About Marsha West

Marsha West is the general editor of Christian Research Network.

“Manifesto” where killer unveils Charleston as target of church massacre

Berean Research reports:

Several photos of mass-murder suspect Dylann Roof burning an American flag and posing with weapons at Confederate gravesites are shown in a piece over at Daily Mail (DM). Also included is a racist manifesto but it is unclear whether it was written by Roof. There’s no two ways about it — Dylann Roof is in the grip of evil.

Before I get to the article, I need to remind my brothers and sisters that we are not to be surprised by all the evil in the world, we are to expect it. The Bible tells us that since the fall of mankind a battle has been raging in the invisible realm between two opposing forces– good and evil. (Ephesians 6:10-19) The aim of the evil forces (Satan and his demons) is to deceive, devour and destroy. God’s people are aware of the spiritual battle. We know we’re being assaulted. We know we need protection from the enemies of the Cross, both spiritual and human. That protection comes from wearing what the Apostle Paul called spiritual armor. So every day, without fail, get dressed! By that I mean “put on the full armor of God.” This is not an option, brethren, it’s a command!

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“I Forgive You”: Families of Charleston Shooting Victims Urge Killer to Repent, Trust Christ

Christian News Network reports:

Family members of those who were shot and killed Wednesday night during a Bible study at a historic African American church in South Carolina addressed the gunman on Friday, forgiving him and calling him to repentance and faith in Christ.

“You took something very precious from me,” declared Nadine Collier, daughter of victim Ethel Lance, during a bond hearing in which gunman Dylann Roof, 21, appeared via video. “I will never talk to her again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you and have mercy on your soul.”

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Our Old Natures Never Die

In this devotional/teaching Pastor Ray Stedman reminds us that our old natures never die and we can be confused by its deceptiveness. His teaching is from Genesis 20:10: “And Abimelech asked Abraham, What was your reason for doing this?”

Has anyone had to say to you, As a Christian, what were you thinking of when you did this thing? Have you ever had to say it to yourself: What got into me anyway? I thought I was further along in the Christian life than this. Here I have done this thing that I thought had long ago passed out of my life. Whatever got into me? If you have ever had to ask yourself that, you need to learn the lesson Abraham had to learn here.

You are still capable of the worst sin that you have ever committed—and more. Abraham has been a coward for thirty years, and he is still capable of being the same coward he was at the beginning, hiding behind his wife, subjecting her to dishonor and disgrace and shame in order to protect his own skin.

This old nature with which we are born, which is perverted and twisted so that it never operates as God intended it to, is totally depraved. That does not mean that it cannot do what appears to be nice things in the eyes of others and even of ourselves. There is something about the old self, the flesh, which is able to simulate righteousness. In the flesh’s pursuit after pseudorighteousness, even if it succeeds in an outward demonstration of a sweet and lovely nature, it has never achieved anything but self-righteousness. Self-righteousness always demands self-praise, a longing to be admired and to win the attention of others. If you fail in your pursuit of self-righteousness, the result is self-pity. Either way, it is the flesh, and it can never please God. This is why when God comes into the human heart through Christ, He never tries to do anything about cleaning up that old nature. He writes it off as worthless. No matter how it looks in the eyes of others, if it comes from the self-advancing, self-centered core, it is worthless, and it always will be. What you now are in the flesh you always will be, if you live a hundred years. If you lay hold of that concept, you will find it one of the most encouraging truths in your Christian life, because it will release you from that awful burden of self-effort that tries to make the old nature behave itself. You must renounce self as the Word of God tells you to and quit feeding it, protecting it, polishing it up, trying to make it look good. Give it up. Accept all that Jesus Christ is in you and wants to be through you, for His nature is perfect.

Any dependence upon self always results in the kind of experience that Abraham had. After thirty years of walking with God and learning wonderful lessons in the spiritual life, the minute he steps out of a dependence upon God, he steps back into that same ugly nature he had in the beginning, and it is unchanged after thirty years. Old natures have to be kept under control by walking in the Spirit. Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature, Paul tells us (Galatians 5:16).

(Source)

Woman Who Helped Police Find Charleston Killer Credits God: ‘He Had Me Where I Needed to Be’

Christian News Network reports:

The North Carolina woman who helped police find the gunman who shot and killed nine members of a historic African American church on Wednesday is crediting God for placing her in the right place at the right time.

