Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Tony Campolo Labelled a 'False Teacher'

Campolo's Campus Appearance Called Into Question
Christian College Ignoring 'False Teacher,' Says Pennsylvania Group
By Jim Brown
September 21, 2004

(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
can’t change. And the Church acts as though they are just stubborn and
unwilling, when in reality they can’t 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.