As a university president (i.e. an educator) I believe it is my obligation to educate. The historic role of the college president is to teach not only his students but also his community what it means to be a thoughtful and engaged life long learner. My view is that it would be antithetical to my call as a Christian scholar and community leader to remain silent in the face of the most critical issues of our time (i.e. the definition of human life, the definition of the human being, the sanctity of marriage, the dignity of women, etc).

Orange Scott and Luther Lee, the founders of the Wesleyan Church, were not silent as they fought for the dignity of blacks and human equality. William Wilberforce was not silent when he worked for over 20 years on the floor of Parliament to abolish the British slave trade. John Wesley was not silent when he admonished Wilberforce to never give up the fight for biblical justice.

Our church is built on the foundation of those who recognized their obligation to be salt and light to a broken culture and hurting world – to be an outspoken voice for a biblical worldview – to “practice wisdom” in the public square. The Wesleyan Church was founded upon such a voice and upon such conviction.

What continues to amaze me is the persistent claim from inside the evangelical community that the commentary of Jim Garlow, Eric Metaxas, Franklin Graham and other conservative thinkers and leaders who argue for traditional morality and the merits of a biblical worldview is “too political.” Who decided that defending the dignity and identity of women is political? Who decided that defending the lives of our youngest children is political? Who decided that defending marriage (an historic sacrament of the Church) is too political?? Who decided these issues were political rather than biblical? My goodness one has to wonder if these detractors would have tried to silence Orange Scott as he led the fight against slavery because it was “too political.”

“Not to speak is to speak and not to act is to act. Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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