Christian Universities Are Abandoning Biblical Stances: Dr. Everett Piper will be with us later in the program, talking about some of the things happening on college campuses across the country. There are some crazy things happening on college campuses and even on Christian campuses. They are giving up those basic and clear principles the Bible tells us on how we should educate our young people. Tune in now to learn more.
Air Date: 10/17/2018
Guest: Dr. Everett Piper
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.
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How Many Real Christians Are in America?
Dr Everett Piper will be with us later in the program, talking about some of the things happening on college campuses across the country. Right now we’re here with David and Tim. Guys, there are some crazy things happening on college campuses, but even on Christian campuses, where we’re sometimes giving up those basic, clear principles the Bible tells us on how we should educate our young people.
You use the term Christian campuses, so let me just back up and let’s do a little definition work here. You look at America, and roughly somewhere in the vicinity of 6 out of 7 to 7 out of 8 Americans self identify as Christian. So by percentage wise, it runs over 70 percent. Sometimes that percentage goes into the 80s. That’s a highly Christian nation when you have 70, to 80, to 85 percent that self-identified as Christian. But here’s the trick. Do we really believe that all 70 to 85 percent are truly Christians? I don’t think so.
It’s not what we call, “Living biblically.”
See, that was going to be my question: “How do you define Christian, what does Christian mean, and how do we know if someone really is a Christian, or if they’re a fake Christian? How can you really tell whether somebody is Christian or not?”
Even what Ray Comfort used to call, or still does, “A false convert,” where you take the title and say, “I’m a Christian,” but you’re certainly not living by biblical principles, and never really had a relationship with Christ.
We’ve Made Christianity About Saying a Prayer
Well, this is certainly what Jesus talked about in Matthew chapter 7, about judging a tree by the fruits, and even if you go to, I think it’s John 15, He’s the Divine Vine where the branch is, and every vine that’s in Him that doesn’t produce fruit is cut off and cast into the fire. He says, again in Matthew, that, “Many will come to me on that day, and say, “‘Lord, we knew you. We did all these spiritual things in your name,”’ and He says “‘I never knew you.”’’
It’s very interesting that we’ve made Christianity about saying a prayer, and although—for any listener who’s going, “Oh, wait a second!”
No. I get it. I’ve read the entire Bible. A lot. I get the Romans road, and I understand Romans 10:9 that says that, “If we confess with our mouth, and believe in our heart, because with confession it’s made to salvation and in our heart.” I get it. I know what it says.
But if you go to Ephesians 2:8-9, “We’ve been saved by grace, through faith and not of our self, but as a gift of God not of works, no one can boast.”
But then go to the next verse because it’s, “We are saved unto good works.”
We are saved to do good works. The reason that we were saved was so that we would produce fruit.
We Are Called to Bear Fruit
Jesus said in John that, “I’ve called and appointed you to bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain.” So if we’re not fruit producers, read John 15. The Bible is pretty clear that if you’re not producing fruit, then this is where James talked about faith without works is dead and you have no faith. If there’s no fruit to accompany your faith, and this is where we have so many people that are professing something, but there is no fruit to accompany it.
It’s kind of like saying, “Hey I am a Honda Accord. I am a Chevy Silverado.”
No, you’re not. I’m looking at you, and this is not who you are.
Well, you can’t just say what you are, and self identity, and think that’s true. Although we’re doing that a lot with gender today, it’s not really how it works. There’s actually some truth behind it.
For someone to say, “I’m a Christian,” and yet there’s nothing to reveal in their life that they are bearing the fruits of being a Christian, the fruits of being a disciple, then it’s hard to say that you are in fact a disciple of Christ.
If you do nothing in your life to look like Christ, and with that I will say that you’ve got to bear fruit, as, Tim, you’re talking about, but you also have to bear the right kind of fruit because every single person bears fruit of some kind. Some of it’s good, some is bad.
It’s Like Lemons on an Apple Tree
If I want to know you’re an apple tree, and I see lemons on the tree, I know you’re not an apple tree. I don’t care what you say you are. You’re not an apple tree. I’m looking for apples on it. Every single person is going to bear fruit of some kind. What we’re looking for, with the Christian, is the bearing of Christian fruit, something that goes with that tree, and we measure that by the Bible.
If it lines up with the teachings of Jesus, if it lines up with what God says is to be the lifestyle of his children, then we say, “Oh, OK. That really is Christian.”
