Imagine calling yourself a Christian school and doing this.
Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, recently canceled an on-campus Promise Keepers event over the group's blog post on "Pride Month."
In the post, Promise Keepers affirmed the basic biblical teaching on marriage, but Belmont said the statement "unnecessarily [fans] the flames of culture wars" and is "harmful to members of [its] community."
Why is a Christian school canceling a Christian event for a Christian group's totally Christian statement?
"Belmont informed Promise Keepers leadership that the event could not be held on our campus because a blog the organization posted ... includes comments that we believe unnecessarily fan the flames of culture wars and are harmful to members of our community," Belmont said in a statement.
"Belmont and the Fisher Center welcome the opportunity to host and work with a variety of groups that hold disparate opinions, and we encourage the exchange of dialogue. Yet as an ecumenical, Christ-centered institution we are also unequivocal in our belief in the value of each human being, and we are committed to engaging in constructive conversations that demonstrate kindness and seek understanding. We will not knowingly provide a space for any group whose language we believe to lack that same respect,"
"Culture wars"?! "Harmful"?! These Promise Keepers must be so scary!
Let's take a look at this super HaRmFuL statement, shall we?
"We will not stand on the sidelines and remain quiet," Promise Keepers said in a statement on May 30. "As fathers, husbands, grandfathers, and young men — we see the dangers of gender ideology and the harm it causes."
"At Promise Keepers, we affirm that God made human beings in His image to reflect Him. He created male and female with equal worth and dignity — and there was no mistake in that design (Genesis 1:27; Mark 10:6)."
Oh no! Bible verses!
"In our present day, men and women are increasingly confused about their identities. Biological identity has been severed as separate from 'gender identity,' while children across the United States are actively indoctrinated into intense inner turmoil about who they 'really are.'"
"What's behind this change? Throughout history, humans have traditionally looked to God, the church, and their families as the starting points for identity. Now, our culture has decided each person must decide his or her own identity by looking inward — which leads to isolation, loneliness, and confusion."
"At Promise Keepers, we believe it is more important than ever to stand up boldly for what we believe as Christians. God's Word is very clear on this topic — and we also see the way gender ideology has damaged lives, mutilated bodies, and torn apart families in our own communities."
Promise Keepers finishes the statement with biblical affirmations (you know, just doing the totally normal Christian thing of affirming what the Bible clearly says).
"We affirm — "
- "That true life and joy is found when we reject sin. ('We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.' – Romans 6:6)"
- "That gender ideology is an idol of our culture and that, as sin, it is poisonous. ('There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.' – Prov. 14:12; see also Deuteronomy 29:18-19)"
- "That marriage is designed by God to be for one man and one woman. (Mark 10:6-9)"
- "That Jesus, the Son of God, will forgive our sins if we repent. ('If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' – 1 John 1:9)"
- "That the path of following Jesus Christ is difficult and countercultural, but it is the path of LIFE. ('You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.' – Psalm 16:11; see 2 John 1:6-9)"
What exactly is it about the Promise Keepers statement that is unnecessary, harmful, unkind, or disrespectful? Nothing!
Don't get me wrong. With this statement, Promise Keepers declares spiritual warfare (as they should).
I'd like Belmont to consider Ephesians 5:11, where Christians are called to "[t]ake no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them."
Promise Keepers is a Christian ministry! If they want to accomplish anything for Kingdom of God, then it is absolutely necessary for them to address sexual sin that is rampant in our day.
This is what it really comes down to: does Belmont believe and submit to what God said? Judging from this cancelation, it doesn't look like it.
"The state of Christian colleges today is really concerning and people need to know this, that Belmont is by no way unique in this way," Promise Keepers CEO Ken Harrison said. "If you go on their homepage it is all Christian this and Christian that and training people for Christ. What does that mean when you deny the basic tenets of scripture?"