INSIGHT INTO HOW MANY CHRISTIAN COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES ARE FALLING PREY TO THE LGBTQ+ AGENDA AIMED AT CHRISTIAN INSTITUTIONS
Rev. Thomas Littleton 2/23/ 2019
You may be noticing that all is not well on campuses , in campuses ministries , and in the hearts and minds of your own grown children who have been entrusted to our institutions of Christian education. Expensive tuition is being invested to educate and disciple Christian young people from deeply committed families as they are prepared for life and ministry in a (hopefully) godly, biblical setting imparting a solid Christian Worldview .
More and more parents are expressing a sort of disillusionment and “tuition payers remorse” with institutions like Wheaton, Biola , and even smaller regional Colleges like Covenant College on Lookout Mountain Georgia. Because of these schools past affiliations or associations many parents have seen little reason to question what is happening on their campuses until recently .
SOME STRONG INDICATIONS THAT TIMES HAVE CHANGED AND THE REASONS WHY.
The LGBT agenda that has brought the American Psychological Association’s ideology and “sexual standards” ( dare we call it sexual ethic) into Christian Counseling is impacting everything from the chaplains office, campus clubs, campus media, programs and events and even the classroom . . Cultural engagement and the campus centers focused on it are another point of impact as Grants and Social Justice driven focus have changed curriculum and the vision the institutes are imparting .
A major player in “addressing ” and casting new light on the LGBTQ+ culture on Christian campuses is the Regent University professor /psychologist Mark Yarhouse. The influence of Yarhouse has been around for a while and in early Summer of 2018 he was promoting the radical Revoice Conference. Revoice has deep ties to Covenant Seminary (a sister school of Covenant College) in St Louis where the inaugural event was held at a PCA church. By the end of Summer full knowledge of Yarhouse history working with groups like LOVEboldly and with Revoice founder Nate Collins had surfaced. This provided insight into the broad standard of “sexual ethics” among Yarhouse affiliates. These include fully affirming /practicing homosexuals and “same sex attracted but celibate” Christians and “everything in between “. According to Yarhouse all of these are free to self -identify in whatever way they choose in their “Sexual Identity “and at the same time identify as devoutly Christian in their Faith Identity ”
Yarhouse will soon move from Regent University to Wheaton where he was educated and where his research partner Stanton Jones resides.
Both Yarhouse and Jones are deeply involved with the work of the American Psychological Association on LGBT issues and Faith. Their research is based upon the APA conclusions about sexual identity / orientation /and gender and in tandem is applied across interfaith communities . Their work with APA is not exclusively Christian and not Biblically based.Yarhouse works with the APA as current Chair of the task force on LGBT of “Division 36” which describes its work here. https://www.apadivisions.org/division-36/about
“About Div. 36”
COVENANT COLLEGE AND YARHOUSE
Covenant College describes its mission ; “For more than 50 years, Covenant has pursued its mission to explore and express the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all things.”
Many biblically conservative families in the Southeast who choose Covenant College and smaller institutions like it do so because Covenant is assumed to be ” off the grid ” from the kind of activism often thriving in larger University campuses. Concerned PCA pastor, evangelist,and revivalist Al Baker recently went into the history of the PCA and Covenant College/ Covenant Seminary (St Louis ) during an interview with Janet Mefferd about the Revoice LGBTQ+ movement and related concerns in his denomination .
YARHOUSE AND COVENANT COLLEGE
Mark Yarhouse is no stranger to Covenant College as he has spoken there in Chapel and at other events many times.
Clearly the leadership and staff at Covenant College have wanted the issue of LGBTQ+ addressed at Covenant on a regular basis. The problem is not in addressing the issue but in the source of the information provided to the students. These efforts should be measured by there Biblical foundation and there outcome among students.
JUDGING THE TREE BY ITS FRUIT
Have the Covenant College leadership engaged the appropriate partner for LGBT issues since at least 2009 ? An article from 2016 in the Covenant Campus newspaper would indicate clarity has been NOT been achieved for the Covenant students. Confusion in the era of LGBTQ+ activism in our culture appears to be perpetuated . As noted on the website “The Bagpipe is the student-run newspaper of Covenant College. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the College or of the student body.” However the Bagpipe does reflect the views of students at Covenant College and asserts a call for “GREATER LGBT AWARENESS”. They do not appear to have attained much biblical clarity .Like many young Christians today – they are receiving mixed messages and are “feeling their way ” and sadly “experimenting their way ” to conclusions while getting exposure to plenty of Yarhouse situational ethics and APA/ interfaith answers.
BAGPIPES LGBT ARTICLES
This article in February 2016 offers some sad insight into sexual and gender confusion and experimentation among Covenant College Students. Several students personal stories are told while their identities are protected as noted. “*Lyndsey Wheeler, Ryan Stevens, and Logan Sparks are pseudonyms used at the request of these students to protect their identity”. (This rivals anything promoting gay culture and confusion this writer has seen on campuses and in campus media from liberal universities like NYU.)
