The news that Balliol College Oxford (the College where John Wycliffe was once the Master) had decided to ban the Christian Union from having a stall at its freshers fair caused wide reaction around the world, and anger throughout the College student body. The statement put out by the JCR committee vice-president, Freddie Potts, justifying the ban illustrates the hard-line secular attack on the Christian faith we are seeing almost daily in the Western world.
Potts stated: “Christianity’s influence on many marginalised communities has been damaging in its methods of conversion and rules of practice, and is still used in many places as an excuse for homophobia and certain forms of neo-colonialism.” He added that we “are concerned that there is potential for harm to freshers who are already struggling to feel welcome in Oxford.” We can be grateful to God that numerous objections soon put a stop to the JCR’s ban. Nigel Genders, Church of England’s Chief Education Officer, said: “Freedom of religion and belief is a fundamental principle underpinning our country, its great institutions and universities.” Andrea Williams, Chief Executive at Christian Concern, retorted: “The leading institution in the world founded on Christian principles is forgetting its great history.
In Christianity there has been freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom to believe and manifest belief.” Even arch antiChristian apologist Richard Dawkins tweeted the decision was “pompous idiocy.” But the most decisive objection came from the College students themselves, where a motion was reportedly passed unanimously accusing the JCR committee of “barring the participation of specific faith-based organisations” and describing the step as “a violation of free speech [and] a violation of religious freedom”. The motion prohibited the barring of official religious societies from future freshers’ fairs. A Christian Union spokeswoman added that such an incident is “a pretty rare experience” and has been “amicably resolved.”
Source: Revival Media; The Guardian; The Christian Post
Bible Study: Psalm 37:12-15
DECEMBER PRAISE God that those thinking they could simply eradicate Christian influence from student life were stopped.
PRAY the CU will take heart and strive ever more to proclaim Christ throughout the whole University of Oxford.