Covenant College Remains Committed To Biblical Principles - And Response

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - by Dr. Niel Nielson

To the residents and friends of Chattanooga:

On April 2 the activist organization Soulforce brought its Equality Ride to the outskirts of Covenant College’s campus. The Equality Ride’s stated mission is to challenge Covenant’s biblical view of sexuality and policies on sexual behavior, which they view as oppressive and discriminatory. They denounce our beliefs as unbiblical and instead teach that the Bible condones homosexual behavior.

Although the Riders claimed dialogue as their goal, they previously rejected our offer of structured opportunities for dialogue with students, faculty, and administrators, as well as our invitation to attend our chapel service. Instead, the Equality Riders chose to make an unauthorized visit to Covenant.

The occasion was uneventful for the most part. The Riders remained on the outskirts of campus, as students came and went, engaging them in peaceful dialogue – interestingly, the same dialogue that could have occurred under more comfortable and structured conditions in a designated room had the Riders accepted the terms of our letter of agreement. Nevertheless, students greeted them with compassion, engaged them with the truths of the gospel, and delivered to them the boxed lunches and bottled water the College had purchased.

A disappointing, though not surprising, aspect of the event came after several hours of peaceful dialogue between the Equality Riders and the students who chose to go talk to them. The Riders made a statement mandating that Covenant change its beliefs and policies, and then four Riders made the deliberate decision to trespass on Covenant’s property, resulting in their arrests. It is ironic that, after benefiting from several hours of dialogue and also eating lunch with students and faculty, the Riders would then choose to interrupt that dialogue in order to resort to their oft-used publicity stunt of criminal trespass.

Even supporters of the pro-homosexual agenda recognize the inappropriateness of the Equality Riders’ tactics and behavior. One blog posting, exclaiming “C’mon, guys, you’re making us look bad,” further states, “Soulforce had the opportunity to make their case to student leaders, faculty, and administrative staff, and passed on the chance to establish a basis for further relations to instead make a public display that basically amounted to ‘We’ll have it our way or no way at all.’”

I am grateful to Dade County law enforcement officials for their professionalism and support, to the Lookout Mountain, Ga., community and mayor Tom Gifford for their understanding and cooperation, and to the Times Free Press and local television stations for their fair and accurate coverage. I am proud of our fine students for conducting themselves in a mature and Christ-honoring manner throughout the day.

We have made available to the public materials related to the history of our planning and communications, as well as links to resources related to these issues. You may see these at www.covenant.edu/news/soulforce.

Covenant remains as firmly committed as ever to our biblical commitments and our institutional mission and values, even as we wholeheartedly acknowledge that others have the freedom and right to disagree with us. We take seriously our responsibility to provide our students with a first-rate education that emphasizes the preeminence of Christ in all things and that boldly and responsibly addresses the full range of academic and cultural issues. We care for students who struggle with any number of spiritual and moral issues. And we encourage and help students who sense the call to ministry to identify pathways through which they may live out these callings.

Above all, we at Covenant seek to honor Jesus Christ and uphold the gospel truth as we carry out our mission as a college. I thank our many supporters for their prayers and partnership in this distinctive mission of biblically faithful Christian higher education. I thank Chattanooga for 43 years of mutual support and benefit since the College came to Lookout Mountain. And I thank God for his faithfulness.

Niel Nielson, Ph.D.
President
Covenant College

* * *

Bible believing Christians should commend Dr. Neil Neilson and Covenant College for standing up to the intimidation that the homosexual activist group "Soulforce" brought to their campus recently.

Apparently this group believes that public opinion determines what sin is and that that Bible believing Christians should just simply change their beliefs to make them more acceptable to homosexuals.

But the Bible's teaching on this subject is very clear. Homosexuality is a sin, and it is condemned throughout the Bible as such. No amount of public opinion is going to change that regardless of how many people believe that it is suddenly acceptable.

As Christians we are obligated to live according to the teachings of the Bible, not the latest opinion polls. We do not have the luxury of determining within ourselves what sin should or should not be. The Bible is our standard and we must follow it. We cannot allow public opinion to determine our own moral beliefs. There must be an objective standard of right and wrong.

Dr. Neilson and Covenant College are to be applauded for withstanding the coercion and demands of "Soulforce" and holding fast to clear Biblical teachings.

Michael Short
Winston-Salem, N.C.
MTS840@Juno.com

* * *

If I picket in front of Covenant College on behalf of the agnostic, can I score a free box lunch too?

Dave M. Kelley
Lakesite
wildman_68@hotmail.com


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Time To End The Kiser Circus

What a circus and waste of time to just watch two people lie to the court in regards to keeping Kiser alive.  Kiser killed Deputy Bond, but here he is still breathing and concocting more lies so he won't be killed. We should have killed Kiser years ago. I'd be more than happy to be the one who pulls the switch to snuff out that killer of a very good man (Donald Bond) whom ... (click for more)

Erlanger Refinancing To Provide Cash For New Children's/Women's Hospital, $50 Million Erlanger East Expansion, $8.5 Million Surgical Improvements

Erlanger Health System officials said an overhaul of the hospital's debt will include $70 million in new loans for several major hospital projects - including $11.5 million toward a new $30 million Children's/Women's Hospital. The overall cost of the latter facility is $30 million, but the hospital is seeking significant outside gifts and support. It will also pay for a $50 million ... (click for more)

Legendary Radio Broadcaster Luther Dies At 92 After Record 74 Years On The Air; Funeral Will Be Thursday At 2 PM At Engel Stadium

Legendary radio broadcaster Luther Masingill died early Monday morning at Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 and had been on the air for a record 74 years. Funeral services will be held on Thursday at Historic Engel Stadium, 1130 E 3rd St., at 2 p.m. with Pastor Todd McElyea officiating.   Honorary pallbearers will be the staff at ... (click for more)

Tennessee Wastes No Time Shifting Attention To Alabama

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – L ittle time had passed following Tennessee's 34-3 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday night before the challenge that lies ahead this week crossed the mind of the UT staff. In past years, a loss of that type could have had a lasting impact on the psyche of the team. But  Tennessee coach Butch Jones   still sees his team progressing, both mentally ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Riley Hickman: 2-for-2 Wins At Cleveland And Talladega

The “Hustler” Riley Hickman of Ooltewah hunkered down this weekend and picked up a pair of wins in Dirt Track competition. Friday night the # R1 “Hickman Manufacturing, American Billett, Austin Trucking, Tucker Mobile Home Service, Allstar Graphics, VP Racing Fuels, RH Designs, Competition Racing Equipment, A-1 Towing, MRC” sponsored CVR / Vic Hill powered machine ... (click for more)