Saturday, February 20, 2010


Hope is Ready unanimously agrees with President Bultman's decision. Let's take another look at the Hope College Institutional Statement on Homosexuality.

Call to Action
We see that the current Hope College Board of Trustees Institutional Statement on Homosexuality is now under review. The Rev. Dr. Timothy Brown, Hope Trustee, will review "with others" the "theological foundation and language of the current Trustee position on homosexuality." We of Hope is Ready thought you may like to be one of those others. Hap at it. :)

Some History + a Question
This policy was last presented at a meeting of the Executive Committee (only) of the Board of Trustees sometime in 2001. To the best of our inside knowledge, there has never been a *full* Board of Trustees review of the 1995 Institutional Statement on Homosexuality Hope College policy.

So, our question to all of you lovely and astute scholars, theologians, lovers of Jesus Christ, movement-makers, friends and family of practicing homosexuals is this:

***How would you feel if the Hope College Board of Trustees reaffirms its Institutional Policy on Homosexuality yet again in 2010?***

Here for your viewing pleasure, with hopes for many enlightening conversations, the policy:


Hope college, like its founding denomination, the Reformed Church in America,distinguishes between homosexual orientation and homosexual behavior or practice. Not all people who have a homosexual orientation engage in homosexual practice and not all people who engage in homosexual practices have a homosexual orientation. The witness of Scripture is firm in rejecting the moral acceptability of homosexual behavior while affirming the responsibility of Christians to be fair and accepting of persons with a homosexual orientation.

The College does not condone the commission of homosexual acts. Neither does it condone organizations or activities that aim to vindicate the moral acceptability of homosexual acts, or that suggest by their manner of presenting themselves that they have that aim in view. Specifically, the College will not provide recognition or financial or logistical support for organizations or groups whose purposes include the advocacy or moral legitimization of homosexual behavior.

The College does support fair and kind treatment for people with a homosexual orientation. It likewise supports the scholarly examination and discussion of all the issues surrounding the phenomenon of homosexuality. The College affirms the right of students and faculty to propound and defend ideas that may be at variance with the institutional position of the College. Persons expressing such views are expected to take care not to attribute those views to the College either by direct statement or by intimation.

--John Jacobson, President, August 16, 1995


please see "We are ready."

By the joint effort of Hope is Ready and Holland is Ready we will be starting an online communal reflection and theological discussion on the HOPE COLLEGE INSTITUTIONAL STATEMENT ON HOMOSEXUALITY. We invite you to join us here on our Hope is Ready blog, to share your convictions, fears, experience, and frustrations concerning the 1995 "Statement on Homosexuality" Hope College Board of Trustees policy. Also, follow us on Facebook. On the Facebook group page, "We are ready." we've opened a Discussions board dedicated to this theological wrestling.

We welcome an open forum, open to all questions on the "theological foundation" (Is advocating for the LGBT community a faith and justice issue? Is the Biblical interpretation presented in this statement absolutist?) and the ramifications of the precise language of the statement (how does this effect students and effect student groups?). We welcome *all* feedback, but will focus primarily on the statement's theological foundation as well as its exact language, inviting the Hope community into a close reading.

Come One Come All
We know that Hope College boasts a wide range of talented and skilled Biblical exegetics—skilled students, faculty, alumni and staff alike. Let's practice our hermeneutics on this complex issue and celebrate that "the Truth shall set [us] free." To entertain this needed community process we pray for the qualities and fruits of the Spirit as evidenced in the Virtues of Conversation in the Hope College Community (found here: and

Let’s Talk
I mean, really, crank out the Bibles, consult theologian friends, consult yourself if you consider yourself a theologian, talk about it at a Hope Bible study, talk about it in the classroom, talk and pray about it with your Hope Chaplains. Talk about it with your Hope Professors, with your Holland RCA pastors, and with your friends at Western Theological Seminary. Talk about it in church and outside of church. Talk about it with someone who feels differently than you do. Ask questions. Talk about it with your families. Talk about it loudly (or softly ) in coffee shops, JP's, lemonjello's, The Good Earth, and over Kletz coffee. Let's have a Hope/Holland community-wide theological conversation about this policy.

Remember the Rally?
We quoted from the Virtues of Conversation in the Hope College Community at our "Invitation to Conversation" campus rally on Tuesday, October 13th after the Dustin-Lance-Black-hit-Hope-like-an-earthquake upset. For those of you who weren't with us, we gathered in the bowl outside of Dewitt encouraging all attending to wear their best and brightest Orange and Blue as we publicly responded to the administration's repeated statements of "We are not ready to have this divisive conversation" wearing our first round of t-shirts that proudly say "We are ready." (We can order more if there’s another round of shirt orders. E-mail us at

Here's part of what we read at the rally and sent out in a campus-wide e-mail blitz:

"We believe in the virtues that mark conversation at Hope: humility to listen, hospitality to welcome, patience to understand, courage to challenge, honesty to speak the truth in love."

This Ain’t No Partisan Issue
We still say emphatically that whether we fall to the right, left or smack in the middle on this issue, we are ready to talk, read, wonder and pray about it. We want to have this conversation. We feel passionately that students need spaces of open and authentic conversation to process the delicate intricacies of mental and moral development. We do not believe that morality is a simple "check a, b and c" issue. Neither, for that matter, is the Christian faith.

Let's go Hope!

yours truly,
Hope is Ready


  1. Hope College (and the RCA) need to decide whether they are a Christian organization (followers of Jesus Christ) or a Mosian organization (followers of Moses). Moses was all about laws and appeasing a fearful God. Christ was about justice and compassion and discovering a loving God. A loving God knows how we are created and is not offended by our expression of love, but is rather offended by the discrimination and oppression carried out in God's name.

  2. Amen! Thank you for this, Liam. Let's keep it rolling. :) We know that this is not just a "gay" issue, but an issue that hits the very foundation of what Western churches have become. This conversation invites the Church to live up to the teachings of Jesus Christ and welcome what Christianity aspires to be, when open to the Holy Spirit.

    "Have you not read this in the Scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;'" Mark 12:10


    as always,
    Jesus invites us into the ?

  3. Liam,

    Jesus is God. God gave Moses the law. God/Jesus made Adam and Eve in the Garden, not Adam and Steve... The fall brought us sin. All of it. Physical actions as well as thoughts and feelings. None greater than another. Sin is sin, and all sin destroys our relationship with our God and our Savior Jesus Christ. As was His plan, the only expression of love not offending to God/Jesus is that which he created on the sixth day.