Christian Universities: Will They Obey God Or Man?

By J. Matt Barber

Freedom of Religion
Christian Universities: Will They Obey God Or Man?

Liberty Counsel Action

Orlando, FL -( It's by design. As I, and others, have repeatedly warned, the establishment of so-called “gay marriage” as a newfangled federal “right,” and the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment simply cannot coexist in harmony.

Things diametrically at odds cannot possibly occupy, with any coherence, the same time and space.

The secular left is tripping over itself right now to prove my point. In the wake of last month's Obergefell v. Hodges opinion – an opinion that somehow divined a top secret “constitutional right” for Patrick Henry to “marry” Henry Patrick – liberals are now demanding, as both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito predicted, that Christian university's immediately abandon recognition of, and obedience to, God's unequivocal natural sexual order, and adopt, instead, the new pagan orthodoxy.

In a July 14 article in The Atlantic headlined, “Gay Marriage and the Future of Evangelical Colleges,” University of Tampa professor David R. Wheeler asks, “Now that same-sex couples have the right to wed, will higher-ed institutions that condemn LGBT students still be eligible for federal funding?”

Wheeler is not alone in asking.

“As cultural evolution on the issue of LGBT rights continues to accelerate, it's inevitable that some Americans will start asking hard questions about whether it makes sense to allocate scarce public resources to institutions that are not only anti-gay, but proud of it,” opines anti-Christian bigot Barry Lynn, of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “For starters, can federally supported educational institutions bar married same-sex couples from living together in student housing? I doubt it,” he adds.

In other words, Christian universities must together embrace and facilitate homosexual sin, or lose, at once, both tax-exempt status and access to all students who choose to fund their education via federal loans and grants (which is most of them).

This presents quite a conundrum. It's also a test. Christian universities must either obey God, disobey man and suffer unsavory temporal consequences, or obey man, sell their souls for mammon and suffer a-little-more-than-unsavory eternal consequence.

This is where faith comes in.

German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man who faced the gallows for faithfully opposing the Nazi Holocaust.

He once wrote, “For faith is only real when there is obedience, never without it, and faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience.”

It's really not that complicated. The Christian university that chooses the path of least resistance and conforms to the world – that is, disobeys God and adopts the world's morally relative (read: unbiblical) standards (or lack thereof) on sex and sexuality – immediately becomes at enmity with God. The Christian university that intentionally turns a blind eye to sexual immorality of any kind, or otherwise allows and recognizes sin-based “same-sex marriage,” ceases to be a Christian university and, instead, becomes an apostate university – a university better identified as “Christian in name only.”

As Jesus admonished, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

Indeed, on the question of whether Christian universities will capitulate on sodomy-based “marriage,” the path of least resistance is the broad road that stems from the wide gate and leads to destruction.

By way of example, and to its shame, formerly Christian Baylor University, located in Waco, Texas, has chosen the path of least resistance. This hits especially close to home for me. I was born in Waco and my parents both attended Baylor. Two of my uncles graduated from Baylor Law, and my grandfather, J. Dell Barber, was a Baylor benefactor. In fact, he has a room in the law school named after him and, before he died, set up the Bertha J. Barber memorial scholarship fund in honor of my great grandmother.

Reports Baptist News Global: “Baptist-affiliated Baylor University has quietly removed a ban on ‘homosexual acts' from its sexual conduct code. …”

“Lori Fogleman, assistant vice president for media communications, said the change is part of an ongoing review ‘to ensure that the university has the necessary policies and processes in place to comply with the many legal and ethical mandates to which universities are subject as institutions.' She said a review of the sexual conduct policy was contemplated for a couple of years, because officials didn't believe the language in the old policy ‘reflected Baylor's caring community.'”

And so, under Baylor University's new apostasy, it is somehow “caring” to affirm students, faculty and staff in a mortal sin that, in the absence of repentance, will lead them to eternal separation from God – to destruction.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.

It breaks my heart to be so closely affiliated with a Christian university that has so lost its way.

A colleague of mine once praised yet another for being a person who “applies biblical ethics in ways both faithful and nuanced, both orthodox and relevant.” I'm not exactly sure what that means, but, in my experience, and in the context of biblical exegesis, the term “nuanced” is usually invoked to rationalize some unbiblical behavior or otherwise cave on some fixed biblical principle.

Nuance” is the bucket of dirt used to muddy crystal clear living waters.

And how does the faithful, Bible-believing Christian remain “both orthodox and relevant”? How can a Christian be both in the world and of the world? To the world, biblical orthodoxy is, in every way imaginable, irrelevant. Biblical orthodoxy represents absolute truth, who is Christ, and the world denies that Truth.

It hates Him in fact.

Pastor Brian Houston, founder of the popular Hillsong movement, recently said, “It can be challenging for churches to stay relevant. … Many mainstream churches upheld what they would believe is the long established view of what the Bible says about homosexuality. But the world has changed around and about them. …

“So the world's changing and we want to stay relevant as a church,” he continued. “So that's a vexing thing. You think, ‘How do we not become a pariah?'”

