman, pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Kansas, on Patheos. He said Christ died for humanitys sins, giving believers the opportunity to be redeemed if they believe in God and repent for their mistakes.

Wellman also wrote that the Bible says those who redeem themselves in the eyes of God will lose his wrath and be accepted into heaven.

Believers enjoy seeing or reading about redemption because they show someone through Gods will fixing a major problem in a wholly unexpected, beautifully complex and loving way, writer Kristin Tennant wrote for Relevant in 2012.

But we can't always predict whether or not someone will be redeemed, or how their redemption stories will play out. God works in ways we sometimes can't comprehend and humans continue to make mistakes, despite God's willingness to help, Tennant explained.

"When you put Gods awesomeness and our messiness together, you get a complex world one that doesnt follow neat storyboards or outlines," Tennant wrote.

Instead, Tennant says believers should have faith in the possibility of redemption, and not have strict ideas of how or when it should happen.

I am here to say that our job, when it comes to redemption stories, is not to steer or predict them but to believe in the sheer power and possibility of them, Tennant wrote. It is to openly expect, with great joy and hope, that any inconceivable plot twist might indeed occur and that even the wildest of outcomes can be infused with Gods great love and redemption in this story that never really ends.

Whitworth University seems to have faith that it can happen for them and their community.
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