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Oozing my religion

Decline seeps at once-Christian colleges; Jeffress conflates border debate with Revelation

Oozing my religion

(Wesleyan University Student Assembly Office/Facebook)

A Whirled Views roundup of U.S. religious news and views.

Un-great awakening 

The spiritual decline of many colleges and universities with religious beginnings isn’t a new development, but I was reminded of it again when I wrote about pro-life efforts at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

The university has been independent from the Methodist Church since 1937, but it still bears the name of John Wesley—one of founders of Methodism and an important figure in the Great Awakening. 

Joy Adedokun, a senior at Wesleyan, started a pro-life group on campus four years ago and found herself in formidable company: “One of the things I didn’t understand … was how radical the pro-choice movement was on our campus.” She says some of that stems from a culture of promiscuity: “I feel like older people in the pro-life movement don’t understand how prevalent that culture is.” 


Joy Adedokun (Facebook)

To get a glimpse, peruse the school’s selection of “gender and sexuality” resources. After descriptions of Planned Parenthood and abortion escorts comes a group called “WesKink,” described as a “community for students interested in kink, BDSM, non-monogamy and polyamory, and other alternative sex/relationship practices.”

It’s a shame to link John Wesley’s name to such a group, but the bigger tragedy is the vacuous pursuit of personal autonomy and its disastrous consequences—often including abortion. 

He said, she said 

Meanwhile, bewildering changes are afoot at Stephens College, established in 1855 as the Columbia Female Baptist Academy. The school is still an all-female college, but the definition of female will dramatically shift in the fall of 2019 to include—men. 


Stephens College (Handout)

Confused? The college’s explanation of its policy changes might not help: “Stephens College has recommitted to its singular mission of educating women.” 

But since school officials have changed their definition of women, the college will now “admit and enroll students who were not born female, but who identify and live as women.” 

In some cases, if a student was born female, she might face a problem: “The College will stop admitting and enrolling students who were born female but who now identify as men or who are transitioning from female to male.”

If a student was born female, but is undecided on her sex, that’s OK: “The College will also continue to admit and enroll students who were born female but who identify as nonbinary, meaning students who experience their gender identity as falling outside the categories of man and woman.”

The school seemed to realize the mental gymnastics involved in understanding the changes, since it listed one of the FAQs as: “OK, for those of us who don’t really understand the terms or issues here, what does that actually mean?

The real answer to that question is that our culture continues to encourage deeply troubled people to reject reality, instead of patiently helping them to see who they are as men and women made in God’s image.

Senator’s stand

Speaking of protecting God’s image, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., called out Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, for wondering aloud: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?”

Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, responded: “Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism—it is because of our silence when things like this are said.” Two days later, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., pledged “action will be taken.” The next evening, House Republican leaders removed King from his posts on the Judiciary and Agricultural committees.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

King issued a statement saying he was a “nationalist,” and calling white nationalism and white supremacy “evil.” He didn’t deny the quote itself, but said he was asking only how the term “Western civilization” had become offensive.

Walled out

Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas and an avid supporter of President Donald Trump, used the book of Revelation to advocate for a border wall. He argued the border wall isn’t immoral (contrary to some Democrats’ claims) since Revelation describes a wall around heaven, and “not everybody is going to be allowed in.”

I agree that a border wall isn’t inherently immoral. But I disagree with using a part of Scripture describing God’s judgment and salvation on the Last Day to bolster a case for a concrete structure in the Southwestern United States.

Higher office 

Bill Lee, the Tennessee Republican who refused to run negative ads and came from behind to win the state’s governorship, is set for inauguration this weekend. The activities will kick off with a worship service at Ryman Auditorium. 

Mark Humphrey/AP

Bill Lee (Mark Humphrey/AP)

When I spoke with Lee during his campaign last fall, he talked about his Christian faith: “I tell people, ‘If you’re going to consider voting for me for governor, you ought to know everything about me as a person. And the most important thing to this person is my relationship with Christ.”


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  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Sat, 01/19/2019 05:32 am

    The greatest sin today is to be a racist and if you happen to say something “off color” then there is no redemption for you.  If you accidentally say what the world perceives to be racist, If you wonder something out loud, then you cannot take it back, you will lose your posts on committees in Congress, you will have the race card pulled on you by your fellow Republican who is black, and you will be punished most soundly!  If it looks like a racists, if it sounds like a racist, it must be a racist! How dare anyone believe in Nationalism! How dare anyone believe that Western Civilization is positive! How dare anyone be Christian- bigots at heart!

  • Andy Knudsen
    Posted: Mon, 01/21/2019 05:14 pm

    Racism is not the greatest or only sin, but it is a sin. I support Senator Scott and believe that the actions taken against Representative King have been appropriate because he has a history of similar statements and positions.

    Western Civilization has clearly had a positive effect on millions of people. However, equating Western Civilization with white people, as Representative King occasionally does, is wrong. People of many backgrounds have contributed to Western Civilization, particularly to America (cf.

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Wed, 01/23/2019 10:03 am

    In our culture today racism IS the greatest sin even to the point where a Congressman misspoke and he is disciplined by the larger body because the words appeared racist which is outrageous since he never intended them that way! A young woman can have an abortion but she better not say a racist word! I don’t support racism but I do point out the hypocrisy that exists today. We will kill babies in the womb but we are more concerned about racist words. This is outrageous!

    Western Civilization is being attacked by multiculturalists as evil since the predominant people were “white”. Certainly, we can point to non-white people that helped bring about Western Civilization (Augustine) but the confusion lies with the left that vilify it. The irony is that as conservatives support these attacks on Western Civilization or don’t protect it, we are allowing the dismantling of our country as we take out the “Western Civilization” values that made this country great. Even more ironic are the Christians who support the attack on Western Civilization because it is also an attempt to remove anything Christian from our society. The left are bent on destroying the “good” of our country and replacing it with “evil” and Christians had better wise up or we will be marched off to prison as our sermons are deemed “hate speech” by the multicultural tyrants!

  •  Xion's picture
    Posted: Thu, 01/31/2019 11:42 pm

    "I agree that a border wall isn’t inherently immoral. But I disagree with using a part of Scripture describing God’s judgment and salvation on the Last Day to bolster a case for a concrete structure in the Southwestern United States."

    It isn't clear that the pastor was arguing FOR a wall in that case, only that a wall cannot be immoral if heaven has one.  We are studying Nehemiah in church now which finds nothing immoral about walls.  If walls are immoral, then lets remove them from prisons and the Vatican and Fort Knox and the houses of Democrats.

  •  phillipW's picture
    Posted: Fri, 02/22/2019 08:50 am

    It's a stretch, to say the least, to compare text from the book of Revelation to a border wall in the United States of America.  This is yet another example of an alleged "preacher of the Gospel" who has taken scripture out of context to suit his own sinful political desires.

    If you are going to preach the Gospel, do so in a way that honors and glorifies God, and not in a way that espouses current events transposed onto the pages of scripture falsely.  It's heretical at a minimum and blasphemy at worst.