Debbie Dills, 51, works as a bookkeeper for Frady’s Florist in Kings Mountain. After attending church herself Wednesday night, she watched the news and learned of the shooting that took place in Charleston, South Carolina—several hours away. The next morning, she viewed the unfolding descriptions of the suspect and his vehicle, and her heart broke as she saw images of the grieving congregation huddled together to ask God to find the killer.

Dills told reporters Thursday that she was moved with compassion for those affected by the shooting and began praying for them as she drove to work.

“They were on my heart and my mind heavy,” she said. “I just was praying for them and hoping it would help them to find a little peace in such a terrible horrific situation.”

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Pope Francis: Climate Change and Abortion Are “Interrelated”

According to Berean Research:

A piece in National Journal will no doubt have the far left fit to be tied. Apparently Pope Francis believes what the headline says: Climate change and abortion are interrelated. So what does he mean by that?

On his radio show today Rush Limbaugh speculated that the pope is essentially saying, “Look, you cannot have an attitude that says we must do everything to save the planet and be pro-choice at the same time. If you’re gonna be an environmentalist wacko, if you’re gonna devote yourself to saving the planet via climate change, you had better stop killing embryos.” If Rush is right, the left will be furious with “Il Papa” over the “curve ball” he threw.

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S.C. massacre “demonic,” Baptist pastor says

Baptist Press reports:

Christians are uniting in prayer and benevolence across racial distinctions in Charleston, S.C., after a 21-year-old man massacred nine Christians in a June 17 prayer service at historic Emanuel AME Church, said neighboring Southern Baptist pastor Keith Biggs.

“Everyone together — white, black, Hispanic, everybody — we’re coming together in unity to see this not only [as] an attack on people, but an attack on the body of Christ,” said Biggs, associate pastor of Citadel Square Baptist Church, which neighbors the site of the crime. “I mean, who can walk into a church and sit for an hour and have prayer, and then just begin to kill everybody?”

The FBI identified the shooter as 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Columbia, S.C., whose uncle told police he believes Roof received a .45-caliber handgun as a birthday present, Reuters reported. Roof was arrested late Thursday morning in Shelby, N.C.

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Teacher Who Read Homosexual Book to Third Graders Resigns Following Parental Outrcy

Christian News Network reports:

An elementary school teacher who read a book about homosexuality to third graders has resigned following outcry from parents who were upset that their children were exposed to the material.

Both teacher Omar Currie and Assistant Principal Meg Goodhand have resigned from their positions at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School following the incident, which occurred in April of this year.

According to reports, Currie decided to read the book to his class after a student chided a male classmate during gym class and told him that he was acting like a girl. Currie, a homosexual himself, said that because “the word gay was used in a derogatory way,” he believed that students should be taught a lesson.

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How Should A Christian Live In A Culture Given Over To A Depraved Mind?

Good question. Christine Pack of Sola Sisters offers some helpful advice. But first she reminds us that:

we’re living in a time and a world in which every kind of sexual sin is being mainstreamed and normalized. I feel for those ensnared in sexual sins who are being relentlessly told by the culture and the media that what they are doing is good and right, when in fact, sexual sin, ALL sexual sin, is wrong and is a sin against God, because it is God alone who gave us the proper framework by which our sexual appetites are to be satisfied, and that is in a faithful marriage between one man and one woman. Those who reject this truth are believing a lie.

Toward the end of her piece, Christine has posted several links to resources by others in the Christian community who have raised questions to think through as we endeavor to live among a people who have been given over to a depraved mind.

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Does U2’s Bono, a professing Christian, believe the Bible?

          Marsha West

Marsha West

Any [teaching] that is good is in the Word of God, and any that is not in the Word of God is not good. I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I’d ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow him out and say, “I’m awfully sorry, you don’t bring any references with you.” ~ A.W. Tozier

There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not Bono, U2 front man and one of the world’s most recognized rock stars, is an authentic Christian, although he states that he is. Many Bible believing Christians have looked at the evidence and have come out and said that, although he professes Christ, he’s not a true Christian.

So let’s examine the evidence.

On his belief about Jesus Christ, Bono said this:

I believe that Jesus was, you know, the Son of God.

Does he mean the Jesus who’s the Second Person of the holy Trinity?

In 2005 after the release of his book “Grace Over Karma” he stated:

The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled. It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.

