University Stands Against Discrimination . . . by Discriminating

As another week draws to a close, it’s not hard to find another story in which Christian beliefs are being suppressed and undermined by a secular world. Several stories have drawn attention this week. However, it’s a college that is part of the University of Oxford that should draw more scrutiny this week than what it is.
At Balliol College, for many anticipation is mounting for the freshers fair. However for the Christian Union group that anticipation was restrained as students were told they were unable to have their own booth this year. The reasoning according to Freddy Potts, Vice President of Balliol’s Junior Common Room committee was that the “sole concern is that that the presence of the CU alone may alienate incoming students.” He goes further to state that, “Historically, Christianity’s influence on many marginalized communities has been damaging in its methods of conversion and rules of practice, and is still used in many places as an excuse for homophobia and certain forms of Neo-colonialism.” It is words such as those that create discord and harm.
It can be aggravating for Christians when a man in this position and power is given the ability to make such contradictory and blatantly biased statements. Yet, the fact that such events are weekly occurrences demonstrates the current status of our society and current concern for faithful Christians. It causes us to fear, it causes, anxiety, and it causes apprehension. However, there’s more that needs to be understood about the situation before allowing such emotions to take root.
The statements made by Freddy Potts offer a glimpse into how the secular world thinks and responds. Unfortunately, his words reflect a parroting of points that lack thoughtfulness and logic and instead is the result of a false dialogue that is allowed to permeate without being contested. It is a dialogue built on the following:
  • False Points: It is noted that Christianity’s influence has supposedly marginalized communities and has damaging methods and rules. These charges against Christians are trumped up with over generalizations and inaccuracies that reflect someone who is completely unaware of what the heart of Christianity is. In reality, Christian truths are quite the opposite of his supposed claims and history has demonstrated such.
  • False Promises: The second issue at hand is the mindset that by eliminating Christianity and its truthful practices society will be one community that is not alienated from one another. In fact, the doctrine of sin would tell us that quite the opposite is the case and that a lack of Christianity results in automatic alienation. In fact, it seems contradictory that in this instance, the way to not alienate people is by isolating a particular people group, which thus alienates that group of people. What is being promised by the reasoning of Freddy Potts is not possible and results in more alienation.
  • False Premises: Finally, the notion that Christianity is an excuse for homophobia is untruthful and therefore is an unreliable premise to build an argument. In fact, Christianity is quite the contrary (see article #3 at the bottom by Dr. R. Albert Mohler). I have yet to meet a Christian who really is afraid of gay people, despite the constant generalization that all Christians have this innate fear.
The contradictions, the falsehood, and the slander that has taken place just within the Oxford community are disturbing, but it is also what is currently trending.
Therefore, as Christians, what must we consider? The reality is that in place of false points, false promises, and false premises, we have the truth that results in the following:
  • True Points: We are told that the Lord’s Word is the truth (John 17:17) and even more our Lord and Savior is the truth (John 14:6). Therefore, while the world proclaims truth with little veracity, what Christians have are absolute truth in living form.
  • True Promises: That truth comes with a series of promises. It is a truth that comes with promises of salvation, sanctification, and satisfaction because it is a truth that has the capacity to transform us from inside out, creating a unity in truth that transcends any possible alienation.
  • True Premises: Finally, because it is true, the premises are reliable and trustworthy. Therefore, they are firm enough that anything founded on them will not fall, unlike the false premises above.
The truth that is presented stands in stark contrast to the world’s falsehood.

What Christians have is truth personified in the Lord Jesus Christ, truth proven through the Lord Jesus Christ, and truth practiced by the Lord Jesus Christ. To see these characteristics of truth, therefore, instills a confidence in us to see truth preached, by us and others. The response is to trust and be captivated with the truth that God has so graciously chosen to reveal so that it may impact others, despite the seriousness of the charges levied against us.

To follow-up with some articles on the subject and confirm some of the quotes above, please see the following links:

  1. Anger as Oxford college bans Christian group from freshers’ fair at The Guardian.
  2. Oxford college bans ‘harmful’ Christian Union from freshers’ fair at The Telegraph.
  3. I signed the Nashville Statement. It’s an expression of love for same-sex attracted people by R. Albert Mother at The Washington Post.

Photo “Oxford University” courtesy of user Pablo Fernandez and Flickr.