The Briefing: Campus ministry group no longer recognized by Cal State schools

Meredith Flynn —  September 9, 2014

THE BRIEFING | InterVarsity Christian Fellowship will lose its current access to all 23 schools in the California State University system because the ministry requires their leaders to affirm Christian doctrines, reports Christianity Today. IVCF’s policy is in violation of a university rule, adopted in 2012, that requires recognized groups to accept all students as potential leaders.

The_Briefing“While we applaud inclusivity, we believe that faith-based communities like ours can only be led by people who clearly affirm historic Christian doctrine,” reads a statement on IVCF’s website.

The ministry received a one-year exemption from the policy for the 2013-14 school year, but will now lose privileges including free meeting space and access to campus activity fairs.

On his blog, LifeWay’s Ed Stetzer examines the ramifications: “The bigger, and ongoing, issue is the continual sanitization of unacceptable religious voices from universities.”

State marriage cases likely to land in high court
Recent rulings on marriage by federal judges and circuit courts have advocates on both sides of the debate looking toward the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the issue. On Sept. 4, 32 states—15 that allow same-sex marriage and 17 that don’t—asked the high court to settle it once and for all, reported the Associated Press.

Same-sex marriages in Illinois officially began June 1, although some counties issued licenses earlier. The state’s General Assembly approved “The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act” last fall.

‘Elevate Marriage’ scheduled for Oct. 16
The Illinois Baptist State Association will host an “Issues & Answers” event in Springfield, Ill., to help churches address cultural shifts on marriage. The Oct. 16 conference for pastors and church leaders will feature Kevin Smith, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Andrew Walker, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; and Jill Finley, Bethel Baptist Church, Troy, Ill. Lunch is included, and registration is required; go to www.IBSA.org/Marriage.

Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy dies at age 93
Christian leaders and fans of Chick-Fil-A mourned the loss of S. Truett Cathy, who died early Monday morning. Cathy built the chain—known for its chicken sandwiches—from one store in 1946 to more than 1,800 restaurants currently operating in 40 states and Washington, D.C. He was known for his Christian faith and Chick-Fil-A’s “closed on Sundays” policy. Read more at BPNews.net.

Osteen answers criticism
Megachurch co-pastor Victoria Osteen said that church-goers at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, understood her recent controversial comments about why people ought to obey God. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really,” Osteen said during a Lakewood service Aug. 31. “You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy.” The video went viral, garnering much criticism on social media. Osteen told The Blaze she could have been more articulate, but she stands by her point. “I did not mean to imply that we don’t worship God; that’s ridiculous, and only the critics and cynics are interpreting my remarks that way.”

Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, blogged that the message preached by Osteen and her husband, Joel, “is the latest and slickest version of Prosperity Theology.” Read Mohler’s commentary here.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.