"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Dr. Sam Storm’s Letter to Dr. David Boren Is an Appropriate Response for Concerned Oklahomans

The removal of Kirk Humphreys as a regent for the University of Oklahoma is a very, very serious matter. Frankly, I am shocked at how silent the majority of Oklahomans have been on this issue.

A few, like my friend Dr. Sam Storms, are not being silent.

Below is a letter from Dr. Sam Storms to Dr. David Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma over the removal of Kirk Humphreys. 

The letter was published on Sam’s website and is republished here with permission. ___________________________________

Dear President Boren and the Board of Regents:

My name is Sam Storms and I serve as Senior Pastor of Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City. I am a 1973 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, as is my wife. My sister and her husband are OU grads, and so too were both my mother and father. Needless to say, we are all “Sooner born and Sooner bred and when we die we’ll be Sooner dead.”

Let me begin by congratulating you on your tremendous success in elevating the academic excellence of the University of Oklahoma to a level heretofore unattained. You have every right to be proud of this accomplishment and I applaud your continuing efforts in this regard.

However, I write this letter deeply grieved by recent actions taken by the Board of Regents regarding Kirk Humphreys. Instead of defending his freedom to articulate his beliefs on a matter of great moral significance in our society, he was vilified, abandoned, and exposed to public ridicule without so much as a word being spoken in his defense. I’m not asking that you agree with his moral convictions concerning homosexual practice but only that you extend to him the same respect and intellectual freedom that you so tenaciously protect on behalf of all others.

Mr. Humphreys is an evangelical Christian who simply articulated the view that has been traditionally embraced for 2,000 years by Christians of virtually all branches. If you have any doubts in this regard, I commend to you the book by S. Donald Fortson III and Rollin G. Grams, Unchanging Witness: The Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition (B & H Academic, 2016; 402 pages). They provide extensive and irrefutable documentation that the view articulated by Kirk Humphreys is and has been the dominant opinion of Christians throughout our history.

Let me be clear that neither Mr. Humphreys nor I am even remotely suggesting that homosexuality is comparable to pedophilia. His public apology for not speaking with greater clarity on that point must be noted and is to be commended.

I am aware that Mr. Humphreys voluntarily resigned from the Board of Regents, but he would not have done so had this not been the request of you and the other Board members. What this tells me and others is that anyone can serve on the Board and at the University except evangelical Christians. It tells me that every view is permissible and should be granted freedom of expression and protection from discrimination except the view embraced by orthodox, Bible-believing Christians.

You speak much of “inclusion” and showing respect for all views. But apparently this only applies to those who affirm homosexual behavior as morally permissible. Your discriminatory action toward Mr. Humphreys is contrary to everything you have said and done in the past to promote academic freedom at the University. I can’t imagine what other employees of OU and especially faculty members must be thinking. I’m quite certain that they will feel the pressure to conform and will realize that any notion of academic freedom to research and give expression to what they believe is true is a myth.

And what will become of the numerous students at OU who likewise share Mr. Humphreys’ perspective? I suspect that most of them will be intimidated into silence, fearful that any expression of evangelical Christian convictions will result in their being penalized both personally and academically.

Why is Mr. Humphreys not shown the same respect that is shown to the LGBTQ community at OU? Yes, members of that community are deserving of respect, dignity, and must be given equal access to the wonderful educational resources and opportunities that OU exists to provide. Mr. Humphreys himself has voiced whole-hearted agreement with that principle. So why is he the object of exclusion and discrimination when he articulates his personal perspective? Are all evangelical Christians now to believe that their historic, long-standing, biblical convictions are no longer welcome at OU? Why is Mr. Humphreys the target of such remarkable intolerance at a University that purportedly promotes tolerance?

Your actions with regard to Mr. Humphreys indicate to me and countless others that you have capitulated to the pressure of special interest groups in our society. I had hoped that the President (and Board of Regents) of the University I have so dearly loved and supported would have more courage to defend the free speech rights of one of its Regents. By all means, say that you disagree with Mr. Humphreys. If the other Regents concur, then by all means give expression to your opinions. But please extend to him the same rights and freedom you claim for yourself.

My family has held season tickets for OU football since 1947. I, too, am a season-ticket holder. But in view of this deplorable treatment of Mr. Humphreys and suppression of the historic Christian view on human sexuality, I am compelled to cancel my participation. And I will urge others to do likewise.

I suspect that this will have little impact on your decision to grant Mr. Humphreys the same respect and honor that you so vigorously extend to those in the LGBTQ community, but my conscience will not allow me to support in any way a university that practices such inexcusable discrimination and exclusionary behavior toward evangelical Christians. Should the day come when you publicly affirm that evangelical Christians have the same rights and freedom of expression that is extended to people in the LGBTQ community, I will reconsider my actions. But until then I must remain firm in my commitment.

Cordially yours,

Sam Storms, B.A., Th.M., Ph.D.
Senior Pastor
Bridgeway Church
Oklahoma City, OK

10 comments:

Scott Shaver said...

The sword of intolerance is double-edged and can cut two ways....rightly so and kudos to Dr. Storms

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court is considering the plight of a cake baker from my state who refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple.

