The first time I heard of Dr. Margaret Aymer was over three years ago when she walked up to the Voices of Orthodox Women’s booth at a Presbyterian Women’s gathering and verbally attacked a friend of mine, for no particular reason. That is, my friend had neither said nor written anything about her. The second time I heard about Aymer was when she attacked the Fellowship of Presbyterians and a letter they had written. I wrote about that here "Margaret Aymer's "About Your Invitation"
And then there is the Bible Study, Confessing the Beatitudes, she prepared for Presbyterian Women. While this study won an award from the Associated Church Press, it is nonetheless an unacceptable Bible study for orthodox women. As VOW wrote in their review:
Aymer does not take the context of the Scripture seriously. Nor does she use first century documentation. Instead, the context Aymer wants us to take seriously for the Beatitudes is a context constructed and imposed by Twentieth and Twenty-First Century socio-politico categories of “honor–shame” and “Empire.” She does this by looking at the context through the lens of liberation theology as well as an economic political document entitled the Accra Confession produced by the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.  Because of this she does not set forth the clear and plain sense of the passage, nor does she give a fair assessment of why the text was written. (Link mine)And now Aymer is deeply involved in a battle for free speech in the context of a religious university. World On Campus’s Leigh Jones has written an article entitled “New Testament prof. fired for orthodox beliefs,” with the subtitle, “Atlanta-based coalition of historically black seminaries punishes Dead Sea Scrolls expert over his adherence to biblical teachings.” Reformed Pastor David Fischler with Stand Firm uses Jones article to highlight the growing lack of intolerance toward the orthodox among academic advocates for LGBT rights in his article, Punishing Heresy in the New Sexual Orthodoxy.
Both writers explain that Professor Jamal-Dominique Hopkins has been dismissed mainly because he invited an InterVarsity professor to speak to his group of conservative students on campus. The speaker, Dr. Alice Brown-Collins, director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's Black Campus Ministries in the New England Region, gave a student a book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice, by Robert Gagnon. Dr. Aymer, when she became aware of the event and the book appears to have been very offended. As Jones writes:
The next day, Hopkins' department chair grilled him about the meeting, the book and his association with InterVarsity, an evangelical Christian campus ministry. The whole situation violated ITC's [Interdenominational Theological Center] code of ethics, which pledges the school's commitment to a diversity that includes sexual orientation, Dr. Margaret Aymer told Hopkins. When he rose to leave, Aymer warned him he had put his job at risk.Jones also writes:
Three months later, the school dismissed Hopkins, who has filed a discrimination complaint against ITC with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Hopkins hopes to resolve his dispute with ITC without going to court. But school officials refused to participate in a mediation session requested by the EEOC, which opened an investigation into Hopkins' discrimination claims. ITC also faces an unrelated investigation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools over a lack of compliance with accreditation requirements. (Link placed here mine.)Fischler adds to the information “Aymer preached at the recently concluded Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly, and has been a resource person for the denomination’s Advocacy Committee for Racial and Ethnic Concerns.” He also provides a newspaper link with additional information, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
This growing intolerance of those whose views are biblically grounded is frightening to say the least. Americans and in particular Christians tend to think of the educational system as one of the more liberal and free institutions in a democracy. But it may be that the time has arrived when being politically correct will far outweigh the integrity of allowing freedom of speech. But Christians, educators and all, must still stand for biblical truth no matter the cost.
As Jones points out the university where Aymer is a professor has many conservative black students. Their world view is a biblical world view. We are all called to lift up and minister to the sheep of His pasture despite the difficulties.
1.“Unity or Unanimity at Reformed Council?” by Jordan Ballor at Acton Institute http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2010/06/16/unity-or-unanimity-reformed-council
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