Tag Archives: IVCF

Are Campus Crusade and IVCF still Christian? Or are they just leftists?

Eagle eggs are protected, unborn babies are not
Eagle eggs are protected, unborn babies are not

The latest news is about IVCF’s rejection of the pro-life cause.

Here is an article from Touchstone magazine.

It says:

Happy New Year, Everyone! Urbana 2015 ended on January 1, 2016. Urbana is a triennial major Christian (mostly Evangelical) student missions conference in St. Louis, Missouri, sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (“InterVarsity”), primarily for college and graduate students.

[…][O]ne of the speakers prominently featured at Urbana was the “Rev.” Michelle Higgins. “Rev.” Higgins is the director of Faith for Justice, an advocacy group in St. Louis (she also serves as worship director at South City Church). Ms. Higgins is active in the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the St. Louis area.

[…]“Rev.” Higgins… described the pro-life movement as merely “a big spectacle.” In her remarks, she said:

We could end the adoption crisis tomorrow. But we’re too busy arguing to have abortion banned. We’re too busy arguing to defund Planned Parenthood. We are too busy withholding mercy from the living so that we might display a big spectacle of how much we want mercy to be shown to the unborn. Where is your mercy? What is your goal and only doing activism that is comfortable?

[…]Government statistics estimate that more than 16 million black babies have been murdered in the womb since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, a number quite a bit larger than the number of unarmed black men killed by police.

Not to mention the racist origins of Planned Parenthood, which was born out of the eugenics movement. Keep in mind that Christians are supposed to speak out against premarital sex, and for taking in unwanted children – that’s what the early church did. But at IVCF, we have women telling us that Planned Parenthood’s views on premarital sex and abortion are not to be challenged. The Bible is wrong, and Planned Parenthood is right. Because feelings.

Its often the case that the pro-abortion activists like to slander pro-lifers for not caring about women and not caring about children after they are born. But it’s not true of course, and you can read the reasons why in this Public Discourse post.

Campus Crusade, too

Previously, I wrote about how conservative professor Mike Adams is annoyed with Campus Crusade, let’s see why.

He wrote his first article to complain that campus clubs like Crusade don’t take stands on obvious moral issues like abortion.

He wrote:

Several years ago, a good friend of mine named Dave Sterrett gave a pro-life speech to a Campus Crusade chapter at a state university in North Texas. He was invited to speak by a student. During the middle of his speech, he was arguing that the unborn are fully human and have souls by quoting from the Gospel of Luke. His talk was clearly Biblical and not political in nature.

Nonetheless, when the Campus Crusade director arrived, he rudely shut the speech down.

The Campus Crusade director told Dave to come out in the hall after he shut down his talk. The Crusade leader then began to yell at Dave and told him, “I don’t know what your deal is talking about this issue. Get your books and get out of here.” He went even further calling the headquarters of Crusade, which then demanded an apology from Sterrett.

Shortly after I wrote about the incident, several members of Campus Crusade contacted me – but not to apologize for their mistreatment of Dave. They emailed to admonish me for writing about the incident – even though I did not call out the university or the chapter director by name. The fallout from the incident was revealing. It shows how far some campus ministries will go to avoid controversy – and that they often consider themselves to be above reproach.

The original incident was also revealing. The censored speech was not political so the problem cannot be that Campus Crusade is not a “politically-based” organization. The speech was morally and Biblically based. Does the rejection of the speech mean that Campus Crusade is not a “morally-based” organization? Or does it mean they are not a “Biblically-based” organization?

Of course it doesn’t. The incident merely shows that Campus Crusade has become a “comfort-based” organization. In other words, an over-riding priority is avoiding topics that might make people feel uncomfortable.

Here is the second article. He writes about how Crusade made a deal to remove Christian elements from a gathering in order to get government funding, then writes about this lady who stood up for free speech:

Subsequently, at the very school where Campus Crusade traded its religious freedom for student government funding, there was a lawsuit over a campus speech code. One of the plaintiffs was a fine Christian woman who fought to overturn a speech code that was being used to suppress conservative speech and which also posed a grave threat to religious organizations.

After she sued, homosexual groups erupted in anger – falsely claiming that she was defending “hate speech” by opposing the speech code. They defamed her, physically threatened her, and verbally abused her –all in the name of tolerance and diversity.

This time, Campus Crusade did not remain neutral. They weighed in. But, unbelievably, they weighed in against the Christian woman and in favor of those defending the speech codes.

