Sunday, October 15, 2006

About time too....

This is taken from the news syndicate running on the right of my blog but was worth reproducing here....
Evangelical students fail in bid to be called 'Christian Union' -14/10/06 Evangelical students at Exeter university have failed in their bid to call themselves the "Christian Union" and have had their accounts frozen pending a full review into the society's Equal Opportunities policy. A referendum was held at the university this week about whether the 'Evangelical Christian Union' should be able to change its name to the 'Christian Union'. For more than 50 years, students at the Devon university have organised evangelistic events under the name of the Exeter University Christian Union. However in May a complaint was made against them that the group was too exclusive. The student Guild subsequently changed the name to "Evangelical Christian Union." Opposition has been growing in universities up and down the country to many Christian Unions over their approaches to gay and lesbian people. They have also been accused of operating discriminatory policies over appointments to their executives. Other Christian groups also operate in universities, holding different positions to traditional Christian Unions which tend to be evangelical in character. This calls into question say critics, the right of Evangelicals with conservative views, to have a monopoly on the name 'Christian'. Voting in the referendum at Exeter University, about whether the Evangelical Christian Union should be able to change its name to the 'Christian Union', finished on Friday. The “No” campaign won the referendum with a 55% majority. Of the 582 votes, 317 were in favour of keeping the existing name, reports Kathryn Nott for the Exeter Students website X-net. According to the website, the result of the referendum will still need to be ratified at the university Guild Council. Tim Paulden, leader of the “No” campaign told X-Net News, “The referendum result is a significant victory for democracy and human rights, and a hammerblow against religious bigotry and intolerance. For years, this society has deceptively marketed itself as the 'Christian Union' while systematically silencing and discriminating against Christians who are not evangelical.” "Today, this cynical ruse has finally come to an end. The result of the referendum and the GSA motion passed yesterday represent the first two steps towards a future in which every Exeter student will have their beliefs accepted and welcomed. We sincerely hope that all religious societies –including the ECU – will be willing to work together to achieve this goal." ECU President James Harding said, "To be honest, I'm just glad it's all over". However a meeting of the Guild Societies Association (GSA) on Friday also saw the Evangelical Christian Union's accounts temporarily frozen, and their privileges as a Guild society removed pending a full review into the society's Equal Opportunities policy, following a vote by society presidents.
I like the fact that everyone had a say on how the felt the society acted etc and am pleased to see they rejected some groups small minded outlook as the opposite to being a Christian Union... long may these forms of Union rebellin continue against small minded beurocrats in CUs. Let us be honest the message of someone who died for everyone or a god that loves everyone really shouldn't be an exclusive or discriminatory message yet so many people manage to swing it round to that it's embarressing and really leaves one to wonder how anyone can be attracted to such groups (this goes for all evengelical religious groups with closed doctrinal statements of belief). Take Care Y'All John


  1. I agree John. My CU doesn't allow women speakers- something that caused some upset a few weeks ago when a husband and wife wanted to speak together and couldn't. And they are stuggling to find speakers this year (what a surprise), and they will not let me speak to help them out. Its outrageous.

  2. What on earth, you are training to become a local preacher and yet you go along to an institution that denies your right to provide spiritual leadership.

    Lydia - please explain the logic there


  3. Anonymous5:55 pm

    It is true but there are other ways in which I am doing this... there is SO much more to going to CU than leading it. For example making friends, and mutually supporting people and being fed (as you know what, the methodist church doesn't always do that)

  4. GRR!
    I disagree completely, as an ever growing in favour of CU geek - and someone who would consider themselves to be an evangelical Christian. And you know that I haven't always had this view of CU's and I CAN see their faults and try to challenge them on it... but at the same time I think some of the things you've said aren't anymore closed minded than what you're accusing CU's of being.

    <...really leaves one to wonder how anyone can be attracted to such groups (this goes for all evengelical religious groups with closed doctrinal statements of belief..>

    But if someone, as I do, agrees with what the doctrinal statement of belief, then why not be attracted to it?

    In some ways maybe they shouldnt change their name back. I don't really care about that cos I dont see why it's an issue. CU's are evangelical, so be called evangelical CU's.

    <...Let us be honest the message of someone who died for everyone or a god that loves everyone really shouldn't be an exclusive or discriminatory message yet so many people manage to swing it round to that it's embarressing...>

    If it's a message for everyone (which it is) then everyone needs to know. It's not exclusive, or discrimatory, it's for everyone, hense why CU's are so heavily evangelistic - my main issue with some other student Christian groups is that they aren't at all evangelistic; it's all very "you think what you think and I'll think what I think and thats fine" which not only opposes the Christian message anyway, but also doesn't challenge anyone to respond to their Creator... which if the message we have is so awesome, as you said it is, then people need to have the opportunity to do so.

    And to comment on the last comment left - personally, I dunno what I'd have done without the CU - for meeting like minded people and encouraging me to live a Christian life at university. Without CU's there'd be very little known Christian presense in universities and that would be, well... a shame doesn't even cover it.

    Rachel xxx

  5. I agree with your last comment Rach. CU has given me a social life and i've grown so much through the encouragement and prayer and the Bible study that the CU has given to me since I started uni. I may not still be in York if it wasn't for the CU!

  6. there we go, dont knock it til you've tried it. CU's do sterling work.


  7. A non-Evangelical Christian2:29 pm

    The sad thing is that many CU members are treating this as an attack on their right to have a society. It is not, it is simply a desire to see that society correctly advertised. The ECU at Exeter explicitly bans Christians from non-Evangelical backgrounds from full participation. They are a society designed for Evangelical Christians; what then is wrong with being called the Evangelical Christian Union?

  8. I have a cousing who is a CU organiser. I respect him greatly. However, he and the CUs I have known represent one strand within Christianity. It happens to be a strand with which I like John and many other Christians have differences with.

    My experience at Southampton University was that I benefited much from the Chaplaincy whilst I felt alienated from the CU. I could not have signed their creedal statement.

    I think 'Evangelical Christian Union' ia a more honest title although I know of some evangelical Christians who might have differences re evangelicalism.

    The important thing is that it is great that some posters have benefited from their experiences of CU. BUT it is important within Christian organisations that there is room for differing people to travel despite theological differences.

  9. Hear Hear!

    God loves everyone, and therefore we as Christians should be open and loving towards everyone as well, and not exclusive of different people. Banning people from going to a CU is, in my eyes, wrong, they should be open to everyone, not just the ones who agree with them

    By the way, my CU at York St John is now in talks to allow women speakers!! Hurrah! Finnaly!