Jerry Fallwell Junior, what are you thinking?

This is not a rant, though some will suppose it to be. Granted, I'm irked, but I'm going to restrain myself and simply state the facts.

Soulforce is a nationwide bus tour that promotes acceptance for gays and lesbians on Christian college campuses. According to a recent USA today article, Liberty University has decided for the first time to allow them on campus to hand out literature, presumably to any closeted Liberty students looking for liberation.

Yes, that Liberty University. Jerry Fallwell well and all that. Why in God's name are they allowing this group on campus to promote a lifestyle on their campus that they would simultaneously denounce as sin? Is JF II's head in a bucket or what?

I can't explain it. Neither can I explain this. NeueMinistry.com, for which I periodically write, has taken a poll this weekend on whether or not Liberty should welcome them or stop them at the gate.

Currently, only 3 people cared enough to vote, and guess who is the odd man out? Yours truly.

So, go ahead, go here, and vote your conscience. And don't be pressured to change your vote by me or anyone else.


carl thomas said...

Maybe he believes this is the only way he can get soulforce in contact with evangelicals.

I kind of took the opposite stand 2 1/2 years ago on my blog.

btw. More pics of the twins!

retro said...

At the risk of annoying Randy, I will post my duplicate post here... as I allude in my long-winded answer, (under #5) I'm looking to the IHOP/JHOP/Call community for practical answers on this issue that spirit-filled urbanites like me can use to overcome the "shark-infested waters" of living in a pluralistic, post-modern society. I give major kudos to Randy for being someone who has dared to go out there and dialogue with people on turf many Christians would consider hostile (such as Burning Man) and gain credibility.

This is somewhat of a trick question - and since I ponder related issues so much I’m going to leave a ridiculously long answer, while completely morphing the intent of the question. I’ve picked up a few things from watching all these “Town Hall meetings”

1. Seems like Jerry Junior has already answered this question by opening up the doors to Mel White and his group. Our vote is not worth our time, although the dialogue is. I think this was the crux of the question - why a conservative school is bowing to the “trap” of dialoguing with people who are might look like they want to have a “forum” but are not likely to budge an inch.

In his note above, Randy mentioned the perception of “narrow-mindedness”, and I agree with him - with the caveat that SoulForce is equally culpable to that charge. Young, impressionable, and formerly “intolerant” Liberty students are much more likely to moderate their opinions than Mel White and his group are. Otherwise SoulForce would never waste their time roadtripping and talking - the strategy obviously works.

Someone should really call their bluff - that these forums are a one-way street under the guise of a 2 way conversation. Now Bob Jones University and maybe BYU in Utah are the last bastions of resistance… So if the issue to my worldview stopped there, “A” would be my vote. But it’s not that simple, due to the rapid social slide we are in.

2. I live in Philadelphia, where Hollywood made an Oscar winning movie about this issue (”Philadelphia” - starring Tom Hanks which was filled with brilliant twists of truth & distortion) 15 years ago. Now the city has entire districts zoned for the “gayborhood”, economic salvation via the gay community, and all sorts of things. I spend a lot of time down there since my gf lives smack in the middle of it. She had to, since the hospital she did her residency in is there too. In her new job, most of her attending physician bosses are gay also.

3. This was a rough weekend for me, mainly because under all the financial news, I heard they legalized gay marraige in Connecticut Friday. I get a bit political and frustrated whenever this happens (47 states to go). Due to a church that overall does not genuinely care, or know how to effectively engage this issue, our culture is changing fast. If our campus Christian groups produced students so concerned about the issue that they joined their local gay/straight alliance out of desire to reach these people with Jesus’ love, the situation would be very likely to change. But we don’t even think that way, or if we do, we get more swayed by people’s sad stories and forget about the greater love & truth that Jesus gives us.

4. Having said all the rather depressing stuff above, my vote is “C”. However, with the church playing defense, while Mel & SoulForce and every other gay-affirming group on offense, the result is likely to be a disaster for the ideals of Liberty university. The church has got to find a way to use the “C” option and do so with Jesus’ love and truth. We should be invading their areas - bars, clubs, meetings, churches, and organizations - with Jesus’ love and being the radical force He intends us to be. The “A” option will not get us there.

5. On a very encouraging note, 5 years ago, I could not identify any sector in the church world that cared much for homosexuals. Since then I am very encouraged by a few sprouting prayer ministries that actually are focusing on the issue and the people with prayer and even extended fasting (from FOOD, not just their favorite TV show or ice cream flavor). One group relocated to San Francisco to be right in the middle of it.

I am looking to groups like JHOP, the Call, and others for leadership and role modeling as to how to respond to these issues. If even a minority of the church overall would adopt these values & actions with the right spirit this issue would start to break open and truth would win out. We need grace with truth, and truth with grace here. In Philly, and many other places people pick either grace OR truth, and neither wins.

Anyone still reading? My vote is C.

Anonymous said...

I can't vote - because I'm not registered. I don't like registering somewhere if I don't know who/what they are.

BUT - certainly I would say A. Why should LU let them on campus?? They are certainly allowed to let whomever they want - but why let bad yeast into the loaf. Why allow unrighteous seeds be sowed into the lives of sheep? Why should we knowingly and intentionally expose ourself to something we know very well can lead astray and sow unrighteousness? That makes no sense at all?

That's like allowing the author of Harry Potter speak at a Christian literature author's seminar on how to generate a good story...

"Good dialog", someone said on their response is a good thing. Yes, it is a good thing - when those engaged in the dialog are well rooted in their understanding of what the dialog is about. But this is a case of neglect I think. Not a good idea.

Vanessa said...

vini. vidi. voti.

Vanessa said...

vini. vidi. voti.