This is the part I really think is important:

Right after these unfortunate events unfolded I became embroiled in my own First Amendment lawsuit. In part, because I stood in unity with Christians and defended them against illegal policies, I was denied a promotion at my school.

With the support of numerous Christian organizations, I eventually won the seven-year legal battle. Two Christian legal firms paid my legal bills and countless other Christian ministry and policy groups publicly backed me. But one Christian organization remained conspicuously silent. Of course, I am speaking of… the Crusade formerly named after Christ.

For seven long years I heard not a single word of public support from a single member of Campus Crusade. When I won the case, I was deluged with calls and emails and handwritten letters from Christian leaders all across America.

But I heard not a word from Campus Crusade for months in the wake of the verdict.

Then, in mid-July, the final terms of my settlement were reached. It was reported in the local news that I would get a raise and a check for back pay while may attorneys would get a sum of $615,000. On August 1, 2014, I received the check from the State of North Carolina. On August 2, just 24 hours later, one of the local directors for Campus Crusade wrote me the following:

“Hey Mike. I hope your summer is going well. Would you be interested in having coffee with me next week so I could talk to you about joining my ministry support team?”

After I received that audacious email, I searched through my archives and read every single email correspondence I had received from that director over the course of seven years. There was no offer of prayer support in any of those emails. Nor was there any mention of the legal ordeal I was going through. He simply ignored the suit until the terms of the settlement became public.

In other words, your ministry and its leaders were never interested in unity. They never offered support in public or even in private. They only sought to profit financially from those who win battles Campus Crusade chooses to avoid.

The reason I am linking to this is because I experienced this kind of behavior from IVCF and Campus Crusade as an undergraduate and later as a graduate student. They opposed the introduction of apologetics at every point, and they were both anxious to embrace the secular left, especially radical feminism, global warming alarmism, gay rights and socialism. It was depressing. If I were a student today, I’d head straight for the College Republicans and Ratio Christi if I wanted to get anything useful done. In fact, I started this blog partly as a way of discussing issues from a Christian point of view because I could not get anything done in IVCF and Campus Crusade.

I would not give money to IVCF or Crusade or any Christian missionary / relief organization  right now. I would only give to individual chapters of Ratio Christi, and then only for specific lectures or debates. You have to watch your money like a hawk, because a lot of these leftist Christian do-gooder organizations have no Christian worldview based in the Bible.

California State University system effectively bans Christian clubs

I blogged on the stories of some of these groups when they were de-recognized for “discriminating” against non-Christians.

Now we hear from the College Fix about what happened next.

Excerpt:

This school year, CSU administrators labeled campus Christian groups that refuse to allow non-Christians to lead them “discriminatory.” As a result, Christian clubs at Cal State universities that refused to change their constitutions and check boxes saying they would allow non-Christians as leaders have been officially derecognized by their campus communities.

They’ve been scrubbed from campus websites and directories. They cannot take part in events that help campus clubs recruit new members and gain visibility. They are charged a more expensive, outsider fee to rent rooms on campus – straining their already tight coffers. They’ve lost a chance to receive a portion of student fees collected to help clubs on campuses thrive.

[…]Before Cal Poly’s Cru chapter was derecognized, student Bible study leaders normally had 10 to 20 people come to their weekly Bible Studies. More recently, only two people showed up, Cal Poly senior Courtney Shipp, a former Cru member, told The College Fix.

And Greg Jao, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s national field director, told The College Fix that Chico State’s chapter – one of the bigger InterVarsity chapters – lost 50 members due to the new policy.

[…]At Cal Poly, Cru can no longer reserve a room on campus as an organization, and must reserve rooms as an outside organization. That cost went from zero to $6,000 a year under the new policy, he said.

Josh Otto, Chico State’s Cru director, told The College Fix that the cost for them to reserve a room went from being for free for the entire year to $900 for one-time use.

[…]Leaders of Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ, as well as the two other Christian clubs at San Luis Obispo that were derecognized – InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Chinese Christian Fellowship – have insisted that they couldn’t allow any non-Christians to be leaders.

“We have no issue with anybody of any kind of race, religion coming to our weekly meetings and being a part of who we are,” San Luis Obispo Missionary Leader Jamey Pappas said. “It’s a question of who’s going to be leading our students in a Bible Study, mentoring them individually, or deciding what kind of content goes into our weekly meeting, and we want people who agree with what we’re about.”

[…]At Chico, the Cru chapter used to receive $1,000 in funding from student government when they were recognized on campus. They will no longer receive that funding.

