It would be no surprise to find examples of the normalization and even glorification of homosexuality (a sin like any other sin) at almost any secular college campus today. It would also not be in our place as Christians, in some ways, to criticize the leaders at these schools and call them irresponsible, from a Christian worldview. That’s because they don’t operate from a Christian worldview, and we cannot expect them to hold to biblical standards. However, that is a much different matter when it comes to universities that call themselves “Christian.” We are responsible as Christians to hold accountable those who profess to be Christians who are going astray and watering down the Gospel message. We are to judge those in the church. “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?” 1 Cor. 5:12
Southern Nazarene University
The first example of what I call “biblical negligence and malpractice” from Christian leadership is at Southern Nazarene University. An article in the student newsletter, called “Reevaluation is needed for SNU and Church policies on Homosexuality, spoke favorably of the new view of homosexuality which is so popular in the secular world now, and is now permeating the Christian world. Here are some sample quotes from the article, which can be read at their website (http://echo.snu.edu/?p=719), or downloaded as well:
“The SNU lifestyle covenant states that students will “abstain from pornography, premarital or extramarital sex, immortal heterosexual activity and homosexual behavior.”…. This leaves homosexual students here, and in the larger Christian community, two choices: to act on their sexual orientation and hide those actions from SNU, or to remain, for all intents and purposes, asexual.”
“The idea of encouraging gay students at SNU to live without those relational intimacies makes me very sad. When I imagine a life in which I would have to deny, hide, or feel ashamed about the loving relationship I share with my fiancé, I can’t help but feel dismal, to say the least. Needless to say, forcing homosexual students to abstain from intimate relationships not only seems unnatural, but also cruel and morbid.”
“However, many Christians are beginning to change their beliefs that homosexuality is indeed a sin….. One professor has told me that she has no problem with homosexual relationships, so long as they abide by the same commitments to marriage, monogamy, and respect as other Christian relationships do.”
“Christian circles are too quick to call homosexuality a sin, without ever having talked to someone who identifies as gay.”
Below is a comment from a friend who is in leadership at a Christian university:
“This is so predictable but yet so sad. The problem starts with a total disregard for the authority of the Scripture.
The author could never come to his/her conclusions without first setting aside the accuracy of the Bible as a pretext. This is why I make such a big deal about holding fast to inerrancy!! And what terrible logic to claim that abstaining from sexual activity is akin to being “asexual!” Should we assume that everyone who refrains from premarital sex is “asexual?”
The fact that they let this be printed in their student newspaper is also evidence of the bigger problem.
Would they let an article be printed about every other aberrant behavior? One about pedophilia? One about incest? How about polygamy? Bestiality?
If denying one’s biological urges concerning homosexuality makes one asexual then wouldn’t the same logic hold true for these other behaviors?? If the Bible does not speak accurately and definitively on the matter of homosexuality then how can the Church or SNU claim it speaks with authority on ANY sexual behavior?
I would never permit this stuff to be printed on our campus. And if I ever found a professor agreeing with or encouraging this moral drivel they would be gone immediately. When the Nazarene schools started inviting McLaren, Pagitt, Jones, and Campolo to speak on their campuses they set the stage for this stuff.”
I agree with this assessment, and it certainly pertains as well to Point Loma in their latest poor decision.
Point Loma Does It Again
The SNU example brings back memories of the debacle that occurred at Point Loma Nazarene University last year, and at San Diego First Church of the Nazarene, which is on the campus grounds. You can read about that here in this eyewitness account (Homosexuality At Point Loma Nazarene University). Now the student newspaper has put out an article with an interview of Todd Clayton: (Q@A With Todd Clayton). Todd is now an alumnus and former ASB Director of Spiritual Life at Point Loma, and the main subject matter of that eyewitness account of the goings on at the school and the local church. It was a example of how worldly acceptance of homosexuality has permeated the church and resulted in re-defining the seriousness of sin.
Here are a few quotes from the interview:
“I don’t have to be worried that someone might see me on a date or at a bar and try to get me fired—or worse—tell the newspaper.”
After months of searching, however, I’ve landed back at a place of comfort in my Christian identity. It looks admittedly different than many at Loma, I’m sure: I don’t believe in hell, I don’t think Muslims are wrong, I don’t raise my hands in the air when I sing, I think we should be sexual before we’re married.””PW: What advice would you give to PLNU students who are coming to terms with their sexuality?
TC: You’re not alone. This is the shrewdest, loudest lie I remember fighting before I was out. (Hint: there are tons of gays at Loma). Be patient with yourself—and with the people you care about. Understanding an orientation that isn’t heterosexual can take time, and you’re not crazy if it does. Find people who will affirm and love you, and—when you’re ready—honestly share with them so you don’t have to journey by yourself. Know that being gay is fun. Go on dates. Don’t be afraid to kiss”
I can see no biblical rationale for the leaders at both of these schools to allow this kind of writing under the banner of the university. It smacks of approval, it smacks of “tolerance” of anything that is written by the students, and it only leads one to believe that these leaders are okay with this new kind of “Christian” re-definition of sin. At the very least, they seem to be okay with allowing the open view of homosexuality to be promoted, and that is clearly wrong. This is their responsibility, and for what its worth, this post is being sent to the university presidents at both schools. When “academic freedom”, or “freedom of expression”, is used as the basis for allowing the spreading of error filled views of what is or is not sin, then that becomes reckless and irresponsible, and the buck stops at the leadership’s desk.
I received a note on my blog from Todd Clayton, to go and see how he is progressing, as he has a blog now. I declined to publicize it. We must pray for Todd Clayton, and all the other students and alumni from Point Loma and Southern Nazarene, who have been misled to think that homosexuality is okay within a Christian context. This is not so much about Todd Clayton, as it is about the reckless and irresponsible leadership at these schools, and they must be held accountable. And believe me, the extent of this problem is not just at these two schools, and is a symptom of the overall apostasy occurring in our Nazarene and other Christian universities and seminaries today.
What do our General Superintendents think about this? This is also being sent to them. Frankly, I don’t expect a personal answer, but they have my email. Maybe you can ask them all the same question.