A friend of mine posted up a link to the latest to come from Patrick Henry College. You can read about it here, but the gist of it is this:
Patrick Henry College in Loudoun County is among the country’s most conservatives centers of higher learning. The Christian college is so conservative, in fact, that its founder and chancellor recently rejected the possibility that any gay students might even attend, reports the Loudoun Times:
Gay students at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville don’t exist. They can’t exist.
So says Dr. Michael Farris, the college’s founder and chancellor.
It’s simple, really. Homosexuals can’t exist at Patrick Henry College because the students sign an honor code, Farris claimed.
“[Homosexuals] could not sign our honor code,” Farris said, adding that he considers the actions of gay men and women “sinful.”
“Part of the honor code is to be sexually pure,” he added.
The honor code in question (available from their website) states:
We, the students of Patrick Henry College, fully aware of our daily dependence on the grace of God, commit to set ourselves apart in thought, word, and deed, to honor Jesus Christ, and to love our neighbor. We passionately aspire to live our best for the Lord by conducting ourselves in the spirit of Titus 2:11-12: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.”
Therefore, I pledge, by the grace of God, to submit to proper authorities, to be honest, to respect the property of others, and to speak edifying words. I will refrain from using any substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, in any way prohibited by proper authority such as the government, church, family, or school. I will reserve sexual activity for marriage, shun sexually explicit material, and seek parental counsel when pursuing a romantic relationship. Finally, I will seek biblical resolution and reconciliation in my conflicts. I pledge to hold my fellow students accountable to these principles and ask that they do the same for me, in order that Jesus Christ might be honored and glorified.
Now, let’s be fair to the chancellor. In conservative Christian circles, being gay means having multiple partners, sleeping around, no marriage vows to secure a place in the bed of the person you’re sleeping with (by default, of course). And, given the way many (though certainly not all) activist and parade-gay types have acted, this is sort of understandable. The mores in question are not held in common and this creates repulsion and aversion.
The trouble is that ‘gay’ doesn’t mean ‘sleeping around.’ It means ‘attracted to the same sex.’ For a person who does struggle with their attraction, words like his do not spur that person on to holiness and equip them to fight ‘worldly lusts’ et cetera. Instead, it frustrates the honest efforts of those who are trying to live a pure life before God and fellows, submitting to the external law of God in Scripture and the internal witness of the indwelling Spirit who makes His people new by sanctifying them.
If I could have coffee with him, I’d thank him for his zeal in promoting Godliness, but I’d challenge him to promote Godliness in a way that doesn’t bruise a broken reed or snuff out a smoldering wick. It works counter to the Gospel he says he and his school is proclaiming…and that’s unfortunate.
I hope you, reader, will take a moment and pray for Dr. Farris. Since he’s a brother, we should work to winsomely proclaim the Gospel to him. Hating this guy or writing him off isn’t going to further Gospel ministry…so why bother? We all need prayer…so let’s pray for him and engage others lovingly.
It’s tough to love the sheep. But it’s also what our Shepherd does to us. And I’m pretty unlovable a lot of the time.