17 Comments

In the news: LGBTQ at Biola University

My alma mater, Biola University, is addressing LGBTQ students who have formed an underground group. Here’s the link to the announcement in Biola’s school newspaper. This is not the first evangelical school to face these issues. Wheaton, Westmont, Azusa Pacific, and several others are dealing with it. Take a look at the link and tell me what you think.

17 comments on “In the news: LGBTQ at Biola University

  1. In Biola’s Statement on Human Sexuality, “illegitimate moral options for the confessing Christian”

    Good language, but could be somewhat stronger, considering it is a ‘practice’ of sinful behavior (cf: 1 John) and therefore strongly calls into question one’s relationship to Christ. This shows to me that Biola is more willing to hold to God’s revelation than man’s cultural zeitgeist.

    “most LGBTQ people feel isolated and fearful of rejection should we act with integrity and come out of the closet,”

    Replace LGBTQ with paedophilia or any other ongoing ‘practice’ of sin which brings shame on the sinner when confronted with biblical reality. However, bringing this level of argumentation to those caught up in this sin tends evoke strong emotional language in rebuttal.

    “Unless LGBTQ students who don’t view homosexuality or transgender identity as sinful are allowed to speak openly without threat, this conversation will continue to be one-sided,”

    So those who choose to redefine the biblical definitions of what God considers sin, by their own standards, should be catered to in order to create a climate of dialogue? Again, paedophiles and polygamists would have the same grounds to lodge a complaint with this type of argumentation.

    In summary, Biola seems to be dealing with it well, especially with these statements:

    “We would walk along, or engage with, or assist that . . . student,” Grace said.

    This is a great biblical attitude to have – all mankind struggles with different sins and to differing degrees, and so Christians and by extention Christian universities should come alongside those who are struggling with their sinful proclivities and trying to reconcile themselves with a Holy God.

    “On the other hand, if a student says ‘I’m not struggling in this area, I’m in a [same-sex] relationship, and I think you’re wrong and I’m right,’ that [process] will be very different because they are violating our standards,”

    This is a great statement on standing on the moral high-ground against unrepentant blatant sin. Personally I’d prefer the language be couched in more than “violating OUR standards” since it is God’s purposes for man and His standards that they are transgressing. The LGBTQ community’s opposition is not man, but God.

    The comments on the Biola blog show from any who are supportive of the challenge to the status quo on biblical sexuality sadly tell the story. The prevailing LGBTQ attitude is encapsulated in the closing of Romans 1: “(v32) and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”

  2. Upon reading the biolaunderground.com response to the statement on human sexuality, I find these two statements particularly baffling:

    1. “We understand your interpretation of scripture; please hear ours.”

    2. “In what concrete ways is the university going to be more open towards students who don’t see homosexuality and queer identity as a sin?”

    The premises here are the heart of the confusion for a Christian community negotiating a clear stance on deviant sexual identities in the 21st century. Are the issues at hand truly a matter of biblical interpretation? As the Biola statement rightly asserts, sexual misconduct of this nature is “an illegitimate moral option for the confessing Christian” — thus, the grounds on which deviant sexual behaviors are often sought to be justified are social and relativistic in the end, not exegetical (or even hermeneutical). This leads us to the second point of contention: If we don’t see sin as sin, then should the Church community do likewise? Well, obviously not. Yet, the real issue rears its head here: If we don’t see sin as sin, then what need for faith in Christ Jesus as God and Savior?

  3. As a long-distant student of Biola, I applaud Biola for the way they’re handling this emotional hot button. Their Statement on Human Sexuality is clear and well worded.

    Great post by Benjamin above, too. Thanks, Benjamin!

    Let’s continue to watch the “(in)tolerance” unfold in the comments section of the Biola blog…

    Joshua

  4. I think they are handling it ok. But I think the status quo position from the Church is as bigoted as it was perceived in book unChristian.

    Paul said those outside the Church wasn’t his to judge. He was to judge those inside. The judgments consist of matthew 18’s examples, Peter from Paul, and the Elders in the Pastoral letters.

    Why is the church in their business?

    The Government is God appointed.
    The Government has a different role to play than the Church.
    Why does the Church try to force the government to enforce their beliefs on non believers?

