Has Regional Accreditation Declared “Checkmate” in the War Against Christian Education?
By Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.
In August, I shared about the developing situation with Gordon College and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEACS) regarding the school’s need to either embrace the new Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGTS) agenda or lose their accreditation. Since that time, more information has surfaced on this war by anti-christian groups to force an anti-biblical paradigm change within Christian education that will have devastating spiritual repercussions.
In a recent article on OneNewsNow.com, journalist Michael F. Haverluck declared:
Accredited or not accredited … that is the question. Keeping to its biblical code of behavior as a Christian college since 1889, Gordon College has now been given an ultimatum by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC): be an accredited academic institution by accepting “homosexual practice” or stick to its Christian teachings on sexual behavior and be unaccredited. [i]
Haverluck goes on to share:
Gordon College will be trying to convince the NEASC over the next 12 to 18 months during a review period that its policy conforms to the new thinking sweeping the education system — one that embraces and normalizes homosexual behavior on campus.
Prepping for its September 2015 meeting with the NEASC, a “working group of 20 representative trustees, faculty, administrators, staff and students” will prepare and submit a review of the process and its outcomes, which includes indoctrinating campus members in the “proper” way to respond to homosexual behavior. The document to be issued to the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education must primarily prove one thing:
“[The review must] ensure [Gordon College’s] ability to foster an atmosphere that respects and supports people of diverse characteristics and backgrounds, consistent with the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation,” reads a joint statement produced by the Wenham, Massachusetts-based college and the NEASC.
Scrutiny of campus worldviews and attitudes toward the LGBTQ community escalated fairly recently after Gordon College president D. Michael Lindsay signed a letter along with other academic and religious leaders asking for a religious exemption from President Barack Obama’s executive order that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. Repercussions were immediate, as the town hall in Salem quickly canceled Gordon College’s contract to use its facility when they found out about Lindsay’s request.
According to the NEASC, it assured Gordon College that if it doesn’t alter its policy, “the organization won’t be rushing to withdraw the school’s accreditation;” however, the NEASC controls whether federal funding will be made available to the college.[ii]
Dr. Greg Koukl, who is the president of “Stand to Reason” and teaches Apologetics at Biola University, has clearly outlined what is at stake:
“If they do not change the standards for sexual behavior in their ‘life and conduct statement’ (which prohibit ‘sexual relations outside of marriage’ and ‘homosexual practice’) they will lose their accreditation.” [iii]
In the article, Koukl and Haverluck brought further clarity to the situation at Gordon College:
Koukl does not believe that this timeframe is as generous as it’s been described when taking the policy’s roots into consideration.
“How reasonable of the commission to give Gordon College 18 months to come to terms with overturning the thousands-of-years-old Christian view of acceptable sexual behavior,” Koukl jests. “This 18-month reprieve is nothing but theater, of course. Gordon College will not convince the commission their standards are ‘non-discriminatory.’”
The Christian scholar, who also teaches Apologetics at Biola University in La Mirada, California, believes Gordon College is exercising an act of futility in its attempt for accreditation.
“Gordon College will explain the difference between behavior and identity, between a person with same-sex attractions who agrees with the biblical standards and one who doesn’t, and the difference between banning a person because of his sexual orientation and banning particular behaviors among all students that go against the biblical view,” Koukl argues. “And then the commission will reject it.”
Koukl is quite sure that this will be the course of action taken and explains why.
“How do I know this?” asks the Christian leader headquartered in Signal Hill, California. “Because this is what happened earlier this year when Gordon College publicly argued for the ‘right of faith-based institutions to set and adhere to standards which derive from our shared framework of faith.’ That controversy ended with the termination of their city contract to maintain Salem’s historical Old Town Hall and their student teachers being removed from public schools.” [iv]
Believers may not be aware of just how paramount this case is between Gordon College and the NEACS. Gordon College and Dr. Lindsay are standing on the frontline in an all-out assault against Christianity. If a secular agency can dictate the religious beliefs and worldviews of a Christian institution of higher learning, then religious freedom in this nation is over. Gordon College may become the first domino to fall in the absolute takeover of Christian education and our pulpits. If NEACS and LGBT succeed, a tsunami of Christian schools departing sound doctrine to maintain government funding will follow. We may soon find aspirants of ministry trained in the exegesis of political correctness rather than that of scripture. The spiritual, moral, and (dare I say) eternal consequences for the next generation are unfathomable . . . nearly apocalyptic from a conservative, fundamental perspective.