Here are some points discussed in the article about Covenant Students .Judge for yourself if Covenant College and Yarhouse have helped these students find Biblical Clarity.
The story of Student “Lyndsey Wheeler”
“When Wheeler was growing up, she gradually realized that she didn’t have crushes on boys like the other girls, but one boy, Justin, was an exception. However, three months into the relationship, Justin revealed to Wheeler than his name was actually Destinie, and he was a girl.”
“Wheeler wrestled with the revelation, but decided not to leave the relationship on the account of Destinie’s sex. Wheeler later dated a biological male, but it was a time marked by toxic, controlling behavior and Wheeler’s feelings of forced attraction. Wheeler seemed to finally achieve emotional equilibrium while dating her brother’s female friend, CJ, but personal moral questions during her first semester at Covenant compelled Wheeler to part ways with her. ”
““I just didn’t like guys. They weren’t attractive, but with her, she was everything: she was hot, she was sweet, she was crazy— which is my favorite,” said Wheeler with a half-smile. However, as a Christian, Wheeler concluded that strengthening her relationship with God was more crucial than staying with CJ”
Student “Ryan Stevens”
“Ryan Stevens,” a student who experiences transgender desires, said that “the biggest frustration is a lack of awareness.” He, along with Wheeler, does not feel that students intentionally ostracize LGBT cohorts, but, according to Stevens, “there is still such a stigma and shame” attached to the issues.
“We feel secluded, we feel lonely. People make jokes and there is nothing we can say about it,” said Wheeler. “We can’t say ‘hey, man, maybe you shouldn’t joke about that’ without seeming weird or we care too much.” When Wheeler shared her dating history with close friends, “individually, they were really nice and understanding and comforting and helpful, but had I told my friends in a group setting, their reaction would have been different.”
“I don’t think the community takes it seriously” said Stevens.”
COVENANT FORMS A “SEXUALITY COMMITTEE ”
“In the past three years since VP of Student Development, Brad Voyles, began to make changes to the student handbook’s once fragment-sized statement concerning homosexuality, issues of biblical sexuality have taken on new importance within Student Development and the administration as a whole”Voyles pulled together faculty members, staff, and students to form a Sexuality Committee that meets privately almost every month. ”
“Regular members include Voyles, Eames, Theology Professor Dr. Hans Madueme, Theater Professor Camille Hallstrom, Chaplain Grant Lowe, counselor Shan Alexander, Associate Dean of Students Jonathan Ingraham, Andreas RD Hannah Bloomquist, and two students. Philosophy Professor Dr. Bill Davis and Director of Academic Support, Janet Hulsey periodically chime in at the meetings.”
THE GOSPEL COALITION PARTNERS ON LGBTQ+ HAVE ALSO BEEN BROUGHT TO COVENANT IN 2014 .
“Rosaria Butterfield, author of Secrets of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into the Christian Faith, former lesbian and advocate of queer literary theory, was invited to speak at a chapel lecture in 2013, while Sam Allberry, pastor and author of Is God Anti-Gay?, and Matthew Trexler, ’11 Covenant alumnus, spoke about their experiences with same-sex attraction in Fall 2014.”
“He explained further that while culture’s perception of sexuality currently challenges biblical views, caring “without judgement or condemnation” is a major aspect of biblical faithfulness. As a result of Committee discussions, the administration recently approved Eames’s psychology course, Human Sexuality, as a Social Science Distribution for next semester. ”
“During the most recent Committee meeting, held on Feb. 19, members presented feedback from Sexuality Week and plans for a second Sexual Identity and “Women‘s Only” sexuality panel this semester. Some members also proposed a spiritual successor to the once-popular “Wittenburg Door Project”— a forum where students posted anonymous questions answered by Covenant faculty—and regular “breakout groups” where students could meet to discuss hot topics including LGBT issues.
“Stevens and student “Logan Sparks”* both expressed gratitude towards the Committee for making headway on these discussions and providing personal guidance.”
“Stevens was particularly captivated by the panel discussions and speakers.He hopes that the administration will pursue “a legitimate, targeted strategy for an ongoing and guided campus discussion” in the future, as well as creating a safe place for people to ask questions, particularly when addressing LGBT issues”
“Wheeler, however, expressed her disappointment with the lack of specifically LGBT–related discussion. She also fears that meeting with Student Development would result in forced counseling sessions or becoming a “poster child” for campus LGBT issues.”
“LGBT students already feel like they’re being hunted down. We already feel like we can’t come out,” she said. “Even if it is not the administration’s motive, it would seem that way to someone who has been going here for a year or longer and is paranoid.”
“Wheeler suggested that presenting anonymous campus LGBT statistics alongside the number of students suffering from depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems could help raise awareness during an annual chapel.”
