It is with great pleasure that I read of the exciting things happening at Biola University in California. It breaks my heart to go back onto Christian campuses sometimes–knowing that the LGBT community cannot express themselves as both “good Christians” and LGBT people (unless they pledge celibacy). My recent trip to Calvin College moved me to respond–and while I see in SAGA a group that is surviving under the pressures of Calvin, I see the students at Biola, riskier perhaps, thriving. They are pushing the envelope, not happy with the “yard privileges” that the university gives them, still prisoners, in many ways, of the administration and policy decisions on sexuality that are in place at Biola. They have instead spoken out, strongly, and I hope that their speaking out creates a conversation for change in the administration.
For more amazing stuff, read the article in Inside Higher ED here. I put a picture of Bryn Terfel as Wotan in the Ring Cycle here to let you know, Biola Queer students, that I think of you as bold warriors. That what you are doing takes courage. That it’s going to be a tough fight. That the denomination which controls Biola may not play fair. But that you are warriors, every one of you.
May God bless you and bring you peace in your decisions, in your convictions, and strength in holding to them.
For the Biola Queer Underground’s website, click here.
I hope more Christian campuses follow your lead.
Robert Jeffress introduced Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Friday, October 7, trying to draw a difference between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, by claiming that Romney wasn’t a Christian. Sad that this is a weapon in a Presidential election, but we’ll let that go for now. What really amazes me is Robert Jeffress’ claim later that he can call Mormonism a cult because “that’s been the historic position of evangelical Christianity. The southern Baptist convention, which is the largest protestant denomination in the world, has officially labeled Mormonism as a cult.”
Since “we’re” the largest, we get to define everyone else. Not so fast. Lest you be confused by Robert Jeffress’ claim, let’s go through the statistics on exactly where Southern Baptists are in the line-up of Protestant church denominations.
Southern Baptists, according to a 2007 Annual SBC publication, are at 16.3 million people. Staggering, yes, but certainly not the largest Protestant denomination–not even the majority of Baptists.
Check out the (regular) Baptist denomination in relationship with other Protestant denominations.
Of the Baptist denomination, the SBC is the largest group. Baptists make up 100 million people, but Southern Baptists are only 16.3 % of that denominational figure. That leaves 83.7% of Baptists who are NOT Southern Baptists. While that leaves SBC the top of their denomination, it leaves them, frankly, in a vast minority to the larger groups of Baptists.
And by the way, there are 75 million Lutherans. That’s more than four times the number of Southern Baptists. If SBCers want to get picky about convention vs. denomination, the Evangelical Church in Germany has 24.5 million people– beating Southern Baptists by 8 million people.
There are 75 million Methodists, 75 million Lutherans, 40 million Presbyterians, and a whoppin’ 130 million Pentecostals, which outstrips the Baptists by 30 million, and the Southern Baptists by 114 million! Within that Pentecostal denomination, 60 million are Assemblies of God!
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