[…]“Two of my roommates are Bible Study leaders of Cru and they each have between ten and fifteen students that they are working with,” Shipp said. “Last week, Melanie Reis had no one show up to her Bible Study. Sarah Sampson only had two girls.”

[…]Making matters worse, Chico Cru also suffered a drop in attendance since they had to move their weekly meetings to a church seven blocks away from campus. Most of the losses were due to freshmen being unable to go to the meetings off-campus.

“We probably lost about 50 people,” Otto said. “We were about 160, 170 before that. Now we’re down to 120.”

Now think of this – the students have to pay the same fees to the university that are then used to fund other organizations on campus. But they don’t get the same access to the facilities. Does that seem right to you? And this is happening in 23 California State universities, according to the article. I am surprised that there hasn’t been a lawsuit yet, but it’s a bad sign to me – it makes me think that this is going to stick and even spread.

 

San Jose State University kicks Ratio Christi club off its campus

Story from the Ratio Christi blog.

Here’s the story:

On Wednesday, October 8, 2014, the Ratio Christi chapter at San Jose State University (SJSU) received a letter from the university stating that the club had been “de-recognized.” In the letter, school officials explained their actions to be in compliance with a new California State University Executive Order regarding how an organization selects its officers.

Ratio Christi, like many other campus Christian organizations, requires that chapter officers adhere to the Christian faith and biblical beliefs. This means that non-Christians, or Christians who do not feel it is necessary to follow New Testament principles as a guide for their daily lives, are not eligible for officer positions in the group. The State of California now deems this as “discriminatory,” and punishable by de-recognition.

“Colleges and universities should be encouraging student leadership, not stifling it,” said Ratio Christi President Rick Schenker. “All college students, including religious students, should have the right to form groups around shared beliefs and choose leaders who reflect those beliefs without being shut down and kicked off campus. Imagine the College Democrats being required to have a Republican student leader, or the local chapter of PETA being required to have a meat-eating leader. The results of the Cal State policy are simply ridiculous.”

Disturbingly, this has already happened to all twenty-three of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s chapters on California campuses in September and at Vanderbilt University in 2012.

In their letter to the SJSU Ratio Christi chapter, school officials explained the consequences of being “de-recognized,” a list that ranged from not being eligible for student funding and financial services to not being allowed to participate in student organization fairs, ceremonies, or training.

This is the Ratio Christi chapter that is run by Jane Pantig, who was mentioned here in a previous blog post.

The troubling thing about these rules is that it is also a violation of fundamental human rights, as this USA Today editorial explains:

In the massive California State University system, as at some other universities, new anti-discrimination rules for student groups mean it can no longer be required that the president of the Christian student fellowship is Christian, or that the head of the Muslim association is Muslim, or that the officers of any group buy into the interests and commitments of that group.

Student clubs that refuse to accept the new rules will find themselves on the sidelineswhen it comes to meeting space, recruitment opportunities and other valuable perks that go with being an officially recognized group.

Such is the fate that has befallen InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a national campus ministry that finds itself “derecognized” in the 450,000-student Cal State system for insisting that student leaders of its campus chapters affirm the basic tenets of evangelical belief.

[…]InterVarsity estimates the cost of operations could rise by many thousands of dollars annually on some of the Cal State campuses. This is part of the reason why InterVarsity is continuing to pray and plead for relief from the new policy.

University officials and state lawmakers should reconsider, and not merely for the sake of InterVarsity. In addition to the freedom from discrimination, there are other relevant freedoms to factor: freedom of religion, freedom of association and our freedom to exercise common sense.

Loss of club status typically means 1) having to pay to reserve rooms, which is thousands of dollars per year, 2) losing access to student fairs, which means less recruitment, and 3) no official standing when speaking to faculty, students or administrators of the university.

I guess I would advise Christians who are not involved in politics to get more informed and involved. California is a Democrat-run state from top to bottom. It sounds nice to pious ears to say that we should be focused on the gospel and praise hymns, but if you ignore politics, politics will come after you. And that’s why every Christian should have a broad, comprehensive worldview that takes into account the Bible and integrates it with areas outside the Bible, like economics. The alternative is to feel pious and yet vote for a political party that makes the practice of Christianity illegal, and believe me, I know many people who call themselves Christians who do exactly that. And they are proud of it. I once had a hygienist working on my teeth who claimed to be a Christian and yet she was constantly bashing Republicans. She had the discipline to learn how to clean my teeth, but not to develop a comprehensive Christian worldview.

