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Campolo’s Campus Appearance Called Into Question

AgapePress, USA
Sep. 21, 2004
Jim Brown • Wednesday September 22, 2004

Christian College Ignoring ‘False Teacher,’ Says Pennsylvania Group

(AgapePress) – A Christian group is asking an Assemblies of God Bible college in Pennsylvania to drop a frequent guest chapel speaker because of his heretical beliefs. But the school’s president is defending his decision to invite a man who holds to universalist theology and an unbiblical view of homosexuality.

Dr. Don Meyer says he is not backing down from his decision to once again welcome Dr. Tony Campolo to preach in chapel today (Tuesday) at Valley Forge Christian College, a small four-year college located northwest of Philadelphia. Campolo, a well-known media commentator on religious, social and political matters, often preaches with his wife in homosexual-affirming churches, where he has stated that the homosexual “did not choose homosexuality,” but is rather “a victim either of biological accident or someone else’s folly.”

Campolo is also founder of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an inner-city ministry that combines evangelism and social justice in public schools, universities, orphanages, literacy centers, and tutoring programs. But Michael Marcavage, director of the Philadelphia-based group Repent America, says Valley Forge Christian College is ignoring the scriptural command to mark and avoid false teachers.

“Through the years, obviously, Tony Campolo has promoted many unbiblical doctrines,” Marcavage says. “This goes back to his book A Reasonable Faith in which he developed the false concept that Christ lives in all human beings regardless whether they are Christian.”

VFCC president Meyer says he has never read the book, but believes Campolo’s views are often taken out of context or misunderstood. “I have heard him share regarding the core tenets of the gospel and what it means to be a Christian by having Jesus as Lord and Savior,” Dr. Meyer shares. “I’ve heard him in numerous settings, not merely here on our campus.”

Still, Marcavage says Meyer is ignoring a false teacher who has claimed he is changing the evangelical community from within by targeting young people. “He has spoken out against Christian ministries, such as Exodus International, which help homosexuals overcome their struggle with their sinful desires and practices,” the Repent America leader explains. “He declares that there’s a biological basis for homosexuality — and he has stated that we cannot expect such a person to change his orientation.”

In an interview published by Beliefnet, Campolo states that “the overwhelming proportion of the gay community that love Jesus, that go to church, that are deeply committed in spiritual things, try to change and cant change. And the Church acts as though they are just stubborn and unwilling, when in reality they cant change.” But he also states his position that “same-gender eroticism [homosexual activity] is not a Christian lifestyle.”

Last year more than a dozen representatives from Marcavage’s group gathered outside VFCC to call attention to Campolo’s teachings and to call school officials to repentance. The objective of that effort, the Repent America leader says, was to point out to faculty members and students “the danger of allowing their pulpit to be used by someone who disregards the authority of scripture.”

Campolo, a professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, is an ordained minister and has served American Baptist churches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He once told American Family Radio News that animals could obtain salvation.

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