Thursday, March 09, 2006

Gay Rights Group Targets Christian Colleges - Christianity Today Magazine

With what, you ask? No, nothing violent--at least that's not the impression I get. Rather, a group calling itself "Soulforce" is going to drive around by bus to a number of Christian colleges, two military academies, and the Texas Aggie ROTC program.

I understand that different colleges will respond differently to these visits. One college (Union University, Jackson, TN) will be out on spring break, anyway. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, will not allow the group to visit. Lee University, Cleveland, TN, will let them visit but will not provide them a platform. Other colleges will offer them events, and even hosting.

Now I can imagine any of a number of Biblical ways to respond to such a group. Much depends on how they are willing to behave. If they abuse the hospitality extended to them, then all courtesies to them should end at that point. Anyone should understand that.

Beyond that--well, sure, one could host them--but only if one is prepared to give them the full lowdown from the Bible on sexual matters, and not necessarily limited to homosexuality. This is a job for seniors and not repeat not freshmen. It is probably the most difficult witness that any Christian can make in this mixed-up world. It requires almost as much skill as does pastoring, and thus is not a job for rank amateurs (or, to use a metaphor that St. Paul would use, those who haven't graduated from a milk diet to a solid-food diet).

To the colleges, I would never advise giving Soulforce or any other such group a platform to present their views only. I might invite them to debate the issues, if they were willing to agree on any semblance of the fundamentals of the faith. From what I understand, they have a long way to go.

But any reception of this group ought to come with the clear understanding that they are badly in need of genuine Christian witness, and ought to be prepared to accept it, and not abuse any hospitality that comes with it. Because a Christian can no more "bend" on the sexual issues that Soulforce intends to press, than he can agree that two plus two equals "five, or three, or seven, or five-and-twenty, as the case demands." (See here, here, and here for detailed Gilbert and Sullivan source quotes.)

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