Victories for free speech and the Gospel in Michigan
What do free speech and the Gospel have in common? What do you do when campus police try to silence the Gospel?
Our chapter in northern Michigan was faced with this question when one of our evangelists was approached by campus security. The officer, an outspoken critic of Ratio Christi, accused our evangelist of using coercive tactics and upsetting students. The head of campus safety got involved in the dispute and asked our team member to refrain from approaching anyone.
The campus security told our team we were free to set up a table, but we could only speak to students that came to us.
Part of our battlefield
Ratio Christi exists to share compelling reasons for following Christ and to develop thoughtful Christians on college campuses. The power of the Gospel to change hearts and minds is evident in our work. One of the most common ways to combat the spread of God’s good news about His Son, Jesus, is to simply try to silence Christians on university campuses.
Nothing stops the Gospel
Ratio Christi is no stranger to fighting for students’ and professors’ rights to share the Gospel. Just last month our Utah chapters were faced with protesters when sponsoring a symposium on free speech. Our CEO was uninvited from a speaking engagement with a Christian group because they were afraid he would offend people. We’ve battled in lawsuits over policies unfairly targeting Christians. And through it all, nothing stops the Gospel.
Standing up for the right to free speech
Undaunted by the attacks by campus security, the local leader of the Ratio Christi chapter responded with a letter to the school:
I am always careful to engage only students willing to participate, asking permission and if they have time to talk. I try to be sensitive to students who are studying or need to go to class. Generally, I receive positive feedback and the conversations are mutually beneficial… At every point during the interview process, I am careful to make sure to respect the other person’s viewpoint and gain permission to share my own before I give it. Many times, I have been thanked by students for be willing to initiate discussion with them about questions avoided by most people.
The dean of students received a copy of this letter and began looking into the incident. While there was a complaint filed on that date, “…there was nothing within the complaint that alluded to coercive tactics or concerns about your approach to students.” The dean immediately reinstated the Ratio Christi club’s freedom to share the Gospel.
Immediate fruits – and real victory
The week that our team members had their freedom of speech reaffirmed by the dean of students, our evangelists led a student into a saving faith with Christ!
Never doubt that the battle for free speech on college campuses over religion isn’t important. In this case, it was the difference in someone’s new life in Christ. Consider supporting Ratio Christi through a prayer
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Do you want to help students love God with all their hearts and minds? You don’t have to be an expert theologian to join Ratio Christi. Find out more about leading a chapter at a local college or university by clicking below.
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Want to help share the Gospel on college campuses but don’t want to lead a chapter? Support Ratio Christi missionaries by donating to Ratio Christi today. Even a few dollars helps our chapter directors to spend more time in the field sharing Christ with university and college students.