Pastor Houston, respectfully, you have it exactly backwards. We, as Christians, are obliged to become pariahs. We must pick up our cross and follow Christ, the ultimate pariah – the one and only God-man who was such a pariah, in fact, that he was scourged, mocked, spat upon and tortured to death on a tree so that all who are willing to become pariahs right along with him, might have eternal life.

No, to remain faithful, Christian universities must abandon efforts to become “nuanced” and “relevant.”

It's a fool's errand.

If Christian universities wish to remain faithful, they must, instead, become pariahs.

They must obey God.


About Matt Barber

Matt is both an author and a popular columnist. He's known for a unique writing style (an entertaining blend of thoughtful analysis and Swiftian satire, delivered with a rapier wit). Many newspapers and online publications run Matt's columns, to include WND, TheBlaze, the Washington Times, TownHall and many more. Author of the book, “The Right Hook: From the Ring to the Culture War,” Matt is currently penning his first novel.

  • 8 thoughts on “Christian Universities: Will They Obey God Or Man?

    1. I believe the “L” in LGBT actually stands for “Litigious” as the “G” term covers the other “L” word.

      This is already happening to single-sex colleges. An all-girl University is being sued to admit men who ‘identify’ as women see “The End of Single-Sex Higher Education?”
      “In sum, the following people are invited to apply for admission:

      Biologically born female; identifies as a woman
      Biologically born female; identifies as a man
      Biologically born female; identifies as other/they/ze
      Biologically born female; does not identify as either woman or man
      Biologically born male; identifies as woman
      Biologically born male; identifies as other/they/ze and when “other/they” identity includes woman
      Biologically born with both male and female anatomy (Intersex); identifies as a woman
      The only applicants who will not be considered for admission are those who are born male and identify as male.”

      So the madness doesn’t just roll over on Christians, but anyone who asserts their natural views. No phobia needed, the fear is real, the threat is real. I’m not entirely sure why this article is on Ammoland but whatever.

    2. Enjoyed the line of reasoning. It was right on. I don’t recall seeing all the scriptural references. To obey God as ruler is Acts 5:29. Evil is good and good evil was prophesied to occur at Is. 5:20. Jesus said we would know a good tree by the fruitage it produced. The others would be cast into the fire.

    3. I am a Baylor graduate and your article greatly concerned me. I passed it along to several Baylor friends and here is what one replied:

      Here is the actual letter from President Starr directly to the Texas Baptist Association –

      Recent news reports of changes to Baylor’s sexual conduct policy have unfortunately employed sensational headlines that have created misunderstandings about our policy.
      In fact, Baylor’s sexual conduct policy remains unchanged. Our policy continues to state that Baylor will be guided by the Biblical understanding that human sexuality is a gift from God and that physical sexual intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity. In the application of our policy we rely on the historic Baptist expression of marriage as the uniting of one man and one woman.
      Baylor’s articulation of its policy required updating. Previously, this policy had been called a “Sexual Misconduct Policy.” As we do not identify other policies similarly – we have no “misspending” policy, for example – we thought it wise to make language changes to the existing policy, which also included the elimination of an extensive but incomplete list of prohibited sexual behaviors and crimes.

      If the quote from Lori Fogelman in your article is accurate I don’t think it squares with the statement from University President Ken Starr. I am thankful that Baylor has not sold out on this issue.

    4. Jesus was not reliant upon Caesar.

      Christian entities (Churches, schools, orgs) need to find a way to *enthusiastically* shed themselves of any and all support stemming from tax revenue (no Federal, State, Local govt funding) or tax breaks or any other “leash” that govt at any level can use to influence them.

      Govt involvement of any sort always comes with strings. Cut em’!!

      1. This, you are exactly right JDH770. Not only Churches but States as well. Here in Texas, we not only need to, but must cut the purse strings of the Feds. They don’t give us any money, we don’t give them any money,tit for tat. Same as Churches; Pastors need to get strong and actually lead their flocks. If they lose their Tax Exempt status so be it. Lose their Churches, just don’t leave the Church, fight back. If every God Fearing Church did so, the Government would have to either act violently or move on. The majority of L.E. isn’t going to act against the Community’s Churches. I know all I can do is talk, folks are right. One person acts it is a violent criminal act, that the State smashes immediately. Individualism doesn’t count. If an entire Church/Town/State acted, then change could be enacted. Push back the Beast, go to Church, speak up in Church, prepare the Church, and don’t be passive. Now that is something that I can do, and do, often much to the displeasure of the Elders/Deacons.

    5. Christ told us of all these things in the Gospel of Mathew. I firmly believe we as a nation ar about ready to go down the sewer pipe of history. It saddens me to no end.

      1. Don’t be sad @hippybiker; it is all God’s will that these things take place. We are quickly coming to the end of our time in this world, soon to join our Lord. Yes, the days are becoming scarier. There are wars and rumors of wars, both domestic and abroad. These wars are not all conventional with guns and soldiers in uniform, but also come disguised as “You will comply–Resistance is futile” government decreed policy. And the mark of the beast does not necessarily have to be a physical/visual thing, but might very well be as an overtly expressed acceptance of the way things are and allowing those things to divert us away from Jesus Christ.

        The friendship (aka: acceptance/coexistance) of the world is “enmity with God” (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15, 16)

        Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. …(Ephesians 6:10-18)

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