Jim, at the Democratic National Convention this summer in Philadelphia, supporters of Donald Trump will not be invited to share the platform in the name of “equal time.” Trump and his followers have their own platform, at their own convention (presumably!) or any place else. But not at the Convention of the opposing party.
The issue is not whether or not a “poorly thought-out atheism,” or any other ideology hostile to the Seventh-day Adventist faith, will “bowl” anyone over. Rather, the issue is that institutions controlled by the Seventh-day Adventist Church are essentially confessional in nature. They exist, not to offer yet another path into the world of material success, bur rather, to prepare young people to participate in the Bible-based mission of the Advent movement. While such institutions have an obligation to equip students to answer the honest inquiries and objections of those holding a different spiritual worldview, they have no obligation to provide a platform or paycheck for persons who hold views at variance with the doctrinal and moral convictions of the sponsoring church.
I don’t agree with Roman Catholicism. But I wouldn’t think of applying to work at a Roman Catholic university with the intent of undermining Vatican teachings. I disagree with the theology of Mormonism, but I wouldn’t think of applying to Brigham Young University for a teaching post, with the intent of undermining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Speaking as a former student leader myself, on the PUC campus and elsewhere, I confess to being happy to see young people recognizing that what happens at their school is in fact their business, that their mission on campus isn’t merely to get a degree and then get out. (Albert Einstein was correct in saying he tried not to let his schooling get in the way of his education!) I am equally confident that while many students may find themselves presently troubled by the College’s recent or pending actions, many more will in time recognize the school’s obligation to uphold the church’s Bible-based teachings, and that it is less than honest for an employee at such an institution to accept pay from an organization whose principles he or she rejects.
I have found in my experience that the young are fiercely intolerant of hypocrisy, irrespective of where they find it. And it is no less hypocritical for a Seventh-day Adventist professor to accept pay from the church while denying the church’s teachings than it is for a pastor, parent, or teacher to demand obedience to a set of beliefs or standards while disregarding the same when it is assumed no one is looking.
Aubyn is my friend. We had some great times together on the PUC campus as fellow students, and have maintained a cordial relationship through the years on discussion threads like these. He will always be my friend. But the denial on his or any church employee’s part of the Bible-based teachings of our faith is just cause for a parting of the ways. I wish him and his family well as they seek work and influence elsewhere.