He’s right. It’s not our own good works that gets us to heaven “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” that saves us. (Eph. 2:8-9)

In 2014 Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, interviewed the rock star on his radio broadcast and said this:

[H]e’s known great success, both in his career as a musician, and in his work as a global advocate for the poorest of the poor. He’s also the co-founder of The ONE Campaign, and their motivation is to help people who are suffering.

All of this is true. But that means he’s a do-gooder. It does not make him regenerate.

Not surprisingly, when Daly invited him on the show conservative Christians who are aware of some of the controversial things he has said over the years thought it was a mistake. Many people wondered why a pro-family leader of Daly’s stature would pass him off as a Christian by saying, “he’s a believer in Jesus Christ, and professes Christ as his Savior. In fact, Bono’s spiritual journey has been greatly influenced by a mutual good friend — Eugene Peterson, who’s the author of The Message. And he’s also written a great book called Run With The Horses that has had a great influence on Bono and many of us.”

I don’t have the space to address my concerns with Eugene Peterson or The Message Bible he penned – it’s a parody of the Bible. So links are included below.

Wolf pack Looking at the things Bono has said (I’m coming to that) although he professes a belief in Christ clearly he doesn’t believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Moreover, his social views are decidedly “progressive.” In fact, his religious beliefs blend nicely with emergent gurus such as Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo. These men are leftists who are leading the Church away from Sola Scriptura into what Ken Silva referred to as the “emerging cult of the new liberal theology.” The controversial movement, called the Emerging/Emergent Church (EC), seeks to reach the unchurched with their unbiblical version of the Christian message. In so doing they have cooked up a cauldron of syncretism stew.

So – what’s important to know about EC leaders is that their aim is change and their plan, and they do have one, is to dismantle historic orthodox Christianity and bring forth a “new paradigm,” a “new kind of Christianity.” Be wary of words such as story (story of God, story of Jesus)… becoming… conversation… missional… reimagine… tribe… deconstruction… vision, etc. Emergents are “Christ followers,” they are “Social Justice Christians.” View article →

Media Praise Chobani Yogurt Commercial Showing Lesbians Naked in Bed Together

Berean Research reports that Target, Home Depot, Wells Fargo and Tylenol are only a few of the companies that have received widespread attention for their ads portraying same-sex couples and their families as if they are traditional families. Now Chobani has caved to the homosexual agenda and are running a “steamy” ad that most parents would not want their children watching. View article →

Video of Young Boy Dancing Sexually in Streets as “Gay” Pride Attendees Cheer Raising Concerns

Anyone who thinks it’s wrong for a young boy to simulate sex in public and say so are labeled homophobes. Homosexuals can’t defend this sort of behavior so what do they do? Name call. One would think that adults would want to protect children. But this is not the case for the dancing Brazilian boy. Instead they choose to exploit him.

Christian News Network has the the full report:

A video recently posted to YouTube that shows a young boy dancing in a sexual manner during a “gay” pride event while onlookers cheered him on is raising concerns from viewers nationwide.

The video was posted on Thursday by an online publication called “Ovenworthy,” and was entitled “This Is the Future You Chose.” It shows a young child believed to be no older than 12 years old grinding and twerking to the song “Sissy That Walk” by drag queen RuPaul at the Sao Paolo Pride Festival in Brazil. The boy, shirtless and wearing very short jean shorts, is surrounded by event attendees who cheer on his moves.

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Pope’s Climate Change Message Leaks; Calls for Urgent Action

News Max reports that even though a growing body of evidence indicates that climate change is not occurring, Rome’s controversial pope is calling for urgent action on alleged global warming to be taken:

Pope FrancisA draft copy of Pope Francis’ eagerly awaited encyclical on the environment calls for urgent action to protect the Earth and fight global warming, which the pope says is “mostly” due to human activity and the burning of fossil fuels.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Italian document that was leaked to the Italian newsweekly L’Espresso and published on its website Monday was not the final version and that the official encyclical would still be released as scheduled on Thursday.

The L’Espresso draft, which was published in galley form, makes many of the same points that Francis and his advisers have been making in the months-long rollout of the document.

In the draft, Francis lays out both the scientific and the moral reasons for protecting God’s creation, noting that the poor are already suffering the most from air pollution and toxic dumping and will continue to bear the brunt of rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions. The draft says population growth isn’t to blame for ecological problems but rather the consumerist, wasteful behavior of the rich.

