Gay Erskine Student-Athletes Come Out

 

Erskine College is self-described as “Christian,” “evangelical,” “Reformed,” “a gospel enterprise,” and “a Christ-centered environment where learning and biblical truth are integrated to develop the whole person.” Presently, the Mission Statement of Erskine College reads in this manner: “Erskine College exists to glorify God as a Christian academic community where students are equipped to flourish as whole persons for lives of service through the pursuit of undergraduate liberal arts and graduate theological education.” So, how does a “Gospel enterprise” which is seeking “to glorify God as a Christian academic community” square with the URL below?

ScreenSnapz006http://www.outsports.com/2014/3/11/5496256/drew-davis-erskine-college-gay-volleyball-juan-varona

Obviously, the student is attempting to make a statement. No doubt he contacted the Outsports website and provided the details for the story. Indeed, the student wants the publicity. And, if there is a list of private, Christian colleges which are havens for practicing homosexuals, the name of Erskine College is NOW on that sad list. I wonder: what is the student’s endgame? I wonder: how large is Erskine’s gay-lesbian community? I wonder: are the self-professed “Christian” and “evangelical” administrators and faculty members attempting to minister in Jesus’ name to Erskine’s gay-lesbian students? Are they even capable of ministering?

Here are questions the members of the Presidential Search Committee and the trustees might want to ask when they interview the finalists for president:

  • In a page or less, if hired to lead Erskine College towards becoming the ‘premier Christian liberal arts college of the Southeast,’ how will you deal with the homosexual issue at Erskine College?
  • In a page or less, what would you expect of faculty and staff members when counseling an openly gay student?
  • Yes or no, would you allow or support a gay student organization at Erskine?
  • Yes or no, in order to retain and attract top-quality faculty, would you allow Erskine College and Theological Seminary to extend benefits to the same-sex partners/spouses of employees?
  • Yes or no, do you believe homosexual practice to be sin?
  • Yes or no, do you believe the Bible clearly and consistently teaches homosexual activity is sin, and, if no, in one page or less, what do you believe the Biblical teaching to be?

Now, before someone accuses me of being homophobic, let me quote the following from Romans 1

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. . . For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God . . . and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. . . [and] God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men . . . [and] God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (ESV, Romans 1:18-28)

Once again, before you call me homophobic, read what follows. Often evangelicals treat homosexual sins as though they were unpardonable or the most egregious sins on the list. Sin is sin, and all sin is equally under the just condemnation and curse of God.

The list of sins in Romans 1:18-28 (and other such vice-list passages) is both long and sobering. An individual is not under the just condemnation and curse of God because she has a covetousness orientation, but became she has a SIN ORIENTATION. An individual is not under the just condemnation and curse of God because he has a pornography-lust orientation, but because he has a SIN ORIENTATION. Consequently, an individual is not under the just condemnation and curse of God he/she has a homosexual orientation, but because he/she has a SIN ORIENTATION. Sin is the problem – the problem lying at the door of our lives. Particularly, the sin is the self-delusion of pride – the arrogance of self-idolatry. It is the sin of thinking I am the one who determines what the moral and theological compasses of life are. Therefore, I am free to do whatever feels good to ME – ME, the ME-god. This rejects both the God of the Bible who created us and the theological and moral precepts, commands, decrees, and statutes He gave us to inform us who He is and how we are to live before Him righteously.

The problem at Erskine is this: not only do most of the folks on the administration, staff, and faculty not know how to deal with the sins of homosexuality; they do not know how to Biblically address the other sexual sins on the Biblical sin-list. And, if I may be so bold, let me mention two: internet-pornography and heterosexual promiscuity. According to national statistics, these problems are rampant on the campuses of colleges calling themselves “Christian.” And, according to students who have spoken with me, Erskine is not an exception. And what do the folks in charge at Erskine do? Look the other way!?!

Other than hypocrisy, what is accomplished by a college calling itself “Christian” and not teaching and expecting Christian behavior? And therein lies the problem at Erskine. The folks at Erskine talk about Erskine being a “gospel enterprise”; however, talk is all they do. Or, as a friend of mine from Texas says, “It’s a big hat but no cattle syndrome!”

Actually, the problem is even more acute than what I have said. It is my observation that both the theological statements of faith and the Christian behavioral expectations are not the heart-actuated affirmations of most of the administrators, staff, and faculty, at Erskine. Theirs is Christianity by acquiescence. The theological statements of faith and the Christian behavioral expectations have been imposed on Erskine by the General Synod. As I said, this is Christianity by acquiescence. For many of the Erskine folks, their Christianity is not about a faith-journey to Christ but a philosophy externally imposed – and, for many professional academics needing a salary, outward conformity to a philosophy is job protection. And, if what I have described is not true, how does one explain the moral morass Erskine has been over the last forty years?

With the “outing” of two gay student-athletes on the internet, the gay and lesbian issue is now front-and-center at Erskine College. Do Acting President Brad Christie and his administrators, staff, and faculty have the Biblical convictions, understanding, and rectitude to competently and Christianly address the gay and lesbian issue at Erskine? Well, if past performance by Erskine presidents, administrators, staff, and faculty is any indication of future performance, I do not think so!

My prediction is this disaster is gong to be a fine and glorious misery left for a new president to suffer! Indeed, the questions I started this article with are most relevant!

These are my thoughts,

signature

Charles W. Wilson
ARPTalk
Psalm 81:14 (NKJV)
“The haters of the LORD would pretend submission to Him.”

Share This:
Facebook Twitter Email Plusone Linkedin Pintrest

Filed Under: Newsletter

RSSComments (60)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. F.W. Bradley says:

    As usual, nothing but criticism and no answers, but glad you mentioned insolent, haughty, and boastful, your comments are full or those characteristics. It would be interesting to hear your solution to solving this sin problem. Please tell us how you would address this issue as you come in condemnation.
    Would you throw all sinners out of school? This subject has been shuffeled under the rug and you are not prepared or equipped to deal with it as one of the big social issues of our time and you profess to be a minister of the “gospel”?? Surely you wouldn’t dirty your feet in
    Samaria or Due West.
    To reach these souls we deserve better.

     
    • Dear Mr. F. W. Bradley,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Please, take a deep breath, calm down, and re-write your comment. Please!! Do you want me to answer your questions, or are you making statements. I’m not sure.

      Mr. Bradley, please, take a few minutes and compose another comment, and posit your questions in a manner I can deal with them.

      BTW, I don’t think I said anything about throwing sinners out of school. As far as Samaria and Due West are concerned, I have never been to Palestine; however, I have often dirtied my feet in the soil of Due West.

      As you say, Mr. Bradley, “To reach these souls we deserve better” is the major point of the article. The folks at Erskine are not doing this – they’re not even trying.

