Friday, October 12, 2018

Azusa Pacific University--Stumbling Toward Sodom?

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The Los Angeles Times is reporting that on the Christian campus of Azusa Pacific University, students and faculty are fighting for LGBTQ rights on campus.

One LGBTQ leader recently led the activists in prayer with this: "This isn't something sinful God. This is something beautiful..."

Who is teaching whom what is Truth?

The Los Angles Times story begins with this:

On a recent fall day, a group of protesters gathered in a university courtyard, many holding rainbow flags. About 100 students and faculty members were fighting for LGBTQ rights on campus.
The scene was unusual, though – in some ways radical – given that the location was Azusa Pacific University, a Christian college, and that the debate was over how God would view the issue of same-sex couples.
“This isn’t something sinful, God,” one student said, leading the emotional gathering. “This is something beautiful. I pray that we continue to live out the mission of being difference-makers, God, that this world be a place of equality, God.”

AZUSA decides to be "relevant."

In September "ZU Media," the "Student Voice of Azusa Pacific University" said, "Effective this fall semester, Azusa Pacific removed language from its student standard of conduct agreement that prohibited public LGBTQ+ relationships for students on campus."

"This change is a result of much dialogue between students and administration," they explained, adding "For years LGBTQ+ students at APU have run an underground support group called Haven."

Now they are announcing they will no longer be "underground" but out in public. They said, "We thought it was unfair to single out queer folks in same-sex relationships while it is impossible to enforce or monitor" whether other students are remaining abstinent."

They said, "Queer students are just as able to have romanticized relationships that abide by APU's rules," continuing, "This stigmatization causes harm to our community, especially those serious about their Christian faith."

Those "serious about their Christian faith" would be well served to pay attention to what God's Word says about their chosen behavior. He condemns their behavior.

What is the goal of the Christian university? Adherence to God's Word, or so-called "equality" and "inclusivity?"

The Associate Dean of Students Bill Fiala, Ph.D. said that as the board evaluated their code of conduct, they wanted to be attentive to equity. He said, "The language changed, but the spirit didn't. Our spirit is still a conservative, evangelical perspective on human sexuality."

The Left-leaning Christian Examiner joyfully quoted Fiala, "If you look at our mission, it's consistent with Christianity. Our values for the pilot program are inclusivity, love, bravery. Our goals are care, connection and conversation. These all seem like Christian values to me."

Well, this whole thing didn't seem like Christian values to a lot of other people.

Major pushback from alum, donors, parents of non-celebrated heterosexual students, etc. called on the board.

After the administration had said they would "bless same-sex romances---but sexual activity was out of bounds," the board of Trustees reversed that decision, claiming there was a "miscommunication" between the school and the board. But the school continues to dialog with an emboldened vocal minority.

One News Now spoke with Dr. Alex McFarland of Truth for a new Generation. He told them "Christian colleges would do well to remember what prompted their founding in the first place. Christian education is predicated on the belief that God and His Words are the starting place for knowledge and wisdom."

The LA Times mentioned other Christians colleges that have either dealt with this issue, or are also stumbling toward Sodom.

They note that Pepperdine University found itself in a lawsuit after they removed 2 girls from the basketball team because they were dating. This resulted in the girls losing their scholarships. A suit was filed against the school and the courts ruled that there was not enough evidence to determine that the university targeted the girls based on their sexual orientation.

The LA Times also mentions BIOLA University, an evangelical school in Southern California, that says it is committed to "engaging this conversation with courage, humility, prayerfulness, and care," adding, "We believe, in accordance with Scripture, we are all broken."

This issue is epidemic in Christian colleges and universities across the country.

What's happening at Azusa and elsewhere is a classic example of how the homosexual community incrementally invades the church, the culture, and the Truth.

Conservative author and speaker Rod Dreher wrote this in The American Conservative website last Saturday:
"They can tell themselves whatever they like about their 'spirit', but its self deception. This is how conservative institutions surrender; by giving up, then telling themselves (and their donors) that they haven't surrendered. Saving face is not the same as saving the institution's core values."

Our history of educational institutions, dating back to Harvard, our first college, is a history of devout Christians sacrificing to build and fund colleges, certainly to educate, but to also teach their children "God's Truth." As these colleges and universities have become secular, newer generations with the same convictions as Pastor John Harvard, have built new colleges and universities.

Are these colleges now also stumbling toward Sodom?

Martin Luther worried out loud: "I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth."

It appears it's time for another reformation in Christian education.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.