I recently had a brother (Thanks Neil) forward an article to me that leaves be concerned about the state of Christian campus ministry. The article addresses the organization that many current and former Christian university students are aware of “InterVarsity Christian Fellowship” (IV) and highlights some deeply concerning issues. I invite you to review the article with the realization that the attack on the Gospel is subtle at times and explicit at others but ever present.
Please note this article is not specific to the Canadian branch of IV and I cannot comment on its potential implications for the Canadian organization. However, if you do interface with IV in Canada I would encourage you to contact them for comment. I have emailed them and asked for comment and hope to post their response – if one is provided and if given permission to post it.
Excerpt from article:
“But lately InterVarsity seems adrift.
A recent Christianity Today article chronicles the pressure a group of InterVarsity students felt to include practicing Roman Catholics on their leadership team. When the students discovered that IV’s new doctrinal statement allowed for Roman Catholics in good standing to sign on, they decided to separate from IV. The national president of IV wrote a response, but seemed defensive and never answered the question, “How many Catholics are on staff with IV?” Sadly, this was a double personal blow as one of the students on the leadership team was my son, who had looked forward for much of his life to being a part of IV on campus, but was disillusioned by the shape of doctrine in IV.
What’s happening to InterVarsity?
Has the fellowship become so thoughtless about its theology that it now rejects the solas of the Reformation? I understand that Catholics can be born again. I am happy to partner with Catholics on moral issues in the political arena such as religious liberty. But to partner with Roman Catholics in gospel outreach is a confusion of the gospel. Thoughtful Catholics agree. So, why is IV confused? I worry that it is because IV is muddled about the gospel.
What’s at stake is confusion over the Gospel.
In a recent article1 on the Urbana web page, an author contended that “Creation care counts as missions.” He called students to “move beyond evangelism,” a call heard in and around IV. I am grateful for Christians who are called to care for the environment as a reflection of our God-given responsibility to tend God’s creation. But I must disagree when anyone says that creation care is equal to preaching the Gospel, or that any believer can move beyond the gospel of grace. As Tim Keller has said, the gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life, but the A to Z of the Christian life. Has IV become so confused over the mandate to preach the gospel that we are now called to go into all the world and reduce our carbon footprint?”
Background information on IV:
“Since 1929, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada has been actively involved in helping young people live a transformed life in Jesus Christ. What began as a simple idea of students gathering for prayer, bible study and witnessing to their friends has grown into a vibrant ministry spanning more than 60 university and college campuses and Inter-Varsity Pioneer Camps in six provinces. The purpose is to see students and campers changed for a lifetime.” (From the Canadian Inter-Varsity site –