Let Christian Liberty Ring!

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Liberty Advocate

http://www.libertyadvocate.com/

 

Let Christian Liberty Ring!

 

by

Karen Pansler-Lam, J.D.

 

The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, Inc., is giving away a school campus in Northfield, Massachusetts.  The property formerly belonged to Northfield Mount Hermon School, founded in 1879 by D.L. Moody.  Mount Hermon School relocated to a nearby campus in 2005.   However, when some local residents and alumni of Mount Hermon School heard that Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell, was invited to consider the offer, they began to protest to keep Evangelicals out of Northfield.  Alumni posted a letter of protest and a petition on the Internet.  Here are excerpts from the protest letter:

 

Note: Emphasis added.

 

 

Say No to Hobby Lobby Transfer of Northfield Campus to Liberty University


March 4, 2012

Mark H. Chardack ’73
Chair, NMH Board of Trustees
Northfield Mount Hermon
One Lamplighter Way
Mount Hermon, MA 01355

Dear Mark,

As loyal alumni of Northfield Mount Hermon School and its fundamental traditions of spiritual diversity, expansive learning, and community action, we call on you to lead the board in taking a public stand against the current owners’ prospective transfer of the former Northfield campus to Liberty University. While we recognize that the Green family has legal authority to dispose of the campus according to its own preferences, we believe that to deed it to  an extremist, homophobic, and intellectually narrow institution (whose founder blamed the September 11, 2001 attacks on insufficient regard to Christianity in the public and private sectors of American life) is inconsistent with the Board’s explicit language in the provisions of their agreement with the Green family and Hobby Lobby. Standing by silently as the current owners welcome Liberty University onto the Northfield property fails to honor D. L. Moody’s true legacy.

We do not protest here the 2009 sale of the campus, for that transaction – albeit controversial – was accomplished by the NMH Board of Trustees in good faith. We do not judge the Green family’s orthodox Christian beliefs, or their desire to build institutions reflecting their own concept of morality. We had reconciled ourselves to the possible arrival of a new college created by the C. S. Lewis Foundation, believing it a relatively compatible intellectual fit (despite the Foundation’s stated ambition to prepare more Christian candidates to enter secular university faculties). However, we consider the institutional presence of Liberty University on the Northfield campus fundamentally incompatible with the spiritual breadth, academic depth, and community diversity we know and cherish at Northfield Mount Hermon.

Falwell’s legacy is the policy agenda that has been handed down to the Christian far right today, to “cure” gays and lesbians, to prohibit all abortions and access to contraceptives, to deny rights to women and people of non-Christian faiths, and to limit the educational parameters of public education, including the banning of books deemed unacceptable.

These ideas are antithetical to the lessons we learned at Northfield Mount Hermon.

They also are divisive and hateful.

We protest, and we ask you to do the same.

Respectfully yours,

Melissa Totten ‘76
Jean Riesman ‘75
Dongsok Shin ‘76
Tess Champoux ‘92

 

Read the entire protest letter denying Evangelical Christians their essential rights and liberties (click on “Petition Letter”) @

http://www.change.org/petitions/northfield-mount-hermon-school-say-no-to-hobby-lobby-transfer-of-northfield-campus-to-liberty-university.

 

This letter isn’t just protesting Liberty University. 

 

It’s protesting the Christian liberty of Evangelicals! 

 

The plain and undeniable truth is that Northfield residents and Mount Hermon alumni are denying the essential rights and liberties of Evangelical Christians. They are building a town of spiritual tyranny. And they are doing this in the name of D.L. Moody. The protest letter states: “Standing by silently as the current owners welcome Liberty University onto the Northfield property fails to honor D.L. Moody’s true legacy.”

 

They are trying to keep Evangelicals out of Northfield in the name of D.L. Moody.

 

This is absurd!

 

Moody was an evangelist!

 

Moody was an Evangelical!

