Just returned from speaking at Harvard University April 1 and 2 with nine other Christian leaders. This invitation did not come from the faculty, but a group of students who have a vision to restore Harvard to its Christian roots.
While there was overwhelming positive reaction for those attending the conference, there was considerable controversy leading up to the event. Many in the gay and Muslim community believed that the speakers represented hatred toward gays and Muslims. Protests were organized for Friday night and Saturday during the event. It was evident we were touching a cultural mountain that had many principalities protecting its domain that has been under Satan’s control for many years. I am reminded of Paul’s words when he encountered resistance when touching a major power center on the earth. “For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Cor 16:9). However, God revealed to me and our intercessors He was going to use this negative publicity ultimately for His purposes. This is exactly what happened.
On Saturday afternoon Lance Wallnau, Andre and Natalie Bisasor (our student hosts) and I met with four representatives of the Race Relations department of Harvard, Dr. Allen Counter, The Harvard Foundation president and Bruce Wilson, a writer who had written about me and some of the speakers and had posted these writings on the internet.
I was personally targeted by the protestors as being associated with hate legislation toward the gay community in Uganda. These allegations were simply false and I explained my connection to Uganda which was before any of this legislation ever took place. After hearing my explanation, none of the representatives felt I was worthy of the negative statements made about me and they encouraged me to write a public statement they would help distribute.
We had a healthy dialogue and exchange about the issues among us. We came to a consensus about several things and even shook hands at the end of our meetings with a further commitment to have conversations in the future to create a platform for dialogue.
These representatives also agreed there were no comments made during the conference that discriminated against any group, especially the gay community or Muslim community and there had been no hate speech or even negative reference to such groups. Harvard Foundation president Dr. Counter commented, “I found nothing in the conference that could be viewed as negative toward any group or was in violation of Harvard policies.” God was truly turning the negative publicity into an opportunity for dialogue and future events!
In the vision statement for the event they cited: “We believe there will be a shift in the atmosphere, which will be a key to the transformation of Harvard and the future leaders that will come through its gates. As a result, we believe there will be a reigniting of the fires of faith upon which this university was built.” A lofty goal, for sure, given where the school is today. But, we must begin somewhere. We need educators and “Joshua” students who see themselves as change agents if we are going to reclaim the education mountain.
The well is being reopened at Harvard and other Ivy League schools.
Read April 21 Harvard newspaper Crimson article and add your comment
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