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
  2. Drew Collins says:

    It will be interesting to see how Erskine deals with this situation. Striking the delicate balance of avoiding the toleration of open and unrepentant sin while simultaneously showing forth the love of Christ is not an easy task. Contrary to the stereotypes that many have of it an an institution, Liberty University did an outstanding job of that as the following article (which can be a bit graphic at points) relates.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/04/being-gay-at-jerry-falwells-university/274578/

    The administration and faculty of Erskine would do well to hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest Liberty’s approach.

    Drew+

     
    • Claire Muzal says:

      Drew, I appreciated this article too. Thanks. Chuck,are you saying there is no sort of written “policy” at Erskine about extra marital sexual activity? I assume it is discouraged because of the obvious hazards and Biblical admonitions. Both homosexual and heterosexual activities would fall under that. It seems to me that the Admins would do well to communicate and model the following to their charges: “Exercise mutual and self respect, self control, lovingkindness, and….do your homework.”

       
      • Dear Ms. Claire Muzal,

        Thanks for your comment and question.

        The answer to your question: there is a policy regarding sexual conduct between young men and women in the dorms (and, according to my sources, rarely enforced); however, as far as I can tell, there are no policies regarding same-sex sexual conduct in the dorms.

        Regarding “. . . do your homework”: Erskine has a tradition of profs being academically rigorous; and a 40% attrition rate among freshmen indicates the tradition is intact. Or, maybe in their need to fill a class, they have recruited students whose athletic skills exceed their academic skills – and recruiters have set students up for failure.

        The thing I find breathtakingly astounding for a college which is self-described as “Christian,” “evangelical,” inerrancy affirming, and “a gospel enterprise” is the lack of Biblical response by the Erskine administrators to both heterosexual and homosexual fornication. As one alum describes it, the “sexing” on the Erskine campus is legendary. And let me make this very clear: I’m not calling for draconian measures; rather, I’m calling for a Biblical confronting of sin. Both heterosexual fornication and homosexual fornication are “sin” – and, if you believe the Bible, you’re left with no other word to describe it. For the administrators and staff at a self-described Christian college to disregard such activity by turning a blind-eye to it is irresponsible, Biblically condemnable, and a dereliction of duty.

        Now, as far as I can tell, without board authorization, it seems Acting President Bard Christie and Vice President for Communications CLIFF SMITH have taken Erskine College in a different direction. In a recent issue of “The Greenville Journal” there is a full-page ad for Erskine College. Below the photograph of a co-ed are these words:

        **********
        DISTINCTIVE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY WORTH DISCOVERING FOR NEARLY 175 YEARS
        Erskine feels like a second home to generations of graduates who’ve experienced it. As South Carolina’s first private Christian college, Erskine equips students to flourish through academic excellence and a family-like learning environment.
        It’s a rare college experience. But since it’s in the Upstate, going away to college doesn’t have to mean going far. So while Erskine may be a little harder to find, you will always know where you belong.
        **********

        What happened to “a gospel enterprise?” What happened to “a Christ-centered environment where learning and biblical truth are integrated to develop the whole person?” What happened to the Mission Statement, which in part reads: “Erskine College exists to glorify God as a Christian academic community . . . ?”

        What are Christie and Smith doing? Are they indulging in “Olde Erskine” “bait and switch” tactic of advertising? Have they abandoned Christian truth and morality? Isn’t it telling that the student-athlete from Puerto Rico says he was “out” about his homosexuality in high school? How did the coach not know – or did he know and not care?

        When I was on the board (1998-2004), a concerted effort was made by President John Carson to recruit home school and Christian High School graduates. Carson was convinced the influence of evangelical Christian students who were informed and Bible-believing would change Erskine. The kicker was they felt betrayed. They called it “bait and switch.” They are one of the reasons ARPTalk exists today. They are one of the reasons the “Erskine Conflict” came to a focus at the “Snow” Synod. Randy Ruble, who followed Carson as president, decided not to recruit anymore “reactionary” Christians and went with athletes instead.

        What does “Christian” mean at Erskine? Frankly, at this time, to call Erskine Christian is blasphemous.

        Regards,

        Chuck Wilson
        ARPTalk

         
        • Tanya George says:

          Mr. Wilson,
          I appreciate your strong stance in this day and time.
          As I relied to someone else:
          I am a babe in Christ. I am surprised with these comments. I do understand that when someone takes a stand for our Lord’s Words, some how it becomes us judging someone . This is about Erskine, a Christian college, right?
          We have to live according to the Father’s Word, and He has made it clear about sex of any type and any situation. It needs to be addressed and corrected. It is wrong, said the Lord Jesus Christ.
          There should not be a problem understanding this.

           
          • Chuck Wilson says:

            Dear Ms. Tanya George,

            Thank you for your comment.

            Thank you for your support of my “strong stance.”

            Regards,

            Chuck Wilson
            ARPTalk

             
  3. Dear Mr. Drew Collins,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Drew, it’s good to hear from you again. Thanks for the URL.

    The challenge is this: rebuking the sin of the sinner when the sinner insists the only response is affirming and accepting him/her in the sin.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

     
  4. Craig Mutton says:

    Rev. Wilson,
    Your point is well-taken that the sinner does not get to dictate the terms on which we accept him.

    Years ago, as the pastor of a small, independent church, I had to deal with a member who repeatedly and maliciously slandered other people. When confronted, she would reply, “I speak my mind. That’s just the way I am.” Thus, she expected us to accept her and her sin on her terms.

    After a number of incidents, the church gave her the choice to repent and to ask forgiveness from the most recent target of her acid tongue or to be put under discipline. She chose the latter.

    No church or Christian institution can retain its integrity while turning a blind eye to sin of any kind. And let me hasten to say that the ruling authority should not exercise discipline for the particular sin in question per se — we are all sinners, after all — but rather for contumacy.

     
  5. Dear Mr. Craig Mutton,

    Thanks for the comment.

    It is good to hear from you again. Your point is well taken.

    Regards,
    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

     
  6. JoEtta Ezell Shick says:

    Judgemental and harsh. You have put yourself on a throne and feel free to blast your opinions. The usual from you. Only God knows all the right answers.

     
    • Dear Ms. JoEtta Ezell Shick,

      Thanks for the comment.

      BTW, welcome to ARPTalk. I see this is your first comment. And aren’t you the daughter of former Erskine President Bruce Ezell?

      How have I been “judgmental and harsh?” Isn’t it “judgmental and harsh” to make an accusation without naming a least one specific? Aren’t you being judgmental and harsh?

      As one who was raised in home of an intellectual, don’t you hold the First Amendment precious?

      You are correct when you write “God knows all the right answers.” Are not the commandments, commands, precepts, statutes, directives, and judgments of God in the Bible God’s precious “right answers?”

