Saturday, March 04, 2006

Challenging Closed Minds

World Magazine, the evangelical national news publication, did an article on Soulforce's Equality Ride (a group of young self-proclaimed evangelical homosexuals) campaign that is visiting Christian campuses to challenge their ban on gay and lesbian students (Uninvited Guests, March 4). Joel Belz first imagines a college deciding if they should allow a group of Muslims on campus who want to do a cultural exchange. That's seems fine, he concludes, it would give opportunity to build bridges, be a positive Christian witness to Muslims, without compromising the college's values. But then, what if the group was Soulforce's homosexual activists--part of Equality Ride? All of a sudden, that proposition makes Christian colleges uncomfortable. They wouldn't want them to show up, but might tolerate them for a discussion before sending them on their way.

Why are they unafraid of welcoming Muslims but afraid of welcoming homosexuals--even ones that call themselves believers? This is the closed-minded attitude that permeates many traditional Christian groups. They have already made up their mind because they already know the truth--so they say. If they are sure about the truth, they should not be intimidated. That is why they should welcome Equality Ride and encourage open dialogue. It should be interesting to see how the 20 campuses respond to these visits, including my graduate school, Eastern University. My experience is that we Christians don't always know what we are talking about when we say we know the truth about something. Misunderstandings, mistranslations, and misinterpretations of the Bible unfortunately are not uncommon. See What the Bible Says... as an example.

No comments: