Dear Friend of Bethlehem College & Seminary
We have all seen the massive and rapid shift in public sentiment regarding sexual orientation, gender identity, and other related issues. We’ve also witnessed an unprecedented shift of governmental power being brought to bear on these same issues. Now, with increasing frequency, the biblical positions on sexuality and identity are under attack across all levels of society.
One such attack occurred a little over a year ago when Gordon College, a Christian college in Massachusetts, was caught in a firestorm of controversy because of its request to be exempt from new anti-discrimination rulings from the White House which were meant to apply all organizations having any relationship with the federal government. In Gordon’s case, because it accepts federal financial aid for its students, it fell under the new rulings. The backlash was swift and strong and among those investigating the college was its accrediting body. The school was given 18 months to address the issues or risk losing its accreditation. Just last month the trustees of the school voted to reaffirm the school’s historic, biblical position on human sexuality. I heartily commend Gordon’s trustees for renewing their commitment to the biblical teachings. The school will no doubt face a new round of attacks and criticism, but they are holding firm for now.
The reason why I’m relating this story to you is because it’s clearly an indication of what likely lies ahead for any organization or ministry that holds fast to the clear teaching of the Bible. It also illustrates one of the many reasons why Bethlehem College & Seminary has chosen not to participate in any federal, student financial aid programs. Our strategic design, from the beginning, has been to stay clear of any unnecessary entanglements with any level of government. This strategy isn’t likely to shield us from all possible ideological and/or political attacks, but it will make it more difficult for the government to force us to make changes against our will. And, no matter what the cost, we will stand firm—by the grace of God.
Standing firm is an exhortation that appears throughout the Bible—especially in the Apostle Paul’s writings. He was writing to churches which were often facing intense opposition and he knew they needed to be encouraged to “stand firm” in their faith. That same exhortation has never been more needed for Christians in the U.S. than it is today.
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” —Ephesians 6:13
So let us encourage one another to stand firm in our faith knowing that we serve the God of all power and glory and might and who will bring all of history to its final conclusion one day soon. May we all be standing firm when that day comes!
Standing firm by the power of his grace,
Bethlehem College & Seminary
Prayer Requests …
- Please pray for sweet days of rest and refreshment for our faculty, staff and students as we begin spring break this coming week.
- Please pray for Gordon College, and all Christian schools for the courage and strength to stand firm in the face of opposition and attacks.
- Please pray for wisdom and discernment for Bethlehem College & Seminary as we are in the process of hiring a new professor for our college program. We have some highly qualified candidates, but we need wisdom in determining God’s will in this decision.
- And, please continue to pray for our finances. We need to build a strong financial foundation for the school so that we will be able to better withstand the attacks of Satan which will surely come in the years ahead. God is good!