On June 24, the California State Assembly passed a resolution telling pastors and other civic leaders to affirm homosexuality and transgenderism, and condemn “conversion therapy.”
“The resolution, ACR-99, Civil Rights: Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people urges counselors, pastors, churches, educators, and others to avoid supporting the historic Christian view of sexual ethics. The measure says such support can result in “disproportionately high” rates of suicide, attempted suicide, and depression among persons who identify as LGBT. The resolution makes a point to condemn in broad terms what is often referred to as conversion therapy, calling the practice, also known as sexual orientation change efforts, “harmful.”,” christianpost.com reported on the situation.
The resolution found support not only among local liberals. Kevin Mannoia, the chaplain of Azusa Pacific University and the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals (represents tens of thousands of churches from many denominations), kissed the LGBTQ ring and wrote a letter expressing “various levels of support” for the measure on behalf of some pastors and church leaders.
First reports suggested that he revealed the attitude of the Azusa Pacific University (a conservative Christian NCAA Division II school in Southern California). Nonetheless, it later appeared that he provided a look of some unrevealed group of pastors and church leaders.
“To clarify, I did not speak on behalf of Azusa Pacific University at the committee hearing. I represented a handful of pastors that have been seeking to change the tone of the conversation. We have not altered our belief in the biblical view on human sexuality and that LGBT is not God’s plan. We are thankful that this non-binding resolution successfully averted the passing of a restrictive law that would have hindered pastoral ministry to people struggling with sexual identity who come to our churches,” Mannoia said in an additional comment.
Commenting on the situation, the non-profit legal group Liberty Counsel said Mannoia “has become a prop for the LGBT agenda by directing pastors and counselors to reject biblical views of sexuality and deny counseling for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion.”
At the same time, the Azusa Pacific University (APU) is undergoing some changes in order to adapt its buisiness model to the new neo-liberal world order. Rrecently the university removed its ban on public LGBT relationships on its campus. Furthermore, the Christian organization does not require students to be Christian, and students do not have to sign a statement of faith to attend the college. The school promises to treat everyone “with Christ-like care and civility” claiming that its “values are unchanged.”
The APU and its leaders justify the ongoing shift by a wide range of claims and requests from representatives of so-called civic society.
In December, two members of Azusa Pacific’s board of trustees resigned, contending the institution had “drifted” from its foundation and mission, making it at odds with its written policies, statement of faith and the Bible itself.
“Raleigh Washington, a prominent pastor known for his leadership of the Promise Keepers men’s movement, and Dave Dias, a Sacramento-area business executive, spoke to WND after submitting letters of resignation to the board of trustees.
Washington, a trustee for 15 years, explained that he had constantly confronted the board over the previous six years with abundant evidence that the administration and a substantial portion of the faculty were promoting a progressive ideology that clashed with the institution’s statement of faith and core principles.
Asked for a response at the time, APU’s public relations office provided WND only with a statement to the “APU Community” by David S. Poole, the chairman of the board of trustees.
Poole, without naming the board members, wrote in December that Dias and Washington cited “a personal belief that APU has drifted from its orthodox principles.”
“We respectfully disagree with their assertion that the board is not committed to APU’s Christian foundation and focus,” he said. “We are grateful for their friendship and many years of generosity and faithful service.”
But Washington told WND that members of the board have “admitted to both Dave and myself, and to others in private, that virtually everything both Dave and I have said is true.”
“That’s duplicity in the highest order,” he said,” WMD reported.
The ACU and its chaplain are not a signle case. The APU and more than 170 other Christian schools are members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). Two member schools already went on record to permit same-sex “marriage” couples on faculty and staff — Goshen College and Eastern Mennonite University.
The mainstream neo-liberal trend seems to be expanding even in such strongholds of conservatism as Christian educational organizations. The traditional religious systems seem to be in the center of the battle of ideas and values not only in regions like the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The US is also a target of the forces seeking to destroy individuals’ and social groups’ attachment to ideas and values which do not fit into consumerist neoliberalism.
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