Please pray for the graduating seniors as they seek God’s will for their future!
Sex Week at UTK
Rodney Norvell, Baptist Collegiate Specialist, UT Knoxville
I recently received an email asking me if I would serve on a panel speaking at UTK’s annual Sex Week, a week of events discussing sexuality and homosexuality. To be honest, I originally ignored it. I had served in situations like this at another university. The school paper would then include quotes from the LGBT community about “love” and out-of-context quotes from the Southern Baptists implying “God hates all homosexuals and they are all going to hell.” I was convinced, however, by another evangelical campus minister, that evangelical students are often desperate to feel supported for their beliefs in the midst of Sex Week. I decided to serve on the panel.
During the event, the panelists were actually respectful, as were the students. There were five panelists and each was invited to share his or her beliefs on sexuality, same sex marriage, and church. I basically used an abbreviated version of the related sections of the Baptist Faith and Message. We addressed some tough issues. After the event, I received several positive emails, and two students asked to join BCM. A UTK freshman present sent this email: “I attended the ‘Sex Week: Loosening the Bible Belt’ event tonight as a requirement for an honors class. I am Southern Baptist and I want to thank you for being a great representative for Southern Baptists and Christians in general. I did not know that Baptist ideals would be represented. I greatly appreciated all of your responses to questions and especially liked your opening introduction. “
I have to say that I was a bit nervous to be vulnerable on such a controversial topic, but things like this email make it clear that we can help our students in the university forum and we need to be a voice for them.