Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Educational Diversity Can Easily Turn to Perversity

Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 0:00
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by the Rev. Dr. Joe Renfro

The perversity of the stress on diversity in our colleges is a form of social engineering, creating many negatives. Diversity is neither good or bad in itself, but can become perversity when many of our colleges and universities are so committed to social engineering that promotes racial, sexual, religious, socio-economic focuses, or whatever it might be instead of true education. When we attack through indoctrination the very foundation upon which our Western Civilization is formed—the Judeo-Christian moral fabric and above the evangelical message of Christ — it is bad. The Bible well says, “There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is the way of death!” (Prov. 14:12)

Scott Greer, author of  No Campus for White Men, said the whole purpose of higher education has shifted, saying that:  “There’s this new trend in higher education that has not so much stressed teaching people real world skills or knowledge that they could take into their job and for the rest of their lives,” Greer stated, “but almost in teaching these very insidious left-wing ideas such as on white privilege, that America was built on white supremacy, that you have to compete for victimhood in order to attain status in our society, and all these things that seem contrary to what we think higher education should be.” (Idea whites ‘responsible for every evil ‘drilled into students’ heads – by Joe Wilson, WND, July 7, 2017)

In respect to extra curricula collegiate activities, many of our colleges have refused to recognize or support evangelistic clubs on campus such as Campus Crusade or InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Yet, they have supported clubs that were Muslim or were LGBT, which are given full support, all done under the banner of the promotion of diversity.  The purpose of college, university, and post-secondary education should not be to promote diversity, but it should be to cultivate the acquisition of and growth in knowledge of life, so as to promote and have each individual realize their full potential, and it should not be a means to promote various civil rights issues at the expense of concepts such as freedom of speech or freedom of religion.

There was a television program I watched entitled, “What Needs to be Done to Revolutionize American Education,” and I didn’t determine what they concluded, although it was interesting.  I do feel the best way to revolutionize American education is to go back to the foundation on which our land was founded, which I did not hear any of the experts suggest!

In 1754, Ben Franklin wrote a pamphlet, “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America,” for Europeans interested in sending their youth to this land.  Although Ben was not one of the experts consulted on the TV program, he wrote:

“Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents.  To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced.

Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.

The Divine Being seems to have manifested his approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other: by the remarkable prosperity with which he been pleased to favor the whole country.”  (American Minute with Bill Federer – Ben Franklin’s Day of Fasting—“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”)

One of the great problems is that our colleges are trying so much to globalize all society that the intellectual, mental heartbeats of the individual students are greatly neglected. Faith in the God of the Bible is under constant attack in our colleges. Their goal, it can be argued, is to strongly seek to develop social justice warriors for the cause of a new world view.  It is distressing to see as these so-called “social justice warriors” vandalizing buildings, setting off fire alarms, and committed assaults when universities have allowed speakers with whom they disagreed to take the stage. You don’t see college Christian students testifying what Christ has done in their lives, for this is not news worthy. Yet, you can observe a constant picture of perversity under the name of diversity being broadcast everywhere in the name of academia.

Everyone does not fit into the same box. All are different or diverse, but learning to discriminate between positive and negative is not an evil.  However, there are forces in our educational hierarchy that wish to subtract the basic morality on which our land developed and to implant the new morality of the politically correct progressivism. What was once esteemed to be immoral is not projected as being moral and what was once projected as being moral is now being projected as being bigoted. Bigotry without doubt is being defined as the cardinal sin by the left.

These educators wish to implant into the college graduates minds the new globalism that gravitates toward socialism, a socialism that neglects individual responsibility and disdains Christian commitment as being outdated. Under the guise of promoting diversity they seek to exclude whatever might interfere—evangelical Christianity in particular!  To them, they might give a nod of acceptance toward the Christianity of the social gospel, but only as one of many religions in the evolution of the human race. They can accept a Christian group that is just a good social club, but not one that seeks to evangelize, following the Great Commission!

Yes, under the perversity of diversity our educational system is attacking the very foundation upon which our Western Civilization formed—the Judeo-Christian moral fabric.  Seeking to protect against discrimination, progressives in our universities who accuse others of prejudice become very much prejudiced themselves in their discriminations.

II Peter 2:1-2 speaks of education as it says: “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”  It is interesting to see that much which the progressive thinking seeks to promote is basically immoral to Christian values, and all of which in the long run will bring destruction to individuals, societies, and individuals themselves.  Notice that word “sensuality,” which well speaks to the drug addiction, the amorality, and alternate lifestyles so much being promoted in our time. Perversion is promoted and justified under the banner of “inclusivism” and “diversity.”

I can personally relate to InterVarsity, for when I transferred from Montreat-Anderson Jr. College to UNC at Chapel Hill back in 1963 I was advised by Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, to get involved with the InterVarsity there, and I did.  It was a great blessing and support in my Christian faith, where the Westminster Fellowship there seemed more just like a social club. InterVarsity gave me spiritual strength as I majored in philosophy there. I needed it!