    Christ told the taxman and the soldier, when they asked how they should behave in their roles to do a good job and be fair and just.
    I’d contend the Church needs to butt out of the alphabet community and stop dehumanizing them. We can smile and make claims all we want, but the proof is in the fruit, and the world sees the fruit as a bunch of hard nosed bigots. We should pay heed to what we look from the outside. Because our own view from the inside is intrinsically and inherently biased.

    So with Biola, they are in the Church, or maybe they aren’t. I don’t know, but that would determine how their action should take place. Are they a denomination, or a place of learning? And is there a discerning difference between them on how they should behave?

    I don’t think they are the Church, but they do teach of the Church. If they were a RCC university, that only let RCC members in, I’d have no argument. If they open their doors to non believers as a school of education, they have left the CHURCH claim behind and became something in the public, and I think Christ would say they should act accordingly. I think that, because the examples we have of similar situations that is how He demonstrated His position.

    The whole argument on marriage is garbage. Why would anyone try to defend it? First off, marriage existed before the Church and before the biblical books were biblical books. To claim it’s sole property of the Church is such a mouthful of Hubris we need disloactable jaws just to hold it. The English word has existed a coupla hundred years old, and this claim that only God sanctifies marriage is fine, but if you aren’t in the Church you can still be married, just not Sanctified. What is the gripe of the Church?

    Until the Church treats all of the “ABOMINATIONS” with the same fervor they treat the alphabet community, every action smells of the smoke of bigotry.

    So, do the right thing. Are you there to indoctrinate or educate, Biola. Christ has determined how your behavior should be based on those points alone.

    And, just to stir up the far right Evangelicals, being homosexual isn’t a sin. Homosexual sex is a sin. A celibate homosexual is more likely to be MUCH more sincere in his faith, than any straight believer. Well, at least the huge majority of them.

  5. Since there are no scriptures supporting homosexuality, and many (in both testaments) stating that it’s wrong, the scripture part is fairly easy.

    Since there has been no gay gene found (despite much searching), and we know that heritable traits are not propagated by people who leave no offspring, that part of it seems easy too.

    This should be a fairly short conversation, it seems to me. Practicing homosexuals have hundreds of other places they can go if they refuse to change. Those who recognize that it’s wrong and are struggling to get right, on the other hand, should be supported.

  6. 1)homosexual isn’t addressed in the Bible.
    2)homosexual sex is.
    3)you don’t know if they are having sex or not.
    4)you look down on them as inherently flawed beings.
    4)I.o.w. you see them as wrong iv they are naving sex or not.
    5) you did assume they were practicing…. I assume that means partaking of their desires.
    6) to automatically assume, id akin to me assuming a room full of straight students are all whores and adulterers. I use the harsh language to demonstrate how your words come across.
    7)they could be a group of straight acting and living people with sincere relationships with God, abstaining from sex. There would be no scriptural violation there.

    They will be homosexual or not, independant of their actual partaking or not. If they die a virgin, and never have a lustful thought, they would still be attracted to the same sex. Hiding this ill thinking behind nicely spoken phrases does not in ant way counter that the heart behind them is harboring presumed offenses and justifying its judgment.

  7. Brad,

    You say it is not a Christian’s job to judge those outside of the church. But are not the students at Biola INSIDE the church? My guess is that they have to sign a statement of faith affirming that they are a Christian and that they will hold to a moral code of conduct. Them agreeing to sign makes me very confident that they are in fact “in the Church.”

    Additionally, you say “they could be a group of straight acting and living people with sincere relationships with God, abstaining from sex.” This is very very unlikely judging my their very own words on the “Underground website.” They wish Biola to be open to the opinions of those who do not view homosexual acts as sin.

    • Austin,

      Yes, I think I covered that. If they are a denominational training school, absolutely. if they are open to the general joe from the public, then they are a public institution. (some of my rant may have been cut off).

      Signed statement of conduct, is questionable, signed statement of faith would make them denominational in my view.

      I did not read their website. I confess. I’m an honest ranter at least. I don’t see that it matters, the people presume without looking all day long all through the church. My beef is the same. Because one person or group is there, doesn’t give people the right to make the bigoted judgement that anyone professing to be homosexual is sinning. Homosexuality isn’t sin, performing is.

