Concordia, St. Paul seeking to include “different religious faiths” in their campus life.

The Concordia University System needs reform.  Here is a new chapter to the struggles at Concordia, St. Paul.

The university has a “Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Plan” which includes a strategy of creating a prayer room for different religious faiths.

Here is the full diversity and inclusion plan as a PDF.

This is not in keeping with the stance of the LCMS on unionism and syncretism (especially when you look at the history behind those two words in the LCMS).

 

UPDATE – Here is President Ries blog post endorsing the new plan.

 

Here is the Board of Regents who are largely local to CSP:

Mr. Kermit W. (Butch) Almstedt | Weeki Wachee, FL
Mr. James Anderson | Prior Lake, MN
Mr. Kenneth Behm | Willmar, MN
Dr. David G. Bell | Rochester, MN
Mrs. Jocelyn Benson | Chatfield, MN
Mrs. Sandra L. Frauenshuh | Minneapolis, MN
Mr. James Giertz | Kiawah Island, SC
Mr. LaoLu Hang | Woodbury, MN
Mrs. Susan Hewitt | St. Paul, MN
Rev. Jeremiah Johnson | Corcoran, MN
Rev. David A. Kind | Blaine, MN
Mr. Mark J. L’Heureux |Lincoln, NE
Dr. Carrie Meyer | Minnetonka, MN
Mr. Mark Moksnes | Chanhassen, MN
Mr. W. Robert Myers | Milton, FL
Mrs. Amy Wenthe | Rosemount, MN
Rev. Dr. Lucas Woodford (ex officio) | Mayer, MN

 

 

Here is the Minnesota South District Contact Page

Minnesota South District
14301 Grand Ave South, Burnsville, MN 55306
Phone 952-435-2550
Fax 952-435-2581
Email [email protected]

About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.

Comments

Concordia, St. Paul seeking to include “different religious faiths” in their campus life. — 29 Comments

  1. I recognize some names on the BOR whom I know would not support this. I pray they can have some sway against this abomination.

  2. I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. – Isaiah 42:8

    Why is there even an “Inclusion Plan”? How about an “Evangelism Plan”?

  3. Hey, don’t blame the educators. They copied and pasted from the Pedagogical Skubala Generator.

  4. @St. Stephen #3

    Agreed. This is part of the problem – How often have our institutions – out of ignorance or desperation – imported the theories and practices of secular education wholesale, and slapped a layer of culturally-appropriate religiosity as a varnish on top. It’s an insult to the faithful who have or currently support or teach in the institutions.

    In some senses though, this shows a lack of courage or thoroughness in the faithful. There’s an issue in our culture that needs to be addressed. Here, how to be civil in the middle of obvious disagreements with those who worship other gods. School administrations either don’t know how, or don’t have the grit to choose a better option than a “inclusion plan.” It falls to the faithful to present a plan and teaching that is faithful and effective in that situation. Was there even an alternate option instead of a syncretistic-friendly “inclusion” plan? Is there someone faithful in that district who should be on that board of regents/administration but isn’t? It’s easy to complain about the idols on the hills, it’s fun to tear them down, but putting in the work to buildup the right things is another thing entirely. That needs to be done, or at least thought about.

    I like the sound of an evangelism plan. You could certainly have subheadings for things like hospitality and works of mercy and welcome. Those things are not contrary to the gospel, and I could see them accomplishing the same ends.

  5. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Mr. K above has excellent analysis with these words: “There’s an issue in our culture that needs to be addressed. Here, how to be civil in the middle of obvious disagreements with those who worship other gods. School administrations either don’t know how, or don’t have the grit to choose a better option than a “inclusion plan.” It falls to the faithful to present a plan and teaching that is faithful and effective in that situation.”

    I agree.

    I can see the need for a “prayer room,” but not a syncretistic one. A “syncretistic one” is a chapel or prayer room that has art, statuary, altars, or symbols from different religions.