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The Alcoholics Anonymous Prevention Plan: Pointing people away from Christ

Many people are unaware that Alcoholics Anonymous founders were heavily into the world of the occult. John Lanagan of My Word Like Fire has done extensive research on AA he and reports some of his findings here:

It’s prevention and dilution, all in one twelve step package.

Alcoholics Anonymous has two spiritual purposes. One is to point unbelievers away from Christ; the other is to water down or weaken the theology of the Christians who have joined the AA religion. Because of exposure to the twelve step program there are many AA Christians who confuse “recovery” with sanctification.

Hurting alcoholics who do not know the Lord learn, through meetings and the AA Big Book, that they do not need Christ at all in order to have a relationship with the Father:

“The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered our hearts and our lives in a way that is miraculous.” (AA Big Book, pg.25)

“[A]ll of us, whatever our race, creed, or color are children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon simple and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try.” (AA Big Book, pg.28)

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Most Expect Gay Marriage Will Sweep the US

Christian Headlines reports:

Same-sex marriageMost Americans — including people from every major religious group — predict gay marriage will be legalized nationwide when a hotly anticipated Supreme Court ruling is announced later this month.

Among those who favor legalizing same-sex marriage, 80 percent think the high court will rule their way, according to a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute released Thursday (June 11). And among those who oppose gay marriage, 47 percent say that’s the likely outcome, too.

Overall, PRRI found that 65 percent of U.S. adults expect a sweep for gay marriage. Only 25 percent predict the Supreme Court will leave existing state bans intact. And despite how contentious public debate has been on this issue for a decade, 10 percent of Americans say they have no opinion.

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Support for a Young Earth? Scientists Baffled by Preserved Dinosaur Blood Cells

Christian News Network reports:

The discovery of well-preserved blood and proteins in a supposedly 75-million-year-old dinosaur fossil has stumped secular scientists and led one Christian apologist to herald the findings as evidence of a young Earth.

A team of scientists at the U.K.’s Imperial College London carefully examined eight Cretaceous dinosaur bones discovered in North America, scrutinizing the bones’ interiors with an electron microscope. The researchers were stunned when they discovered what appeared to be red blood cells in one of the specimens.

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Transgender “Female” MMA Fighter Brutally Injures Female Opponent

Liberty News Now reports on what happens when men fight women. After the fight the injured female fighter, Tamikka Brents, commented:

“I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life.”

“I’ve fought a lot of women,” Brents stated. “And never felt the strength I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because [he] was born a man or not, because I’m not a doctor,” she stated. “I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life, and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right.”

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NC Lawmakers Officially Override Governor’s Veto of Same-Sex ‘Wedding’ Judicial Opt-Out Bill

According to Christian News Network:

Lawmakers in North Carolina have officially voted to override the governor’s veto of a bill that would allow some judges to opt out of participating in same-sex ceremonies.

As previously reported, S.B. 2 was introduced earlier this year by Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) to allow magistrates to recuse themselves from officiating over the services, as well as to permit register of deeds workers to opt out of issuing licenses due to religious objections. The bill comes with one condition: that the individual remove themselves from the marriage business altogether.

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Religious leaders ‘Obey God Rather than Men’ in Open Letter to U.S. Supreme Court

Christian Examiner reports:

Setting aside theological differences, 85 Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox Christian, and Jewish leaders joined civic and business leaders in signing an open letter to the U.S. Supreme court published in a June 10 ad in the Washington Post,vowing to disobey any court mandate which would force them to operate from any definition of marriage apart from a union between one man and one woman.

“We ask you not to force us to choose between the state and the Laws of God. We are Christians who love America and who respect the legitimate rule of law,” the religious leaders wrote. “However, we will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.”

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Openly gay Willow Creek leader to speak at Matthew Vines’ conference

Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports:

Kicking off today in Atlanta is the Reformation Project conference designed to train and equip leaders to advocate for homosexual Christians. Among those leading: an openly gay worship leader from Willow Chicago, a satellite campus of the well-known Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., pastored by Bill Hybels.

The worship leader, Darren Calhoun, has issued a statement through Willow Creek:

I’m a follower of Jesus,” Calhoun wrote. “My church community is Willow Chicago, the downtown campus of Willow Creek Community Church. There, I’ve served as a volunteer for eight years in various parts of our arts ministries including leading worship. … I’m also gay. As a Christian, I’ve been on a long journey to reconcile the reality of my orientation with the various views that the church world has on the topic of people who are attracted to the same sex. … At Willow, I was able to begin a journey of celibacy and prayerfully discerning what that means for my life.

