Friday, March 12, 2010

My Thoughts on Soulforce

By Matt Tyler

Today, I was interviewed for my thoughts on Soulforce coming to SBU. For those who do not know, Soulforce is an organization that by "relentless nonviolent resistance, works to end the religious and political oppression of Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning people." Every year they go on an "Equality Ride" in order to visit campuses to promote Soulforce's cause and beliefs. Many of the colleges visited are members of the Counil for Christian colleges and Universities. In other words, they believe my university's policies are discriminatory against LGBTQ students.

Much can be said about this and I am quite certain that I will have future blog posts on this subject, especially as the day approaches. Today, however, I was interviewed about my thoughts on Soulforce coming to SBU. Once the article is written I will try and get permission to post it on the blog, but for now I will post some of my responses to these questions. I took with me some notes (okay, more like paragraphs) on the points I wanted to make sure to stay on. I did not say everything I wrote down and I said things I did not write down, but this is a general overview of my thoughts on the subject (I added a bit from the draft I took with me to clear some things up).

What are your personal beliefs on homosexuality?

I want to make sure that I go back to Scripture for everything. My Christianity affects my outlook on all aspects of life. So I want to see what the Word of God says about it. The Bible is God breathed and therefore my ultimate standard. My standard is not science, popular opinion, or the fear of hurting others' feelings. The Bible is clear in both Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 that homosexuality is a sin. Those verses are clear. Romans 1 is clear that, when people continue in sin and unbelief, God "gives them over" to their wickedness in order to show the hopelessness of life apart from God. Of course, I also believe that all sinners, including myself, are deserving of God's wrath. Our sin is offensive to God and we deserve to be punished for them. The good news, though, is that all people, including homosexuals, can be forgiven, on the basis of God grace, if they turn from their sins and trust in Christ for salvation. And God promises victory over sin to those who trust in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11). However, the Bible is clear in Romans 6:11-14, Romans 8, and 1 John 1:5-7 that those who truly have repented and trusted in Christ will not continue in sin. While all Christians fight sin, and they will so until Heaven, true Christians will not live a lifestyle that is characterized by sin. Therefore a practicing homosexual, along with anyone who continues practicing willful known sin, is not a true believer. The difference is that a Christian fights, struggles, and falls into sin, while the unbeliever blatantly continues to sin refusing to acknowledge God. The normal pattern of life for the Christian is a progressive growth in sanctification.

How do you feel about Soulforce coming to SBU?

This is a question I want to be as clear as possible on. SBU has been working very hard since Soulforce announced they were coming. I know a lot of work has gone into this, a lot of things have been discussed; hopefully a lot of prayers have been prayed. There are factors that I am sure I do not know. In addition, I am a student with limited info. And so for those reasons I don't know if I have a right to speak definitively on this situation. I have sat in a few RA meetings with other students, as well as in a meeting with faculty and staff, and I have personally talked with Rob Harris. I have seen and heard things in those meetings that have both encouraged me and discouraged me. Overall, I think that SBU has handled this situation with care. I am certain that there are things that I probably would have handled differently. Perhaps there are things that should have been considered that were not. But let me put it this way: Whether or not it is appropriate that SBU is allowing Soulforce to come, at this point, isn't the point. SBU has made that decision. And whether that decision is right or wrong, they are allowing Soulforce on campus. So looking at it in that light I think they are and have handled the out workings of this process well and will hopefully continue to do so.

How do you hope for SBU's student body to respond to Soulforce?

I hope and urge every person who reads this to spend an extended time reading, meditating, and praying over 2 Timothy 2:14-4:5 and then responding appropriately by applying to their lives the Truths that those few chapters contain. Summarized, these verses say we are not to quarrel, babble irreverently and we are told to not have anything to do with foolish, ignorant controversies for several reasons, all of which can be read in that passage. Instead, Christians are told to present ourselves to God by handling the Bible rightly and unashamed about what the Bible says. We are to treat people with kindness, we are to teach patiently, correcting those who are wrong in hopes some will be saved from hell. We should remember the warning in 3:1-9. We should flee sin in our own lives and depart from iniquity and MOST IMPORTANTLY we are to preach the Word of God to all people at all times regardless of whether we think they have heard the Gospel or not. In other words, we are to do our Christian duty of verbally sharing the Gospel with all people. The Gospel being that men and women can be reconciled to God because of the work of Christ when they repent of their sins and trust in Christ for their salvation. Christ lived a perfect life when we could not, died on the Cross, bearing our sins in his body, and absorbing the wrath of God due to us. He arose three days later defeating sin and death. When we trust in Christ and turn from our sins we will be saved.

1 comment:

  1. Good post, I agree with most of your thoughts. However, you said in your first answer that a Christian falls into sin....I don't totally agree with that one. If you are using "fall" in the sense that it's a low behavior or like we talk about "The Fall" of man, then I think your statement is correct. But the way it comes off, at least to me, is that you mean believers just fall into sin...I really don't like it when people say that; a pastor said it in church yesterday and it irked me even then. We don't fall into sin, we walk or even run into it. Saying that we "fell" is like giving us an excuse, like we couldn't help it...when really it was a definite choice. Sometimes we tip-toe, sometimes we charge, but it's always a choice. Knowing you, my guess is that you would agree with this...I just wanted to point out how it kind of sounds the way you said it. :)


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