Christian groups have fought battles over religious freedom on campuses across the U.S. in recent years, as universities have looked to tighten policies against what they call discrimination. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the University of California’s Hastings College of Law in San Francisco could deny recognition to the Christian Legal Society because the group required voting members to sign a statement of faith against “unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle.” Then in 2016, InterVarsity clarified its requirements for staff, asking that they affirm traditional, orthodox views of sexuality that are shared by most evangelical denominations. But InterVarsity is condemned because it does not wish to promote homosexual unions or other forms traditionally classified as perverse!

Back on October 20, 2000, the board of trustees of InterVarsity adopted a modified version of their previous statement of faith, and it was:

  • The only true God, the almighty Creator of all things, existing eternally in three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit full of love and glory.
  • The unique divine inspiration, entire trustworthiness and authority of the Bible.
  • The value and dignity of all people: created in God’s image to live in love and holiness, but alienated from God and each other because of our sin and guilt, and justly subject to God’s wrath.
  • Jesus Christ, fully human and fully divine, who lived as a perfect example, who assumed the judgment due sinners by dying in our place, and who was bodily raised from the dead and ascended as Savior and Lord.
  • Justification by God’s grace to all who repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
  • The indwelling presence and transforming power of the Holy Spirit, who gives to all believers a new life and a new calling to obedient service.
  • The unity of all believers in Jesus Christ, manifest in worshiping and witnessing churches making disciples throughout the world.
  • The victorious reign and future personal return of Jesus Christ, who will judge all people with justice and mercy, giving over the unrepentant to eternal condemnation but receiving the redeemed into eternal life.
  • To God be glory forever. 

InterVarsity has experienced tensions over it religious requirements at more than forty college campuses in recent years. As far back as 1997, Grinnell College in Iowa banned InterVarsity because of its unwillingness to select a noncelibate gay leader. Later, several schools including Tufts University, Rutgers University, and the University of North Carolina (UNC) also derecognized InterVarsity because requiring leaders to be Christians violated the schools’ anti-discrimination codes. UNC reversed its decision just weeks later; Rutgers settled out of court; and Tufts reinstated InterVarsity but later reversed it. InterVarsity lost campus access at SUNY Buffalo and Bowdoin College as well.

All twenty-three schools within the California State University system took steps to “derecognize” InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.  What is Intervarsity’s crime? Christian orthodoxy. To be “derecognized” does not mean they are banned from campus, but it means they do not have free access to the use of rooms on campus which can run from thirteen to thirty thousand dollars a year to rent, and they also lose standing to engage faculty, students, and administrators. It means not to be recognized as an official club by the institution!

There is a long history of conflict between InterVarsity at Cal State about the InterVarsity positions of faith. It has been a real yoyo since about the year 2000. InterVarsity was derecognized in the California State University system, because InterVarsity refused to allow non-Christians or unchristian behavior in leadership, but it has now agreed to allow any students to run for office of leadership regardless of their beliefs, and Cal State has now accepted them.

An atheistic lesbian could run for president of the club on campus, but she would not necessarily become the president unless the students voted for her. Thus, InterVarsity felt in 2015 that they could comply with the stipulation set down by the University and not forsake their position to be faithful to Scriptures, as they see it. At least, so far as I know, the de-recognition has been lifted, although they are many who are calling for it to be reinstalled.

InterVarsity was founded in 1941 and is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that focuses on ministry in U.S. colleges and universities whose headquarters is in Madison, Wisconsin.   It has1011 chapters on 667 campuses and an international partnership with a total membership of 40,219 as of 2015, as it has worked with a $102 million dollar budget according to the 2014-2015 report.  It has been a very effective means of spreading the gospel on college campuses, and even when they have not the support of the universities as the yo-yo situation in California, they have worked from off-campus to spread the gospel.

Todd Starnes from Fox News (June 29, 2017) wrote an interesting article entitled “Government hostility to religion spiked under Obama, new report finds”.  He brought out that, since 2014 there has been a 76 percent increase in religious freedom violations, according to “Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in America.”  There is no question that government driven hostility antagonism especially toward biblical Christian has spread, and the flames of religious intolerance have been burning; as for example, “A Christian a capella group at James Madison University was told they could not perform “Mary Did You Know” because it was religious.” They were directed to only sing secular songs (Starnes, June 29, 2017). 

But none-the-less, Family Research Council president Tony Perkins noted there is a “growing courage of Christians, especially young Christians, to defend both their faith and their freedoms.” It is a time to step up and speak out, to get involved to help turn the tide from the destructive paths we have seen develop in America since the 1960s especially in our nation’s colleges and universities that have now really escalated during the past decade. We need not to so much applaud inclusiveness, but to practice faithful commitment to God’s truths in our colleges.

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