Mar 21, 2014 | Comments 60
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?
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,
Charles W. Wilson
Psalm 81:14 (NKJV)
“The haters of the LORD would pretend submission to Him.”
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