Baylor University recently chartered Prism, its first LGBTQ+ campus organization. As reported in a university publication, Matt Burchett, assistant dean of philanthropic engagement and senior director of student activities, indicated Prism fulfills part of Baylor’s mission to create a “caring community grounded on its Christian commitment, leading toward the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community on campus.” Burchett also added, “chartering Prism is very much an alignment with creating a caring Christian community for all our students.”

These statements reveal the underlying convictions which motivated this decision. Well-meaning, Christian academic administrators believe they are fulfilling their biblical mandate to create a caring community on their campus by affirming LGBTQ+ students. They also believe Christian love is demonstrated by affirming whatever personhood and behavioral claims an individual makes, without regard to external standards or strictures.

For many years, Christian schools have enrolled unbelievers, and in some cases believers, who do not necessarily share their convictions, values, or standards. Schools do this to extend Christian ministry to students, with the hope those students will be influenced to become Christians or, at the least, have positive relationships with Christians in the future. This approach accommodates a wide-range of students and meets their needs in a Christian context.

The challenge for academic administrators is defining accommodation. Historically, for most Christian schools, accommodation means patient toleration. School leaders facilitate a welcoming environment, while at the same time maintaining the convictions for which the school was founded. Baylor administrators have redefined accommodation, shifting from patient toleration to intentional validation. It is no longer enough to welcome students with different sexual lifestyles to campus. Now those lifestyles will be affirmed in the name of creating a caring community.

All Christian schools, including Gateway Seminary, deal with students involved in sexual behavior and activity outside our student deportment policies (which, for us, are grounded in a historic understanding of biblical sexual ethics). At Gateway, our response to students in these situations is redemptive – with consequences commiserate with their actions. We confront, not affirm, behavior outside biblical standards with the goal of helping every student live up to those standards. We believe love demands we tell students the truth about their behavior, and its consequences, and help them learn to live in healthier ways. We believe caring community is practiced within the context of those biblical standards, not by disregarding them.

Many Christian schools will be pressured to follow the Baylor model in the future. Pray for Christian school leaders to stand firm on policies and practices that promote a healthy caring community.


Read More

Forgiveness, Restoration, and Pastoral Integrity

Forgiveness, restoration, and pastoral integrity are pressing issues in our generation – as they have been throughout history and will be in the future. Yet, as believers, our commitment to robust church fellowship demands we do this hard work.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

When Words Fail

Dr. Iorg responds to the Tyre Nichols tragedy and commends the response of the Nichols family.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

Relationships Matter: Confirmed Again

Dr. Iorg reaffirms the importance of relationships and asks the church to make three choices to promote healthy community.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

Listen

10 Questions with 10 Pastors
January 31, 2023

Brian Simms

In this new episode, our host is joined by Brian Simms, senior pastor of CrossPointe Church in Fontana, CA. Pastor Brian shares his process of how choosing the sermon themes for the year, how he gets organized for the week, and how he has grown over the years.
Lead On Podcast
January 29, 2023

Women in Ministry with Dr. Alicia Wong

Dr. Iorg and talks with Dr. Alicia Wong about the various roles women can take in ministry and especially in church planting.

Watch

Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

Get updates on new content!