Three activists for the pro-homosexual organization Soulforce have been arrested for trespassing at a Christian university after officials there rejected requests to “dialogue” over the issue, saying, “We cannot come to God on our own terms.”
“God requires us to come to Him on His terms,” said a statement released yesterday by officials at Bob Jones University. “We must see our sinful actions and attitudes as God sees them. Through Christ’s death, which satisfies God’s anger over sin, sinners who come to Christ in repentance are made righteous and given eternal life. A true believer will then demonstrate his belief by obedience to the Bible.”
So what about the “conversations” or “dialogue” sought by members of the “Soulforce Equality Riders” bus teams to talk about the university policies forbidding homosexuality.
“Since the Scripture says clearly that homosexuality is a sin, BJU policies forbid homosexuality. We do not single out homosexuality in our policies, however, but address all forms of sexual expression prohibited by Scripture, including lewdness, sensual behavior, adultery, pornography, and sexual perversion of any kind,” the school said. “We can’t grant open forums and discussions to a group whose expressed purpose is to undermine the clear teachings of Jesus Christ.”
The “Soulforce Equality Riders” several weeks ago launched teams in two buses with directions to head to several dozen Christian colleges and “address” the “discriminatory” policies on those campuses.
Officials at Bob Jones, however, said they would, when the group arrived uninvited yesterday, politely disinvite them to the campus.
“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 before the visit.
A reader who had 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 at the school said they and the students tried to “demonstrate Christlike love and compassion.”
“The most loving thing we can do is to call sin what it is – sin – and to give those involved in homosexuality the hope which Scripture gives them that the Gospel of Christ can cleanse a person’s sins and deliver him from homosexuality. Our students, faculty, and staff have been praying for Soulforce members by name for days,” officials said.
When the homosexual activists arrived, school officials said they were informed they would not be allowed on campus.
“When each protester crossed the perimeter, BJU asked them to leave. After giving them adequate time, we told them to leave. Again following an appropriate period of time, a BJU Public Safety officer ordered them to leave. When they refused the third request, we had no choice but to ask law enforcement to enforce the law,” the school said.
There also were some counter-protesters on hand. “Some people in our community feel very burdened to give the Gospel one-on-one to the Soulforce members. We assume some came to do that … while others may have come to protest the group’s social agenda,” the school said. But those individuals and groups operated without sanction from the school
“BJU is pleased that we were able to defend the authority of Scripture … demonstrate Christ-like love and compassion … and present a clear Gospel message,” the school said.
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.”
Earlier, the school said its goal is to strengthen students’ belief in the Bible, “not to undermine their faith.” It does not back away from controversy, but also does not treat every idea as equally valid, officials 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.”
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.
There have been several arrests at previous protests staged by Soulforce, while some schools have scheduled meetings with the pro-homosexual advocates.
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, and 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.”