      Let me give you a quote from a very wise man: “Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened.” Are you amongst those who “hurry along as if nothing had happened?”

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
  7. Chandler Colleran says:

    Dear Charles W Wilson,
    I am wondering what the point of this article is, other than to embarrass everyone who is involved in not only this article, but the one mentioned? I played on the same team as these boys during my high school and club years and I feel a bit perturbed that you are humiliating them, whether intentional or not. I am sure everyone is aware that in the south, especially in the “Bible Belt”, gays are persecuted against buy the church and fellow peers. If that alone is not enough, there are people, like you, who write painful articles against ones whom they don’t even know. I am sure there is a lot of “sin” happening on that campus that is greater then someones sexual orientation. I myself am not gay, but choose to keep my opinions to myself. A suggestion, I recommend, you should consider.

     
    • Dear Mr. Chandler Colleran,

      Thank you for your comment.

      One, how on earth could my article embarrass or humiliate either Messrs. Davis or Varona? When I read their article on “Outsports,” I got the impression they wanted the world to know about their sexuality. Did I miss something? Did you miss something?

      Two, my aim was not at them. My aim was at Erskine College administrators, recruiters, and coaches for not upholding Erskine’s Christian mission.

      Three, I’m sure there is, as you say, “a lot of sin happening on that campus,” and that was one of my points.

      Four, I didn’t write about “sexual orientation.”

      Five, if you keep your opinions to yourself, why are you not keeping your opinions to yourself?

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
    • Tanya George says:

      I am a babe in Christ. I am surprised with these comments. I do understand that when someone takes a stand for our Lord’s Words, some how it becomes us judging someone . This is about Erskine, a Christian college, right?
      We have to live according to the Father’s Word, and He has made it clear about sex of any type and any situation. It needs to be addressed and corrected. It is wrong, said the Lord Jesus Christ.
      There should not be a problem.

       
  8. jodie smulzer says:

    please answer the following questions:

    where in this article does it say that the students have been engaging in homosexual conducts on campus?

    are christian schools not supposed to allow gays to attend their schools?

    should a christian institution allow gay students and educate them in the Lords way and love them?

    is or is not stated in the Bible that God is the only one who should judge, and that we should love each other for love comes from God and everyone that loves is of God and know God ?

     
    • Dear Ms. Jodie Smulzer,

      Thank you for your comment. I see this is your first time on ARPTalk. Welcome! Since you did not introduce yourself, I am going to assume you’re a student at Erskine College. Please, if you comment again, tell us about yourself. You know who I am and you know who you are, but I (and I suspect most of the readers of ARPTalk) don’t know who you are.

      I will do my best to answer your questions. I think your questions are legitimate.

      Question One: “where in this article does it say that the students have been engaging in homosexual conducts on campus?” ANSWER: I didn’t say anyone was having sex on campus. As far as homosexual sex is concerned, Mr. Davis, in his article for “Outsports,” is the one who speaks of his sexual activity – and I’m glad for him that he is not HIV positive.

      Question Two: “are christian schools not supposed to allow gays to attend their schools?” ANSWER: Good question! It’s the matter of a policy statement. It’s the question the Erskine board must resolve, for, presently, the folks who makeup the administration are so desperate for students they ignore Erskine’s mission as an evangelical Christian college and will matriculate a bobtailed raccoon if he/she has money for tuition and fees.

      Question Three: “should a christian institution allow gay students and educate them in the Lords way and love them?” ANSWER: Once again, you ask a very good question. As you remember, the majority of my article dealt with this. We believe homosexual sex is one of the sexual sins. We believe the homosexual lifestyle is incompatible with the Christian faith. And, before you accuse me of being homophobic, we believe a lifestyle of heterosexual promiscuity is incompatible with Christianity. So saying, my point in the article was the administrators, staff, and, particularly, the coach were doing nothing to “educate them in the Lords way and love them.” As far as I can see, the only thing the coach was concerned about was that Davis and Varona might date and breakup and the broken relationship might create tension on the team.

      Question Four: “is or is not stated in the Bible that God is the only one who should judge, and that we should love each other for love comes from God and everyone that loves is of God and know God ?” ANSWER: Indeed, God is the only one who can judge. Here is one of his judgments: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6.9-10) Furthermore, you are correct when you say God is love, and the Christian is called to love. If the homosexual lifestyle is as heinous in God’s sight as 1 Corinthians 6.9-10 states, it is a cruel hate rather than love to embrace one who lives in this condemnation and say to him “You’re okay, I love you, and so does God.” Here is that which constrains and directs the Christian regarding all sinful lifestyles: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5.2-3)

      I hope this is helpful. I’m sure you will have other questions.

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
      • jodie smulzer says:

        Mr.Wilson,
        I am a mother of students at Erskine. however I believe that NOT ONLY ERSKINE COLLEGE, BUT THE CHURCH ALSO should bring these ” sinners” and teach them in the way of the Lord. that way if this behavior is SO SINFUL, then God may open their eyes and help them get salvation! should we as christians ignore people who are in the paths of sin or should we reach out to them and show them God’s love and teach them about God so they can at least have a chance to get to know him ?

        I think Erskine is doing a good job at this, keeping the path towards God open to everybody.

         
        • Dear Ms. Jodie Smulzer,

          Thank you for your comments. Thank you for informing us as to your identity.

          As an ARP minister, former board member, an alum, a former donor, and one who has been around Erskine for 40 years, I respectfully disagree with you. Erskine does a terrible job of accomplishing it mission. However, I did not expect we would agree. Nevertheless, thank you for your questions in your earlier comment.

          For the record, I did not say anything about ignoring people. My article does the opposite.

          Regards,

          Chuck Wilson
          ARPTalk

           
          • jodie smulzer says:

            then would you agree that they should try to bring these people to the Lord’s path?

            because you answered my question about allowing gay people in the college with “It’s the matter of a policy statement. It’s the question the Erskine board must resolve, for, presently, the folks who makeup the administration are so desperate for students they ignore Erskine’s mission as an evangelical Christian college”

            if they are not doing so is one thing, but I think that they should accept these people and teach them about God.

            apparently you do not believe this way and believe that Erskine has overlooked it’s mission as an evangelical college because of its desperation for students?

            I think they are doing great. my child is getting a great christian education from most of its professors, I am sorry that you did not have that experience 40 years ago!

            if the ARP church disagrees with bringing everyone to the path of God, then it is not right, I’m sorry but it is not right, everyone deserves a chance to get to know God and be enlightened by them. not ” have Erskine stop its desperation for students and make an anti-gay policy as you are suggesting in other words.

            I would support Erskine if they withdrew from the ARP church, these beliefs are ridiculous… GOD IS LOVE!

             
            • Dear Ms. Jodie Smulzer,

              Thank you for your comment.