      As someone that minsters to the “unpopular Xian crowds”, I have to tell you, the Church dehumanizes them all day long, and every way imaginable. To try to explain it’s a God of Love, is impossible. SO in the attempt to “judge them to God” (In love of course) the Church sends them off because the Church sees them as a sin plague, not a person. Period.

      Regarding Biola, Are they open to the public, or people of the same faith only. If a respectful agnostic can go there in study, it’s open to the public and they should treat it that way.

      In the general sense, I don’t think holding them out if they are practicing or not is Xian in their behavior. It’s not serving them in love as Christ commands in matt 5:43-48. It’s not trying to help them with God. It’s just pushing them aside with a you ain’t good enough. NOW if they treated every sin the same way, I’d not have an argument. OR even every sin that is listed as an Abomination the same way I’d not have an argument. This is the isolated sin, that draws this much attention. The fact it draws so much attention above other ‘like’ sins, is by definition, bigotry, not Agapao.

      And in my life, I’ve learned one in the midst of bigotry, will justify it any way they can. So, I can’t call them bigots, because I don’t know every detail, but it’s dang sure a possibility.

  8. Brad,

    Yes, you’re very good at ranting. Here is a line from the Biola Admissions pages:
    “The student must be an evangelical believer in the Christian faith.”

    http://undergrad.biola.edu/apply/

    It seems that a statement of faith is required. Your comment about other sins is misguided as well. The campus has only made explicit statements about homosexual behavior as a result of this event. I have to believe that if there was an underground website discussing cheating, lying, getting drunk, starting fights, etc on Biola’s campus, the result would be the same.

    • Austin, are you offended by me and just wanting to attack? Is that why you just ignored my previous post where I gave the way out for just the circumstances you presented? So, I expressed I would grant they had the right in that instance, so you choose to come back and pick at me some more. :))

      Or are you defensive and in defense attacking?

      And for the record, I didn’t say we aren’t to judge those outside the Church, I’m just quoting it. You can take that up with the Author some day.

      Lastly, having the right, doesn’t make it right. It just puts it where I don’t pick at them because they had ironed out this special little club up front. I don’t have to support it or them on moral grounds. Morally they are UnXian.

      Matt 5:43-48 alone, Love perfectly as God does, which includes providing for your enemies. Unless you are the theocratic ruler of the world, you don’t have a right to judge them. You have an OBLIGATION to serve them though.

      However, since this is a lovely topic to pick at and posture we are holier than thou/them, it’s a psychologically appealing one. It’s an abomination, what other justification do you need.

      Ignoring that every sin is an abomination in Job, and admitting this is the ONLY abomination the Church regularly isolates and attacks, you have to wonder, where the Church went awry. It was built on the concept of charity, and today is founded on what you know, not on how you live.

      Let’s compare this action to history. Black man dating a white woman, punishable by death, less than 100 years ago. Not only that, it was an abomination before the Church, or at least some Churches. That’s how the KKK came to be. So based on the wisdom of the Church of that day, led by God as they were and all that, what has changed? Why is that not today still something you attack? If it was holy and righteous then, wouldn’t it be now? Outta bring back lyncin’ folks, some peeps just need killin when they don’t live like I think they should, right?

      The position against the alphabet community today, is just about as righteous. Rather than teach it’s denominations and congregations how to fulful the works they were saved to do, and prepare them to do those works, we teach philosopy and bigotry.

      That’s a cut and dry fact. Ty for motivating me even more, Austin. I suppose if you respond, you’ll ignore the pertinent points and attack again.

  9. Brad,
    You said “Homosexuality isn’t sin, performing is.”
    This is a false statement. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt. 5:27-28
    I assume you would agree that adultery is sin? It is also clear that Jesus is saying that DESIRING sexually one who is not legitimately yours, even if the desire is not acted upon, is sin. God sees the wrong desire in the heart and mind and calls it sin. To desire any form of sex outside of the confines of desiring one’s own spouse, of the opposite sex, is sin (God’s law, not mine).

    You argue that other sins are not being singled out as this one is. If someone wants to assert that lying isn’t sin, then let the conversation begin!

    • Ok, mr. S, then you are an adulterer and going straight to hell, and you aren’t even homosexual. I’m not judging. I’m using your logic against you to show you how ridiculous it is.

