Apparently, according to Christianity Today, Shane Claiborne was "uninvited" by Cederville University to deliver a lecture tonight at the university. What was the reasoning you might ask? Well...
After Cedarville's public relations office announced on January 22 that Cedarville would be hosting "An Evening with Shane Claiborne," some blogs decried the decision to invite someone they labeled as belonging to the Emergent community. Links to the blogs were then e-mailed to alumni and pastors, some of whom called Cedarville administrators to complain.
The article goes on to say...
Carl Ruby, Cedarville's vice president for student life, told CT that although there was "a high degree of receptivity on campus" to the Claiborne lecture, he decided to cancel the lecture to avoid risking conveying the wrong message about Cedarville's doctrinal beliefs.
"There was a tension between my desire to use this event to challenge students to take a closer look at a very important social issue, and the need to protect Cedarville's reputation as a conservative, Christ-centered university," said Ruby. "There can't be any confusion about our commitment to God's Word and our historically conservative doctrinal position.
Okay, so the "need to protect Cedarville's reputation as a conservative, Christ-centered university" is at the heart of all this? Interesting. For any of you who have read Shane's book, or heard him speak in the past will know this to be true - Shane is one of the most passionate followers of the way and the teachings of Jesus. His life is committed to living the words of Jesus - could anything be more "Christ-centered"?
All this, and how it went down, hits way too close to home for Jamie and I. We've been the focal point of similar situations. For those of you who have been on the receiving end of something like this, it comes out of left field and seems unreal. I think Shane's response is outstanding:
Unfortunately it's difficult to communicate with folks who will not talk to you, who only talk around you, as in this case. I do not have time to hunt down every rogue Web site. There's too much constructive work to do for the Kingdom for us to spend our energies constantly reacting to every destructive voice, especially those who do not honor Matthew's admonition to speak directly with one another in love (Matthew 18). And there is too much brokenness in the world to spend time tearing each other apart.
Well said. It's such a pity that people who claim to represent the living Jesus, can often act in ways so counter to the ethos of Jesus.
You can read the rest of Shane's response [and a whole host of comments] here.