Colleges in Chaos: The Consequences of Abandoning Truth - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Well, hello everyone. I'm James Dobson and you're listening to Family Talk, a listener supported ministry. In fact, thank you so much for being part of that support for James Dobson Family Institute.

Roger Marsh: Welcome to Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. Going to college can be a heady experience: newfound freedoms, added commitments and responsibilities. Hopefully, the sharpening of a young person's mind will occur if they experience a higher education that will equip them for a good career. But how is that even possible in today's confused me-first culture, when many universities are forsaking the Big T, truth, so that anybody can simply live out their own convenient interpretation?

Now, we're beginning to see the damage this is causing and in today's classic edition to Family Talk, we'll take a closer look into the indoctrination of our college-ready kids as they are immersed in a flawed belief system promulgated by many liberal universities. We will do this with a real expert on the subject, former college president and active author and speaker, Dr. Everett Piper. Dr. Piper will break down his book, Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth, and he'll be having that conversation with our own Dr. James Dobson.

For 17 years, Dr. Everett Piper served as president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Currently, he's a contributing columnist for the Washington Times. You may have seen Dr. Piper on Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, The 700 Club, or heard him on the radio. Dr. Piper and his wife Marcy have two grown sons and they make their home in Oklahoma. Let's join the conversation right here on Family Talk.

Dr. James Dobson: If you are a parent or a grandparent, you know this, but our young people today are being attacked. Their value system is being vilified on colleges and universities throughout the United States. Students around the nation are being coerced to believe that God, the Bible, and even truth itself is archaic and hateful and should be blotted out from the public square. Students are being deceived by cultural intolerance, which masquerades as tolerance. Any person who disagrees with the ideas of moral relativism are persecuted and ostracized on university grounds.

Now, our guest with me today is speaking out against some of these characteristics of today's universities and colleges, and he's written a book called Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth. The author is Dr. Everett Piper. He is the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, has been for the last 15 years. He's an outspoken advocate of free speech and religious liberty. Today, on Family Talk, we're going to talk about some of the lies that are being told to the next generation and how Christians can educate and train their kids to fight for what is right. Dr. Piper, I am so glad to have you as our guest today.

Dr. Everett Piper: Oh, Dr. Dobson, it's my honor. Thank you so much for having me on your show.

Dr. James Dobson: I have met you, I'm sure, at some conference along the way, but I certainly know you and know of you and know what you stand for and know your commitment to truth and your willingness to take the heat for saying some of the things that you've written in this book.

I'm going to ask you to begin our conversation today by telling us what happened with a student, who was in one of your chapel services at your college, and he didn't like it. From that, came this book. You need to tell us that story.

Dr. Everett Piper: Well, let me set the context here. Oklahoma Wesleyan University is boldly and unapologetically conservative and Christian. We stand for four things. You cannot enroll at Oklahoma Wesleyan University for not knowing what those four things are. We stand for the primacy of Jesus Christ, Jesus is the Son of God; the priority of Scripture, Scripture is the Word of God; the pursuit of truth, truth is given by God, it isn't made up by you or me; and then the practice of wisdom, holiness, sanctification, obedience is demanded by God. It isn't optional.

We say these things constantly in our four color brochures, in our marketing. You cannot come to my campus without knowing that we stand for the primacy of Christ, the priority of Scripture, the pursuit of truth, and the practice of wisdom. But yet, in spite of that, two years ago during a required chapel service, just before Thanksgiving, the chapel speaker chose to speak on 1 Corinthians 13.

Dr. James Dobson: It was not you.

Dr. Everett Piper: It wasn't me. It was a different speaker. It was one of my vice presidents. I wasn't in chapel that day, but afterwards he called me. He said, "Dr. Piper, I just want to give you a heads-up. We had one of our students approach me after chapel and play the victimization card on me." I said, "What?" He said, "Yeah. He came up and said he was offended by my sermon and he felt singled out and he felt his peers had been singled out and made to feel uncomfortable." I said, "Well, what was your topic?" He said, "1 Corinthians 13." I said, "What? 1 Corinthians 13? Give me a copy of your text," because I know the speaker always uses a text. He never ad libs. So, I read the text of his sermon, verbatim, no political humor, no sarcasm, a simple 15-minute homily on love. But yet, I had a student who came-

Dr. James Dobson: That's not one of the more controversial things in Scripture.

Dr. Everett Piper: Probably, the least controversial Bible passage that we could find in our modern times. "Love is patient, love is kind." Everybody's had it read at their wedding, but yet I've got a kid who says he's uncomfortable with it and offended by it. I was incredulous. So, I used my weekly op-ed in the local newspaper to confront the situation.

I essentially said this, "Young man, that feeling of discomfort you had when you heard that sermon, it's called your conscience. You might want to attend to it and if you expect us to coddle you rather than confront you, if you expect us to make you feel comfortable rather than confront your character, you're at the wrong place. We're not going to issue trigger warnings before alter calls. We expect you to actually grow up here because this is a university. It's not a daycare."

Well, as the result of writing that article, within two weeks it had gone viral. Three and a half million people had read it. Drudge and Drear and Limbaugh and Beck and O'Reilly and Fox and Friends and newspapers in Canada and Great Britain were covering it.

Dr. James Dobson: Even the large networks-

Dr. Everett Piper: Absolutely.

Dr. James Dobson: Covered it.

Dr. Everett Piper: This story was listed in 2015 as one of the top 10 news stories of the year with NBC Today.