The good news I have about this story is that these de-recognition attacks can be defeated, if you get a lawyer from a good organization like the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Look at this story from September 2014:

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill a Christian fraternity, Alpha Iota Omega (AIO), was stripped of its recognition after UNC administrator Jonathan Curtis declared that the fraternity was required to add an unconstitutional “nondiscrimination” clause to its student group constitution. AIO objected to the “nondiscrimination” clause because it would have forbidden the group from considering religion when determining “membership and participation” in the group. FIRE wrote to the university on AIO’s behalf outlining the group’s rights to freedom of association and religious liberty but the university was unmoved. FIRE teamed up with the Alliance Defense Fund and filed suit, and eventually AIO was granted the right not to enact the nondiscrimination clause.

But again, we have to have Christians getting serious about getting married and raising children who will go on to get the law degrees we need to fight these battles. I think a lot of Christians think that marriage is more like ziplining, surfing or skydiving than work, though. They want it to be free and easy and emotion-driven. But there’s a cost to this approach. We don’t have the influence in society to defend ourselves when the secular leftists come after us. We are paying them to do this to us, through taxes.

California State University system de-recognizes IVCF from 23 campuses

Princess Mandy posted this story from Christianity Today, and I am blogging it.

Excerpt: (links removed)

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF) has been, in modern campus terminology, “derecognized” by California State University schools. Basically, they will no longer be a recognized campus organization on any of the 23 schools in that system. IVCF has been derecognized because they require their leaders to have Christian beliefs.

It’s not just InterVarsity that will be impacted. Following the same logic, any group that insists on requiring its leaders to follow an agreed upon set of guiding beliefs is no longer kosher (irony intended) at California’s state universities. This will impact many other faith-based organizations with actual, well, faith-based beliefs. Presumably, even People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would have to allow Oscar Meyer to lead their campus chapters.

[…]Now, it’s not persecution. Christians are not banned. People can share their faith. But, now, what we once called “equal access” has taken another hit—people of faith do not have equal access to the university community, like the environmentalist club, the LGBT organization, or the chess club.

The university system has decided that speech with beliefs that undergird it—and shape how it is organized—has to be derecognized.

I asked Greg Jao, who is National Field Director & Campus Access Coordinator, what this actually meant. He explained,

Loss of recognition means we lose 3 things: free access to rooms (this will cost our chapters $13k-30k/year to reserve room). We also lose access to student activities programs, including the new student fairs where we meet most students. We also lose standing when we engage faculty, students and administrators.

And while they still have freedom to request a meeting spot in some buildings, they no longer have the status when other officially recognized groups request the same spot—even though they are, well, fee-paying students in a facility owned by the people of California.

Jao indicated the work is not done, explaining,

We still intend to minister on campus but loss of recognition is a significant impediment.

The bigger, and ongoing, issue is the continual sanitization of unacceptable religious voices from universities. It’s ironic—those who champion nondiscrimination, in the name of nondiscrimination, are creating rules that push out those who “discriminate” based on biblical belief statements.

A few years ago, I asked in the pages of USAToday, are evangelicals no longer welcome in the public arena? If that arena is a California state university, and those evangelicals want an official school organization, that answer is obvious.

This has already happened in other places, perhaps most notably at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. But, Vanderbilt is a private university. Now, state schools have decided that, due to their odd policies restricting belief based organization from requiring belief, students who have evangelical beliefs—and think the leaders of their belief-based campus organization should also have beliefs—are no longer welcome as a student organization.

Christian taxpayers in California are paying into this school system, thanks to the compulsory collection of taxes. So now Christian families will have less money to send their own kids to schools that actually allow freedom of association and equal access to Christians. We have to pay twice – once into a system that treats us as second-class citizens, and once into a private system that recognizes our fundamental rights. This is why we should be voting to cut off the money supply to the non-essential responsibilities of government. We need to keep our money to work around the discrimination of the secularists.

My experiences with Christian women in church and campus ministries

A friend of mine sent me some horror stories from his time dealing with single Christian women during seminary, and I thought I would write something about the horror stories from my experiences with single Christian women in campus ministries during my BS and MS programs, and in several evangelical churches that I attended in my 20s.

The biggest problem I’ve had with unmarried Christian women in college and in church is that it is impossible to impress them by being a competent, effective Christian man. Every skill and ability that seems to me to be useful and effective for the kingdom (or for marriage) seems to cut no ice with them. I had women in my youth group, in IVCF and in Campus Crusade have told me that being an engineer is bad, being chaste is bad, not drinking is bad, talking too much about apologetics is bad, and especially trying to get them to learn apologetics – that was really, really bad. They hated that. And forget trying to talk to them about abortion and homosexuality. They were very proud to be non-judgmental. It was a badge of honor, saying “I don’t judge” as if they were saying “I am good person”.

