Dr. Horton’s Comments During Chapel Service on November 25th, 1996

All right, there’s a problem that’s come up that I need to speak to you about, but first I want to say that I agree we’ve had, have a great student body, in fact, the best in the country. We’re thrilled to see you develop in maturity, academically and spiritually.

Now, I need to say several things to all of you to help you keep a right perspective about life and about PCC. I’ve heard guest speakers state that if they receive [a] critical letter that is anonymous they just trash it. Christian school administrators have asked me what to do with critical correspondence that is anonymous, and I always say – trash it. If the person doesn’t have the courage to sign his name, then he has a problem, and what he has to say is probably worthless, twisted or a lie. I am reminded that Satan
always likes to be anonymous by disguising himself when he tempts us with his lies. He comes as an angel of light and mixes truth with just enough error with truth to mislead us.

Another thing I want you to remember, that as you mature in life you will occasionally run into ego-centered people who set themselves up as judges, who become busybodies about other men’s matters. They always know best how to operate an institution, a church, a business or whatever, even though they have no experience. In Christian circles they quote their opinions in pious words and phrases, but remember, the devil also sugarcoats his lies, deceptions and twisted reasoning; and as young people you need to be aware
that the devil hates every work of God that stands for truth and righteousness, and he tries in every possible way to undermine and destroy God’s Word. The devil always works through people just as God works through people.

Now I need to share with you a recent attack that satan is making on this institution. We’re accustomed to satan’s attacks. We’ve had them over the years. I’m thankful that God always works them out for His glory, and it’s wonderful to be on God’s side. There is an off-campus, anonymous person whom I shall refer to as “Mr. X,” who claims to be a PCC graduate. He is soliciting students, faculty, and alumni to help him tear down PCC by word, innuendo and a twisted doctrine of authority. A few of our college students are following him. You need to be aware of this, for they are working to get more followers.

This came to my attention through some who were concerned about his tactics, and I was given a copy of his e-mail, called “StudentV,” in which Mr. X sets himself up as the leader to judge the authority of the PCC administration in operating Pensacola Christian College. In doing so, he piously promotes rebellion against the policies of the college, and he twists the truth to put PCC in a bad light, to stir up discord on campus.

Pensacola Christian is not a perfect college and has never claimed to be perfect, because we have an imperfect president, an imperfect administration, an imperfect faculty and staff as well as an imperfect student body. We have made many changes over the years and shall continue to do so as changes are needed. We always welcome constructive suggestions, but when people try to move us from the Christian approach that we feel God wants us to have, we balk at that. Our response is – go start your own college, and run it the way you like, but by. . . [Student’s laugh] but by God’s help you’re not going to run PCC! My guess is Mr. X is not interested in building anything, but rather his interest is tearing down and destroying what God has built.

It is [garbled recording] through the years a majority of our students have indicated that one of the reasons they chose PCC was because of high Christian standards. Mr. X wants PCC to be more like secular colleges, but PCC does not have to be like other colleges or organizations. Our distinctive [sic] is that we are different. It is great that America allows us the freedom to choose to be different. Students are free to choose to come to PCC, and any student can choose to leave any time. If a student doesn’t like PCC there are other Christian colleges or secular colleges he can go to. But PCC will not retain students who promote a spirit of division, discord or rebellion. It is not pleasing to God, nor will it be tolerated.

Each semester in [the] registration process each student signs a statement that he has read the Student Handbook, and he signs his signature as he promises that he will abide by the policies and be in harmony with the spirit of Pensacola Christian College. When a student does not wish to abide by the policies, nor be in harmony with the spirit of this campus, he should leave. At the beginning of each semester a few new students drop out after a couple days or a week. They realize PCC is not for them. We respect their decision. They do the honorable thing – they withdraw from PCC; whereas, a student who signs a statement and continues to stay on semester after semester and then decides he wants to change the college to his liking is not acting honorably nor Biblically. If he is disgruntled he should withdraw and go to a college he can agree with.

Suppose one day you get a job, but later you realize you don’t like the job too well, but you continue working there. Then one day you decide to join in with others to undermine and destroy the business. That’s not honorable, that’s devilish. I Samuel 15:23 states that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. . . .” In other words. . . in other words, God considers rebellion as bad as witchcraft.

As I read some of Mr. X’s underground “StudentV” that he sends out, I notice that he greatly misleads his followers regarding authority. He stresses his opinion that any authority that does not come from God, which means it is not specified in the Bible, is illegitimate and invalid, an to him means it does not have to be obeyed. His rationale is [garbled recording] the policies of PCC do not have to be obeyed because they are illegitimate.