      Your argument assumes that a homosexual lusts a person just because they look at them? If it’s true for them, then it’s true for every straight person as well. Do you lust every woman you look at? I don’t. I’m very sure of that.

      So why the heck would you assume they do?

      Perhaps because you don’t consider them a person, but have dehumanized them to the point of only considering them as an abomination. And yet this is the only “biblical abomination” treated like this. What do you call a behavior, that condemns a people, not on their merits but on their sexual inclination. That’s EXACTLY what you just did. That is the sort of BIGOTRY not only tolerated but TAUGHT in the Church today.

      So, you are a good lemming.

      According to matthew 5:43-48’s command from Christ, and John’s observation in 1 john 4:16-18, your behavior suggests you don’t even know God.

      So, keep on rocking. If I sound annoyed I am. I despise bigotry. And this topic is 95% bigotry I don’t care where you have it.

      • Well Brad, you’ve got one thing sort-of right. I would be heading for Hell (I deserve it) if it wasn’t for the salvation I have in Jesus. I needed/need forgiveness for a lot of things. So, you are right, my ‘logic’ (Jesus’ words) apply to me just as to anyone who desires/lusts after someone sexually who isn’t their own spouse. If you look again at what Jesus said He wasn’t condemning merely looking, but rather desiring (sexually or covetously). He sees our heart. The point Jesus was making is that we can sin in our thoughts and desires without even acting on those wrong thoughts. Thus we are ALL guilty. It’s precisely because of our sinful condition that Jesus came to rescue us–to die in our place so that we will not someday have to face God’s just punishment for sin. I’m just as deserving of that punishment as a homosexual is. But we do need to humbly bow before holy God and receive Jesus as the only payment for sin that God accepts. This forgiveness is just as available to you as it is to me. God wants to have a relationship with you as much as he does me. Jesus’ death on the cross makes this possible.

      • Mr. S

        You implied because they are homosexual they are sinning by the decree of lust. First its above your paygrade to judge, you are cherry picking verses to support your bigotry.

        Second if them being alphebet community means they inherently lust every person of the same sex, then the same applies to you as a hetero person. You claim grace but for some reason feel it is entitled to you and not them. Bigotry is not agapao.

        Then you desperately try to justify your moves by deflecting from the point, being that ones gender attraction does not determine if they lust or not. You danced like greggory hines around that one.

        Third,

        God commanded you love, that love has an aspedt of being expressec through acts required, gal 5:6, and if you don’t have the love right, you aren’t in god and he is not in you, so your statement you are saved and they aren’t is a lie you try to sell yourself on.

        And Christ commanded you to love as perfectly as the Father does. And my friend, that love provided for them. You spit on that commandment.

        Do me a favor, stop being so smug in your posturing, and stop assuming you know what you are talking about, and get on your knees for guidance and to stop the bigotry. There is no Xian justification for bigotry, so stop posturing as if there were.

      • Brad, I’m a wretched sinner….but now I am mercifully considered a ‘saint’ by God, even though I still sin. I just wanted to share with you what I know of Jesus’ love. I hope that you too will come to know and experience His love and forgiveness. That was my motivation for saying what I did. I would like for you to become my brother in Christ.

  10. Is God who he says He is or not?

    If you see the Bible as merely a collection of writings by fallible men and women trying to explain God, then you can point to any standard and say, “He really doesn’t mean that. Someone is putting words in God’s mouth to make a point.”

    If you see the Bible as being shephered by the Holy Spirit, men speaking from God as they are carried along by the Holy Spirit, breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, that we are blessed when we walk in the law of the Lord, being taught by Him that His word gives life, then it is something that needs to be taken to heart, followed and obeyed.

    God is who He says He is, not who I say He is. If we seek to pick out what we like about the Bible and the Words that make sense to our own sense of reason, then we have made an idol. All of God’s word is from the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We cannot separate one from the other with regards to the Scriptures for it is all of the Triune God’s word to man.

    Sin comes in two types, those we fail to do and those we commit in violation of a standard. So which type of sinner are you and I, we do both. Christ says go and sin no more. He expects us to do just that. But how are we to know how not to sin if we do not take God at His word?

  11. Does Daniel Wallace interact with some of these comments?

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