Is it when you cease to be a Christian School? Is it when your school stops upholding biblical standards. This is what Franklin Graham seems believe, as boldly stated in a Facebook post.
The unapologetic faith leader called Azusa Pacific University, a long-respected Christian university in Southern California, to account. Recently, the university relaxed its long-held standards regarding biblical relationships.
The university has a policy against same-sex relationships. This is part of the larger ethics code for sexual relationships. This is a fairly common policy for private Christian institutions.
This past year, however, has shown Azusa’s ineptness and flippant approach to the issue of same-sex relations. The school lifted its ban regarding LGBTQ relationships prior to the August start of school.
Azusa flipped-flopped when conservative media outlets attacked the Christian institution. They changed their stance because it was not properly voted upon. However, when students protested against the reinstated biblical standards being used, Azusa did another flip-flop and removed the antiLGBTQ language.
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. Students do not have to be Christian to attend. The handbook expresses our commitment towards treating everyone with Christ-like respect and civility. Our values are unchanged and the APU community remains unequivocally biblical in our Christian evangelical identity.”
Franklin Graham disagrees. Graham slammed the university in a fiery Facebook post and warned Christian parents not to send 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 language banning LGBTQ relationships from campus’ handbook in response both to student government and a grievance from a LGBTQ support organisation. Two members of the Board of Trustees have resigned due to issues such as ‘theological drift’ according to news reports. It’s disappointing to see a school classified as a Christian university compromising their stand with the Word of God.
“The university stated that they want to treat everyone with ‘Christlike 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 Azusa reconsiders this decision. If you’re a parent looking at Christian colleges—be sure to look beyond the name or even the description. Graham warned that you should find out what they stand for before you send your students there.