Published May 11, 2006
I recently attended a meeting of a small group of Christian leaders hosted by Alan Sears, president, CEO, and general counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund.
Sears initiated the meeting by reading from I Samuel 3 where the boy, Samuel, served in the temple under the tutelage of the priest, Eli. He emphasized verse 1: “And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious (actually ‘rare’) in those days.”
In other words, Hannah, Samuel’s mother, had prayed for a son and promised God that if He would grant her request that she would “give him to the Lord all the days of his life.” When he was still a young lad she took him to Eli so that he might be nurtured in the truth of God and learn to serve Him. Apparently, Samuel did not acquire the instruction and nurturing she thought he would surely receive at the hands of the priest.
In verse 7 Sears read, “Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the Word of the Lord yet revealed unto him.” Sears intimated that it was tragic for Samuel to be ignorant of the Lord and the Word of the Lord in the context of his environment.
Sears’ appeal was for a bold and forthright declaration of the Word of God from both the pulpit and the pew in this postmodern era that insists that there is no objective, absolute truth.
Sears stated that one of the problems in our country is that people do not know our history, that we have lost the sense of the miracle of America. He said, “The first public schools were started to help children read the Bible, but now our public universities, under the guise of academic freedom and free speech, freeze out those who want to present the Gospel.”
Ruth Malhotra, a 22-year-old student at Georgia Tech and member of First Baptist Atlanta, says that her faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. Her convictions on this issue run counter to the policies of the university, which bans speech that discriminates against others because of their sexual orientation.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that many such policies intended to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination end up discriminating against conservative Christians. The article stated, “Evangelicals have been suspended for wearing anti-gay t-shirts to high school, fired for denouncing Gay Pride Month at work, reprimanded for refusing to attend diversity training. When they protest tolerance codes, they’re labeled intolerant.”
A recent survey by the Anti-Defamation League found that 64% of American adults – including 80% of evangelical Christians – agreed with the statement, “Religion is under attack in this country.”
Stephen Crampton, chief counsel for the American Family Association’s Center for Law and Policy, commented, “The message is, you’re free to worship as you like, but don’t you dare talk about it outside the four walls of your church.”
Interestingly, Georgia Tech permits a gay group to provide sensitivity training sessions called “Safe Space” primarily: (1) to provide a supportive environment for gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered members of the campus community and (2) to facilitate the “coming out” process.
What colleges and universities prohibit and permit make for an interesting discussion. Many institutions of higher education seem to be tolerant of everything except evangelical Christianity.
David Horowitz, a self-described leftist turned conservative activist who frequently appears on the Fox News network as an analyst, recently wrote a book describing what he calls the “most dangerous” professors on college campuses. Horowitz and others contend that universities are liberal havens run by predominantly left-wing professors who bring their political agenda to the classroom and belittle students who differ with them. Horowitz has even claimed that 50,000 (one in eight) professors identify with terrorists.
Somehow we need to regain the lost sense of the miracle of America. We need to applaud those who stand for truth and righteousness in difficult places. We need to let our influence be known and felt in the public school systems of America and we need to support those colleges that are distinctively Christian such as our own Georgia Baptist Colleges: Brewton-Parker, Shorter and Truett-McConnell.
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