You can say, “I call myself a Christian,” but if you live by the fruits of the flesh, which is in Galatians 5:19-21, we know that that’s not Spirit lead.
So now people are making God in their own image, rather than us conforming ourselves to His image and saying, “Oh, this is what God looks like. This is what He expects. This is the behavior He wants. I’m His child, this is what He does. God says be holy because I’m holy. OK I got it. He’s a Holy God. So He wants us to live holy.” We’re supposed to produce the fruit that He himself produces, and where we are right now is, “I’m a Christian, and this is what I believe so that’s what God believes.”
We’re started to create theology based on that we’ve made God in our image.
“God understands that I’ve got these sexual desires to sleep around with everybody, and that’s why he loves me and so—”
No, no, no, no, no, no, no. That’s not what it is, and so that’s what’s happening on so-called Christian campuses now.
God Says Homosexuals Will Not Enter the Kingdom of Heaven
They’re starting to produce fruit that is in direct violation of very explicit and clear statements that He makes on the fruit that a Christian is to produce. We’ve seen this with Christian colleges and universities over recent years as they’re starting to say, “Well, you know we can’t really be too narrow on sexuality and homosexuality.” No, no, no. God says homosexuals will not enter the kingdom of heaven. End of story. That’s it. So you can’t rewrite the doctrine and say you think that it’s OK for for homosexuals to be Christians and be honest. No, you just can’t do it. So this is what we’re struggling with right now: What does it mean to be a Christian, and can you define it any way you want to?
It’s worth pointing out that when the Bible talks about homosexuality, it’s talking about the act and the practice of homosexuality. Somebody will say, “No, wait a second, if I’m attracted to somebody my own sex, I’m going to hell?”
One of the things the Bible talks about is crucifying the flesh and it’s sinful desires.The condemnation did not come on an individual because they had a desire. The Bible says, “Be angry and sin not.”
It’s not the desire, it’s when you begin enacting that desire, or allowing, or tolerating, or encouraging that desire. It’s when you start saying, “Well OK.”
So we think prostitution is wrong, but strip clubs are OK. No, you can’t go down that slippery slope and pretend like one thing is bad and something else that’s along those exact same lines is right. It’s dehumanizing an individual to be an object of sexual gratification for another. No, we don’t encourage any of that.
Conform Ourselves to God’s Image, Not Conform God to Ours
When we start to change a biblical standard to suit something we believe instead what the Bible actually says, that, as you mentioned, it’s conforming God to our image instead of saying, “Wait a second, what does His words say? Because I don’t want to just create and make up something myself. What does the Bible say I need? Do you need to believe? What are the sinful desires that I, in fact, need to crucify? What does that look like?” And this is where, too often, we’re not going to the Bible to determine our standards. We’re determining what we like, and we’re trying to shape the Bible to our own desires.
What kind of got our attention is, in recent days, there’s been this controversy going on over Azusa Pacific University. It’s a University in California that was started in 1899. It’s a very theologically conservative University, or at least it has been. It was founded out of the Wesleyan denomination. That is a denomination that has really stayed pretty close to biblical teachings. They are very evangelical, in the sense that the Bible is their source of authority, and yet you have this Wesleyan University that is saying, “Well, you know, let’s kind of change the way we look at sexuality and homosexuality.”
Let’s Get a Professional on the Matter
No. Not if you’re going to stay a biblical University. Now they call themselves a Christian University, and we thought, “This is a Wesleyan thing, so why don’t we get Dr. Everett Piper on, who is head of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and as a Wesleyan maybe he can kind of explain what’s going on here, because we’re seeing goofy stuff in the news.” But this is really a pretty good bellwether of what’s happening in the church right now, and how the church is not standing up where it needs to in theological positions, nor are Christian universities. You can’t be like everybody else.
In the Bible, God says to His people, “Come out and be separate,” So don’t be like everybody else.”
Somehow we feel like we’ve got to conform to what everybody else believes and not be separate anymore. Not be different.
Dr. Piper be a great guy to tell us what’s happening here in the Christian community, especially in what has traditionally been a biblical center of conservative theological people, a part of the Christian community.
