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Wheaton College Under Fire

posted Jan 19, 2016, 12:34 PM by First Baptist

Wheaton College has been in the news recently. Wheaton is one of the preeminent Christian colleges in the country, located outside Chicago.


The Story

Last November, Larycia Hawkins, an associate professor of political science at Wheaton, announced on Facebook that she would be wearing a hijab during Advent in support of Muslims. She also wrote the following:


“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week,*we worship the same God.”*


It was this statement that got her in trouble with her employer. In response, Wheaton placed Ms. Hawkins on administrative leave and has begun the process of terminating her employment. Ms. Hawkins is very outspoken and has since become a cause celebre in the liberal media. As you might expect, Wheaton College has come under intense criticism for being anti-Muslim, etc.


Two Issues

It seems to me that there are two issues to consider: First, is Ms. Hawkins in fact correct that Christians & Muslims worship the same God? And second, is it appropriate for Wheaton College to fire her for her sincerely-held belief.


Issue #1

Christians & Muslims do not worship the same God. According to the Bible, God is Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Muslims reject this. With respect to Jesus, Muslims consider Him merely a prophet, and not even the greatest one. (Mohammad is the greatest prophet in their estimation.) Nor did Jesus die for our sins; Muslims believe salvation is for those whose good works exceed their bad ones on the divine scale of justice.


Ms. Hawkins reference to Muslims being people of “the book” is very puzzling. Surely she knows that the Bible & Quran contradict each other. They both can’t be true.


Issue #2

I can’t speak to the issue of the conditions under which Ms. Hawkins contract with Wheaton allows them to fire her for her theological beliefs. There is a process for determining that.


On the broader issue, it does seem appropriate to me – even necessary -- that a Christian college require affirmation of certain beliefs. Without such affirmation, the organization would eventually cease to exist as a Christian entity.


My understanding is that, on four separate occasions, Ms. Hawkins affirmed in writing her agreement with Wheaton’s Statement of Faith, which includes belief in the Trinity. Either she lied or she changed her view -- in which case, she should have resigned.


Looking Ahead

This issue of Christian organizations requiring agreement with certain beliefs or doctrines is going to be a big one in the years ahead, with the expectation of significant litigation. Even churches will be sued for refusing to hire (or for firing) persons who, for example, don’t believe in traditional marriage or don’t believe in Jesus as the only way of salvation. Obviously, some organizations will cave-in to political correctness, which will put them on the path to ruin.


Pastor Dan


*According to news reports, there’s no evidence of Pope Francis saying this.