              As I said, you are entitled to your opinion.

              BTW, I did not say I had an experience at Erskine 40 years ago. I said I have been around Erskine for 40 years. You might say, I’m an insider. I’m a former board member. I know how the place works.

              You write, “I would support Erskine if they withdrew from the ARP church, these beliefs are ridiculous.” The next time you drive into Due West (and I believe it’s still posted) notice the sign which reads “Erskine College, owned and operated by the ARP Church.” Erskine College is an agency of the ARP Church. To use the technical language, Erskine is the ARP Church in college education and seminary training. Sorry that does not please you.

              Regards,

              Chuck Wilson
              ARPTalk

               
              • jodie smulzer says:

                but do you disagree that Erskine is doing a good job at keeping their doors open to everybody and attempting to bring them in the Lord’s path? or do you believe that they are wrong and should only admit christian oriented people and keep sinful people out of the college ?

                he who is free of sin, throw the first stone… and all sin is sin no greater than the other… just saying… everyone sins… so the college should be shut down… right?

                 
                • Dear Ms. Jodie Smulzer,

                  Thank you for your comment.

                  Regards,

                  Chuck Wilson
                  ARPTalk

                   
                  • jodie smulzer says:

                    I guess you cannot answer my question because I am right!

                    Erskine is doing it RIGHT, and for some reason this KILLS YOU!

                    thank you for your replies…

                     
                    • Dear Ms. Jodie Smulzer,

                      I’m too old to be worried about anything that “kills” me. I’m much too old to die young.

                      My contention is the folks at Erskine are not doing it right. They are not addressing the issues of homosexuality from a Biblical perspective. They don’t even know how. Instead of being a door to heaven, they have become a door to hell. That’s my contention – and I made it very clear in my article.

                      Now, you have peaked my curiosity. Since you seem to have Biblical insights, may I ask you a couple of questions? One, what is “the Lord’s (God’s) path?” Two, how does one “bring people to the Lord’s path?” Three, what does “God is love” mean?

                      I await your instruction. I thank you in advance for your insights.

                      One other matter: who’s throwing stones?

                      Regards,

                      Chuck Wilson
                      ARPTalk

                       
                    • jodie smulzer says:

                      i have to reply here because for some reason there is not a reply link on your latest comment…

                      before I answer those questions, you tell me how Erskine should address homosexuality from a biblical point of view? since they don’t know how to do it, give a recommendation of how you would do it…

                      and what I mean with the Lord’s path and bring people to the Lord’s path is by for example:
                      when people are committing sins , when they have an opportunity to go to church and meet God, they get a chance to give their lives to God, repent and start over and start living on the Lord’s path… but if the church did not allow sinners in, how would they be able to know more about God? the church needs to keep it’s doors open to these people to try to save them… they are already at a door to hell… the church can help them find the door to heaven…

                      I am offended that you ask what “God is love means”…. God teaches us to love and not judge for he is the one to judge us….

                      and I believe there is a passage in the Bible that says “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7… WHICH MEANS he who is free of sin can judge others, but NO ONE is free of SIN, so no one can Judge! only GOD!

                      I WOULD REALLY BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE OF YOUR “BIBLICAL KNOWLEDGE” would know all of this… no one is throwing stones… it is a teaching in the bible…

                       
                    • Dear Ms. Jodie Smulzer,

                      In another life, I spent hours grading the papers of 18-20 year old students. I know more than a little about writing styles.

                      I don’t know who you are, but you are a fraud. You are not the “mother of students” at Erskine. A number of things have betrayed you – especially, the manner in which you write.

                      I don’t countenance fools well. You are not entitled to post on ARPTalk. Your mama didn’t raise you well.

                      You are no longer permitted to post on ARPTalk.

                      If I have judged you wrongly, you may call me at 864.882.6337. We can talk.

                      Regards,

                      Chuck Wilson

                       
  9. Christine Jackson says:

    Your article has certainly inspired this reader to do a lot of thinking about the church, homosexuality, and other social issues.

    I did come up with some questions for you, as I myself am not of the ARP church and have limited access to information about the church.

    I see on http://arpchurch.org/what-we-believe/ that the religion states: “The position of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church on Scripture is that the Bible alone, being God breathed, is the word of God written, infallible in all that it teaches, and inerrant in the original manuscripts.
    (Minutes of the General Synod, 2008, p. 514)”

    The ARP church sees passages in the bible that condemn homosexuality and consider it sinful. These passages are considered infallible and inerrant, so the church takes this stance on homosexuality.

    My question to you is, what about other issues on which the bible takes a certain stance; however, modern society and laws differ?

    For example, on the subject of divorce, I read Matthew 19:3-9. Are divorce and/or remarriage seen as sinful in your church if not initiated because of sexual immortality? What are the penalties for divorce? Are those individuals allowed to be practicing members of the church?

    On the subject of women, I did read the http://arpsynod.org/downloads/Women%20In%20the%20Church.pdf which outlines the church’s beliefs of a woman’s role in the church; however, I cannot find anything that discusses the church’s beliefs of a woman’s role outside of the church. Do you believe women should be allowed to be teachers or administrators in school? What about politicians?

    On the subject of servants/slavery, I see Exodus 21 (the laws concerning servants and violence). What is the church’s view of this? Since it was permitted in the bible, and the bible is infallible and inerrant, is it considered acceptable?

    I could not find information about these topics on the church’s website. If you could point me in the right direction, that would be appreciated. And, IF the church does not take a written or firm stance on these issues, why does it with other issues (such as homosexuality)? If the bible is truly inerrant, infallible, and to be followed 100%, shouldn’t that apply to all of its teachings?

     
    • Dear Ms. Christine Jackson,

      Thank you for your comments.

      I see you are new to ARPTalk. Welcome! Are you an Erskine student? If you comment again (and I hope you do), please, tell us a little about yourself. I see you’re not an ARP. What brings you to ARPTalk? If you’re commenting on ARPTalk, you had to look for us. We’re not well known.

      I like your long, chatty comments and questions. I see you too have experienced frustration with the ARP Church site. Indeed, it can be daunting to find information there.

      Let me help you. I think you can find the answers to most of your questions at http://arpchurch.org/position-statements/.

      If that doesn’t work, let me know.

      BTW, thank you for informing me that my “article has certainly inspired [you] to do a lot of thinking about the church, homosexuality, and other social issues.” There’s a passage in Isaiah that begins “Come, let us reason together.”

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
      • Dear Ms. Christine Jackson,

        Well, I just tried the link I gave you. It wasn’t helpful. I don’t know why it has to be so difficult.

        Let’s try this: http://arpchurch.org/, then, at the top of the page under the masthead, look for “About” and click, then look for “What We Believe” and click, then look for “Position Statements” and click, then you have it.