Dr Everett Piper, our special guest, will be with us next. So stay with us, we’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
FrontSight Firearm and Constitution Training
Hey Friends, Rick Green here from WallBuilders Live. Tim Barton and I just got back from FrontSight Firearms Training Institute in Pahrump, Nevada. Took our families out there and did some fantastic training on how to defend ourselves and our families. And also taught on the Constitution, had a great group of people that studied the Second Amendment, studied the Constitution, and then also physically learned how to live that out, how to actually defend their families. It’s some of the best training on the planet. It’s a great time for families. And we love having our WallBuilders Live listeners with us on these trips.
We’re headed back out October 29th and 30th. That’s coming up pretty quick. So, there’s very little time to sign up. There’s very few spots left, but we would love to have you join us. So, please go to RickGreen.com today if you’re interested in constitutional defense. That means studying the Constitution and the Second Amendment, getting the intellectual ammunition that you need. But also learning physically how to defend yourself and your family.
If you’d like to learn how to go for free with us at WallBuilders, it’s normally a thousand dollars to do this two day class. If you go to FrontSight.com today that’s exactly what you’ll pay. But if you go with us here at WallBuilders Live, if you are a supporter and donor to WallBuilders Live, we’re going to give you a certificate for free. Go to RickGreen.com to learn more and join us October 29 and 30th.
We’ll have some other trips later in the year, but this is going to be the best one with the best weather. So, make sure that you join us. Be sure and check it out at RickGreen.com today.
Welcome Dr. Everett Piper
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us.
Dr. Everett Piper is back with us from Oklahoma Wesleyan University, he’s the president there, and a good friend of ours. He’s also a frequent guest on the program.
Dr. Piper, always good to have you sir, thanks for coming back.
Rick, thanks for having me on.
All right, we’ve got a story out of another school, Azusa Pacific, where apparently they had changed their standards on LGBTQ and all the other letters relationships.
Apparently this thing is kind of bounced around. I’m not sure who changed those rules. Can you explain this to us? First of all, just from a University perspective. So Universities, Christian Universities, can and do have standards that they have for their students to live biblically, is that an accurate way to put that?
Yes we can, and should. I would argue if a University that claims to be Christian does not have a behavioral code, a code of conduct and honor if you will, if it doesn’t have a community standard that’s explicitly Christian, then I wouldn’t waste your money to go there.
That’s part of what makes a Christian institution Christian, is the actual ethos on that campus is different than it is at Michigan State or Bowling Green state. My two alma maters, you actually have a community that does its best to live closer to a biblical lifestyle than those secular universities.
So yes, we do have standards. I think those schools are starting to slip and get rid of those standards. Why bother going there? Just go to the State University.
A Christian School Needs Christian Rules
Yeah, OK. So first of all, it’s legal. It should be done and it’s expected if you are a parent. I’m thinking I want to look at that code of conduct for the type of school that my child would go to, and know the environment that they’re going to be in. So you guys have that, I’m assuming, that Oklahoma Wesleyan.
Yeah. It is legal. In fact it’s legal at a non Christian institution. Military academies have rules. IBM has rules. Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips, you know the various different oil Corporations, whether it be Google, or Microsoft, or whether it be Phillips 66, they have rules and standards and expectations. That’s OK, that’s legal, and that’s expected. You can define your corporate and community ethos, then Christian colleges can and should do the same. Yes we can.
So the school that we’re talking about here, Azusa Pacific, had a pretty strong standard on this and basically said, “Our standard on relationships is a biblical standard.”
And apparently that got changed. It made a lot of news because it was changing to say, essentially, that same sex romantic relationships were OK. But then the administration came out and said either they didn’t mean to do that, or somebody else had done it without permission. What happened here?
Well, you’re mostly right. Here’s what happened. It’s the slippery slide.
I’ve been saying on your show for years that this discussion, this conversation about gay Christianity, hyphenating our Christianity by virtue of our inclination to sin.
We Can’t Replace the Image of God with the Image of Man
I’ve been saying it over and over again that we shouldn’t dumb down the imago dei, the image of God, to nothing but the imago dog.
We should not allow our culture, or even the emergent church, to define our Christianity by the basis of our appetites and our libido. Our identity is in our Lord. It’s not in our sexual inclinations, and we should not allow the world to define what it means to be human, or what it means to be Christian.
This is a fallacy.
Rosaria Butterfield calls it a false category, a category error. We need to recognize that the slippery slope will lead to silly decisions, like the decision that was made by the administration. It is this specific university, and that was to remove its ban on homosexual relationships while still saying that they held to a biblical standard for marriage and the consummate act of marriage, i.e. intercourse.
