Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Gay student gets Christian campus club suspended at SUNY Buffalo

From Christian Post.

Full text:

The State University of New York-Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo) is looking into allegations that a Christian campus group is in violation of school policy and the law by requiring its leaders to sign a faith-based statement.

This week’s investigation by a committee of the Student Association comes after sophomore Steven Jackson stepped down from a leadership position with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship over differing views on sexuality.

JoAnna Datz, president of the Student Association at SUNY Buffalo, told The Christian Post Wednesday that “the [investigative] committee has been meeting and collecting objective information, reviewing the Student Association Constitution, clubs documents, and just collecting information.”

She said there is a lot of information that the senators need to be educated on regarding what happened between Jackson and the club.

On Friday, the university’s newspaper, The Spectrum, reported on a letter sent to InterVarsity’s executive board informing the group of its suspension. It stated: “All peripheral privileges afforded to Student Association clubs are revoked for Intervarsity Christian Fellowship until further notice.”

[...]Jackson served as InterVarsity’s treasurer and is openly gay.

Datz told The Christian Post that when a club is formed at SUNY Buffalo their constitution is reviewed before they can become recognized. So originally InterVarsity’s constitution was approved. But if they made any changes since its inception, none of those have been reviewed by the SA. It wasn’t until last year, Datz said, that a rule was put in place that any changes to club constitutions must be reviewed.

The investigation committee will be looking over InterVarsity’s constitution. The campus group requires leaders to be in agreement with its doctrinal statement, purpose statement, and living a life of Christian integrity. Membership, however, is open to all.

The requirement that leaders sign a certain set of beliefs is at the heart of the controversy. Datz said this week they have also been debating the differences between membership and leadership in this particular case.

Jim Lundgren, director of Collegiate Ministries for Intervarsity, stressed to The Christian Post that the organization does not discriminate based on sexual orientation. In Jackson’s case, however, “he decided to pursue a sexually active homosexual relationship” and InterVarsity doesn’t affirm a sexually active relationship outside of marriage.

SA’s executive board is expected to make a decision this coming Sunday at their meeting.

If InterVarsity is found to be in violation of antidiscrimination policies, Datz said the senate could choose to derecognize them as a club, take away their funding or require that they change their constitution.

But now I turn to the underlying problem.

Some Christians don’t think there is a problem with that

The Biblical standard is no sex before or outside of marriage and marriage is defined as being between one man and one woman. In general, even divorce isn’t permitted. That’s what Christians believe about sex. So what happens when someone who doesn’t believe that wants to join a Christian organization in a leadership capacity?

Christians are not being mean when they exclude a person from an assembly of Christians because of a public, unrepented, sinful lifestyle.

Look at 1 Cor 5:

1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.

2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?

3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this.

4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

 6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?

7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

 9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 

10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 

11But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 

13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

So, this might be a surprise to many of you, but there is actually a lot of support for the idea of shunning someone who claims to be a Christian, yet who openly commits to a lifestyle that opposes the Bible’s moral standards. 1 Cor 5 actuallysays that it is ok to get along with non-Christian sinners, and not OK to get along with people who claim to be Christians but who are in some serious sinful situation that they are not sorry about at all. I think it’s a great idea to be friends with people who are non-Christian, and to treat them nicely, so long as they know that we disagree with them on certain issues and they are OK with letting us do that. Everyone sins – but Christians shouldn’t sin unrepentantly and repeatedly and then try to justify it as consistent with Christianity. But non-Christians are exempt from Christian moral rules, obviously.

What annoys me is when nice “Christians” try to make me feel guilty for taking the Bible seriously on sexual morality. Just because you want to think of yourself as “nice” according to the standards of the age, and you want non-Christians to like you and ask you out with them to movies, it doesn’t mean that suddenly it has become OK to redefine the Bible to mean what you want it to mean. Those rules are there for a reason, and your job is to adapt your views and defend them. You aren’t in charge.

The problem is that Christianity has been redefined so that people in the Church now think that their job is to sing happy songs, feel good, and then go out into the world telling everyone that the Bible has nothing at all to say about right and wrong. Instead of telling people “you are free to do what you like, but doing X is not wise or moral”, now we say “whatever you want to do is fine with me, as long as you feel good”. We want to be liked by men more than we want to be liked by God.

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