        Sorry about the inconvenience.

        Regards,

        Chuck Wilson
        ARPTalk

         
        • Christine Jackson says:

          Good evening,

          Thanks for your response.

          In response to your question about how I found this website, I am a relative of an Erskine student.

          I tried your instructions above, but I only see position statements on the definition of Evangelical, Abortion, Homosexuality, Scripture, Women in the Life of the Church, Historicity of Adam, and Marriage. I don’t see anything related to divorce/remarriage, the role of women outside the church, or servants/slavery. Am I looking in the right place, or might there be another resource I can use?

          I guess my main question here is, do you believe that the ARP church bases its beliefs around the bible 100% of the time? One of the things I found most frustrating about the religious environment in which I was raised (Christian, but not in the ARP church) was the willingness to bend on certain issues, but to remain firm on others. If all sins are truly equal in God’s eyes, how can we as men and women decide what sins we will and won’t tolerate?

          Again, not raised in the ARP church and thus am unsure of some of the beliefs here – which is why I’m looking to get more information and clarification.

          Thanks for the conversation.

           
          • Dear Ms. Christine Jackson,

            Thank you for your comments and questions.

            Well, I see you got through. I had to get help in the navigation.

            You are correct. Those are our “Position Statements.” These are the questions which have been brought before our General Synod for a clear statement of what we believe.

            On divorce, look again. It’s there somewhere. I know; I was present when we passed it in the 70s.

            On the role of women outside the church or slaves/servants, I don’t think we have discussed those topics. They have never come up for discussion. I’m not sure what you’re asking.

            Let me attempt to address your main question: “do you believe that the ARP church bases its beliefs around the bible 100% of the time?” Well, of course, I do (though the “100% of the time” is problematic for sinners such as we are). (When I pray for forgiveness I often have to ask for forgiveness of my repentance because I’m so proud of my good prayer.) The language we use is this: “Do you reaffirm your belief in the Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of the living God, the only perfect rule of faith and practice, to which nothing is to be added and from which nothing is to taken at any time or upon any pretext?” and “Do you accept the doctrines of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechism, as founded on the Word of God and the expression of your own faith, and do you resolve to adhere thereto?” (two of the ordination vows).

            What you have been so keen to see are our inconsistencies. Too often we major on minor issues and minor on major issues. Too often our theology is better than or practice. The church is often like Noah’s ark. The only other place is outside in the flood.

            With regard to your observation about sins: all sins are equally heinous in the sight of God and justly deserving of displeasure and wrath. To say otherwise is both unwise and a corruption of the teaching of the Bible.

            If you look to us in the ARP Church to be perfect in what we say and how we live, we will disappoint you. If you look to us as pilgrims who are struggling to obey, you will find us true.

            Thanks for the conversation. Thanks for the questions. You are always welcome as a fellow pilgrim.

            Regards,

            Chuck Wilson
            ARPTalk

             
  10. Jon Gillespie says:

    Preface: I am not worthy to comment here. Guess I will be in good company.

    Dear Chuck,

    You are STUPID and BOORISH.

    Your repetitive and obnoxious habit of quoting unpopular scriptural truths is well to say the least BORING. You should trust your feelings more.(Like Jesus did.) (Yes, I know, Jesus also quoted scripture.)
    I feel, the prevailing belief in society that sinners must be accepted at all times and in all places, is a good thing. I mean young Christians don’t need a sanctuary to grow and strengthen their faith and knowledge, before being thrown into the furnace. I feel its more important to let young practicing and proud sinners come in and help shape the young precious minds of the faithful few. I mean TV, movies, radio, magazines, utube, facebook, twitter, Hulu, secular news, friends, Islam, CNN, Democrat party, and Satan et al need help to spread the word that homosexuality and sin in general, is normal and good. I think there maybe a scripture saying that! Its the one about seasons.

    From your writings there appears to be a vacuum in the mind shaping department at Erskine and some young proud sinners could help fill that vacuum. (Oh. Yeah. that is what you were writing about not the other. Oops.) I feel its wrong to lock up the Christian youth and fill their heads with unpopular Christian morals and teachings. I feel that your institution of higher learning should be THE ARP outreach to the sinners of the world.
    I mean you ARPs don’t have any other out reaches, Do you?
    You don’t have your students reach out to the world in any other ways, Do you?

    Also, Anyone that risks confronting the Erskine Board and the of the homosexual elitist community & allies, can not be smart , by that I mean must be stupid. (Even the mention of word is risking wrath.)

    I feel maybe you were right in not voicing your feelings and thereby Assuming your feeling were on the same level and importance of Jesus’ feelings and opinions. You are not God.

    For you to share your feeling would be wrong, I mean these other people have a right to express their feelings. They are obviously responding with EVERYONES best interest at heart, love for there fellow men, & no axes to grind. And I feel that your feelings are probably slanted by ALL the scriptures and by your scholarly approach to Christianity with rigid adherence to Biblical commands. So you should just SHUT UP and be more considerate to those that know their verse. In short, don’t be bringing knowledge and a faithful direction to this conversation.

    I am not well versed in the Bible but did Jesus EVER rebuke a sinner?
    Did Jesus refuse to directly answer the baited questions of the elite of His era?
    Does scripture say anything of proper timing of activities?
    Does scripture say anything about ducking the unpleasant things you know are just and should be done?

    Someday SomeONE will probably say to you, “Well done …”, but not me.
    I am a coward and am not strong enough to stand up to society’s condemnation and persecution that is surly headed your way. Maybe its because I never had a safe haven with Biblical teaching to grow in. OR Maybe its because I choose to be a fool and not obey what I know my Lord and Savior would have me do. You know whats said about fools. (Oh, maybe you were not stupid.)

    I will pray for you and your friend Sancho, May God bless you,
    Jon

    PS to the readers,
    Please excuse my attempt at humor above. The Lord does Love you and is waiting to receive you.
    I and all Christians are flawed.

    For instruction to reach God, see selected verses of the New Testament. For knowledge read the whole book, then the Old One.

    Although I have never met Chuck, He a good and intelligent, scholarly Christian.

    If you find your self disagreeing with him:
    Step 1. Shut your mouth, to protect your reputation, and not embarrass your self.
    Step 2. Re-evaluate your position by thoughtful and prayerful studying.
    Step 3.
    If you still think he is wrong seek a good Christian consul, then repeat the above.
    (Chuck has studied the subject and is almost always correct.) {Yes that truly is a little boorish:-)}

     
  11. Chase M. Henry says:

    Charles,
    How would you address this problem? if you were president at Erskine College, what would you do about this ? if you cannot come up with a solution, then stop criticizing Erskine College.

    -Chase Henry

     
    • Dear Mr. Chase Henry,

      Thank you for your comments.