    When I was at Concordia, River Forest in the late 1970s as a student, there was no chapel room or building. We used the South Gym for chapel services. Not all students had roomates who understood the practice of private prayer or devotion. Sometimes the only quiet place on campus was the library. We could have used a prayer room or chapel at that time–and that need eventually led to the Board of Regents and donors planning and building the existing chapel-auditorium that is still there today.

    I don’t know the facilities at CSP to know if they have a chapel, or what it is like. It would seem to me that students of other faiths who want to pray in the chapel should be able to do that. Why would anyone exclude them? Is the chapel not open to the student body except for very restricted hours? If the non-Christian students are offended by the art or symbolism in that chapel, why did they apply to CSP?

    If the intent of the Diversity Committee is to have a chapel where symbols or objects representing other religions are present, then they should be told “We can’t do that. This is a Christian campus, supported by a Christian denomination and Christian donors. That is also syncretistic, and our denomination is opposed to that.”

    If the students who are not Christian need to have their religious symbols when they pray, then they will have to do that in the privacy of their dorm room. No one can or should forbid them to do that. The Islamic student can pull out his prayer rug and face Mecca. The Hindu student can pull out the statute of Ganesha, and light some incense. The Buddhist student can pull out his Buddha statue, sit in the yogic position, etc. If we accept non-Christian students onto campus, then we have to let them pray to their gods in their own way in private, i.e., the privacy of their dorm room. If that means the roomate is offended by that practice, then he/she should either switch roomates or work out an agreed-time for private prayer.

    I don’t think that this is that difficult to manage.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  6. Creating and publicizing a prayer room accessible for different religious faiths seems to me like promoting or at least condoning idolatry (even with Christian symbols).

    There is no God but one. 1 Cor 8:4

  7. Campuses that have little private chapel rooms tend to have them under lock and key because adventurous students find other uses for those spaces if they are left open and unattended.

    On account of that most students won’t go through the hassle of tracking someone down to unlock the room for them. The spaces they create will eventually go unused – time, money, and sentiment wasted. Unless, they intend to construct a larger sized worship center on campus that is accessible during day-time hours and staffed… I’d be curious to know what they mean by private worship spaces.

    Universities/Colleges develop an uncontrollable urge to waste money and time on anything that gets them a moment of public grand-standing. Sure, progressive ideology in positions of power via infiltration of our schools can be blamed to a degree. Such efforts, however, are never just to be virtuous or merely progressive… but are aimed at enrollment and revenue. They are thinking about future enrollment and dollars – and they are looking at the landscape. There are large Muslim and other Refugee populations in Minnesota (Minn has the most refugees per capita of any state in the US). I suppose that may be the devil in the details… Matthew 6:24.

  8. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Mr. Rixe in comment #7 has pointed out that CSP has a beautiful Memorial Chapel named after one of the Graebner family members. This should serve the student’s needs well!

    In my experience, where our CUS campuses have a chapel, it is open for use by the students during the daytime, and sometimes in the evening too. I know this, because I worked as an evening Student Union building manager at CU-River Forest my senior year there (1978-79); and as a security guard at CTS-FW during my 2nd year there (1980-81). Of course policies could change, but my point is that the chapel is open to anyone, no questions asked.

    So then we can rightly conclude that the purpose of this proposal at CSP is NOT to serve the students, since they are already served by a prayer/worship space. The purpose is to satisfy the demand for “diversity.”

    I make a counter-proposal. Every CUS Regent and CUS administrator needs to read: Heather MacDonald, “The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture” (St. Martin Press, 2018)(see:
    https://www.amazon.com/Diversity-Delusion-Pandering-University-Undermine/dp/1250200911 ). It was reviewed in the November 2018 issue of “Commentary” magazine, pp. 39-42. The reviewer comments: “Under the diversity mantle, college administrators have mangled every aspect of universities from hiring processes to disciplinary proceedings to curricula in the humanities and the sciences.”

