A team of homosexual activists whose goal is to “dialogue” with Christian colleges about changing their beliefs regarding the “gay” lifestyle is coming to Bob Jones University, but campus officials already have made plans to, very politely, disinvite them from campus.
The “Soulforce Equality Riders” several weeks ago launched teams in two buses with directions to head to several dozen Christian colleges and “address discriminatory” policies on those campuses.
However, officials at Bob Jones University, a leader in Christian education as well as publishing and ministry, say there’s no point in meeting with the group, scheduled to arrive tomorrow.
“As Bible-believing Christians, our faith and practice is based on Scripture which speaks consistently on the subject of sexual expression in many passages through both the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, Soulforce’s ultimate disagreement is not with BJU or any other institution that holds to the Scriptural position, but with Scripture itself,” BJU said in a position statement on the pending visit.
“BJU does not single out homosexuals in its policies, but follows the Bible’s teaching on the whole matter of sexual expression. Scripture specifically prohibits lewdness, fornication, adultery, homosexuality and any other sexual expression outside of marriage between one man and one woman. BJU’s desire is to develop Christlikeness in our students and to teach them to base life’s choices on God’s Word. Achieving those goals requires that BJU policies align with Scriptural teaching. Therefore, BJU policies prohibit any form of sexual activity outside of Scripture’s boundaries (or marriage between one man and one woman). Each year our students voluntarily sign a statement that they will conform with these policies,” the school said.
A reader who contacted WND about the pro-homosexual campaign being staged by the bus teams said the lack of news coverage on the first few visits, at various Christian colleges in Iowa, California and other locations, is part of the problem.
“I’m sure most of the media would be okay with Soulforce wanting to visit and push their agenda on the school, but if it was a group of Christians going onto campuses pushing Christ on people that would be viewed as harassment,” he wrote.
Officials with Soulforce’s Equality Ride said during an earlier visit to Pepperdine that its “discriminatory doctrines and policies” actually “harm LGBT individuals on campus.”
Organizers claim that although their goal is to “end religion-based discrimination against LGBT students on Christian campuses,” they have “endured” police escorts, bus vandalisms and “being held in jail for over 24 hours” – “all for attempting peaceful dialogue regarding the wellbeing of LGBT students on these campuses.”
But BJU said, that there is no point in such “discussion.”
“Given our belief that the teaching of the Scripture on this subject is clear and our sense of responsibility to our students and their parents, we could not participate in any such discussions or allow any access to our campus or student body,” the school said.
“Parents entrust their young people to BJU with the expectation that they will be taught God’s Word and a Bible-based lifestyle. We cannot allow a group antithetical to the expectations of parents or to the clear teaching of Scripture to come onto our campus with the expressed purpose of undermining Scripture.
“BJU’s desire is to strengthen students’ belief in the Word of God, not to undermine their faith. BJU does not back away from discussing controversial ideas; however, we do not treat every idea as equally valid. We teach our students to evaluate all ideas by God’s Word,” the school said.
BJU said Soulforce is arriving without invitation under the “pretense” of wanting dialogue. “However, their stated objectives in correspondence and on their website center only on acceptance of the GLBT lifestyle and on changing policies at targeted schools… It is clear their goal is not dialogue, but one-sided arguments aimed at changing our policies.”
“BJU did not initiate this encounter with Soulforce. However, the Soulforce visit gives us the opportunity to present what Scripture teaches on the issue of sexual expression, to demonstrate a Christlike spirit in our response, and to state again the good news of the gospel of Christ. Our approach will be a clear and dignified statement of our position without inflammatory words or tone. Our student body has prayed for these individual riders by name, and if opportunity presents itself, we are prepared to tangibly demonstrate the love of Christ,” the school said.
“Scriptural teaching on homosexuality is consistent in the Old and New Testaments,” said Stephen Jones, BJU president, “The track record and stated goals of this group demonstrate that their objective is not to conduct two-way dialogue, but to pressure us to compromise our Biblical stand and change our policies.”
There have been several arrests at previous protests staged by Soulforce, while some schools have scheduled meetings with the pro-homosexual advocates.
Soulforce was founded in 1998 by Mel White and has targeted religious groups holding biblical policies on the issue of homosexuality with its protests over the years.
Soulforce said three of its protesters were arrested during a recent visit to University of the Cumberlands, where they were told they would not be allowed on campus.
Another 12 were arrested when they went to the office of Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, demanded that he apologize for his beliefs, and refused to leave.
“We are gathered here as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to demand that Albert Mohler openly recognize our right to life, love, and liberty,” the group said in a statement. “His voice is terribly misguided in believing that God does not affirm the identities of gay and transgender people. So, we call on him to take responsibility for his bigotry and the hurtful effects of his statements, and ask that he issue a public apology for having said them.”
The 12 protesters refused to leave when requested, and then refused to leave on instructions from police, so they were arrested.
Several also were arrested during last year’s campaign, on a visit to Liberty University.