In what has become an unfortunately reoccurring issue lately another Christian student group at a public university has been removed from campus. This latest incident occurred at Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit Michigan. The well-respected Christian group InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is a student-led campus ministry that was founded in 1941 and boasts 1,015 chapters on 687 campuses. The sheer size of this well-known college outreach speaks volumes to their veracity and transparency. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has served students at WSU for the past 75 years. However, school officials recently stripped the group of official recognition because they require its leaders to affirm their Christian faith. The group has filed a lawsuit and has been temporarily reinstated. Lori Windham, a senior legal representing InterVarsity, stated "We think that Wayne State is engaging in religious discrimination by de-recognizing InterVarsity. Wayne State allows college Democrats to have democratic leaders." She added "It allows Muslims, Jewish, and Hindu student groups to say that they are there to serve their communities. It allows fraternities to have only men and sororities to allow only women. I think it's just the same to allow InterVarsity to have Christians as its Bible study leaders."
School Declines to Comment
Several Christian news organizations have contacted Wayne State regarding this matter but the school declines to comment. What is known is that in October, the WSU's Dean of Students declined to renew the organization's status for the 2017-2018 school year. The documentation claims the group's Constitution violates the school's discrimination policy by excluding non-Christians from leadership roles. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Wayne State is one of the oldest InterVarsity chapters in the country and has held weekly Bible studies, meetings, and organized service opportunities on campus for decades. The fellowship is open to students of all backgrounds, but stipulates that leaders must adhere to its tenets of faith. After the lawsuit was filed the school allowed InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to resume on-campus activities on a “temporary” basis. Senior legal counsel Windham said in a statement “It’s good that Wayne State saw the light after it felt the heat. But after putting these students through the runaround for months, a last-minute change of heart is hardly enough. This kind of official religious discrimination should never happen again.” Sadly; however, this discrimination will likely only increase.
Relevant Bible Verses
As we have seen recently at Oxford and Harvard – the situation at Wayne State is a clear example of Christians being persecuted for their biblical beliefs. Sadly, the Bible teaches that this will increase. The apostle Paul warned in 2 Timothy 3:12 that, “Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Thus, when a major Christian fellowship gets ousted from a public university campus we must recognize that in many places in our country Christian are hated for their beliefs. Again, this shouldn’t surprise us as Jesus pointedly informed His disciples, that they are and will be hated by the world because “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19). Thus, we should be in prayer for our brothers and sisters at Wayne State University and on college campuses across the nation.