    These are complaints in the secular arena coming from both moderate and conservative intellectuals, not from Christians. Reading other journals in the past year, it is evident that even liberals are becoming concerned about the loss of “freedom of speech” on today’s American universities. Even that bastion of liberalism, the ACLU, has criticized college administrators for their censorship of speech (see https://www.aclu.org/other/speech-campus ).

    It is clearly a tough time to be a college administrator in our country, but some of our CUS presidents (e.g., Dan Gard) seem to be handling it with wisdom, dignity and fairness. Here’s hoping and praying that the others follow that dignified lead!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  9. This reminds me of Antiochus who set up the desolation of abomination in the temple in the second century BC.

  10. Why would a member of an LCMS congregation or any Christian for that matter, send their kid to an LCMS University that advocates for the inclusion of the worship of false gods and/or Satan in their facilities?

  11. I’m also curious about the line in their statement about restroom accessibility. Are they talking about wheelchair accessibility or does this include gender fluid accessibility? Will they provide separate prayer rooms for believers and unbelievers, but make the boys and girls share the same public restrooms? In order to be truly diverse, equal and inclusive they will ultimately have to make the use of the main chapel accessible to all religions?

  12. @LW #14

    I think the statement was about creating single restrooms. If I am correct, the various “genders” could be accommodated separately. (Not that I see the need to accommodate them on a Lutheran campus.)

    [I may be guessing. When our university main library was “renovated”, several single restrooms were added.]

  13. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    With regard to my comment (#10 above) about Heather MacDonald and her very recent book “The Diversity Delusion,” see this podcast just out from “Issues, etc.” Thanks, Pastor Todd Wilken and Producer Jeff Schwarz, for covering this issue this week!

    http://issuesetc.org/podcast/27061119182.mp3

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  14. Regarding the prayer room planned at Concordia University St Paul: I understand their desire to reach the Muslim students that are attending the University. But for a Christian University to provide a private place for the Muslim students to pray to another god other than the one true God, the Creator of the universe… This I feel is in violation of what the Bible teaches.

    “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices.”
    ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭34:14-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    http://bible.com/111/exo.34.14-15.niv

    “”Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.””
    ‭‭Joshua‬ ‭24:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    http://bible.com/111/jos.24.23.niv

    “On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites.

    The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice.”
    ‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭11:7, 9‬ ‭NIV‬‬
    http://bible.com/111/1ki.11.7,9.niv

    Islam and Muslim are both words used to describe a religion or group of people that follow the prophet Muhammad. Certain sects of this religion have done atrocities to Christians throughout the world. I can only imagine how Yahweh feels about this! To have a room for people of this faith to pray to or worship, on the site of a Christian university is wrong!

    We can befriend them, we can love them, but we should not validate their religion!!

  15. @Jane Klemz #19

    What they are saying in doing this is that they accept their RELIGION as VALID. How can they then turn back and decline anything else that other religious groups might request? If their religion is valid then they have set a precedent for these students to decline certain required classes, request the use of the facilities for worship… It’s a huge can of worms!

  16. I don’t understand Comments 21 and 22. At CSP there are 296 LCMS students including 54 in church worker programs. Please explain further. What are “Lutheran infields”? Thanks.

  17. Mr Rixe,
    It is simple, Lutheran infields are Lutherans who are confessional or conservative. These are Lutheran who are against the LGBTWXYZ agenda being pushed on various Concordia campi. It is confessional and conservative Lutheran infidels who oppose the accommodation, even promotion, of false religions and giving them space on campus. No accommodation whatsoever should be made to a false religion on any of the Concordia campi.

  18. This could be part of the confusion:

    Are you meaning “infields” or “infidels”?

    Autocorrect might be on the charge again!

  19. Still a little confused, but I’m sure CSP would generously welcome any Lutheran infielders especially with .300 BA’s

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