Over at First Things, Carl Trueman of Westminster Theological Seminary has weighed in on Union University‘s decision to leave the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
If you have read this far, you probably know the story. We have covered it here and here. Union University has left the CCCU–an associated of Christian colleges–because it refused to expel two Mennonite colleges (Goshen and Eastern Mennonite) for allowing gay marriage among the faculty.
Let’s review. There is nothing about gay marriage or sexual ethics in the CCCU membership requirements. College and universities affiliated with the CCCU must have a mission statement that is “Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith” and be committed to “integrating Biblical faith with education programs.” I realize that this looks very restrictive to many secular readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home, but from the perspective of evangelical Protestantism in America this is rather broad. The CCCU has schools representing many Protestant denominations. Member schools all think that being “Christ-centered” is very important, but they interpret what that means in different ways. I am sure, for example, that both Goshen and Eastern Mennonite believe that their embrace of gay marriage is fitting with their deeply held beliefs about what it means to be “Christ-centered” and Christian.
Moreover, as Jay Green suggested in the comment section of this post, Goshen and EMU seem to be committed to defending the religious liberty of other CCCU members institutions who uphold more traditional views of marriage.
Trueman gets to the heart of the matter. The problem, he argues, is with evangelicalism and its failure to offer any confessional boundaries. He writes: