LGBT students question Biola's stance on sexuality

Sunday, September 24, 2017
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

college campus night sceneAn LGBT student group at Biola University has publicized its outcry against the Southern California campus’ president for not addressing their claim that the Christian school is acting contrary to its stated intention toward the LGBT community regarding its stance on sexuality and marriage.

On behalf of the pro-LGBT group Biolans’ Equal Ground, homosexual activist Erin Green wrote an open letter that was published to put pressure on the Christian university in order for it to cave in to the homosexual agenda sweeping across America’s college campuses. The letter attacks the school’s support of the “Nashville Statement” – a document published on August 29 that establishes the biblical worldview on sexuality and marriage – and presses Biola President Barry Corey to respond.

“The Nashville Statement, which now has been signed by 10 Biola University professors, is in direct contradiction to Biola’s stated policies regarding the treatment of LGBTQ students on campus,” begins the letter that was published last week in the Huffington Post. “Your silence on this is sending a confusing and damaging message to both LGBTQ students who are affirming, as well as to those who have chosen celibacy.”

Biblical views not allowed on Christian campus?

The LGBT activist specifically brings up Article 7 in the Nashville Statement, which stresses that biblical teachings do not support or embrace the homosexual or transsexual lifestyle.

“WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male and female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture,” declares the Nashville Statement, which is sponsored by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. “WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.”

The letter written by Biolans’ Equal Ground maintains that adopting such a theological stance violates school policy and their so-called “equal rights” as LGBT students.

“[Supporting this view] means that the Biola professors who have signed this are opposed to anyone claiming an LGBTQ identity,” Green argues. “Yet Biola University has an approved campus group called, ‘Sustinere,’ specifically driven to ‘create a safe space’ for students navigating through same-sex attraction, while allowing students to identify as gay and Christian.”

Rooting out Bible-backers

All 10 Biola University professors were identified in a list at the bottom of the letter by the LGBT student activist group for supporting the Nashville Statement’s Scriptural stance on homosexuality.

“Several professors from both Biola and its affiliated seminary, Talbot School of Theology, are among the Nashville Statement's signatories, including J. P. Moreland, Scott Waller and Darren Guerra,” The Christian Post (CP) reported.

Even though Biola’s declared stance on homosexuality does not outwardly support the lifestyle, it does state that it empathizes with those who struggle with gender identity issues and strives to take the “compassionate” route.

"[C]oncerns about sexuality may be difficult to disclose, but struggling in silence is a far greater challenge,” the school’s policy on sexuality and relationships declares, according to CP. “[ In all such personal issues, Student Development staff members are committed to discretion, sensitivity, confidentiality, compassion and redemption. [We lament] the insensitive and often callous treatment that students working through these issues (same- sex behavior, same-sex attraction and/or sexual orientation) may have received from the Christian community [and decry derogatory slurs and flippant talk around the subject].”

Another point of contention made by Biolans’ Equal Ground was raised with the Nashville Statement’s Article 10, which reads:

“WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness,” the statement’s 10th article proclaims. “WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree or disagree.”

After detailing numerous complaints – that Biola is not accommodating and encouraging homosexual behavior to its standards – the LGBT activist group directed its demand to Corey.

“Dr. Corey, the fact that you remain silent about the claims made within the Nashville Statement and remain silent about your professors who signed the Nashville Statement, who are clearly in a position of authority within teaching, mentoring, and pastoring at Biola, is incredibly incongruent with your stated goals,” Biolans’ Equal Ground concluded its letter. “If the ‘primary goal of Student Development at Biola is to help each student find God in the midst of their unique history and struggles and discern how to walk with Him and others along the way,’ we ask that you would publicly disavow the Nashville Statement so that Biola can fulfill its stated intention towards the LGBTQ community.”

Using the Bible as authority … or not?

When Corey was asked whether he would provide a formal response to the homosexual activist student group, Biola University Spokesperson Lee Wilhite had this to say:

"President Corey received Erin Green's letter via email personally and is responding to her directly,” Wilhite emailed CP in a response statement. “The university, as an institution, has not signed the Nashville Statement. As an academic institution, individuals within the community – including faculty, staff and students – may hold various viewpoints on a variety of matters."

He emphasized that the university’s Christian underpinnings are the main driving force behind its education.

"Our biblical understanding of marriage and human sexuality has remained faithful since our founding,” Wihhite continued. “Biola University is a Christ-­centered institution founded on truth, love and grace and seeks to be a community where all students, staff and faculty can thrive. The mission of Biola University is biblically centered education, scholarship and service – equipping men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ."

However, it is indicated that some concessions have been made as Biola appears to be acquiescing to pressure mounting by the LGBT community on campus.

“The Los Angeles-area evangelical university, founded in 1908, also has an officially approved campus group for same-sex attracted Christians called ‘Sustinere,’ which is designed to be a ‘safe space’ and a caring community for students ‘as they learn to live authentically and lovingly with same-sex attractions, orientations and identities,’" CP’s Brandon Showalter informed.

 

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