 

Clearly, the letter is hostile toward Evangelical Christians. For example, protesters scoff at Liberty University’s Doctrinal Statement:

 

According to the "Doctrinal Statement" posted on its web site, the school not only declares the Christian Bible "inerrant in its originals and authoritative in all matters" and embraces a millenial vision but also rejects scientific examinations of cosmic origins as well as human evolution: "The universe was created in six historical days. Human beings were directly created, not evolved, in the very image of God" (http://www.liberty.edu). These theological statements do not suggest an open educational model. Moreover, Falwell remained throughout his life openly hostile to any form of religious, cultural, and particularly gender diversity.

 

Notice how they scoff at the Christian Bible as inerrant and authoritative in all matters. And they scoff at Biblical creation - man was created in the image of God: "These theological statements do not suggest an open educational model."  These are not theological statements, they are Biblical truths! And what an honor to be created  by God and in the image of God!  How much more dignified than if we evolved from a slime pit!

 

The protest letter continues to denounce Evangelical beliefs as “extremist, exclusionary, and authoritarian dogma.”  Curiously, in the opening paragraph, protesters pride themselves on Mount Hermon and its tradition of “spiritual diversity.” And then in the same paragraph they attack Evangelicals as “extremist, homophobic, and intellectually narrow.”  Spiritual diversity?  Apparently, Mount Hermon tolerates spiritual diversity, excluding Evangelicals.

 

On the other hand, Evangelical Christians never proclaim being broadminded and accepting of all faiths.  True Evangelicals proclaim the way is narrow and is a walk of faith in obedience to the only authoritative Law: God’s Law.  

 

Jesus Christ proclaims:

 

I am the way, the truth, and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

If ye love me,

keep my commandments.

 

He that hath my commandments, 

and keepeth them,

he it is that loveth me:

and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father,

and I will love him,

and will manifest myself to him.

 

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:

and the word which ye hear is not mine,

but the Father's which sent me.

 

John 14: 6,15,21,24

 

But protesters deny Evangelicals a right to live in Northfield simply because they believe the Bible is God's authoritative Law for all men everywhere. The protesters deny Evangelicals' natural and inalienable rights to Christian liberty .  In other words, the protesters have set themselves up as authoritative masters and judges, refusing Christian liberty to Evangelicals by forbidding them to establish a school in Northfield. 

 

Would the protesters openly and boldly denounce prospective members of the campus if they were Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus?  

 

Surprisingly, the protesters declare: “We graduates of Northfield Mount Hermon School also stand in solidarity with those residents of the town of Northfield dismayed by the prospect of Liberty University arriving to proselytize specifically in the local community.”  They are dismayed by the thought of evangelism in their community? Evangelism was the heart of Moody's ministry! Moody was known as a great evangelist!  Evangelism honors Moody’s true legacy!

 

And they state: “These ideas are antithetical to the lessons we learned at Northfield Mount Hermon. . .They are also divisive and hateful.” Now, who's "divisive and hateful"?  

 

Unquestionably, the protest letter and petition is an attempt to strip Evangelicals of the most valuable of all rights: Christian liberty.  Specifically, Northfield residents and Mount Hermon alumni demand oppressive and tyrannical conditions imposed on future residents of the campus: Evangelicals are banned from town. This is a violation of the rights of Evangelicals and a vile reproach cast upon the town of Northfield and Mount Hermon School.

 

Protestors openly and boldly forbid Evangelicals to establish a school in Northfield. 

 

O Northfield, is this the true spirit of the town? 

 

O Mount Hermon, is this the true spirit of the School?  

 

Irrefutably, forbidding evangelism is directly contrary to the spirit of D.L. Moody.  Moody zealously preached to win souls to Christ. . .

 

You know there are three steps to the lost world; let me give you their names. The first is Neglect. All a man has to do is to neglect salvation, and that will take him to the lost world. Some people say, “What have I done!” Why, if you merely neglect salvation, you will be lost. I am on a swift river, and lying in the bottom of my little boat. Down yonder, ten miles below, is the great cataract. Everyone that goes over it perishes. I need not row the boat down; I have only to pull in the oars, and fold my arms and neglect. So all that a man has to do is to fold his arms in the current of life, and he will drift onwards and be lost.