Let’s look at Mr. X’s concept of authority in an example situation of life: since it is not recorded in Scripture that God gave authority to sports organizations, thus any authority in the area of sports, according to Mr. X, is illegitimate and invalid. Therefore, no one really has to obey game rules and regulations because God never gave authority to athletic organizations. Now, wouldn’t that be something? [Students laugh] That means any player could refuse to abide by the rules a referee calls and could legitimately rebel in any area of sports. The same would be true of all kinds of organizations such as the local symphony organizations, boy scouts, red cross and yes, private colleges. Mr. X puts PCC in that category. His underlying thought is PCC has no given authority for college policies. All I can say is
that people who would follow his twisted thinking, then all the organizations, schools and private colleges across America could soon be in anarchy, which then would force the government to control those areas. Mr. X has a twisted, pious approach to nullify authority specifically at PCC.

Now I want to say a word regarding students not having devotions in or outside the commons, which is the busiest, most trafficked area on campus. Matthew 16:5,6 [sic] says, “when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut [thy] door, pray to thy Father which is in secret;
and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Jesus told his disciples not to do their praying and devotions in the busiest public areas, because it would tempt some to show off their spirituality among others. So Jesus commanded His disciples when they prayed – that is their devotions – to go into a closet and shut the door and then pray in secret.

Therefore, on the basis of Matthew 6:5,6 we have said students should not have their devotions in or outside the commons. We are certainly not against prayer or Bible reading. We believe in it so much that we built rooms in the residence halls so students could pray as in Matthew 6:6 – enter into thy closet and shut the door and pray to thy Father in secret, and we have said that couples who want to have devotions should go to the social hall where there is a semi-private atmosphere. Let me clarify – students in or outside the commons may read a Bible or discuss Bible verses with friends – this is not having devotions; there is quite a difference.

Now, let me state what StudentV reader, Mr. X says regarding our policy of not having devotions in the commons area, and I quote, “This is the most blatant abuse of authority that we have seen anywhere in a long time. This is so bogus and blatantly offensive to the very essence of Christianity, that if it is still a rule we encourage all of you to pair up with someone of the opposite sex and open your Bible in defiance of this blatantly tyrannical rule,” unquote. Now, here Mr. X teaches rebellion against PCC and against the principle that our Lord Jesus taught in Matthew 6:6. It was God that directed and led me to start PCC 23 years ago to teach young people how to live by the Word of God; yet this rebellious Mr. X evidently doesn’t know Matthew 6:6 and it’s practical application, and therefore judges this Biblical principle to be wrong, and he openly teaches rebellion.

If any of you are inclined to follow him, you need to know he is a rebel at heart. Mr. X’s main thrust in his underground “StudentV” is that PCC’s rules do not have God’s authority behind them; therefore, they are illegitimate and invalid, and therefore they do not have to be obeyed. He wants students to rise up and defy the college. If his reasoning was in harmony with the Word of God rather than twisted, he would advocate peaceful solutions to perceived problems rather than rebellion. If a student has a question about a policy, he should go to a dean and discuss his concern. There are right and peaceful ways to address concerns which please God, but Mr. X’s methods are against the Word of God.

Proverbs 6:16-19 says, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look” – that is one who thinks he knows more than he really does – “a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, [An] heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that discord, [sic] that soweth discord among the brethren.” We do not want anyone who stirs up controversy nor spreads discord on this campus, and we don’t believe God wants them here.

In my opinion, Mr. X desires to remain anonymous because his deeds are evil. John 3:19 says, “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. I realize that most of you are totally unaware of this problem, but I’m glad for that. But Mr. X and his followers want all of you to join them in protesting against PCC. I am instructing the dean’s and their staff to be highly sensitive, especially regarding participating or involvement in the underground “StudentV,” which is a means of protest against PCC. Those actively participating and involved in the underground “StudentV” will be dealt with according to the Student Handbook, page 36, and I quote, “participating in unauthorized petition, demonstration, protest or riot – 150 demerits.” I suggest very strongly that you stay away from any involvement
with “StudentV.” If you know of anyone actively involved in this protest, you are responsible to report it to a residence manager – Dean Ohman or Ms. Crook so it can be dealt with.

I thought it was important to mention these things to you today so you can be aware of this and not be caught off guard. As I said at the beginning, the devil likes to do his work under cover, but God’s way is to bring things out in the light to expose them to His truth, and that’s what I’ve done today, and you can help us with that. We are having a good semester, and we think we can continue to have a great year, and I thank you. Now I’ve asked Dr. Mutsch to come and share some Biblical principles regarding rebellion.

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