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Sensitivity surrounds statement

Biolan's Equal Ground shares on the impact of the Nashville Statement. |  Jessica Goddard/THE CHIMES


The Nashville Statement. For some students this evokes the memory of a headline they have read on Facebook or heard someone mention around campus. For others, the statement is one of hurt.

'an us-against-them kind of move'

Allison Schuster, Biola alumna and student coordinator of Biolan’s Equal Ground, felt the statement was an attack on her. After processing the statement and realizing that several Biola professors had signed it, professors whom Schuster grew up going to church with and formed friendships with since she was little, the impact changed.

“The hurt of having those people that were so intimate in my life at one point then making a statement that very much felt like an us-against-them kind of move. I don’t know what their intentions were, but to me it felt like it was taking a stand against me personally and against my people,” Schuster said.

Despite feeling such opposition, Schuster sees the hard place the university and President Barry Corey remain in with making a response because of the need to care about students and not betray faculty, staff or donors. The university has not released a public response, but professor of biblical and theological studies David Talley shared with the Chimes how he hopes the statement can be seen as one in love.

“Well, I mean, I think it will [affect LGBT students] but I think it’s still an affirmation of biblical principles. Two of my professors signed it in the poli-sci department, and knowing them personally, I know they have nothing but love for students, regardless of LGBT or not. So, I know by signing it, it wasn’t to in any way attack anybody,” said Eric Nimmo, junior political science major.

The need for a change in approach

For previous Biola student and BEG student coordinator Gena Schwimmer, her hope for Biola’s response to the changing definition of sexuality includes having more openness to the simple fact of LGBT students being on campus.

“I hope that they can change enough to realize that we still want to be at this school, whether we… had a choice or not. But we’re still there, and it’s incredibly difficult for us to be there sometimes because it’s dangerous and it’s hurtful and it’s harmful for us… I hope that Biola can not change its views but change the way it reacts towards LGBT students and how they handle certain matters,” Schwimmer said.

In response to the statement, leader of BEG Erin Green wrote an open letter to Corey, which students such as Schwimmer agree with, with further responses from BEG still in the discussion phase. With Schuster, the process is one of learning and seeking reconciliation.

“For me personally, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to turn the other cheek and... not in the way that we usually talk about it of like ‘Alright, hit me again, come at me,’ but in a real deep sense of seeking reconciliation and not hitting back in my words even,” Schuster said. “Not being spiteful in return, not being harsh in return, but how do I actually try and find restoration, and that’s a hard process and one that I’m still discerning in this particular situation.”


Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. Steve

    Why I ask, is the word "repentance" never mentioned when the sin of homosexuality is brought up? Why is it that Christians are demanded to accept this one particular sin as if it is a gift of God, as opposed to being, as the Bible puts it, an abomination (Lev. 18:22)? The Nashville Statement is truly a statement of love, because it is making a statement of Biblical truth, that should be made to all men and women, that sin is against God, and if repentance is not made the sinner will perish (Luke 13:3). Why should Christians be made to lie to sinners, so that their feelings are not hurt, thereby committing them to an eternity in Hell? I pray that more of the professors at Biola will sign the Nashville Statement. September 28, 2017

  2. Kris

    Thankful for Biola's ongoing commitment to Biblical truth rather than conforming to the culture. Loving and affirming are not synonymous. God's Word and design remain firm - and while Christians are called to be loving, kind, and compassionate to those who hold opposing views, we are not called to validate all views. For those who oppose to expect those who hold firm to Biblical tenets on sexuality, marriage and design to affirm their views is akin to asking them be hypocritical and to deny their faith. September 28, 2017

  3. Reid

    Hey everyone,

    I'm so sorry so much of Christianity and Biola continues to worship the idol of rightness (and a small, shallow rightness at that) over adopting the loving heart of Christ. That so many do not understand that actual love has no place for a statement attempts to sever LGBT+ people and supporters from the body of Christ.
    I'm sorry this pervades even in these comments.

    I'm so proud of my fellow Biolans and ex-Biolans who press forward in spite of it all. It really does mean something. I hopefully believe it's making change, making difference. September 28, 2017

  4. Fernando Alfaro

    Conservative Christians: You defend the Bible’s stance against gays as godly, but cherry pick and choose to ignore countless biblical instructions. Paul clearly states that women are not to speak in church. Women are instructed not to utter one word but wait till they get home to ask their husbands whichever questions they may have, as if they were dumb little girls. They are to cover their heads when praying, just like Muslim women do. Do you? Neither Christian men nor women are to wear gold, yet this is standard practice –wedding rings–because who cares what the Bible says? Biblical marriage includes King David’s, “a man after God’s heart,” who had 100 concubines. The Patriarchs all had at least one wife and several concubines. That is Biblical marriage too. So is owning slaves, beating them, stoning gays and your daughters if they aren’t virgins on their wedding night. You commit an abomination every time you eat pork, a lobster or shrimp. Touching a pig’s skin is an abomination. Football, anyone? Bronze Age book with retrograde views. Christianity, a Middle Eastern religion, has much in common with the religion of the Muslims. The Bible’s description of God is actually more war-loving than the Koran’s, as can be seen if you research many of his Biblical names. September 29, 2017

  5. Alumni

    Good to know Biola Underground are still as absurd as ever. This statement simply affirms biblical orthodoxy as it has been understood for millennia. Biola Underground has never done anything but complain about A Christian university holding to beliefs they knew about before they applied. October 6, 2017

  6. jerry lewis

    well, churchies, ya got 142 year-old Little tooty fruity Richard on your side (for the time being). i'm certain he'll fit right in. good luck with him, wham bam a loo bam.......wooooooo! October 7, 2017

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