Is American evangelicalism actually at the point of telling all who identify as LAGS+ that Christ’s desire for them is their comfort rather than their confession? Are we seriously going to tell everyone who defines themselves by their greed and avarice that the church’s priority is their safety rather than their salvation? Are we now to conclude that the good news of the Gospel for LAGS+ students is that they are born that way rather than they must be born again? Is the 2,000-year-old Pauline teaching that all of us can become new creations in Christ little more than a “LAGSphobic” lie? If we are to follow the path of Mr. Wright’s thinking, the answer to all the above must be yes.
The list of universities resembling the asylum rather than the academy is growing daily. Institutions from Berkeley to Brown are falling over themselves to prove their “wokeness.” But this week’s winner of the “burning of the ivory tower award” hails, not from the secular sanctimony of the East or West Coast, but from America’s heartland and one of our nation’s largest Christian universities.
Consider Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), whose President David Wright recently posted this on his school’s website:
“In recent days, an event took place on our campus regarding the employment of one of our gay students that the student found painful, confusing, and unfair. This has led to an intense and far-reaching conversation [with] our LGBTQ+ students … .” Mr. Wright then proceeds to affirm the “pain and confusion LGBTQ+ students” feel by being part of a Christian campus. He finally concludes by calling for a special commission to lead a process he describes as “table, talk and teach,” whereby he will engage in a learning “conversation” with IWU’s “LGBTQ+ community” to better understand their hurt and provide them with a more loving educational experience.
What is wrong with this, and why should you care?
Stated simply, this is the quintessential example of the self-refuting and degrading “alphabet” mumbo-jumbo currently embraced by so many of America’s current thought leaders.
First, Mr. Wright goes to great lengths to make clear that IWU still holds fast to the “traditional sexual” ethic, which, by definition, prohibits all students under his charge from engaging in homosexual, bi, trans or queer behavior. But then Mr. Wright seems to stumble over himself describing the “LGBTQ+ identity” of these same students as an immutable fact and presumed good. This is an example of sawing off the rhetorical branch upon which you sit. You cannot concede the ontological ground of identity without also conceding the legal ground of the right to behave in accordance with the identity you just conceded.