Enclave Christendom. Erskine College. Reformed Presbyterian

The board of trustees at Erskine College, South Carolina, has taken a step that many conservative Christian institutions are likely to take in coming years. Historically, Christians have existed in society either as (1) rulers, where Christians held political power, (2) free participants, where Christians did not hold political power but interacted with a society that largely shared their values, or (3) as enclave Christians, where Christians were an alienated minority or were dominated politically or culturally by those hostile to Christianity.

For example, after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Christians adopted an enclave approach with churches and monasteries functioning as enclaves within the society and literally structured like fortresses. Enclave Christianity developed also under the spread of Islam. The Islamic conquerors at first depended on Christians to participate in governance but later oppressed Christians through taxation and eventually violence. A form of enclave Christianity developed after the Scopes Trials in the United States. Conservative Protestants felt alienated from broader American society but later reemerged as a powerful social force in the rise of American Evangelicalism after World War II and in such groups as the Moral Majority Coalition (1979) and the Christian Coalition (founded 1989). As western culture grows more hostile to conservative Christian teaching and practice, institutions for these will likely transition from acting as free participants in society to acting as enclave Christians.


College adopts policy against homosexuality

In a statement adopted Feb. 20, Erskine College has effectively banned homosexual behavior on its campus. And the move appears to be in response to two male volleyball players coming out last year. The Due West, S.C., school will now abide by a “Statement on Human Sexuality” adopted by the college’s Board of Trustees and Student Services and Athletic Committee, according to The Washington Post. In March of last year, Drew Davis and Juan Varona, two Erskine volleyball players, were featured in an article published on OutSports, in which the athletes officially came out as gay. Following the article’s appearance, the Division II team went on to the NCCA tournament.


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