Concordia Chicago to host LGBT advocacy event

Students at Concordia University Chicago are reporting that faculty have invited them to a pro-LGBT event on campus. The email was sent to all undergrads with the subject line “FWD: STOP EDUCATIONAL EVENT.” The “STOP” refers to the “Striving to Overcome Prejudice Committee,” which is run by the faculty. Here’s the note:

The Striving to Overcome Prejudice Committee (STOP) is pleased to announce the following educational opportunity, open to all students, staff, and faculty:

Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN) is an educational program designed for campuses. We are planning opportunities for the campus community to participate in one of two sessions. The program is one hour in length. It is a basic introduction to the LGBT language, definitions, and what it means to be supportive to LGBT people.

The sessions will take place in the Oak Park River Forest room on April 4th from 10:00a.m. to 11:00a.m. and from 11:30a.m. to 12:30p.m. We invite everyone to participate in one of these sessions.

In addition, the committee is announcing the presence of Safe Zones on campus. Unlike more visible under-represented groups, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons cannot be readily identified. Likewise, there is no easy method of identifying persons who are familiar with LGBT issues. The Safe Zone Program strives to provide a way for supportive persons within the University community to prominently identify themselves. The program advances Concordia University Chicago’s goal of creating a campus community in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity. Look for the following sticker to signify those supportive people:

I’m not sure what the sticker says but you can find examples of how this program is run at other schools here and here.

I’m all for Lutheran students being taught more about same-sex attraction and how to deal with it or interact lovingly with friends who are attracted to the same sex. It’s something I wish, in fact, we had many more resources for. But the Straight But Not Narrow program is obviously not that program, as even a cursory read of this email shows. Where does the Lutheran position on same-sex attraction and homosexuality come into play with these “Safe Zones”? What, exactly, does it mean to be supportive of lesbianism or transgender identity, for example? What do the stickers, which are about affirmation, mean, exactly?

Perhaps the STOP committee can think about using a different program or means to provide support to students struggling with same-sex attraction or gender identity issues. This is an important topic for a campus group to work on, but I’m pretty certain that the Safe Zone Project and the Straight But Not Narrow movement are not the means by which an LCMS school should be engaging the topic.

Any suggestions for how they could reform the program, keeping in mind the Biblical teachings we hold and the need to assist people in our communities who deal with these issues?


Concordia Chicago to host LGBT advocacy event — 110 Comments

  1. … behaviors that militate against the procreative…aspects of marriage … its about God’s blessings of a holy estate of one man and one woman for life.

    Wait, are we supposed to be against birth control, shudder, just like Roman Catholics?

  2. Joe (#102),

    Luther and Orthodox Lutherans, as well as The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod until about the 50’s, all were against birth control, which included both abortion and contraception.

    The issues for the change in doctrine and practice on the latter are complex. Suffice it to say that a rejection of classical natural law teaching, as well as classical Bible texts speaking to this issue, was pressed to serve contemporary needs.

    See my article at:

    Robert at

  3. Greetings,

    Well this will be a true test of what kind of metal Pres Harrison is made of. The LCMS *does not* take a stand on so many things and leaves so many things ‘adiaphora’ and ‘open questions’ and that can only be done so far and for so long.

    I have a 16 year old daughter who is casually college shopping and that crosses one college off the list. If Harrison and/or the Synod won’t take a stand on this, all my kids will go to Bethany in Mankato or WLC in Wauwatosa. I left the ALC prior to the ELCA merger years ago for a reason – because they went totally squishy on four things:
    1) The Bible
    2) Abortion
    3) Ecumenism/Fellowship
    4) Homosexuality

    I mean either you believe in the Bible and the Confessions or you don’t and either you practice fellowship with those who do (believe in the Bible & Confessions) or you don’t (Matt 18:17, Rom 16:17, 1 Corinthians 5:1–6, 2 John 10, Rev 18:4), fellow-shipping with heterodox and heretics is not optional or adiaphora.

    The LCMS allowing a pro-homosexual event on a synodical college campus, no matter how well-intended, low-key or tame should be a bright, white line that can’t be crossed. This sort of action should invite an immediate investigation followed by disciplinary action. Period.


