The inanity of professing Christians is oftentimes baffling. For example, Wheaton College recently dismissed (whether she chose to resign is not clear) a professor for her interfaith displays of “solidarity” with Muslims, an act apparently in defiance of the code of doctrine and faith at Wheaton. Now, ethically speaking, it seems in the least surprising that a teacher would so blithely (perhaps ignorantly?) assume that her actions would not arouse trouble on campus, and that Muslims and Christians alike would not be offended that she seems to associate YHWH with Allah. Even more peculiar is the group of protestors who seem to object to a school being consistent with its faith-convictions (while its administrators were seen tripping over themselves to be gracious and kind, and even apologetic). These protestors have had an “unsanctioned rally” in front of the Wheaton chapel “to launch a 40-day fast encouraging evangelicals to ‘confess and repent of the sins of racism, sexism and Islamophobia, and recognize that all humans have dignity and are created equal in the eyes of God'” (as reported in Christianity Today by Morgan Lee and Jeremy Weber/ February 10, 2016). Now, the question is, are they repenting of their own sins of “racism, sexism, and Islamophobia,” or everyone else’s (presumably at Wheaton)? I am curious also to know what they might say to Jesus’ words that we should take our prayers and repentance into our closet, and not make a pompous show (with trumpets, fanfare, and sackcloth)? I am doubtful of getting answers to my questions, but I would also like to know why these repenting people are so racist, and sexist, and fearful of Islam?
But perhaps I misunderstand altogether, and that they actually are rather pointing the guilty finger at others’ guilt. If that be the sad case, then I would recommend they go back to class (and not starve themselves to death), where we would hope that they would learn that racism is an unbiblical attempt to find one’s true identity in one’s ethnicity (a.k.a. “skin color”) while denigrating others’ efforts to find their identity in their own ethnicity (a.k.a. “skin color”). And, also let us hope that they would learn that believing the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality, and sexuality in all its forms, is not sexism (I am not sure what sex is as an “ism” anyway). And, that it certainly is not fear, nor hatred, of Muslims that leads Christians (who read and believe the Bible) to conclude that Islam and its god Allah are not in any clear way synonymous with YHWH or biblical faith. And lastly, above all, they should learn in a Christian college that it is precisely why Christians believe that all people are made in the image of a holy God, and have intrinsic dignity, that they invite them to believe in the true and living God and to trust in Christ his Son for their salvation. This invitation includes the message that one can truly find one’s identity only in Christ (and in nothing finite, such as ethnicity or skin color). And, that immoral sexual behavior is only symptomatic of the deeper problem of this so-called sexism, that of the futile foolishness of seeking one’s identity in one’s sexuality. And also, we would hope they might learn that fear of Islam is a silly characterization of those many Christians, who do not believe that Allah and YHWH are synonymous, but who would willingly lay down their lives for the followers of Allah and his prophet Mohamed, in the hopes that they would come to faith in Jesus and receive his gift of loving and eternal grace.
Though befuddled by these questions, still praying that the light of reason prevails at this beautiful campus and college “For Christ and His Kingdom.”