      I have been waiting for someone to ask the questions you asked. Too bad our conversation is so deep in the “Comments” of an article which has been up for a month and now has little traffic. Nevertheless, you have asked fair questions, and I will answer them. I will tell you what I would do.

      First, there needs to be clarification. I think you are asking about homosexuality. The points I made in this article actually address all sexual activities prohibited by the Scriptures. For the Christian, apart from Biblical guidelines, all sexual activities counter to Biblical directives are “sin.” Now, of course, this runs counter to the thinking of our culture which allows one to do what one pleases. However, the person who is a Christian is one who has taken on himself faith in One whose teachings and life always run countercultural to the prevailing cultures of people who attempt to live life according to the parameters of their making. Faith in Christ acknowledges and submits to Christ’s Lordship over one’s life. One who says he believes in Jesus and rejects the “Thou shalt nots” of the Scriptures rejects the Lordship of Jesus and deludes himself with a false-faith in Jesus.

      So, if I were president of Erskine, what would I do?

      I would begin by framing a Biblical definition of “Christian.” I would get rid of the mealy-mouthed definition which is presently used – a form of godliness that denies the power of God. The manner in which administrators presently define “Christian” doesn’t have the power to save or transform anyone. It only expects people to be nice – whatever that is!

      I would get out of my office and into the dorms and amongst the students. To use Biblical language, I would do the work of an evangelist. I would expand the office of chaplain (personnel). I would expect the people in the office of chaplain and the folks who work in students’ services to follow my lead. Indeed, the business of evangelism and the living of the Christian faith would be taken seriously.

      Next, if I were president of Erskine, I would change how students are recruited. Since Erskine is a Christian college, I would expect a prospective student to give evidence of Christian faith in an essay on why he wanted to attend Erskine. If the student can’t do this, he needs to attend another college.

      I would also institute many other changes; however, these make for a good start.

      By the way, don’t think my emphasis on the spiritual means I’m not an academic bear. I would emphasize both a robust academic program and faithful Christian morality. And wasn’t this the original mission of Erskine?

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
      • Dear Mr. Chase Henry,

        Your last comment was received. It will not be posted.

        The e-mail address you gave as yours is chasehenry1972@gmail.com. I tried e-mailing you twice. Both times the e-mail came back as invalid.

        You are commenting anonymously. You are a fraud and coward. Your conversation with me is now ended. I don’t countenance supercilious and pusillanimous fools, and you are a member of that tribe of nincompoops.

        Cheers,

        Chuck Wilson
        ARPTalk

         
  12. William Epps says:

    I am an Erskine graduate, gay and a Christian. I met my partner while attending Erskine and we have been together over 25 years. While we were students there were at least 8 other gay men in the same dorm.

    Yes, Erskine has gay students and most profess to be Christians. I know Jesus in my Savior and died for my sins. I am very comfortable with my sexuality and so is the Presbyterian Church I attend and I am an elder.

    My God does not judge. My God accepts me as I am. It is time the faculty and staff address the social changes of the society and stop sheltering our young people.

     
    • Dear Mr. William Epps,

      Thanks for the comments.

      Clearly, my God, is not your god or the God of the apostate Presbyterian Church you attend. Thanks for affirming many of the things I have been saying.

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
      • William Epps says:

        Thanks for confirming something I have always thought about you. My God sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross. Jesus Christ is my savior. Jesus Christ is my guide in everything I do. Since you believe we have a different God then you need to search your sole and find salvation and follow the principals of that Jesus taught while on earth.

        My God has also taught me to not judge the salvation of others. I regret that you feel we have a different God. How can your profess to be a Christian and not worship the same God as I do. You appear to be a false profit if we have a different God.

         
        • Dear Mr. William Epps,

          Thanks for the comments.

          William, I’m glad your thoughts about me have been confirmed. I was unaware there were doubts.

          I have a question for you, William: how is a declarative sentence stating the obvious an act whereby I judge you? Of course, my God is different from your god. We have different religions. The nomenclature is similar, but our words have very different meanings. Therefore, William, I see no need to quote anything from the Bible or refer you to anything from the Bible. You are not able to comprehend it. The Jesus you serve is a concoction of your making and not the great God and Savior of the Bible.

          I don’t need to search my “sole” (you meant “soul”), but I do often search my heart (emotions) and mind (will) as the Scriptures enjoin.

          In that I recognize my belief system and your belief system are opposites and incompatible doesn’t mean I’m a false “profit” (and you meant “prophet”), William, it means I’m capable of critical thinking.

          Regards,

          Chuck Wilson

           
  13. […] says members of the conservative Christian community likely pressured the college to adopt the new […]

     
  14. Man up and come out. says:

    Criticism of these two courageous young men from you, Mr Wilson, a man who presents himself in a pretty in pink outfit that can be seen from space, is laughable though unsurprising. Oh, and the textbook fondling of the Freudian phallic symbol is a great touch. (Yes, I see the ring in the picture. Senator Larry “wide stance” Craig is married too. Though you seem more in the vein of your fellow South Carolinian, Senator Lindsay Graham. Perhaps you’ve encountered him, somewhere.)

    You’re southern gothic come to life; playing out a Tennessee Williams conflict decades after our country, even your own state, has moved on. If you can’t find the courage to come out, don’t take your own inner-conflict out on strangers. It’s the least you can do.

    These college students have the fortitude you could never find in yourself. It would make me sad for you, but compassion is hard to muster for someone who withholds it from strangers who challenge his own fragile web of deceit and self-deception. May God have mercy (yes, I am an every Sunday, lifelong Christian, so is my husband of 15 years) on you, and may His judgment be kinder to you than you have been those whose only transgression is making you uncomfortable with yourself.

     
  15. Chuck Wilson says:

    Dear Anonymous,

    I hate anonymous posts. A person who is too cowardly to post his name, is not worthy of acknowledgment or response.

    However, that the saying might come to pass: it is better to be quiet and thought a fool, than to comment and remove all doubt.

    Regards,

    Chuck Wilson
    ARPTalk

     
  16. Chikexyz says:

    If Erskine College wants to remain a legitimate Christian College where students go to school and learn to be educated, learned Christians, where young people train to be future pastors and church leaders they better valiantly attack this homosexual leakage seeping underneath their gates. If not it will turn into a tremendous flood and simply break the gate down. From what I have been reading from these comments the gate has already been weakened. No man can unrepentantly entertain sin and follow Jesus at the same time. You can’t please both Christ and the world you have to choose between the two whose path you will follow.
    13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

    http://chikexyz.blogspot.com/2014/10/popular-medias-role-in-same-sex-marriage.html

    http://chikexyz.blogspot.com/2013/08/americas-stance-against-god.html

    http://chikexyz.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-son-of-man.html

     
  17. Michael Rebholz says:

    unsurprisingly I’m not a Christian. I was directed here through a Godless liberal website but I have a question. This is not a gotcha question. My parents are Christian and I love them dearly, and when I ask why they don’t believe that men should eat shellfish, or wear blended fabrics, or adulteresses should be stones to death they say that is Old Testament law and we’re not bound to it. Jesus came to give us a new covenant which can be found in the New Testament. Yet when there are social practices they don’t like they will quickly refer to Romans or Corinthians etc.? so what is the deal? do you follow the Old Testament or not? Thanks to anyone who takes the time t answer my question, and have a good or blessed day all the same

     
    • Chuck Wilson says:

      Dear Michael Rebholz,

      Thank you for your comment and question.