  4. Not to worry, Jim McGarigle. Our Synod is right on top of the problem, and already has produced a solution, the Koinonia Project. Check out pp. 5-6, which lists a series of recommendations the Harmony Task Force presented to the Council of Presidents and Board of Directors in November 2010 regarding strategies for restoring harmony among us (including the harmony of Concordia University-Chicago with the Missouri Synod doctrinal position.

    The innovative strategies include studies of Scriptures and Confessions across the Synod, including our seminaries and universities (well… yes, they should be doing this already); a Code of Conduct (bet you didn’t think of that!); training of ecclesiastical supervisors on how to do ecclesiastical supervision (“I thought you did that.” “No, I thought you did that.”); recognition that the clergy must work for greater harmony within our Synod (where did HTF get such insight?); and communication, especially through… “the media”.

    But wait, Jim, there’s more!

    According to p. 8, “the essence of the Koinonia Project is the formation of theological study and discussion groups of 8-12 persons each, facilitated by a chaplain/facilitator.” And to “flesh this out” and to “put legs on” the proposal, check out:

    p. 9 – 5 Steps of Preparatory Work for this proposal before the group work is started
    pp. 9-10 – 5 Steps on the Nature of the Study Groups who are “outside the usual political process of the Synod” (Huh? Outside our synod polity?!?)
    pp. 10-11 – 9 Steps of the Work in Detail to be done by the groups
    pp. 11-12 – 5 Steps on Identifying Areas of Agreement and Disagreement
    p. 12 – 3 Steps on “Will It Work?”
    pp. 12-14 11 Bullets on Steps Being Taken in Development
    pp. 13-15 – 8 Steps of Harmony Task Force Suggested Strategies as part of the Koinonia Project

    Jim, I don’t know about your older daughter, but this Koinonia effort should clear up any concerns about chosing a Missouri Synod college in time for your 16-MONTH-OLD daughter.

  5. @Robert #99
    “While Scripture allows for divorce (mentioned by Dr. Noland) Luther and the Orthodox Lutherans considered marriage indissoluble. ”
    As with 1 Corinthians 1, though officially a LCMS member (I always use the acronym, never the idolatrous first word, like SIM where the original meaning (Sudan Interior Mission) is no longer either relevant or helpful) I’m ultimately a CHRISian, not a Lutheran, as was Luther himself who vainly warned Melanchthon against using his name for the new group (and would doubtless condemn those who hypocritically do so while claiming his name), and it always saddens me the manifest delusion and idolatry of using men’s names (Lutheran, Calvinist, Wesleyan, etc.) while claiming Sola Scriptura.
    Interesting that Robert should rightly mention how “First, we must stop using the term “homosexuality,” which is a modern concept with no biblical warrant. It concedes too much valuable ground to the promoters of same-sex marriage. ”
    but the former “Scripture allows for divorce” is no less modern a concept, condemned by Jesus Himself as a Mosaic allowance He Himself was rejecting (also violating Ephesians 5’s controlling Christ and the Church model for the few today who take Scripture seriously), and is ably refuted by John Piper’s Divorce & Remarriage: A Position Paper, July 21, 1986 at
    The road to hell is paved with good intentions and the sad fact is that, as centuries of CHRISTians, including Lutheran Christians (charitably using the oxymoron while cringing), have known and taught, there’s no BIBLICAL grounds for even divorce, to say nothing of remarriage. Soli Deo Gloria!

  6. “Straight But Not Narrow”: an obvious comment: it is actually straight AND narrow, as in, Matthew 7: 13-14, so that the Lord alone leads us through. The other path is wide and easy and it’s destination is destruction. It’s always an indication of heresy that words are first misused in order to bend the truth to our desires, even so-called ‘good’ desires and aims. See the 1st Sunday in Lent’s Gospel Text!

  7. Here’s some questions from 2 Corinthians 6 that still await answers by the Concordia University-Chicago adminstration regarding the S.T.O.P Committee’s “Straight But Not Narrow” homosexual affirmation presentation:

    “Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what portion hath a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement hath a temple of God with idols?”

  8. Has anyone heard whether the LGBT activist event at Concordia-Chicago went off on schedule on April 4, or did President Johnson and the Board of Regents actually do their job and stopped it?

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