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Which Way, Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, addressed the same-sex “marriage” debate and pulled no punches: This is a moment of decision, and every evangelical believer, congregation, denomination, and institution will have to answer. There will be no place to hide.

Dr. Mohler writes:

Photo courtesy AlbertMohler.com

Photo courtesy AlbertMohler.com

The very first issue of Christianity Today is dated October 15, 1956. In his first editorial, Carl F. H. Henry set his course for the magazine: “Those who direct the editorial policy of Christianity Today unreservedly accept the complete reliability and authority of the written Word of God. It is their conviction that the Scriptures teach the doctrine of plenary inspiration.”

Henry also affirmed continuity with the great orthodox tradition of biblical doctrine and moral principles: “The doctrinal content of historic Christianity will be presented and defended. Among the distinctive doctrines to be stressed are those of God, Christ, man, salvation, and the last things. The best modern scholarship recognizes the bearing of doctrine on moral and spiritual life.”

In that same issue, Billy Graham stressed the authority of the Bible in evangelism. “I use the phrase ‘The Bible says’ because the Word of God is the authoritative basis of our faith,” Graham said. “I do not continually distinguish between the authority of God and the authority of the Bible because I am confident that he has made his will known authoritatively in the Scriptures.” View article →

Duty, honor, country and gay pride? Pentagon opens “Pride Month”

From Berean Research:

Steam is coming out of my ears. For the first time in 20 years the U.S. Army brass says it will not provide an honor guard from nearby Fort Gordon for Abilene Baptist Church’s annual Independence Day celebration because of a 2011 regulation instituted by the Obama Administration. The regulation declares that the Army cannot participate in any event that promotes a religious movement. Yet the Pentagon promotes LGBT “Pride Month”? There is something wrong with this picture.

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Congress Urged to Pass Law Protecting Religious Schools from Punishment Over Marriage Beliefs

Christian News Newtork reports:

Administrators from Christian and Catholic schools nationwide have signed on to a letter urging Congress to pass a law that would protect religious schools from punishment over their biblical beliefs on marriage.

Daniel Egeler, the president of the Association of Christian Schools International, Al Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Michael Ferris, the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and Alan Hodak, the executive director of the Minnesota Association of Christian Schools, were among those who signed the letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“We write to express our deep concern with the potential loss of tax-exempt status for educational institutions should the Supreme Court find constitutional legitimacy for same-sex marriage,” it read.

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How to Attrack Goats to Your Church

Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports on Preston Trails Community Church in Frisco, Texas that recently won a design award for its building and its brand: Making goats feel accepted. She writes:

Goats heading to churchIs church about saints (those who are saved), or sinners goats? Look, we’re all sinners; we need to use our words correctly. Those who have repented and put their trust in Christ alone for their salvation are saints. Another great word we can use here is sheep. The opposite term in the Bible is goats. The real question is, what – and Whom- is church about, and whom is it for?

Let’s not “kid” ourselves; it’s not for goats. It’s for former goats. The Bible teaches us that church is the gathering of those who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit:

…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. – Ephesians 4:12-16

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Saddleback Church raising $71 million for its largest expansion yet

From Berean Research:

Pastor Rick Warren is asking people to donate their hard earned money to open 10 more Saddleback campuses in Southern California. Even teens are getting into the act as you will see in Orange County Register’s piece. They’re called PEACE centers and they’ll provide assistance locally with food, medical help and counseling, Helping people is what churches do, right? But is it prudent for God’s people to spend their money this way?

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Madeleine L’Engle’s foundation awards grant to LGBT group at Wheaton College

Religion News Service reports:

The foundation of Madeleine L’Engle, the late National Book Award-winning author of “A Wrinkle in Time,” has awarded OneWheaton, an independent community of LGBT students and alumni from Wheaton College, a $5,000 grant.

OneWheaton is committed to affirming LGBT students but is not officially recognized by the prominent evangelical school, which can expel students caught in homosexual behaviors.

The group plans to use the money to fund public discussions and forums about LGBT issues and evangelical culture.

“We couldn’t be happier to receive this grant from L’Engle’s Crosswicks Foundation,” said Paul Canaday-Elliott, a OneWheaton board member.

“Wheaton tells a very one-sided narrative about LGBT persons without making room for dialogue,” he added. “So this will help us continue to supply something that the college isn’t.”

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