      I like you. You seem be a thoughtful young person.

      I have put time to my response.

      First, let me refer you to the article above this one: “A Biblical Response to Homosexuality” http://www.arptalk.org/2014/04/10/a-biblical-response-to-homosexuality/).

      Next, the question you ask deals with the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament. And, yes, there are differences. In the Old Testament, the kingdom of God was a theocratic state. From Exodus 20 to the end of Deuteronomy, the religious and political boundaries are set forth for the citizens of the Hebrew kingdom. In that setting (and it is unlike ours), the religious and political aspects of life are intertwined into one. The points you make about eating shellfish, wearing blended clothes, and stoning (for adultery,homosexual practice, etc) were regulated as a part of the fabric of a religio-political kingdom. Laws were not established by the governed; rather, laws were given by God to be received, believed, and enforced by the Hebrew people. In secular America, we think that is odious; however, the Hebrews rejoiced in their law as God’s law (see Psalm 119; Deuteronomy 4.8; and Deuteronomy 30.11-29).

      The question regarding homosexuality is not really a question about homosexuality but our sexuality as a gift from God and regulated by God. Before the giving of the Old Testament law (Exodus 20 – Deuteronomy), the story of creation (and, particularly, the creation of mankind) is framed in the early chapters of Genesis. According to the Bible, mankind is not an accident. Man was created by God. God created mankind male and female. God established the relation of sex for man and woman for procreation and love — that is, the boundaries of the family. Whether one looks at the Old Testament or the New Testament, the sexual boundaries of man and woman are universally seen according to the creation account.

      In the New Testament, the relationship between God and mankind is not seen as a particular theocratic nation with land boundaries (Palestine) but worldwide (that is, to every tribe and tongue and kindred and nation [Rev. 7.9]). Therefore, the regulations for a particular nation are not transferable to the New Testament in a one-to-one relationship.

      But with matters regarding sexual relationships, since that is before the theocratic kingdom, they are creational and universal. This is clearly seen in Jesus’ teachings on marriage and the family. Jesus definitely affirmed the teaching of Genesis as normative for all people (Matthew 19.4-6). Now, whether Jesus’ teaching is affirmed or rejected, the teaching is clear.

      The prohibitions of which you speak in Romans and 1 Corinthians are IN the New Testament, and there is NO conflict between what Jesus teaches and what Paul teaches. Indeed, you mention the “new covenant,” and the parameters of that new covenant are most clearly delineated by Paul and the author of Hebrews.

      Finally, you ask if I follow the Old Testament or the New Testament. I am not trying to be cute, but the answer is YES.

      A final question: why do you care what a Christian believes? Once again, I am not being cute. I find yout curiosity refreshing. Most secular people bash evangelical Christian for their belief system.

      I hope this is helpful. If you have more questions, I will try to answer them (but please give them to me one at a time). If you would like to speak with me, my phone numbers 864-882-6337. I would be delighted to speak with you — as long as you want.

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
      • Michael says:

        Thanks for the response. I care what Christians believe because I live in a Christian part of the world. I mentioned my parents, and while most of my friends are also atheists, some are Christian but they are usually unable to answer my questions. They believe what they believe without a whole lot of deeper thought on the matter. I grew up in church but lost faith at a very early age, maybe 10 or so. I was more interested in space and am now an astronomy major in college. I could not imagine a God that we humans were replicates of. So God as some sort of a sky-father was a bridge too far for me. Genesis was always unreadable since I knew exactly how our sun was made and it wasn’t done in a blink, but I know many Christians are not biblical literalists. However, I have met few that didn’t believe in a physical hell, and the idea was always odious to myself. I never understood why God would send his messenger to one small part of the world and then expect every culture to fall in line. There’s a comical re-imagination of the first Portuguese missionaries to arrive in China. The Chinese who had already followed an atheistic philosophy for thousands of years greeted them, and the missionaries said “good news, the messiah has come”, and they say “what’s a messiah?” he goes on to tell them all about the Old Testament and they say “very nice story, we have fairytales too…would you like to buy some silk?” Point being with all that we know about sociology and the power of culture I could never believe in something that would punish people so brutally for being unable to overcome it. I find it a remarkable coincidence that what everyone in the world believes is the “truth” almost always doubles as the social norm. Again thanks for the answer. I at least understand where the antagonism is coming from now. I believe the relations between secular and religious has become far too toxic

         
        • Michael says:

          I’m not listing my hurdles to faith to be snide or backhand your faith. I only bring them up to tell you my position is intractable. I spend most of my days thinking about the big questions in life, and I know if I ever came around to Christianity it would be out of fear, not belief. So while I appreciate your answer and know you, like my parents, have a duty to try and save my soul, I just didn’t want you to waste your time. I believe you’re wrong. I also hope you’re wrong or else I am going to have an incredibly s****y afterlife.

           
          • Chuck Wilson says:

            Dear Michael Rebholz,

            Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I like you. I really do.

            In the congregations I have pastored and the friends I have made, I have been blessed with university professors (in engineering, mathematic, and biology), surgeons (one of national reputation), and lawyers (and, please, forgive if I like lawyers; they are trained to think and debate). I like these people. They have challenged me and made me think.

            I have spoken with men who have taught me the wonders of the immensity of space and the incredible complexity of the cell and atom. I have sat and been in awe of a man and a women who spoke of math in tones of devotion. I have talked with an OB/GYN and an expert in genetics who expanded for me the parameters of the words of the Bible which say we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I have listen to a renown surgeon speak of the body as near incredible and his trade of healing as worship. I have been left speechless as I listen to a brain specialist describe the wonders and workings of the brain in terms of magic.

            I’m not an anti-intellectualist. I have earned four degrees. I have been forced to read a book or two (though I’m not an expert in much of anything).

            Over the years, I have found that many people who poo-poo the Bible do so because they have not read it (or read it in a cherrypicking manner).

            As an astronomer and one who is in awe of space, did you know that many of the Biblical writers are also in awe of the wonders of space and earth?

