Wheaton College Fires Back After Fox News Accuses Them of Being Woke, But Were They Right?

Wheaton College President Philip Ryken has responded to a recent article published at Fox News that accused the “Harvard of Christian schools” of “banning biblical words, teaching critical race theory, and psychologizing gender identity issues,” saying that the “various claims about the College…are either false or misleading” and that “the mischaracterizing post seems to be cobbled from out-of-context items found on the Internet.”

Is Ryken telling the truth? Tim Scheiderer, the author for Fox News, initially wrote:

(Wheaton’s) most blatant offense against Christianity is banning certain biblical words that are key to the faith’s foundation. In this year’s curriculum for freshman, students are informed about opportunities to meet the needs of those less fortunate. This is commonly known as the act of service

Wheaton, however, instructs the students not to use the word, “service.” Instead, they are to use “sacrificial co-laboring.” The reason given is service “may invoke power dynamics across socio-economic, racial, and cultural lines.” 

Yep. That would do it.

In a series of tweets defending his work, Scheiderer also pointed to a recent article by the Wheaton Record, a student-run newspaper, showing that wokeness had crept into the college by their repeated use of the moniker “gender minority students.” 

To buttress his point about their wokeness and snowflake sentiments, we have noted that Wheaton has a woke and easily offended streak. It wasn’t that long ago that they removed a 65-year-old plaque installed to honor martyr Jim Elliot and others. Staff and students complained about the plaque for describing the tribe that murdered five missionaries and threw their bodies in the river as “savage Indians,” resulting in its removal.

Furthermore, in 2018, after Ryan Bomberger of the Radiance Foundation gave his presentation at Wheaton entitled, “Black Lives Matter In and Out of the Womb, Wheaton’s student body president, Lauren Rowley, Tyler Waaler, the student body vice-president and the “EVP” of the college’s Community Diversity, Sammy Shields, all drafted an email claiming that the talk was “distressing” to Black students, saying things like:

“As many of you know, a special interest club hosted an event on Wednesday night titled, ‘Black Lives Matter: In and Outside the Womb.’ The speaker of this event, Ryan Bomberger, made several comments at the event that deeply troubled members of our community. His comments, surrounding the topic of race, made many students, staff, and faculty of color feel unheard, underrepresented, and unsafe on our campus.

She would later add that Bomberger “passed a line of political disagreement into a place of a racially aggressive thing to say that left students crying and feeling really unheard … their question wasn’t really addressed in a respectful manner.” 

Ed Stetzer, then Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton would defend the STUDENTS, saying that “If disagreement is unsafe, then Wheaton is unsafe. If you don’t like people challenging your ideas when you are intentionally provocative, this is not the place to come and speak… You see, we debate ideas here at Wheaton, and our students felt that some of Bomberger’s comments after the talk were unhelpful and dismissive, not about abortion, but about other issues of concern to them. Honestly, I would not have used the charged word “safe” that the students used in that email, but it does convey the kind of place we want Wheaton to be—a safe place to debate ideas and a safe place for people of color.”

Ie, they’re a buch of wokies.

Back to Ryken. He closes with: “Wheaton College remains fully committed to Christian service—which we embrace as “service” in our very mission statement—to biblical orthodoxy and Christ-centered education, including in matters of human sexuality, gender identity, and race relations.”

They may be a fully committed to Christian service, but that doesn’t mean the cracks haven’t started to form, and aren’t growing bigger, and bigger, and bigger…

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3 thoughts on “Wheaton College Fires Back After Fox News Accuses Them of Being Woke, But Were They Right?

  1. Wheaton went woke decades ago. If I recall correctly, they publicly supported Walter Mondale for President of the U.S. against Ronald Reagan in 1984. Some people still think Wheaton is Christian because Billy Graham and Elisabeth Elliot went there–but that’s 3/4 of a century and more ago.

  2. As I recall, the Apostle Paul called himself a slave of Christ. He didn’t change the term because he did not want to offend the slaves by instead calling himself a “sacrificial co-laborer” of Christ.

    The term “slave” is used numerous times throughout the New Testament by the Apostles. It was the modern translators who intentionally mistranslated the Greek word into “servant” in many instances, so-as not to offend people who don’t like the use of the word “slave”.

    How is this current example any different than the modern Bible version translators doing the same thing with the Greek word for slave? They were “woke” before woke became mainstream, apparently.

    I haven’t seen a mad rush to the LSB in an attempt to avoid the wokeness of many of the other main-stream and highly popular Bible translations that intentionally misinterpreted the word “slave” for the same pragmatic reasons.

    Better get an LSB, or otherwise you might be considered a hypocrite.

  3. They are WOKE, no doubt about it! It has become a common theme in our culture to try to out-victim one another. It’s like a competition to be the one who has “suffered” the most. I don’t know my country any more, and this helps me to stay unattached to this place. It’s not my home, I belong to a better Kingdom. And I hope to bring as many with me as possible. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

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