By Jay Rogers
Published April 1, 1992
TIME, CNN, and CBS News have covered the controversy surrounding Gomes’ statement
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (FR) – On November 12, 1991, Peninsula, a conservative student journal at Harvard University, published its 56 page critique of pro-homosexual politics. Immediately following its release, a furor erupted which has continued unabated. Faculty members, administrators, student groups and virtually every other student publication at Harvard have denounced Peninsula’s assertion that homosexuality should be viewed by society as morally wrong.
The most surprising statement came from Harvard’s Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, Peter Gomes, who condemned Peninsula’s homosexuality edition as a “moral mugging” and proclaimed from the steps of the Memorial Church where he presides as chaplain: “I am a Christian who happens as well to be gay.”
This came as a surprise to many who have known Gomes over the years. He is one of the most widely respected ministers in America and is considered by many to be a conservative evangelical. Yet Gomes, a member of the American Baptist Churches, has skirted his own denomination’s statement condemning homosexuality. This is shocking even to those who have been aware of Gomes’ anti-literalist view of Scripture. According to one minister in the Cambridge area we interviewed, the Harvard professor has always maintained a weak view of Scripture as being the authoritative Word of God.
In response to Gomes’ shocking revelation, a 50 member student group, Concerned Christians at Harvard, has formed with the purpose of forcing Gomes’ resignation as campus chaplain. Conducting a candlelight prayer vigil at Harvard’s Memorial Church in late February, Concerned Christians’ founder Sumner Anderson denounced Gomes’ assertion that it is acceptable to be a Christian and a homosexual.
Concerned Christians at Harvard wants Gomes to resign because he does not represent the biblical view of homosexuality held to by evangelical Christians. Yet Harvard President Neil Rudenstein dismissed the issue as not being the responsibility of Harvard to take part in a “theological debate where reasonable people of different religious persuasions hold different views.”
Now that it appears unlikely that anyone in Harvard’s administration will ask Gomes to resign, the Concerned Christians group faces a dilemma: How do you openly confront homosexuality as the Bible treats it – as sin – while remaining compassionate and sensitive in an otherwise unsympathetic atmosphere?
Says Peninsula editor Roger Landry, “The group started because of what Gomes taught on homosexuality – that it is not a sin. To say that the Bible is not relevant on homosexuality is to say that the Bible is not relevant on anything.”
“We’re walking a tightrope,” Landry admits. “We’re not trying to throw stones at anybody. We never thought that Gomes was an evil person. In fact, prior to his announcement, many of us thought that he was an excellent preacher. But what Sumner Anderson said is true: it’s more the gospel of Gomes than the gospel of Christ. We plan to keep the prayer vigils going just to let people know that we do not agree with Gomes’ teaching on homosexuality.”
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
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Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
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