At what point do you stop being a Christian school? Is it when you stop upholding biblical standards? That's what Franklin Graham seems to believe, as boldly explained in a recent Facebook post.
The unapologetic faith leader called out Azusa Pacific University, a long-respected Christian college in Southern California. The university recently backed down from its long-held standards on biblical relationships.
As part of the larger ethics code on sexual relationships (which includes banning pre-marital sex), the university had a policy disapproving of same-sex relationships. This is fairly standard for private Christian institutions.
However, this past year has shown how weak and flip-floppy Azusa is on the issue of same-sex relationships. Before the start of the school year in August, the school lifted its ban on LGBTQ relationships.
But when conservative media outlets slammed the Christian institution, Azusa flip-flopped, changing their stance because it wasn't voted upon properly. But then when students protested the reinstated biblical standards, the university did yet another flip-flop, removing the anti-LGBTQ wording.
University Provost Mark Stanton defended the about-face, saying the updated code reflected “uniform standards of behavior for all students, applied equally and in a nondiscriminatory fashion. APU is an open-enrollment institution, which does not require students to be Christian to attend, and the handbook conveys our commitment to treating everyone with Christ-like care and civility. Our values are unchanged and the APU community remains unequivocally biblical in our Christian evangelical identity.”
But Franklin Graham begs to differ. In a fiery Facebook post, Graham boldly called out the university and warned Christian parents from sending their children there.
"Azusa Pacific University describes itself as one of the 'top Christian colleges in the nation' but their recent changes would make me question where they’re headed," wrote Graham.
"The university removed wording banning LGBTQ relationships on campus from their handbook in response to requests from student government and a grievance filed by a LGBTQ support organization. News reports say that two Board of Trustees members have resigned over issues including 'theological drift.' It’s disappointing to see a school classified as a Christian university compromising their stand with the Word of God.
"The university said they want to treat everyone with 'Christ-like care and civility.' I agree with that completely—but it is not Christ-like to ignore sin and God’s standards in the Bible. Jesus didn’t, He loved people enough to confront sin and give them a remedy, a solution—forgiveness and salvation through repentance and faith in Him. I hope that Azusa will reconsider this decision. If you’re a parent looking at Christian colleges—be sure to look beyond the name or even the description. Find out for sure what they stand for before sending your students there," ended Graham's warning.
What do you think of Graham's criticism of Azusa's moral backflip? Share your thoughts in the comments! Thank you!