“The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) may have left Gordon alone for the time being but only because they are satisfied that advocates for homosexual relations have (so to speak) secured the beachhead and are advancing inland. After reading the College’s own “Questions about Gordon’s Working Group” I felt some sadness for a college I love.”
President Lindsay of Gordon College is a great guy and Gordon is an important evangelical institution of higher learning. I’m delighted that the Administration and Board of Gordon College has not eliminated a prohibition of “homosexual practice” from its Life and Conduct Statement in the face of an unwarranted accreditation attack.
Nevertheless, the present situation does not appear to me to be as rosy as David French (a lawyer who has advised President Lindsay and Gordon College) depicted it in his May 1 National Review online article, “Gordon College Keeps Its Faith and Its Accreditation.”
French declares that:
Gordon prevailed against a dangerous threat and secured an important victory for religious liberty and academic freedom. . . . In its moment of crisis, Gordon doubled down on faith. May other Christians under cultural fire do the same.
I wish I could be as sanguine. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) may have left Gordon alone for the time being but only because they are satisfied that advocates for homosexual relations have (so to speak) secured the beachhead and are advancing inland. After reading the College’s own “Questions about Gordon’s Working Group” I felt some sadness for a college I love (my wife is an alum of Gordon; I took a transfer term there in Spring 1979 while a Dartmouth student).
Yes, the Board “unanimously reaffirmed the College’s historic, theological conviction regarding biblical teaching around human sexuality and behavior, and is not making any change at this time to the College’s Life and Conduct Statement” (my emphasis). Yet why add “at this time”? The qualifier sounds ominous. Better to hear that Gordon College has no intention of ever changing the core scriptural teaching that God designed sex solely between a man and a woman.
I am concerned that the Administration and Board may have made too many concessions to an “LGBTQ” agenda, presumably under duress and some wishful thinking. They are therefore in need of our support and prayer. These concessions include the following:
(1) Deferential recognition of advocates of sexual heresy at Gordon. I had thought that only a tiny minority of Gordon’s faculty, staff, and students were supporting a change in the sexuality standard. So I had hoped that the governing authorities at Gordon would have rejected advocacy of homosexual unions as being every bit as inconsistent with continued association with the College as advocacy of consensual incest, polyamory, adultery, and fornication.
Instead, we only read: “The Board . . . clearly recognizes that the campus and Gordon’s constituents are not of one mind on this topic.” Why are proponents of homosexuality being given such legitimacy? Has the train already left the station?
(2) Destigmatizing “being LGBTQ.” Gordon’s website highlights as “perhaps the greatest accomplishment over the last nine months . . . the decreased stigma on the Gordon campus associated with being LGBTQ . . .We are also committed to determining how to maintain this decreased stigma during future periods.”
As the Athenian stranger notes in Plato’s Laws (838A-C), stigmatizing sexually immoral conduct is a vital means of dissuading a community from acting on impure sexual desires. What’s next? Destigmatizing desires for adult-committed forms of polyamory and incest?
Part of the problem is the obscurity of the phrase “being LGBTQ,” which does not make clear the difference between a non-affirmed attraction (for which an individual is not culpable) and a self-affirmed attraction that may be acted upon (for which an individual is culpable). Indeed, the buying into a “gay” or “transgender” label (so-called) is already an unwise concession.
If the goal is to instruct the Gordon community to not blame persons for the mere experience of same-sex attractions (ssa), then fine and dandy. If the goal is also to reduce the stigma attached to homosexual practice, then this is troubling.