We are to take the gospel to the nations. We are to infiltrate this culture with the gospel of peace. We are to be salt and light in a world that is barren and dark. We are to take the gospel to the streets as it were and compel people to come into the kingdom. And yet, at some points, the culture war is being brought to us.
The Greenville News reports that “a gay-rights group is moving toward a possible showdown with Bob Jones University as it attempts to bring its message to the fundamentalist Christian school next month. It's part of a civil rights-style road trip called the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride, in which the Lynchburg, Va.-based group is visiting -- or attempting to visit -- 32 schools that the group says don't allow gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender students to enroll.” Implications are in order here.
First, in speaking of civil rights and comparing Soulforce to Martin Luther King among others, the media and/or political left once again only sows confusion in public debate. Christians above all others are concerned for religious and civil liberty. At issue here is the fact that a private institution has the right/liberty to exclude those who do not adhere to their worldview. Those who attempt to invade the campus without warrant are themselves guilty of destroying civil liberties, not to mention being guilty of trespassing.
Second, the Bob Jones University community “is praying for each of the riders by name and making plans ‘to demonstrate the love of Christ in tangible ways’ to the group, according to a statement released by the university.” Here is an example we Christians can follow as we seek to win the culture war in which God has placed us.
Third, while one of the goals of the homosexual activist group is to foster dialogue with Christians concerning the homosexual agenda, Dr. Stephen Jones, President of the University, noted that dialogue is not possible concerning an issue that has already been settled by Scripture. This too is an example to follow in that sharing the love of Christ in tangible ways does not mean setting the Scriptures aside when it comes to the sinfulness of homosexuality.
Fourth, with their claims to non-violence and desire for peaceful dialogue, it must be pointed out that numerous members of Soulforce have been arrested for covertly trespassing and causing disturbance on more than one private campus. Christian institutions have not been the ones to take a fight to the homosexual community. On the contrary, these activists are bringing the fight to us, and, in many cases, are not playing by the rules. Yet, we must continue to play by the rules for the glory of our God and the integrity of our message.
Fifth, in light of the fight being brought, students and faculty alike would do well to arm themselves with the gospel of peace. Such a confrontation should not be avoided but embraced. The vivid scene in which Elijah defeated the four-fifty prophets of Baal comes to mind in this continuing epic battle in which the sovereign Lord demonstrates His reality and superiority over all other gods. It would be a glorious thing for some of these homosexual activists to meet Christ at Bob Jones and turn from idols to serve the living God. If the culture war is brought to us, let us be ready.
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About Paul Dean
Dr. Paul Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. He serves as a Regional Mentor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors, speaks at several conferences throughout the year, and provides training for ministers and churches on a regular basis. Paul resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with his wife and three children.
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