There used to be a time when a Christian school was really a Christian school. Students attended because they wanted an education and they wanted that education in an environment where drugs, sex and the temptation to engage was minimized.
But not any more. Openly homosexual students are rapidly changing that. As a result, schools are in a battle zone with few —if any— solutions. And are in danger of falling into the hands of the god of cultural assimilation. More and more Christian colleges and universities are under seige by homosexual students who are demanding policy changes and official approval. Few are prepared to deal with the challenges posed by in most case only a handful of homosexual students. The elephant is running from the mouse.
According to the New York Times, the only real obstacle homosexual students are facing are “conservative” administrators.
Decades after the gay rights movement swept the country’s secular schools, more gays and lesbians at Christian colleges are starting to come out of the closet, demanding a right to proclaim their identities and form campus clubs, and rejecting suggestions to seek help in suppressing homosexual desires.
Many of the newly assertive students grew up as Christians and developed a sense of their sexual identities only after starting college, and after years of inner torment. They spring from a new generation of evangelical youths that, over all, holds far less harsh views of homosexuality than its elders.
But in their efforts to assert themselves, whether in campus clubs or more publicly on Facebook, gay students are running up against administrators who defend what they describe as God’s law on sexual morality, and who must also answer to conservative trustees and alumni.
Facing vague prohibitions against “homosexual behavior,” many students worry about what steps — holding hands with a partner, say, or posting a photograph on a gay Web site — could jeopardize scholarships or risk expulsion.
We have pushed for Christian schools to rise up and proactively meet this growing challenge. With the advent of the Soulforce terror tours, Christian schools became targets: either change or be branded as a hate school. The tactics are reaping a harvest as media (like the progay New York Times) pile on and paint a picture of gay student persecution.
At the same time, prominent Christian magazines (like Charisma, Gospel Today) and other outlets have ignored the struggle and provided zero coverage in support of schools who want to maintain a biblical environment for students who attend. Denying access and formation rights are only a small part of the solution schools need to put on an aggressive and proactive high priority list. But what else can they do?
To position themselves to maturely handle this threat, schools should establish an office of sexual cultural affairs and regularly bring in speakers and hold assemblies which educate both biblically and scientifically on the spiritual and physical dangers posed by homosexual behavior. They should offer scholarships to prospective students who want attain such degrees.
Schools should develop degree level programs on sexuality to prepare students to face what is now the greatest challenge to the integrity of the contemporary church. The NYT article notes that secular schools have a decade of cultivating homosexual programs, but out of hundreds of Christian universities across the country, not a single one has even so much as raised the issue. This is an achilles heel that has been severely manipulated by homosexual rights groups.
Schools could easily compliment current programs with focused of human sexuality infused with a healthy biblical overview for context. With biblical morality being erased and herded into antiquity’s closet, its vital that Christian schools uphold that knowledge through its academic programs.
Administrators should petition their respective denominational heads to partner with ministries that address homosexuality from a biblical perspective and give them a prominent place on campus. Visibility means everything. If there is no one to partner with, a ministry should be developed in congruence with denominational beliefs and given a prominent place on school campuses.
The language in existing policies should be reviewed and updated to withstand legal challenges and embarrassing media scrutiny (which is not far off) if this NYT article is any indication.
Its clear at least from the comments in the article that they primary goal is to change school policies, not get an education and move on like the average student.
Most unbelievable quote:
Gay students say they are often asked why they are attending Christian colleges at all. But the question, students say, is unfair. Many were raised in intensely Christian homes with an expectation of attending a religious college and long fought their homosexuality. They arrive at school, as one of the Harding Web authors put it, “hoping that college would turn us straight, and then once we realized that this wasn’t happening, there was nothing you could do about it.”
You went to college hoping it would turn you straight?