A Christian university has turned down a $3million fund from the Baptist church because it came with a condition that it must shut down a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) group in the school.
Samford University in Alabama said it will not dismantle the LGBT group, Samford Together group because it wants the institution to be setting the standard.
But in a terse statement, Alabama Baptist State Convention said the school’s decision has serious implications on the relationship between Samford University and the Alabama Baptist State Convention.
The statement signed by Rick Lance and John Thweatt said recognition of the student group is ‘contrary to biblical teachings on sexuality’ and they are ‘saddened’ by the decision.
They added: ‘We strongly believe that the Old Testament and New Testament each speak unequivocally against homosexuality. When addressing same-gender sexual relationships, the Bible without exception never affirms such behavior as an approved lifestyle.’
Inside Higher Ed, however quoted Samford president Andrew Westmoreland as saying: “Many of us who hold what are known as ‘traditional’ views of marriage and human sexuality today are called haters.
“The term is intended to hurt, and it does. So volleys fly back and forth between camps while positions and hearts are hardened, and we run the risk, the very serious risk, that we will drive away from our churches and our universities and our families a generation that thinks about these questions in different ways than we have known.
“I choose not to walk that path, because brokenness already abounds and I am loathe to add to it. I believe that we are people who are capable of discussing differences without rancor, perhaps modeling for our students and others a way to move along this most tortured route”.
Below is the full statement by the Baptist Convention as published by Metro.co.uk:
Reports are that the faculty of Samford University voted to affirm the recognition of a student group that identifies with values contrary to biblical teachings on sexuality. We are saddened by this decision, which provides recognition for an agenda that we believe to be contrary to Scripture.
We strongly believe that the Old Testament and New Testament each speak unequivocally against homosexuality. When addressing same-gender sexual relationships, the Bible without exception never affirms such behavior as an approved lifestyle.
We further believe the vast majority of Alabama Baptists will continue to stand on these clear teachings of God’s Word as authoritative as to how Christians should live according to the unchanging truth of Scripture.
We continue to affirm the biblical truth of God’s love for the whole world and that Christians should reach out in love to all, including those who identify with the LGBT lifestyle and agenda. It is because of obedience to Christ and our love for others that we should preach repentance from sins, proclaiming Christ Who alone offers eternal salvation to anyone who trusts in Him.
In the days to come, Alabama Baptist leaders will be in dialogue with the leadership of Samford as to the serious implications this action has for the relationship between Samford University and the Alabama Baptist State Convention. We request your prayers as this situation is handled in a Biblically correct way.