The second step is Refusal. If I met you at the door and pressed this question on you, you would say, “Not tonight, Mr. Moody, not tonight;” and if I repeated, “I want you to press into the kingdom of God,” you would politely refuse: “I will not become a Christian tonight, thank you; I know I ought, but I won’t tonight.”

Then the last step is to Despise it. Some of you have already got on the lower round of the ladder. You despise Christ. You hate Christ, you hate Christianity; you hate the best people on the earth and the best friends you have got; and if I were to offer you the Bible, you would tear it up and put your foot upon it. Oh, despisers! you will soon be in another world. Make haste and repent and turn to God. Now, on which step are you, my friend; neglecting, or refusing, or despising? Bear in mind that a great many are taken off from the first step; they die in neglect. And a great many are taken away refusing. And a great many are on the last step, despising salvation.

A few years ago they neglected, then they got to refuse; and now they despise Christianity and Christ. They hate the sound of the church bell; they hate the Bible and the Christian; they curse the very ground that we walk on. But one more step and they are gone. Oh ye despisers, I set before you life and death; which will you choose? When Pilate had Christ on his hands, he said, “What shall I do with him?” and the multitude cried out, “Away with Him! crucify Him!” Young men, is that your language tonight? Do you say, “Away with this gospel! Away with Christianity! Away with your prayers, your sermons, your gospel sounds! I do not want Christ?” Or will you be wise and say, “Lord Jesus, I want Thee, I need Thee, I will have Thee?” Oh, may God bring you to that decision!  ("Where Art Thou?" http://www.biblebelievers.com/moody_sermons/m18.html

And Moody praised evangelism: "A man who has found out what his true work is, winning souls to Christ, and does it, such is the happiest man" ("The Qualifications for Soul Winning" http://www.biblebelievers.com/moody_sermons/m1.html).

 

And the Great Commission commands us. . .

 

Go ye into all the world,

and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:15

 

Jesus commands us to preach the gospel to every creature. Forbidding evangelism in Northfield is like imprisoning the Apostles for preaching the gospel!  

 

More important, forbidding evangelism is directly contrary to the Spirit of Christ.

 

Where the Spirit of Lord is, there is liberty.

2 Corinthians 3:17

 

Finally,  inscribed on the Liberty Bell is Leviticus 25:10: “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

 

But the Liberty Bell does not ring in Northfield.  It is silent.

 

To the residents of Northfield and alumni of Mount Hermon School… 

 

Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof, including Evangelicals!

 

Let Christian liberty ring in Northfield, Massachusetts!

 

 

 

 

 

April 2012

Liberty Advocate

http://www.libertyadvocate.com/

 

 

 

See also:

 

Plans for ex-prep school campus under fire in Northfield - Boston.com
articles.boston.com/.../31145663_1_liberty-university-campus-hobb...Cached Mar 11, 2012 – Resistance is mounting in Northfield to the prospect that a campus once owned by a local prep school could soon belong to a university .

 

 

Liberty Advocate

www.libertyadvocate.com/Cached - Similar
In the April Liberty Letter. . . http://www.libertyadvocate.com/Liberty%20Letter.htm. An Open Letter to the Green Family, Owner of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

 

 

D.L. Moody Online Sermons

www.biblebelievers.com/moody_sermons/Cached - Similar
D.L. Moody
- On February 5, 1837 in Northfield, Massachusetts Dwight ... Click here for more biographical information on D.L. Moody. Also ... "Where Art Thou?" ...

 

 

Moody Bible Institute | About Moody | Our Rich Heritage | D.L. ...

www.moodyministries.net/crp_mainpage.aspx?id=64Cached - Similar
Portrait of D.L. Moody Dwight Lyman Moody was born the sixth child of Edwin and Betsy Holton Moody in Northfield, Mass. on February 5, 1837. Dwight's formal
...


The Life and Work of Dwight Lyman Moody - Biblebelievers.com

www.biblebelievers.com/moody/index.htmlCached - Similar
Biography by J. Wilbur Chapman originally published in 1900.