The director of Campus Crusade at the University of Louisville has been fired for obeying the Bible’s command that a woman is not allowed to teach men (1 Timothy 2:12). Daniel Harman was removed from his position as Missional Team Leader at the Louisville chapter of Cru (Campus Crusade’s cool new name) when he refused to “carry out the ministry’s policy that male and female staff share in leadership duties, including teaching the Bible” (“Cru Leader Demoted,” Christian Post, Dec. 3, 2012). Harman is a student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and we hope that he will take a stand for God’s Word in every point and honor God more than man.
Campus Crusade has not held the Bible as its ultimate authority from its founding by the late Bill Bright, a pragmatist who even changed the gospel presentation in the vain idea that he could do a better job than the apostle Paul. Whereas the gospel in the book of Romans begins with the bad news of man’s lost condition before a holy God, Bright wanted to make this more positive, so he began his “Four Spiritual Laws” with “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” All of that is so true, of course, but no man will flee to Christ in a saving manner unless he is first convinced that he is lost and there is no other means of salvation.
The love of God cannot be understood properly apart from the holiness of God. We see this emphasis in the Bible as a whole, with a large portion being devoted to the law of God before we get to the New Testament. When I preached at an evangelistic meeting in Nepal in 1979, sponsored by Campus Crusade, I preached directly from Romans and spent a time building a proper foundation for the gospel by showing man’s lost condition and his frightful standing under God’s wrath. Paul continues on this theme for nearly three chapters before he mentions the grace of God and the justification that is available in Christ toward the end of Romans 3. After I preached at that underground meeting (gospel preaching was illegal in Nepal in those days), the national head of Campus Crusade told me that my preaching was “too negative” and that they liked a more positive, upbeat approach!
I reminded the man that I was preaching directly from Romans and that I didn't write that book! It was the first in a long series of conflicts that I had as a young missionary with compromising, pragmatic New Evangelicals and Charismatics that formed the national “evangelical” church fellowship at that time and that within a year or so led to a complete rupture between us (thank the Lord!), with them condemning me at an ecclesiastical trial as a “divider of the body of Christ in Nepal.” I was condemned in a letter that was sent to all of the churches.
The issues between us weren't complicated, nor were they light matters. They pertained to such things as whether the Bible is to be literally interpreted and whether it is to be the absolute and sole authority for faith and practice. They pertained to such things as the gospel itself and how to present it, God’s standards for church leaders (one of their pastors was a polygamist who had three wives and another operated a bookstore that sold pornography), the nature of apostolic gifts, the eternal security of a born-again child of God, and the role of women in ministry.
The experience provided a great, practical education for me on the character of modern evangelicalism and the importance of biblical separation.
(Friday Church News Notes, January 4, 2013, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)