Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College Set to Host #MeToo-Style Conference
On December 13, Wheaton College is hosting Reflections: A GC2 Summit on Responding to Sexual Harassment, Abuse and Violence. While I share many of the same concerns about sexual violence, I'm afraid that Wheaton College, still dealing with the controversy surrounding Ryan Bomberger, is signaling that it's embracing identity politics. But, before I get to that, I'm going to allow the GC2 Summit to speak for itself:
Reflections: A GC2 Summit on Responding to Sexual Harassment, Abuse, and Violence is a one-day event which will challenge and inspire pastors, leaders, and lay Christians to address the very real tragedy in our churches and to begin the healing process of being who God designed all of us to be. We will bring together Christian leaders today to address what the Bible says about this tragedy, the destruction of silence, how to protect those who are vulnerable and victimized, the role of accountability in leadership, and much more.
Under the FAQ on the GC2 Summit's website, the question is posed, "Why Is the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College Hosting this Summit?" The website offers this reply:
The issue of sexual harassment, abuse, and violence is an essential issue and evangelicals needs to look at ourselves and our churches. Such issues connect to the very core of who we are as image-bearers of Christ and ambassadors of the good news. We must respond as Jesus would—we draw near, speak up and work for justice, seeking to comfort and heal. The Billy Graham Center is a ministry of Wheaton College and these issues impact our students, but also Christians globally. We are thankful for the many organizations doing important things, and we want to use what influence we might have to help evangelicals respond better.
I agree with the reasons for having the Summit as well as the reason provided for why Wheaton College is hosting the event. However, I am concerned about the allusion and outright connections to the #MeToo movement peppered across the GC2 Summit's website. Referenced above, the controversy over Ryan Bromberger doesn't help ease my concerns over Wheaton's direction. Not to mention that the speaker list for GC2 includes several speakers who have shown a willingness to throw their hat in the ring with the broader #MeToo movement.
Space doesn't allow me to share all of my concerns about the #MeToo movement and its philosophical moorings to identity politics. Briefly, though, I wrote this several months ago:
For many evangelicals, the #MeToo movement is seen as a bright spot shining through the terrible clouds of abuse women have been forced to endure for generations upon generations. Except, Christians who place their hope in the #MeToo movement are misplacing their hope. While the #MeToo movement may be currently shining a spotlight on the problem, the #MeToo movement offers no real solutions.
Like the Tower of Babel, the #MeToo movement is doomed to come crashing down in failure because, like the ancients at the Tower of Babel, the #MeToo movement insists on humans’ autonomy from their Creator, specifically regarding sexuality.