I suspect he would be applauded had he refused to bake for a white supremacist group, a pro rape group, a cake with anti Muslim sentiments, or a pro Taliban or Isis group.

Would the school have unleashed such venom against a regent had he opposed any other group on moral grounds?

A good question these days might be to ask this: where is the money coming from that supports these vicious attacks on those holding traditional views concerning homosexuality? Why is this one sin alone so untouchable even at the level of simple speech?

Linda

Anonymous said...

Let me add this thought: had the baker refused to bake a cake for a traditional Christian on religious grounds, would he have suffered the same fate in the courts? Had the regent spoken out against allowing a Bible based group on campus would he suffer the same fate?

If not, why not?

Linda

Christiane said...

Hello all,
I went back and took a look at the interview between Kirk Humphrey and Emily Virgin again, in order to listen to Kirk's actual words and tone. I was trying to 'hear' through the ears of both 'sides' of the issue to see what might have triggered such a response from the LBGT community and others who were offended .....

so I listened to the Flashpoint interviews:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n0vtwssTcE

and I noticed that Kirk began to develop a logical point concerning 'absolute' right and wrong, and from there he went on to discuss why Barney Frank didn't get into trouble . . . everything unfolded from that point ...

IF people could listen to the interview carefully, and
THEN try to sort out how reactions might have happened;
this might yeild some insight to be applied in future discussions as to how misunderstandings can unfold from ways of communicating that don't 'translate' well between opposing points of view.
I think something CAN be learned by doing this. And it can lead to a better way for people to have a real DIALOGUE (not debate, please) . . . it's time we stopped cutting people off at the knees for trying to explain something and having their way of explaining it backfire because the words are not effective to express their idea in a way that CAN be really understood by 'the other'.

This means an examination of terminology, of ideas, and a REALLY dedicated attempt to LISTEN to one another with some compassion for the limitations of language especially where our emotions are engaged.

Does this make any sense????

I'm for not giving up on people or throwing them away, but for goodness sake, we need to TRY to do better by one another. It's time.

I feel sorry for everyone involved. I know there is a better way for people to engage this issue, but there has honestly been for some time a 'separation' of groups into 'sides' that have their own 'dog whistles' which work really well for keeping people divided and not trying to understand the 'other', kind of a 'battle stance' language . . . so one side 'wins' the 'argument' and the other side 'loses'

But it is said that love is wanting the best for the other for the SAKE of the other (in a selfless way). I am conscious of people’s discomfort with those who are ‘different’ and that often not knowing how to ‘fix it’ for them or ‘make it right’ for them, how it is that we seem too eager to distance ourselves from them in ways that are not Our Lord’s Ways. We have failed to consider that what makes us ‘human’ is something even more basic than our 'maleness' or 'femaleness'
and that IS a difference that invites us to engage with people who have gender issues on a much more common ground:
our common human origin
. . . the very soil from which we were formed
and the very life breathed into us.




Wade Burleson said...

Linda,

Good insights.

Christiane,

I think you nailed the point Kirk was attempting to make - there is absolute truth.

Christiane said...

Hello Wade, and Happy New Year to all in Enid

you wrote "there is absolute truth"

I agree . . . and His Name is Jesus Christ

Wade Burleson said...

Amen!

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Dr. Sam Storm’s letter hit the nail on the head, but what will be done in response to a judge’s ruling that’s recorded in the Washington Post and printed in our local paper December 29, 2017?

“A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to implement an Obama-era rule on January 1, 2018 that would give low-income families access to afford apartments in affluent neighborhoods with lower crime rate…”

When Obama was President, I and my neighbors received a letter from the government requesting the amount of our yearly income. We put it in the trash even though it came with a warning of a fine if not returned.

I believe most poor people are poor because they spend their money on their ‘wants’ instead of their ‘needs’.

‘The Master’s Builders’ from our church was building a larger church for a Black church. It was in a poor neighborhood in Dallas, Texas which was 20 miles away. Every day they had to ‘store’ the electric wire from the power box to the church to keep it from being stolen. One day they heard shooting and saw a man behind a tree dodging bullets. They didn’t go back.

I was in Japan at the time, but later worked on the church 43 days alone until it was ready for painting.

The pastor told me that Mexicans were needed to do the work because the Blacks wouldn’t. He said, “I can take you right now and show you a dozen men from our church who are sucking on a bottle.”

One day I told him my skill-saw was missing and the janitor and I were the only ones in the building. He called the janitor’s mother. She said, “He’s not here now. He came into some money and he’s out with his friends.” The pastor fired him.

I believe if the ‘poor’ moved into an area of lower crime rate, it wouldn’t remain that way.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Once, this pastor was upset when he found me working at night and the doors were unlocked. He said not long ago one member had been put in a chokehold and woke up with his billfold gone.

This pastor seemed to believe to make or save money for God justified the means. He asked how much did the tape, bed, and texture cost. I told him I was paying it. He said he wanted to know because someone said they would pay. I told him and he said that was too cheap and he was making it four times that amount.

Another time I asked why the truck loaded with scraped sheetrock was covered with tree limbs. He said he was taking it to the dump and they didn’t charge for tree limbs.

Rex Ray said...

My father said a church in town was better than a policeman on every corner.
I think some towns require a church on every corner.