Mildly Insightful's post from yesterday was truthful, concise, and intelligent. Just what I like in a blog post. It also concerned the controversial appointment of Chuck Phelps to the board of trustees at Bob Jones University. I went to that college. I invite you to visit Mildly Insightful to read it the post. I am not sure I could summarize it well enough. I can tell you, however, that the university used a chapel service to communicate that they are refusing to back down from their conviction that Mr. Phelps is the right man for the job, apparently.
After reading the post, I linked to it on my Facebook wall, commenting that this action does not surprise me in the least bit. Within a short time, a friend of mine posted a long counter-argument in a comment. People are only trying to criticize conservative Christians, he said, among other things. I've read this same argument in other places, so whatever. But the thing that caught my eye was the very beginning of the comment, where it was said that the university should have stayed away from Chuck Phelps, because they don't need anymore controversy.
Because this is how I would look at it. Whatever you believe, personally, about Chuck Phelps, Ernie Willis, and Tina Anderson, is irrelevant to others who don't know as much as you about the case. All an unbeliever or a new believer sees is that the university that claims to stand so firmly for the truth has a man, a pastor, on the board who didn't do all that he could when faced with the rape of a child by an adult.
At Bob Jones University, we as students were often reminded that what we do should not cause other believers to stumble in their faith. Far too often, this was applied to music or skirts or something.
If Bob Jones University proclaims that they stand for the truth, without apology, then what will people see when they realize who is now on the board of trustees? Many of the people criticizing the university aren't "liberal" Christians, or folks from seeker-sensitive fluff churches, or anyone else usually derided by the supporters of Phelps. The ones bringing criticism haven't left the faith. At this point I'm wondering if they didn't appoint Phelps to the board on purpose, to invite controversy, so that they can show how they're standing so strong against the attacks of the devil.
So, Bob Jones University. Is it worth it to cause a new believer to wander from the faith just so you can stand without apology for a faith that places the power of God in the hands of men? Is it worth it to drive unbelievers away from Christ so you can prove a point?