Caught Between a Rock and an Hard (Apostate) Place
“There have been individuals embedded within various organizations around the United States that have been waiting for the right political agenda to surface that would empower their tacit war against biblical Christianity. Accreditation of Christian schools will be one of their chief weapons,” warned my mentor in the 1980’s. Today, Dr. McLachlan would seem more like a prophet than an educator.
Christian institutions that have been involved in government-approved accreditation for participation in the Guaranteed Student Loan Program (Title IV Funds) will find themselves standing between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Let me explain:
- If these accredited schools refuse to bow to regional accreditation’s demand to rewrite their biblical beliefs from a biblical worldview to the new LGBT agenda, they will lose access to Title IV funding. Governmental accreditation and Title IV Funding are inseparable. Without students being able to participate in the Guaranteed Student Loan Program, enrollments would plummet and bankrupt every school that refuses to compromise. (Checkmate)
- If these accredited schools succumb to the demands being presented by their accrediting associations and LBGT, then they will fall prey to the doctrine of Balaam.
Revelation 2:14-16 (KJV)
14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
The Greek word used in Rev. 2:14 for fornication is porneuo (porn-yoo’-o), which means: 1) to prostitute one’s body to the lust of another 2) to give one’s self to unlawful sexual intercourse. [v] The LGBT agenda falls squarely within the biblical definition of fornication.
Jesus warned us that this stumbling block would cause Him to fight against those that succumb to the practices and tactics of Balaam with the sword of His mouth. (Checkmate)
In a recent article, Christian apologist Dr. Michael Brown provided an accurate synopsis of the situation:
If Gordon College is considering revisiting its morality standards, the school is considering exchanging the favor of God for the favor of man. [vi]
Dr. Brown continued in his article:
To D. Michael Lindsay, the gifted president of Gordon, and to the board of trustees, I remind you: Many eyes are watching you, knowing that the decisions you make could either strengthen or dishearten many other schools that will soon be put under similar pressure.
In the sight of the God that we serve and love, I ask you this crucial question: If your decision will cause a ripple effect across the nation for other Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries, what do you want that effect to be?
Do you want to send the message across America (and beyond) that when culture changes, we capitulate to culture? That a practice expressly forbidden by the Bible and all major forms of Christianity through the centuries becomes acceptable if enough people sign a petition? That sufficient pressure exerted from some alumni or students or faculty can overturn God’s Word? That accreditation is more important than morality?
I pray your message will be that the potential loss of accreditation is a small price to pay for obedience to God. [vii]
I agree with Dr. Brown; loss of governmental accreditation is a small price to pay for obedience to God. If Christian education elects to follow the path of least resistance and yields to this combination of political and social pressure, not only will it lose the favor of God but will find itself in God’s crosshairs!
It is time for all of us to rethink Christian education, especially for those called to ministry. Should we continue to demand governmental accreditation from secular associations that have clearly rejected both the Bible and the God it declares as true? The future of the Church might very well depend upon our answer.
Future aspirants of the ministry will need to look beyond their social preconditioning for the governmental seal of approval and seek the face of God to reveal the proper school with the biblical integrity and anointing to empower them for end-time ministry.
[i] Michael F. Haverluck. College accreditation: Please God or please man? One News Now, October 3, 2014. http://onenewsnow.com/education/2014/10/03/college-accreditation-please-god-or-please-man?utm_source=OneNewsNow&utm_medium=email&utm_term=16779384&utm_content=81278068833&utm_campaign=15405#.VC7wP75bT8s
[v] Strongs #G4304. Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon. BibleWorks for Windows 7.0. BibleWorks, LLC, Norfolk, VA. Copyright © 2006.
[vi] Michael Brown. Gordon College, don’t sell your soul for secular accreditation. One News Now, October 3, 2014. http://onenewsnow.com/perspectives/michael-brown/2014/10/03/gordon-college-dont-sell-your-soul-for-secular-accreditation?utm_source=OneNewsNow&utm_medium=email&utm_term=16779384&utm_content=81278068833&utm_campaign=15405#.VC78t75bT8s
About the Author
Dr. Michael K. Lake is the Chancellor and Founder of Biblical Life College and
Seminary. He is a contributing author for the best-selling book, Blood on the Altar: The Coming Christian Vs. Christian War, and the author of the soon-to-be-released book, The Shinar Directive: Preparing the Way for the Son of Perdition.