We're hoping later to make available to you a movie documenting Doug Wilson's Gospel witness a week ago on the campus of Indiana University. Meanwhile, watch the very short video above. This video provides a clue why campus ministries have become gnostic societies sharing secret knowledge for their trusted initiates only.
God's Word, His authority, His Moral Law, His Judgment, His Hell are met with hatred and mob fury on secular campuses today. They've been publicly abandoned by campus parachurch workers making a living off church support, because not to abandon them is to run the sort of gauntlet you see Doug and Clearnote Campus Fellowship running in this video clip.
Knowing a bad thing when they see one, parachurch ministries have run for their lives. Few of them have any grid to understand the Holy Spirit's use of conflict and martyrdom as Gospel-centered, missional tools, so any hint of conflict or rebellion teaches them what never to do again. Thus no teaching on God's authority. No proclamation of fathers' authority. No declaration of Church authority. No discipline of members. No teaching on the Created Order and the nature of manhood and womanhood. No warning and condemnation of sodomy. No warning against baby-slaughter (abortion). No mention of submission or repentance.
Just "the pure Gospel," which means the Gospel eviscerated of repentance...But there still are warnings against pornography since no one will object to warnings against the objectification of women (and nevermind that a third of the use of pornography, today, is by women).
What about their supporters giving to them through their church missions budgets? Do they know how truncated Scripture has become in the hands of their parachurch "missionaries" to university campuses?
No, of course not. When parachurch workers visit their supporting churches, they're wonderful. There's no reason to hide God's law in the privacy of the suburbs where campus thought police aren't listening and everyone will love you for it.
What churches don't know about what parachurch ministries won't say on campus any more won't hurt them.
So the money continues to pour into their coffers. What's needed, though, is for these ministries to be reformed or closed down. Trouble is, who wants to ask questions of people who "have given their lives to serving Christ?"
Most of these organizations are in their dotage and someone needs to pull the plug on them. Show up at their weekly campus meeting unannounced or incognito and you'll be appalled by how few students there are or what is being said by whom. Maybe there are twenty or so students, but in those cases where there are two hundred, the content is horrible. We know because we want to know (that's the first and most difficult step), and so we have gone and listened. God's power and Word and authority have been left far behind years ago, now.
Think about it on a macro level. Like you and me, churches, colleges, seminaries, Roman Catholic orders, and denominations all need regular reforming (ecclesia semper reformanda est), and part of their reformation has typically been the founding of new churches, colleges, seminaries, Roman Catholic orders, and denominations. Now that the past century has added mission agencies and parachurch ministries to the mix, those will also need to reformed, or closed down and new ones started.
No one likes to think about or help to close down ministries and churches where we came to faith. That little country church where the cemetary fences are covered with climber rose bushes covered with pink petals may have been where you first found the light, but like everything else it has its alpha and it has its omega. When the time comes that it is faithless, it doesn't honor God or serve the souls of the congregation for you and your family to stick around and get acclimated to the smoke and smell of brimstone because you're sentimental and you remember what the church used to be. Wake up! Leave! Run for your wife's and children's lives! Run for your own life! Run for the lives of every other soul in that church now sitting under the preaching of God's Word by a self-acknowledged bisexual lesbian who's self-nominated for the office of moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and did so because she herself has a clear sense of Her Ownself's call.
Must we really get to this point with IV and Cru before we cut off their gravy train and have the faith to start new works all over again? Can't we see all the doctrines they've effectively cut out of the Sword of the Spirit from fear of the damage those doctrines will do to their reputation? And isn't that enough to require our moving on to work with and support those being faithful where these others are faithless?
Bring campus ministry back into the church and expect those preaching on campus to demonstrate their faith precisely at the breaches in the wall; that's what we do at Indiana University. As the son of one of the founders of IV, I say there's no other way. The Word of God in all its glorious specificity and the Church of Jesus Christ in all its sacramental discipline and authority; neither are optional. The man who fails to teach souls coming to Christ that the Church is the mother of all believers is not leading souls to Christ. He's leading souls to his parachurch ministry and coming on staff or giving money to him the rest of their lives. As men of God have said for two millenia now, the man who will not have the Church as His Mother cannot have God as his Father. Or as the Reformers also said, outside the Church there is ordinarily no hope of salvation.
Look at the pure hatred for the Word of God in this video and ask yourself whether your IV or Cru staffer getting all your money is up to the task? You know him (or her). It's a simple question.
Then find a church in the shadow of your state university that has a male campus pastor who is faithful at the breaches in the wall and support him and his church. Semper reformanda!
(TB, w/thanks to Michael F.)