Everything that you might think makes sense for a man to be skilled at from a marriage point of view is viewed as creepy and weird by these church/campus-club unmarried Christian women, in my experience. I am a colored guy, so I always put their messed up standards down to the fact that I was colored and therefore was not allowed to talk to them, period. I was also surprised to see how little the command to “love your neighbor” was implemented by the unmarried Christian women. Here I was, struggling through a tough engineering program, and obviously coming from an unchurched background, yet these woman never had a supportive word for me. My interests in theology and apologetics and moral issues and politics were viewed by them with suspicion.

In retrospect, I would say the biggest argument against God’s existence I ever faced was the complete disconnect between what these women professed and how they treated others.

There was one exception. When I was a teen, I had an older college student mentor me and she helped me pick up my grades – especially in English. She eventually fell away from her faith (she was a cradle Catholic). But other than her, I basically was in my mid-30s before I met a Christian woman who had any respect for me because of the things that I could do as a Christian. And that was after over a decade of donations, organizing, training, mentoring, apologetics, etc. By that time, I had my BS and MS and a boatload of savings, and yet up till then, no unmarried Christian woman had ever given me the time of day. I was sort of stuck looking to white Christian women for validation, because most colored girls are liberal. But what I found is that they had no standard in their worldview that I could be graded against favorably, other than physical appearance.

That was the scariest thing for me, to find out that there was no worldview there that distinguished between William Lane Craig and Jim Wallis, for example. There was just the outward appearance – that was the sole criterion that unmarried Christian women were using to decide whether a man had value or not. And their agenda for men was never a mentoring/discipling agenda. It was the standard secular boyfriend agenda. And very often, they chose standard secular boyfriends for that agenda. I later found out that they found men with definite moral positions and definite apologetics ability intimidating. Any man with fixed, entrenched positions – either about truth or moral issues – frightened them.

Even now, I find this such a weird thing, because in my own life, I act as a mentor to younger Christians regardless of their appearance or other such criteria. Mentoring other Christians is what Christians ought to be doing! I mentor about a dozen promising young Christians (women and men) in different countries. On a given night, you’ll find me reading something they asked me to read, sending them links to evidence to help them argue, proof-reading their essays, buying them books, hearing about their school assignments, picking their elective courses, or ordering them not to take the summer off and to work instead, etc. Right now, I have two of my experienced pro-life friends helping one of them take over a pro-life club at a university. Another of my friends who does Internet consulting is helping another friend start his web site. And so on, with me or my friends mentoring other Christians just for the sake of honoring that command to love others upward. It doesn’t even matter how great the person is right now, because we mentor Christians at all levels of ability. No one is left out, and no oneis turned down.

But this idea that other Christians have value simply because they are Christians was NOWHERE to be found among unmarried Christian women when I was in university and in my 20s. It’s totally foreign to them that Christianity imposes those mentoring/discipling obligations on them, regardless of appearances. They are feelings-driven, not obligation-driven. They are concerned with their own agenda, and not looking to God to see what he wants them to do for their fellow Christians.

I was always the same Wintery Knight back them as I am today, just at an earlier stage of development, and yet no unmarried Christian women in the church or in a campus Christian ministry gave me so much as an affirming glance while I was working out my plans. In fact, church women often stood in the way of things I tried to do, like bring in professors to speak at IVCF or show William Lane Craig debates at Campus Crusade. Focusing on evidential issues was deemed “too divisive”. It was prayer walks, hymn sings and testimonies by postmodern relativists every week. I learned not to count on unmarried Christian women for support of any kind for the things I was trying to do. No matter how good the things I wanted to do were, they always had a reason why I shouldn’t be allowed to do them.

I am always surprised when I meet a woman and she wants me to read the Bible, or read a book, or do anything like that. (That actually happened to me again last week!) I’ve had a handful of women do that to me in my whole life. Unmarried Christian women are, in my experience, running a very secular playbook, making decisions about how to treat others from their feelings. And then if you question them about it, they attribute their feelings to the work of the Holy Spirit. You don’t really see how bad it is until you hear them tell you that God told them to move in with the atheist guy, etc. It’s striking to me how far the Holy-Spirit-wrapping of their feelings goes, and yet they don’t see a problem with it. I think the answer to this problem is that we really need to help women to think through their worldview and think about how to act on Christian convictions with other people, and men in particular, and men who are committed to building the Kingdom effectively and intelligently above all others.