So they took the rule away that said you can’t have romantic expressions, PDA, public display of affection, holding hands, and whatnot between homosexuals on campus. But they still don’t endorse gay marriage, and they still say that the sexual acts should be reserved for a man and a woman in marriage. Talk about conflicting rules.
And Confusing, to the students and to the parents that would want to send their students there.
How Can you Have a Christian Community Without Rules?
Exactly. So how can you have a Christian community, when you say you don’t have a ban any longer on homosexual relationships on your campus? Where do you think this is going to lead? If you get rid of that particular rule you’re going to continue to tell these people that are dating, two males are dating, holding hands, doing whatever else on campus, that it’s not against the rules?
Now you’re going to tell them, when they want to take that date, that courtship, to the next logical step, “Oh no. That’s immoral. That’s not biblical. We’re not going to permit that.”
They’re not going to hold their ground on that. Sooner or later, it’s going to be sooner rather than later, they’re going to give up that standard too.
But here’s the thing: The board of trustees stepped in after the administration and faculty changed the rule, and the next day sent out a press release saying, “We did not approve that. The old standard still stands.”
So that’s the two different—I don’t know if it’s the right word—but decision makers. So, the faculty is the one that loosened the rules and created the confusion, and then the board of trustees did their job of oversight, came in, and said, “No, we’re not.”
Staff VS Board
Well, whether it was faculty administration or staff, I don’t know. It was the employees of the institution that changed it and got rid of the rule against homosexual relationships, PTA romantic expressions on campus. They got rid of that rule. The employees did. Then the board stepped in on them the next day, and said, “This was not reviewed nor approved by us. The old standards still stand.”
And that’s where they are right now.
- Gotcha. Well, let’s see how it plays out. I’d love to see what they end up with. You know, if the faculty pushes back, whoever it was that made those decisions or what the fallout is in terms of the reputation for Azusa Pacific. What does that say about the staff and the faculty that you’ve got running the show? I’m assuming you would be concerned of that happening on your campus.
Well, that’s the main question right now. There’s going to be blood in the streets. There’s going to be great conflict now because you’ve got a clear division of opinion, a difference of opinion on this very critical issue.
Apparently many at that campus, and at this school, believe that homosexual expressions of affection are OK and they’re not unbiblical.
Apparently the board disagrees with that, and says, “No, the old standard stands. We do not believe that type of PDA, public display of affection, or romantic affection is appropriate within the body of Christ.”
So that’s a big difference of opinion. That’s going to have to play itself out, publicly right now, because of the nature of this news.
The Number of Biblical Colleges is Dropping Daily
Before I let you go, Dr. Piper, what’s the—when you think about the number of campuses in the United States right now, the vast majority are obviously very secular. Even the vast majority with Christian in the name have become secular and certainly very loose standards on this kind of thing. Would you say there’s still maybe ten, a dozen, maybe 20 campuses that that hold to a biblical standard on these things?
It’s becoming a lesser number on a daily basis. A few years ago I would have told you that 80 percent of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities agreed with me. What we knew—and what we just talked about—I’m not sure that’s true any longer.
We know that Goshen and Eastern Mennonite were the first to start hiring married homosexuals after the Obergefell Decision.
We know that the CCCU issued a letter asking all college presidents within the CCCU to engage in a conversation about what to do about this decision by EMU and Goshen.
You know I’ve told you that, I said, “What is there to have a conversation over? It’s a time for conviction, and clarity, and courage, not a time for confusion. It’s not a time for conversation on this issue. This is very clear. This is very biblical, and we need to stand firm. Our universities are starting to fall by the wayside.”
This is Why We Promote Oklahoma Wesleyan University
The number that’s left, I don’t know. Is it ten? Is it 20? I don’t know, but I do know it’s shrinking. We should be very careful, when we’re shopping, this is a critical question because I would argue, “How can you claim to be biblical? How can you claim to be orthodox?” I would even argue, “How can you claim to be Christian, Christian in the sense as it’s defined in the Bible, if you can’t get this issue right? If you’re getting this wrong, it means you’ve got a very low view of Scripture and you’re allowing culture to define your Christianity versus the church and versus the scriptures.”
