Wheaton College, Ed Stetzer, Hijabs, and Gay Pride Flags
Remember last year when Ed Stetzer decided to leave Lifeway to pursue a prestigious career at Wheaton College as the director of The Billy Graham Distinguished Endowed Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism? Stetzer, who still serves as General Editor for the Gospel Project, a Sunday School course designed for Southern Baptist and like-minded Evangelical churches, apparently believes that he was just too big to work for a publisher and a retail store,
I was asked to serve on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals, have written textbooks on missiology with MissionShift, hosted the national conversation on race A Time to Speak, and a summit on the global plight of refugees. Yet, I work at a publisher and retail store chain. The opportunities God has opened for me, and for which I am accountable to Him, have become broader than only a publishing focus.
God opened bigger and better doors for him–at Wheaton College.
Wheaton College, which has been wrought with controversy since Stetzer’s commencement as the new archetype for Billy Graham’s legacy, has taken a slow, steady slide to the ecumenical left in recent years. The “Christian” school has a diverse population and is no stranger to those who one blogger refers to as “sexual minorities.” Seeking someone to fulfill a job opening, the blogger says, “a ministry associate in the Chaplain’s office said they hoped to hire someone to support sexual minorities on campus. They wanted to hire someone who was gay, but they needed the kind of gay who could sign Wheaton’s Community Covenant—a code of conduct that says marriage is between a man and a woman and sexual expression is reserved for that relationship alone.” Understanding just how Wheaton’s Chaplain’s office believed that hiring someone who is openly gay and placing them in a position to “ministering” to others has proven an arduous undertaking. It’s mind-baffling, to say the least, however, it says a lot about the depreciation of their school.
Last year, another scandal arose when a teacher, though claimed to be Christian, insisted on wearing a Muslim hijab to show her “solidarity” with Muslim women. “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” she wrote. She also stated that part of her reasoning is that Pope Francis had recently stated that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. While Wheaton, rightfully so, rejected her reasoning and ultimately suspended the teacher, the bigger issue here is the prevalent worldview that leads them to believe that this is acceptable, to begin with.
Ed Stetzer, who God has much bigger plans for, is no stranger to ecumenism. From handing over Southern Baptist intellectual property to Islamic extremists by an Islamic globalist organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the International Interfaith Peace Corps and the syncretistic Chrislam organization, Glocal, to Honoring a New Apostolic Reformation Neo-Montanist church-growth charlatan, C. Peter Wagner, Stetzer has opened the door for and filled many seats at his table for those who “bear the name of brother” but should not be eating with (1 Corinthians 5:11).
Most recently at Stetzer’s factory farm, it came to light that someone had hung a gay pride flag in the dining hall. According to reports, the flag was raised without permission and subsequently removed. Now, could someone explain just how someone gets a ladder, sneaks into the dining hall, and hangs a huge flag high up on the wall like that without anybody seeing or knowing about this?
What does all this mean? Well, we can’t place the blame on Ed Stetzer, really. He’s merely a symptom of the bigger problem. The bigger problem is the watering down of biblical truth and lack of fortitude to stand up against those who would blaspheme our God. Merely giving lip-service to your beliefs isn’t good enough. While lawlessness will increase, false prophets will arise, and the love of many will grow cold, Matthew 24:11-13 says that only those who stand firm until the end will be saved.
Wheaton College has lost its first love. While there are some there who try to stand firm, the tides are turning. The mother of the student at the school, in a statement, says, “Wheaton has compromised with truth long ago, and fears the wrath of media and gay students more than they fear the Lord God,” she continues, “whether or not the raising of the flag was approved, this is how afraid these kids are of seeming like bigots or homophobes, that have learned well that blatantly standing for truth is not well received there on this issue.”
This is the environment of Wheaton College. Students are not being taught to stand firm–they are being led to compromise. There is no real leadership who is willing to take the wrath of the world on behalf of the gospel. It’s a cat and mouse game with them. Sin arises, sin hides. But why do teachers and students think they can get away with “standing in solidarity with Muslims,” and raising gay pride flags, to begin with? Is this merely a rebellious spirit going up against the school? Or is it the school rebelling against the Word of God?
Is this what God had planned for Ed Stetzer?
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. –2 Corinthians 11:3-4
[Contributed by Jeff Maples]