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American Baptist College (ABC) refuses to reconsider its decision Tuesday to invite a “married” lesbian bishop to be a featured speaker at its annual lecture series this month despite protests — arguing that “true Christians” advocate “social justice.”
In a defiant tone against a group of pastors protesting the lesbian speaker being featured in the 58th Garnett-Nabrit Lecture Series, ABC Vice President for Administration, Finance and Legal Affairs Richard E. Jackson insists that most of the responses that he’s received over the lesbian bishop’s speaking engagement have been ones of shock as to why it’s an issue at all.
“The reaction I have gotten is ‘what’s the controversy, what’s the big deal?’” Jackson told the Christian Post. “You all are an educational institution.”
The speaker at issue is Yvette Flunder, the bishop of City of Refuge United Church of Christ, located in the heart of San Francisco, California.
Legalizing same-sex “marriage” along with 36 other states, the Golden State performs and recognizes such unions. Flunder is married to her lesbian partner, Shirley Miller, but such controversial same-sex unions are not recognized in Nashville, Tennessee, where the academic institution is located. The Volunteer State is one of just 13 left that have marriage amendments protecting the sacred institution as only between one man and one woman.
Refusing to hear or even recognize any biblical objections to the lesbian speaker’s lecture slated for March 18, Jackson is steamrolling ahead, discounting such concerns as antithetical to the spirit of academics championed at ABC.
“The school is not going to reconsider its invitation to Bishop Flunder,” Jackson succinctly stated. “We’re looking forward to her participation in the Garnett-Nabrit Lectures.”
Forwarding the Gospel of Christ or the ‘social gospel?’
Jackson alleges that those who aren’t on board with a lesbian speaker lecturing at a Christian college are not aligned with Christian principles that call them to serve the needy.
“I think that the first thing that we would have people to understand is that Bishop Flunder will be focusing most of her remarks and comments while at American Baptist College on the innovative nature of the ministry that she (Flunder) conducts that addresses the rights and needs of persons with HIV and AIDS,” Jackson expressed. “And I think that is completely compatible and consistent with the belief and philosophy of Christian people and Christian institutions to care for the least of us in any given society.”
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