Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


In October 2006, Playboy magazine came to town to do a photo shoot entitled The Girls of Conference USA. Twelve schools were in the conference, including Texas notables, Baylor and SMU. But the two reacted very differently to the Playboy initiative. The Dallas Morning News said the issue caused the two schools to "bare their souls." (

Indeed, Baylor raised a hot protest and absolutely forbid its students' participation in any way. Christians were proud of Baylor. We Baptists were proud of Baylor. I'm pretty sure God was pleased with Baylor that day too. On the other hand, SMU took a Switzerland approach, and feigned indifference. It's position was that the nude and nearly-nude photo shoots of its students were "not condoned" by the school --- and therefore the school was off the hook morally.

Do you supposed God really buys that? Should we Christians buy that?

Recently, SMU has suffered the painful deaths of three (3) students from alcohol or drugs. It seems that some of the SMU students have a penchant for alchohol and drugs, and it has become known as a party school. A task force was named to study what could be done to curb the culture of alcohol and drug abuse at SMU. Their recommendations? Among other things, establish an on-campus pub! (

The task force talks about changing the culture and creating an environment where students can be safe and healthy --- by serving them beer and wine in a school-operated pub. Are we believing this? What moral standards does SMU live by? Well, let's look at the name, Southern Methodist University. Who are the Methodists? Does their school bear testament to their religion?

Traditionally, Methodism has believed in the Armenian view of free will, via God's grace. Methodism affirms the traditional Christian belief in the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as well as the orthodox understanding of humanity and divinity of Jesus. Sacramental Theology within Methodism tends to follow the historical interpretations and liturgies of Anglicanism. (This stems from the origin of much Methodist theology and practice within the teachings of John and Charles Wesley, both of whom were priests of the Church of England.)

It is a traditional position of the Methodist church that any disciplined theological work calls for the careful use of reason. By reason, it is said, one reads and interprets Scripture. By reason one determines whether one's Christian witness is clear. By reason one asks questions of faith and seeks to understand God's action and will.

This church insists that personal salvation always involves Christian mission and service to the world. Scriptural holiness entails more than personal piety; love of God is always linked with love of neighbor, a passion for justice and renewal in the life of the world.Most Methodist churches annually follow the call of John Wesley for a renewal of their covenant with God.

It is not unusual in Methodism for each congregation to normally hold an annual Covenant Service on the first convenient Sunday of the year, and Wesley's Covenant Prayer is still used, with minor modification, in the order of service. In it, Wesley states man's total reliance upon God, as the following excerpt demonstrates:

...Christ has many services to be done. Some are easy, others are difficult. Some bring honor, others bring reproach. Some are suitable to our natural inclinations and temporal interests. Others are contrary to both... Yet the power to do all these things is given to us in Christ, who strengthens us....

I am no longer my own but yours. Put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for you or laid aside for you, exalted for you or brought low for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things to your pleasure and disposal...

So it would seem that these Methodists are Biblical Christians. They recognize Jesus Christ and live by the same Bible that the rest of us live by. What then can be said for SMU? Are they using logic and reason to interpret Scripture? And what of Wesley's prayer? Is SMU teaching its students that they are not their own? Do SMU students learn to be brought low for the causes of Christ? Do they learn to yield all things to God's pleasure and disposal?

I'm not being cynical here. I'm just being realistic. Christians are supposed to be materially different than the sinful, fallen world around them. So it is time to stop playing this Christian charade. The travesty of Christianity is the Christians who behave badly --- and mislead the world about what Christianity is and who God is.

SMU, you are a beginning to look like a blight on the face of Christianity. Step up to the plate and return to walking the talk of Christ. Instill some moral fiber in your students and enforce a moral standard that they can live by.

Take a stand against photo shoots for Playboy magazine. No pubs for your students. Period.

No comments:

Post a Comment