They are heading to evangelical Christian colleges across the country spreading their own message: God loves everyone, including homosexuals.UPDATE: I received a copy of the president's letter from an alum -- "I really wish I didn’t have the school’s name tied to me forever" -- concerned with the college's reaction to the visiting students.
And this week the Soulforce Equality Riders, composed of 33 gay activists, will park their bus at Wheaton College where the president is somewhat confounded by their arrival and what appears to be a confrontation on the horizon.
"Sexual intimacy belongs within the confines of marriage. We don't single out homosexuals. But we do stand on historical, biblical Christian beliefs that have remained the same over the centuries, so that we should be on the receiving end of this seems odd," said President Duane Litfin. ***
Organizer Jacob Reitan says a Wheaton College student, who not only was "in the closet" but saw his homosexuality as a sin, inspired the ride.
"I asked him what was it like to be a gay student at Wheaton. He said, 'You know I can't come out, if I did, I might be kicked out,' " Reitan said. "Three years ago, I promised him that God loves him and affirms him."
Reitan hopes that student, now a senior, and others will discuss homosexuality with gay and lesbian students sitting comfortably at the table.
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 16:13:15 -0400 (EDT)Mr. Litfin's claim that the school is under seige by gay homosexual activists is in stark contrast to this statement on the Soulforce website:
From: "Wheaton College President's Office"
Subject: Request for Prayer
I write to ask you for your prayers.
On Thursday and Friday of this week we will be visited by a group of homosexual activists traveling on a bus tour across the United States to various Christian college campuses. Their agenda is to draw negative media attention to institutions who maintain an historic biblical stand on the issue of homosexuality. This, of course, Wheaton does. (See Wheaton's Community Covenant) Hence our place on their list of targeted institutions.
We did not invite these visitors to our campus. But since they are intent on coming anyway, we decided to make a virtue out of a necessity by turning their coming into a teaching opportunity for our students. Given the ongoing changes in our culture, today’s students are potentially facing a lifetime of confrontations over the issue of homosexuality. What should be their Christian response? We have endeavored to prepare our students to respond to these visitors with the biblical balance captured in the injunction to “speak the truth in love.”
Wheaton’s provost, Dr. Stan Jones, a psychologist who has done extensive work in the area of human sexuality, has prepared a biblical rebuttal to the false teaching of this group. (See “CACE Resources on Homosexuality”) These and other written materials, along with various scheduled meetings and chapels, have been devoted to helping our students understand the many issues and shape a balanced Christian response. This process has been highly educational for all involved.
After this event is over, we will let you know how it went. In the meantime, please pray for us, asking that God will be glorified, His truth will be upheld with grace and humility, and our Christian witness to a watching world will be an effective one.
Wheaton administrators have worked closely with Soulforce Equality Ride members to plan two days of several forums and events. The members of the Soulforce Equality Ride look forward to our time at Wheaton and are confident that it will be an excellent learning opportunity for all people involved.Now this would just be a case of he said/she said, except that the provost of Wheaton College addressed the issue of the Soulforce visit on WGN-AM this morning -- and he said that the school invited the student activists and that they welcomed the opportunity to discuss important issues that will face Wheaton College students when they leave the school.
So it seems that Wheaton College is crying out about an invasion of gay homosexual activists in its communications with its hyper-conservative alumni/donors, but when it talks to the rest of Chicagoland about the visit it puts on a much more moderate face.
If an individual did this, you would not hesitate to say that person is a hypocrite -- or, perhaps, bi-curious.