Andrews University recently implemented new policies in its Student Handbook that are designed to create a safe environment on campus for students who are gay, lesbian, transgender or unsure about their gender identity.
The new policies are meant to “draw” into a close relationship to God those who are struggling with their sexual orientation and to demonstrate that the university cares for them. It denounces discrimination and harassment on the basis of a persons’ sexual orientation and works to create a safe “caring” climate for all students.
The Andrews University Statement says: “All students who live in harmony with the values of the University and the biblical standards of the Adventist church—no matter their sexual orientation—are welcome to participate and lead as members of our community.”
The Andrews statement is basically saying that you can be a member of the LGBTQ and still be accepted, just as long as you are not in a LGBTQ relationship. In other words “You can be who you are, just don’t ever get married or start dating.” If I am a single person and the church is telling me that everything is OK as long as I don’t date or marry then something is seriously wrong! That’s not the gospel. That’s pandering. That is politicizing the issue. That is not love.
Jesus said sin is not just defined or limited to external acts, or being in a LGBTQ relationship. Sin is also a state of mind – being a member of the LGBTQ community and not being in a relationship. Sin can be present in our heart and thoughts, not just our actions: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28.
“God’s law reaches the feelings and motives, as well as the outward acts. It reveals the secrets of the heart, flashing light upon things before buried in darkness. God knows every thought, every purpose, every plan, every motive. The books of heaven record the sins that would have been committed had there been opportunity” (Bible Commentary, Vol. 5, p. 1085).
God never panders the sinner or attempts to accommodate or justify their external sins or the sins that are inside of our hearts and minds:
“God’s plan is not to send messengers who will please and flatter sinners; He delivers no messages of peace to lull the unsanctified into carnal security. Instead, He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrongdoer and pierces his soul with sharp arrows of conviction. Ministering angels present to him the fearful judgments of God, to deepen the sense of need and to prompt the agonizing cry, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ Acts 16:30. But the Hand that humbles to the dust, rebukes sin, and puts pride and ambition to shame, is the Hand that lifts up the penitent, stricken one” (Prophets and Kings, 435).
The real danger at Andrews University is that they are starting to promote a progressive, secular, political agenda that rejects the long-standing position in Adventism that supports God’s Biblical view on sexuality. The secular progressive’s approach to sex education is one that is inclusive and that embraces the LGBT communities. The aim of the secular progressives is to eliminate and downplay the traditional Judeo-Christian belief on sexuality by characterizing it as bigoted and discriminatory. Pro-LGBT advocates will stop at nothing to impose secular ‘morality’ on Christians. This battle has been raging for decades in America as the Sunday-keeping churches are starting to embrace openly the LGBTQ community, and now this battle has reached the doors of the Adventist Church. This is just the first step, the ultimate objective is to embrace the LGBTQ members who ARE in a relationship.
True love and respect is to value the individual enough to tell him or her the truth in order to dispel the falsehood a person may be in. Liberty, love, respect and free speech from God’s perspective is for the advancement and the establishment of sacred truth, and not for the abandonment of the truth. God is merciful, long suffering, full of grace, patient, kind, and He pardons iniquity; but He is also truth. And it is God’s world-view of truth upon which His church is established. It is God who defines what sin and disobedience is. He calls certain lifestyles sin. No man can make that judgment call, but God can and has. God doesn’t hate anyone when defining sin. He loves all people for we are all sinners; but in love God calls us all to repent and to forsake sin.
“Call sin by its right name. Declare what God has said in regard to lying, Sabbathbreaking, stealing, idolatry, and every other evil. ‘They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.’ Galatians 5:21. If they persist in sin, the judgment you have declared from God’s word is pronounced upon them in heaven. In choosing to sin, they disown Christ; the church must show that she does not sanction their deeds, or she herself dishonors her Lord. She must say about sin what God says about it. She must deal with it as God directs, and her action is ratified in heaven. He who despises the authority of the church despises the authority of Christ Himself” (Desire of Ages, 805).
The progressive, secular agenda is designed to “embrace” peoples’ lifestyles no matter who they are attracted to sexually. It is about forcing the school to support every type of sexual relationship regardless of what the church or parents believe. Secular progressives at Andrews University are basically saying that God, our Creator, is not omniscient. God somehow didn’t get it right with Adam and Eve, and that man, is just as all-knowing and powerful as God, and somehow we can equally determine our own personal gender. You can determine your own gender identity and they will support you. You can choose what you want to be and you will be a member in good standing. Andrews University is saying “Don’t worry, if you are not happy with the way God created you, we will support you, we will love you and we will make you feel welcome.” They are traveling in uncharted territory and going where no Adventist institution has ever gone before. They are rewriting the creation account when God in the beginning originally created only two genders, “male and female” (Matt. 19:4).
God has a will for mankind. But the secular progressives want to determine your gender, they want to determine your sexual orientation, they want to determine who is to be born (abortion) and when a person can die (euthanasia). They want to give you free healthcare, free college, free housing and guarantee your happiness.
Herein lies the hidden danger of what Andrews University recently voted upon: This institution is now becoming the Petri dish for progressive socialism. This entire issue has become an obvious problem or risk that no one wants to discuss, and the apologists in the church are trying to figure out how to explain our position on sexuality in the ever-changing cultural shifts of our times. 150 years ago this wasn’t an issue in Adventism, but now that prophecy is being fulfilled and we are living in the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:26-32), we are struggling to effectively explain our position in this pro-LGBT, end-time generation.
“God cannot use men who, in time of peril, when the strength, courage, and influence of all are needed, are afraid to take a firm stand for the right. He calls for men who will do faithful battle against wrong” (Prophets and Kings, 142).
To the leaders of Andrews University I want to say: STOP trying to implement your will above God’s will. STOP sending the message that God is wrong and you are right. Remember that the Seventh-day Sabbath and the two genders, male and female, were originally given to us at creation when all that God made was “good” (Genesis 1:31). This is what defines marriage and families for they are what enable societies to exists. And with regards to love – true love seeks the honor of God first and then the salvation of souls.
“Those ministers who are men pleasers, who cry, Peace, peace, when God has not spoken peace, might well humble their hearts before God, asking pardon for their insincerity and their lack of moral courage. It is not from love for their neighbor that they smooth down the message entrusted to them, but because they are self-indulgent and ease-loving. True love seeks first the honor of God and the salvation of souls. Those who have this love will not evade the truth to save themselves from the unpleasant results of plain speaking. When souls are in peril, God’s ministers will not consider self, but will speak the word given them to speak, refusing to excuse or palliate evil.” (Prophets and Kings, p. 141.3).