Positions Represent 2,000 Year-Old Christian Beliefs
To the Editor:
In Thursday's issue of the D, Professor Luxon brought to our attention the faith statements of two on-campus ministries (Campus Crusade for Christ and the Navigators). He paid particular attention to the fact that both of these organizations hold that those who do not share their faith in Christ are subject to eternal damnation. He suggested that the groups' statements about this "deserve everyone's careful attention." While everything in Professor Luxon's letter was both eloquently stated and true, I'm not quite clear what his point was. The positions held by CCC and the Navigators regarding this have been a central part of Christian doctrine for nearly 2,000 years. Are we to expect these groups to compromise their beliefs in order to be more palatable? I was under the impression that an open community such as Dartmouth's strove to allow people to believe and express ideas without having to compromise with the majority opinion.
Some members of the Dartmouth community have been offended by the "proselytizing" activities of Christian groups on this campus. We should remember that this is not something done simply to gather more people into "our group." Rather it is done out of a very real love of others. Please understand that CCC and the Navigators really do believe all this business about eternal damnation and salvation and it is out of this belief that any Christian seeks to share his or her faith with others. In fact, when we really understand the concept of salvation and Christ's Great Commission ("Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations ..." Mt. 28:19) we should come to expect nothing less of CCC, the Navigators or any other campus group that claims to align itself with Christ.
In addition, it is important to point out that sharing the Gospel is in no way congruous with hating homosexuals, Jews or anyone else. If there was anything that Christ didn't preach, it was hatred. At the same time, he did not condone sin when he saw it. It is important to point out that not approving of someone's actions is not the same as hating that person. Does the Bible teach that homosexuals are sinners? Yes. It also teaches that heterosexuals are sinners. To be a sinner (with One exception), one need only be born a human being. Therefore, homosexuals need salvation no more and no less than anyone else. This is something that I think many Christians and non-Christian alike have forgotten.
I certainly agree with professor Luxon's conclusion that the faith statements of CCC and the Navigators deserve everyone's careful attention, although, I think, for a very different reason.