When the mission field comes to you
|by Kristine Steakley|
This spring, students, faculty and staff at Christian colleges across the country have a unique opportunity to present a Christian witness to the world. Equality Ride, a traveling troupe of protesters, is making uninvited visits to several dozen colleges and universities. The protests are sponsored and organized by a group called Soulforce, which says on its web site that its goal is "freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance." Members of Soulforce staged a mini sit-in earlier this week at the headquarters of Focus on the Family, which ended when the two protestors were arrested for trespassing.
In March and April, Equality Ride will show up at the campuses of Union University, Gordon College, Cedarville University, Calvin College, and many more. For a full listing of colleges on the target list, see here and here.
One of the schools on the list is Messiah College, my alma mater, which has been told to expect Equality Ride to show up on April 13. Soulforce's grievance is that the college includes homosexual behavior among a list of sinful practices in its student handbook. The response of school officials provides a shining example of how we can speak the truth in love. According to a letter from college president Kim Phipps:
Messiah College affirms its institutional stance on homosexual behavior. ... The College has decided to respond to Equality Ride's visit as an opportunity to model gracious Christianity and hospitality to those who express different viewpoints, to encourage meaningful campus conversation about a complex social issue, and to equip students to better understand human sexuality from a biblical perspective. ... As we prepare for Equality Ride's visit, I invite you to join me in praying for God's wisdom and guidance.
Let's pray for all the Christian colleges on Equality Ride's tour schedule. Pray that God would protect the minds and lives of the students on these campuses, some of whom may be struggling with these issues or who may have never before been confronted with them. Pray that God would give wisdom to the administration at each school to know how to handle these uninvited guests. And pray that the men and women participating in Equality Ride will be overwhelmed by God's grace and compassion as they visit these schools. Pray that they would see an irresistible passion and love for God and for others shining on the faces and in the lives of the people they meet on these campuses. Pray that God, in His amazing grace, would use this experience to open their hearts to the truth that can give them true freedom.