Well, that’s one reason we promote Oklahoma Wesleyan University around here. We’re glad to have a guy like you in charge of that University, and very thankful, Dr. Piper, for your influence in the associations and in the rest of higher education around the country. So keep your voice strong. We need you.
Well, thank you. I really appreciate partnering with you guys. Appreciate it.
Yeah, we appreciate you coming on today. Stay with us folks. That was Dr. Everett Piper. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.
This Precarious Moment Book
This is David Barton. I want to let about a brand new book we have called This Precarious Moment, Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your family, and Our Country. Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now.
Issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, race relations, our relationship with Israel, the rising generation Millennials, and the absence of the church in the culture wars, and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both Biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference.
These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So you can grab the book This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This Precarious Moment is available at WallBuilders.com.
If Christian Schools Are Going Secular, Why go to Christian Schools?
Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. We’re back with David and Tim Barton now. Special thanks again to Dr. Everett Piper for his time today, and for his continued good work at Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
And I would say, guys, not just for his work at Oklahoma Wesleyan, he’s become a real voice in the country of reason. His articles have become very popular. He’s speaking at conventions across the country. I’m really thankful for the voice God’s given him, and for the audience now that he’s grown into. Because man, he has a lot of common sense and biblical wisdom that we desperately need in this kind of anything goes and everything is OK craziness of our culture
Yeah. It is common sense, and I thought what he said was, “Look, why would you go to a Christian school when you can go to a secular school or a state school that believes the same thing and a whole lot cheaper? Why pay twenty to thirty thousand dollars a year at a Christian school, if you can pay eight to ten to twelve thousand a year to stay in school and get the same teachings?”
One of the things we’ve seen in politics for a long time, as I’ve told candidates, Rick, you’ve told candidates, Tim, you have as well, that when they go in to vote and run against someone, they’ve got to really be different from the other person.
People Will Almost Always Choose an Extreme Over a Moderate
If you’ve got a liberal progressive run on one side, and the other guy is a moderate liberal progressive, people nearly always choose the true liberal progressive because why do you get a wannabe liberal progressive when you get a real full fledged one?
But when you give them a choice between conservative and liberal, then there’s a clear choice that you can make a difference. That’s what’s happening now, is the church, particularly in the academic, and I thought it was interesting when he pointed out the faculty, and the staff, and the folks versus the Regents.
The Regents are the more accountable people there, they have to account to the parents. But the other guys, they’re tenured and they’re from academia, and we’ve seen all across the nation that academia tends to be very, very, very much further left than the rest of the nation.
Now you’re seeing it infiltrate into college campuses as well, and so they’re taking a position on sexuality that the regions are not taking. We’ll see how this works out. We will see who’s running the farm here. But it is a situation where they are just trying to become like the schools, who probably taught those professors, and they just reflect on what they were taught.
Well, it’s also a challenge. You cannot be viewed as being tolerant, and still hold biblical standards in this culture. And they’re going, “Hey, we want to be viewed as loving. How can we be viewed by culture and still have some kind of biblical standard?”
You Can’t be Tolerant in a Culture that has Redefined the Word
Well, unfortunately when culture is defining what words mean, you cannot have any kind of biblical position and still be viewed as tolerant, or even loving in this worldly culture of definitions because they’ve changed what words mean.
If we’re going to be biblically loving and say, “Hey I love you enough to tell you that I think what you’re doing is wrong, and that it can be very hurtful and destructive in your life. That’s why you shouldn’t stick your hand on that burning hot stove.”
Whatever it is, you have to rethink instead of letting culture define words, think back and say, “You know, what is actually loving? What is actually good? What is actually true?”
Instead of letting culture define words and standards that we’re trying to match so we’re accepted, and loved, and tolerated, and people like we, as Christians, have been called to be liked. We’ve been called to be loving, we’ve been called to be right, to reach the world with the gospel. But it’s not the gospel of, “Like me,” It’s the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is different than what we’re seeing from a lot of these Christian Universities.
Christian Universities need Our Help, Spread the Word
One of the best things you can do to help influence what’s happening on those University campuses, is to help us here at WallBuilders Live. Just grow our voice so we will be able to get Dr. Piper’s voice out there to more people, and to be able to get our other guests, and to be able to get the constitutional foundational discussions that we have on our Foundations of Freedom Thursday’s, the good news on our Friday programs that we spread across the country. It really does encourage so many people to know that the system does work if we will work the system, and then learning how to effectively work the system, so all those things.
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