America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Seminary Student Expelled for Unorthodox Beliefs
By Josh Schultz
Fullest Theological Seminary student Craig Lee was expelled last week for what the school has described as a “highly unorthodox application and interpretation” of their teachings.
Lee told one of his professors, as well as fellow students, how he had “given God a healing” and that “God was a bit disappointed at how perfect everyone expected her to be.” Lee had apparently asked God why she had created a world with so many problems – to which he got a markedly British response – that she was “just having a bit of a laugh.” Lee said he came to understand the wisdom of problems as “opportunities in disguise.”
And Lee has said that even “more mysteries” were revealed to him during his conversation with the Supreme Being. The incident has caused uproar at what has been an otherwise relatively quiet school. With over 100 different denominations represented in the seminary, Lee’s “self-revelation” and “self-communication” with God have reportedly been called “completely unacceptable” and “dangerous” by the faculty.
Lee has described the incident surrounding the controversy as simply “the obedient understanding of God’s will,” words taken directly from the school’s mission statement – making it difficult for the school to reply without contradicting itself. Changes are, instead, being made more quietly.
The school’s original mission statement said that, “We [the ministers] must take the risks necessary to break fresh ground in ministry and broach new ideas in scholarship.” But that commitment has been recently re-worded to reflect a more cautious stance. It now reads: “We [the ministers] must take the risks necessary to timidly test new waters in ministry and cautiously consider new ideas in scholarship before disregarding them.”
The school’s mission statement also included very clear changes to the line: “we joyfully declare that our faith is grounded in the self-revelation and self-communication of…God” to “we joyfully declare that our faith is grounded in the self-revelation of the bible and self-communication of God through the bible, ministers, faculty, administration, and then through the church.”
Lee is being heavily criticized by some for what is seen as essentially, “cutting out the middle man,” or in this case, men, from the religious equation. After all, if one can rely completely on self-revelation, and one-to-one communication with God, then why would they need to bother to go to church? And according to Lee, God told him personally that “I didn’t think people would fall for that eternal hell stuff; it was supposed to be funny.”
Some are questioning whether Lee’s self-revelation will cause the seminary to revert to the fundamentalist roots it sought so hard to distance itself from. Fullest Theological administrators and ministers have said that the world needs “more men, particularly older ones, taking religion and matters of the church very seriously.” Not enough men are “fighting and dying” over “how serious” their religions are, according to the school’s faculty.
Lee is reportedly in the initial stages of writing a book based on his experiences titled, Walking the Talk: Conversations with Christ. Lee says that he is “spending a lot of time alone in the forest now working with the energy of the Christ force” and that he looks forward to publishing his new book.