            Augustine, an early churchman, apologist, and philosopher wrote the following when met with the vastness and complexity of creation and the human soul: “I believe in order to understand.”

            “I believe in order to understand” is not a simplistic statement. Evangelical faith is not an abandonment of reality; it embraces reality.

            Notwithstanding the alloyed efforts of the Portuguese missionaries to China which were probably more about “gold and glory,” the truth or failure of the Christian faith is not established or disproved by their failures. No doubt the Christian faith has been abused. What hasn’t? And do you know these words by Melville, “…and Heaven have mercy on us all – Presbyterians and Pagans alike – for we are all somehow dreadfully cracked about the head, and sadly need mending”?

            BTW, I’m not attempting to convert you. I don’t have that power. It’s above my pay grade. However, I am asking you to consider Augustine maxim: “I believe in order to understand.” The wonders that you look at through the telescope might take on new wonderment.

            Michael, my invitation to you to speak with me still stands. I would love to talk with you: 864.882.6337. I like to make new friends. I consider you a new friend if you will permit it.

            Once again, thank you.

            Regards,

            Chuck Wilson
            ARPTalk

             
            • Michael Rebholz says:

              I apologize. I didn’t mean to make it sound my barriers to faith were due to my being intellectual. I have plenty of religious friends who are incredibly intellectual. I have a classmate who puts me to shame in the realm of physics who is a devout Hindu. I also have a friend who is a high school biology teacher and an evangelical Christian. Being a science guy one of my favorite quotes comes from Werner Heisenberg, the father of Quantum Mechanics. He spent much of his later life trying to reconcile science and religion and he said “the first gulp of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting”. I find this is becoming true. I can explain the mechanics of the Big Bang and cosmic inflation but I cannot tell you why they happened. I don’t believe I’ll ever follow a doctrine or a specific religion but I do not believe a belief in God to be as silly as I once thought it was. I didn’t mean the Portuguese abused the faith. To the contrary, they did exactly what you should do if you believe in a universal faith like Christianity. I was just pointing out that people choose their faith through sociology. Even the 5-10% who buck the system and convert to a minority faith are still following consistent parameters. I believe my Hindu friend “feels” God as deeply as my evangelical friend does, and it could be new agey and very PC of me but I just tend to believe they are both right or wrong. I do find it amusing that my real militant atheist friends always seem to get in real vitriolic shouting matches with religious people and I always have pleasant conversations that are still based in disagreement. I also find it funny that a lot of the people on here to “defend” gay people are saying really discriminatory things about you. I appreciate your offer and you never know; as I said before life can be painful and over way too quickly. I could have an epiphany one night and remember you offered your number.

               
              • Chuck Wilson says:

                Dear Michael Rebholz,

                Thanks for getting back to me. I was wondering if you were going to reply. I was fearful that I had offended you, and that would have made me sad. I like you, and I like our conversations.

                First, let me apologize to you for my tardiness in replying to you. My new IMac crashed. I didn’t know a Mac hard drive would die. Mine came from the factory with a defect. Obviously, the computer is repaired, but it took some time.

                I have never found the Bible and science to be incompatible. Are there challenging matters? Yes, of course! But, in the end, I have not found the Bible and science incompatible. I operate on the principle of “all truth is God’s truth.” The problem that arises is that sometimes that which is put forward as “truth” is not “truth.” Historically, the Christian faith has not been the enemy of science. Ignorance in the name of theology or science has been the enemy of both theology and science. Indeed, Christian faith is not frighten by inquiry. I think of the Biblical injunction of “Come, and let us reason together” (and though the invitation of Isaiah 1.18 does not involve the matter we’re discussing, the principle still stands).

                Your reference to sociology is flawed. Though raised in a religious family, I was a skeptic. Actually, I was a crazy-maker, and early on I discovered “Why?” was a great way to create chaos. Some of the wonderful people who taught me and were patient with me are still alive are still on nerve pills. My daddy was certain I was going “to bust hell wide open.”

                Michael, Christianity is not about God in a generic way. Christianity is about the God who reveals/shows Himself in the pages of the Bible. The problem with many “seekers after God” is they look in the wrong places to find Him, and, if you look for something in the wrong place, you’ll never find what you’re looking for. In your inquiry, I invite you to read the Bible — not cherrypick it or read about it or take what I say about it. Read the Bible and see if it rings of truth. Read the Bible and see what the Bible says about Jesus. Read the Bible and see what it says about mankind. Yes, read the Bible and see what it says about sin

                I have observed that, if people read the Bible, they reject it not because they find it implausible but because it condemns and rebukes sins. The Bible does a damnable thing: it tells me that I am not the measure of the universe or even my existence. The Bible informs us that God is “bigger” than we are and there’s not a thing we can do to make Him less than we are. If we reject Him, all that is left for us to do is shake our fist at Him in frustration!

                Once again, I like you. Call me — day or night. You will find a listening ear and a friend.

                Regards,

                Chuck Wilson
                ARPTalk

                 
  18. Nonee Friend says:

    Please tell me EXACTLY what Jesus said about homosexuality.
    Hmmmm, that’s what I thought. He said NOTHING.

    Oh, and BTW, that man in the pink jacket is just about the queerest thing I have ever seen in my life!! Jus’ sayin’…

     
    • Chuck Wilson says:

      Dear Nonee Friend,

      Thank you for your comment.

      We South Carolinians love pink. My wife of 43 years bought that outfit for me for Easter last year. It’s kinda of a Charleston thing, though it did scandalize my five children a bit.

      BTW, Nonee, did anyone love you enough to buy you something nice for Easter last year? You know, jus’ sayin’! (-:

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
  19. Ryan says:

    I sure hope that, in following the teachings of the Bible, Eskrine College will now also require all to abstain from eating shrimp, lobster or any other shell fish, as prescribed in the Old Testament. Can you confirm this, please?
    And one more question: As Eskrine is a Christian college bound to follow the teachings of Christ, can you point me towards a scriptural passage where Christ himself actually teaches about the ills of homosexuality?

     
    • Chuck Wilson says:

      Dear Ryan,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Oh, please, don’t be silly, Ryan. You are ignorant about the Bible.

      No, Jesus did not say anything specifically about homosexuality; however, that being said, He had a great deal to say about sex and marriage.

      Regards,

      Chuck Wilson
      ARPTalk

       
  20. […] is clearly reacting to vigour from a organisation of regressive Christians who have been pressuring a propagandize to exterminate happy people from a campus. Erskine College is compared with a Associate Reformed Presbyterian […]

     
  21. Juan Varona, Gay Erskine College Athlete: 'They Told Me It Wasn't a Big Deal' – Sports nSite says:

    […] this article suggests, there was pressure on the school at the time to clarify its stance on […]

     

Leave a Reply (Please note: Anonynomous Comments Are Not Posted)