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CHRISTIAN STUDENT GROUP FIGHTS UNIVERSITY IN COURT AND WINS
TOM LAMPRECHT: Fox News is reporting, Harry, a Christian student group has been welcomed back on campus at Wayne State University after threatening a lawsuit for being unfairly booted out. It was the InterVarsity Program, a program that had been at Wayne State University for 75 years. Now, nothing has really changed with InterVarsity so why did they get booted out? When they decided to recertify themselves as an official student organization, they wrote on the form as they had every other year before that InterVarsity is committed to welcoming all students but they would not necessarily have all students be a part of their group’s leadership selection.
DR. REEDER: Well, first of all, I’m grateful that they’re back on campus. And notice they got back on campus when they said they were going to go and challenge the ruling in court. Now, I think they were brought back on the campus, not because the administration changed its mind, but the administration knew they were going to lose in court.
IS CULTURAL MARXISM AT WORK AND WHAT IS IT?
Why would they be going to court? Tom, there is a movement called Cultural Marxism and it’s a very clear movement and I would encourage our listeners to do some research on it. Cultural Marxism is basically the fallback from the collapse of Communism.
Communism built a Marxist view of life based upon economics, but the economic foundations of socialism in general but communism in particular, basically collapsed. There’s still socialists that get a hearing in various situations, not the least of which is the previous candidate for presidency, Bernie Sanders. We’re fully aware that that’s there but, by and large, the success is being accomplished in cultural Marxism.
Now, what is cultural Marxism do? Well, cultural Marxism targets Christianity. There’s a reason why all of the Communist nations remove Christianity and killed Christians. That’s the one ideology that they cannot stand against.
By definition, Marxism is atheistic. The rationale and the truth and the power of the theistic foundations of Christianity cannot be denied and will always, ultimately, undo the irrationality of atheism so what they’ve done is they’ve gone after cultural Marxism, which is to create movements whereby Christians and Christian thinkers and Christian institutions are mocked, or shamed, or marginalized and, if at all possible, silenced and that’s why they go after them to silence them, particularly, in the halls of learning.
They certainly don’t want to debate the ideas because their ideas will always lose under the onslaught of Biblical Christianity’s rationality — suprarationality — and its accuracy in dealing with the reality of creation, redemption and the doctrine of providence and that is how God sustains His creation — ow did we get here, how can you be saved and how are we sustained?
INSTITUTIONS ARE SURPRISED BY CHRISTIANS WHO FIGHT IN COURT
And, therefore, there is a desire to remove them from the public square. Many times, it works because what you do is you bring it into the court system where you’re going to have allies in these judges and whereby you’ve got volunteers as lawyers or you’ve raise the money for these lawyers and then these Christian organizations, they don’t have lawyers, they don’t have the ability to raise the money to go to court so, many times, they just successfully legally ostracize them and legally alienate them while they culturally attempt to shame them.
InterVarsity decided, “Nope, we’re going to go to court.” As soon as that message came, then Wayne State backed out immediately because they knew what would happen if they went to court.
Why do I take the time to walk through that? Because there is a movement among Christians today which is, “Well, if they’re going to kick these organizations off campus, let’s just go off campus. Let’s go ahead and give it to them. Let’s be humble and let them shame us into silence or shame us into abdicating from our presence on the campus.
And, by the way, if you lose the case and if they force you off the campus, yeah, just go across the street, and open up a ministry and start reaching out to the campus — that’s fine — but I don’t think you should willingly walk over there in order to manifest some sense of humility. I think, in humility, we’re willing to go there. Humility will show in the manner of how we contest the issues, but I don’t think humility is don’t contest the issues.
HOW DID THE APOSTLE PAUL FIGHT LEGAL SYSTEMS?
Let me use the apostle Paul. There are arguably three times — at least two times — that the apostle Paul, when he was being silenced, appealed to his citizenship rights within Rome. Now, why did he do that? One case arguably saved his life, humanly speaking, the other case, arguably, was unnecessary because he was about to be pardoned, anyway. In fact, King Agrippa said, “Doesn’t he know if he hadn’t appealed to Rome, he would have been set free? But he’s appealed to Rome; let’s send him on.”
Well, I believe the apostle Paul did not make those appeals legally simply for the purpose of his own personal well-being to fulfill his ministry as apostle — I think he did it for other Christians to carve out their freedoms that were already there and affirmed them that they were, in fact, free to practice their religion under the present guidelines in Rome.
Therefore, I believe it is appropriate for us to say, “There is a Constitution, there is a Bill of Rights and that Bill of Rights was actually put there because of the anticipation of a day in which either the state would create a state-church to impose upon everyone or the state would create laws to try to stop the church and the Christian from the free exercise of religion.
Remember, the First Amendment says they are not to make laws whereby any national church is imposed upon the nation and they are not to make any laws that prohibit the free exercise of religion.
And, by the way, may I commend not only the Becket Foundation for their work in this, but also the Alliance for Defending Freedom — both of those organizations are doing an excellent job arguing for Christians to be in the public square, in the public institutions for the free exercise of religion.
CHRISTIANS, IT IS YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT AND DUTY TO DEFEND YOUR RIGHTS
And I do not believe it is inappropriate and I do not believe it is a bad witness for Christians to go to the court in order to affirm what their founding fathers, influenced by Christians, secured in the Bill of Rights because they knew a day like this would come in which the state would either try to impose a church to control its people or the state would attempt to outlaw Christianity because Christianity would be an ideology and a way of life that would confront statism, which is the notion that the state is sovereign over everything in life instead of a state that is under God. Not a state that is becoming God, not a state that assumes its position of deity over its citizens, but a state that assumes its responsibility under God to protect the freedoms that God has given to His people.
There are four times in the Declaration of Independence that God is referenced as the author and giver of unalienable rights and our freedoms. You have to be sensibly blind not to see the impact from God’s law that penetrate and permeate the law of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And all you have to do is to go to the end of the Constitution and, at the signatures, it says, “In the year of our Lord” — that’s what they acknowledged, that this Constitution was under the sovereign God who rules and reigns in all days and all months and all years and in the year that the constitution was written and signed.
COMING UP TOMORROW: PLIGHT OF PORNOGRAPHY
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on tomorrow’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to an interview that Evangelical Focus did with British psychologist and Christian author, Glen Harrison. It deals with sexuality and it deals with the plight of pornography.
DR. REEDER: How do we get free from it if we are captivated by it and what does it do? Well, it certainly isn’t victimless by any means whatsoever. We’ll try to use appropriate language for the sake of our listeners.
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.