WHAT DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE SAID
The students at Covenant College are not being informed about the massive global LGBTQ agenda or the money and politics behind it. They are not being told that Planned Parenthood is the largest promoter of LGBTQ rights and that the end game for PP is mandated “Comprehensive Sexuality Education ” representing full normalization and sexual liberation in K5-12 which will be affecting their own children in a few short years once mandated in the US.Covenant students are not told about the horrific health dangers of LGBT+ behaviour clearly outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and global health organizations .
The Covenant Students are not being told about the political drivers behind the promotion of LGBTQ and there devastating impact on personal freedoms, family rights, freedom of religion and even freedom of speech. They are not being shown that LGBTQ rights will hinder Christian counseling or the ministry which they are being trained to serve. They are not being shown the plight of people and families of those wanting out of homosexuality ( a fact now ignored or vilified by activist’s ). Covenant College students – and many more like them in Christian institutions under the sway of the APA and LGBTQ political strategies are not being shown how LGBTQ people and other minorites are being used politically .Organizations who care nothing about them are using LGBT to redefine the global human rights debate and empower some of the most oppressive policies ever conceived -all in the name of “LGBTQ rights”.
Most disturbing is that these students are not getting a solid Gospel message offering real hope for real transformation for themselves or for others -or learning how to fulfill their callings to minister truth to hurting people by the power of the Gospel. They are getting little more than training to offer the dying worlds message to dying people with no hope and little more than an affirmation band-aid to console them. These young people are losing their callings in the very places they have gone to be trained and equipped to engage it.
Another current article on sex and gender in the Bagpipe looks to be focused more on the politics and activism of the #MeToo Movement than gleaning of a Biblical perspective .
A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit
43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil [a]treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
HAS YARHOUSE BROUGHT CLARITY AND VICTORY TO DISCIPLES AT COVENANT?
The focus of the organization Yarhouse Chairs for the APA would appear to make Gospel HOPE through his work an impossibility .
“Reconciling Conflicting Identities . As clinical and counseling psychology students do tend to identify as advocates, many grappled with how to hold clients’ RSS identities alongside identities that religious systems historically or may currently oppress, particularly LGBTQ+ identities. Participants noted that not only is it difficult to hold conflicting identities for a client, but that they had difficulty reconciling strong reactions toward some RSS communities based on personal experiences, especially experiences that involved conflicting multicultural identities (e.g., religious upbringing alongside LGBTQ+ identity). We want to be clear that affirming LGBTQ+ identities is a critical component of delivering ethically sound and responsive psychotherapy. For more information on how to affirm LGBTQ identities while also addressing other multicultural identities, including RSS, see the APA’s report “Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.” (PDF, 1.1MB) We also believe that these very difficult conversations are discussion triggers that help our students – when done with safety, affirmation and guidance – develop a growing awareness of self-RSS identities and thus appropriately address RSS countertransference as it arises in psychotherapy. Giving space and validation to these very real conflicts grants our students permission to explore such issues further and is an antidote to the current tendency to exclude RSS issues from multicultural dialogues.”
The expectations of Yarhouse / APA’s work can be studied more extensively here
The author of the Covenant Bagpipe LGBT article is profiled in the “World Journalism Institute” blog post here
“(I was writing about) things that most people were afraid to write about before,” Hulsey said. “In a school that is silent about these things, you’re gonna get a lot of pushback from students.”
“Hulsey didn’t think she knew anyone on campus who was LGBT. But, as she dug deeper into the story, she discovered that two of her close friends struggled with transgender and lesbian impulses. She didn’t know this before because they didn’t feel comfortable talking about it in the open”
“You never hear about that on the news,” Hulsey said. “Part of the chance you take as a Christian is reaching out to others.”
“Hulsey’s experiences with Nepalese refugees and writing tough articles for her school paper increased her awareness of minorities.”
“(These stories) taught me to reach out to people and to listen,” Hulsey said. “‘Cuz I like to talk.”
Molly also did the article below for Bagpipe on LGBT issues and Covenant College . https://www.bagpipeonline.com/news/2016/2/8/title-ix
OUTCOME BASED LGBT+ “CHRISTIAN” EDUCATION
Where is Covenant College headed in the future? Loosed from Biblical moorings and yoked with ideology of the APA / interfaith spirituality – things DO not look encouraging. Those who assumed Covenant College and others like it- who are sadly under the same influences -would train our next generation of much needed prophets – pastors -missionaries have real reason for concern. Not only will the parents and grandparents who are paying the tuitions be disappointed in the outcomes . The conservative churches who hire the young people as staff educated by Covenant and other institutions like Wheaton and Biola are in for some confusion as well. As these influences trickled through /into our pulpits across the nation -we are rapidly trading both our temporal place and eternal -Gospel role in society for a bowl of APA affirming pottage. There are exceptions of course but we are ruining a generation and the call of God on their lives.