Dr. James Dobson: What does that tell you about the culture?

Dr. Everett Piper: Well, it tells you something very clear because what I just said is not all that scholarly. That commentary that I just offered is not all that deep. It's not scholarly. It's not based in the academy. This is just good sound advice that any good parent or grandparent has been giving to their children for the last several hundred years, and that is this, no pain, no gain.

Life comes with some conflict and some dissonance. So, we want you to feel that confrontation. We want you to experience it, and we want you to grow up as the result. By saying that life isn't a daycare, that isn't all that complicated. That shouldn't be all that controversial. In fact, I would argue that because so many people were interested in it, it just proves the point.

Dr. James Dobson: Yes.

Dr. Everett Piper: Common sense is needed today and even the secular world welcomes it. As you know, the Wesleyan tradition of higher education has always considered the mission field to be on campus as well as off-campus.

Dr. James Dobson: Yes.

Dr. Everett Piper: If I get a kid who says, "I am not a Christian, I'm not born again, but yet I will respect your four principles, the primacy of Christ, the priority of Scripture, the pursuit of truth, and the practice of wisdom," we will admit that kid. In fact-

Dr. James Dobson: Even if he is not an avowed Christian?

Dr. Everett Piper: Exactly. Two weeks ago, we had 40 kids accept Christ in a Fellowship for Christian Athletes meeting on our campus. 40 kids accepted Christ on our campus. 35 of them got baptized in the campus pond a week later.

Dr. James Dobson: Is that right?

Dr. Everett Piper: That's a success to have those kids come to my campus and be exposed to the truth of Christ and the truth of Scripture, because unfortunately today, Dr. Dobson, as you well know, our culture is not sharing that truth with them, our country is not fond of that truth any longer, and when it all comes down to it, even some of our churches aren't preaching that truth any longer. Find me a college that is going to be committed to those basic truths. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. Those colleges hardly exist any longer.

Dr. James Dobson: You preach that in your chapels?

Dr. Everett Piper: Absolutely.

Dr. James Dobson: You're not holding anything back with regard to the gospel?

Dr. Everett Piper: If you come to my campus, you are going to see those four pillars, the primacy of Christ, the priority of Scripture, the pursuit of truth, and the practice of wisdom everywhere. It's in our architecture, in the pillars of the library, in the columns on the School of Business. It says, "Christ, Scripture, truth, wisdom." You can't come on my campus without recognizing the priorities of our mission statement. This institution believes in the primacy of Christ, the priority of Scripture, the pursuit of truth, and the practice of wisdom. It's who we are.

Dr. James Dobson: You have no coed housing?

Dr. Everett Piper: No, that's not going to happen.

Dr. James Dobson: What do you do with homosexuality?

Dr. Everett Piper: We believe that the Bible is accurate and true in all that it teaches, from Genesis to Revelation, and we believe that the biblical ethic for sexual identity and sexual morality is clear and unequivocal. In other words, I believe that women are real. I don't believe their fantasies are fabrications.

Dr. James Dobson: That's one of the chapters in your book.

Dr. Everett Piper: Absolutely.

Dr. James Dobson: Women are real and you believe in women.

Dr. Everett Piper: Exactly. We actually are not science deniers. We teach biology. We teach physiology. We teach genetics. We believe that the female is a biological fact. She's not a fabrication or a fantasy of a dysphoric male that wants to raise his hand on a given day and say, "I'm a woman." How can you possibly be pro-woman and deny the reality of the female? You can't. This is the upside-down nature of our secular culture today, when I'm actually getting letters from the Department of Education demanding that under the auspices of Title IX, I start providing transgender accommodations on my campus.

Well, as you know, Title IX is a 1972 law that requires that we give women equal access to the athletic field and programs and facilities. Well, I wrote a letter back to the DOE and I said, "No, we will not provide transgender accommodations on our campus, and here's why. At Oklahoma Wesleyan University, women are real. We believe in the biological fact of the female, and how in the world would I possibly be able to comply with Title IX, which says I'm supposed to give women equal access to stuff, if I now do what you're telling me to do and deny that women are real? I could not do that. So, Mr. Government, my answer is no." Do you know what the response was? We got an exemption. They said, "Okay."

Dr. James Dobson: Did that surprise you?

Dr. Everett Piper: No, and here's why. If people would step forward into these cultural debates and speak firmly and clearly with confidence and courage, I believe common sense still wins. How can you refute what I said? How can Title IX have any veracity or any meaning whatsoever if we now start pretending that women are nothing but a social construct as opposed to a biological fact? In other words, Obama and his bureaucrats sidestepped Congress and legislative process and issued these "Dear Colleague" letters. Well, that isn't law. That's a letter. I don't have to comply with that.

But what they did is they threatened colleges and universities with the loss of their Title IX and Title IV recognition if they didn't comply, which would mean you'd lose eligibility for student loans. You would lose eligibility for Pell grants. That's why all the colleges were scrambling. We said, "No, we will not comply." We said, "This is inconsistent with Title IX, which requires women be honored, rather than disregarded and disrespected and told that they're nothing but leprechauns and unicorns, they're make-believe, they don't exist. We're not going to do that." So, what did we do? We simply said, "No," and we received an exemption from the federal government, the Department of Education, as a result.

Dr. James Dobson: Oh, what about the accreditation committees and those that determine whether or not you're entitled to that?

Dr. Everett Piper: Well, I'm accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association, and in one review that we received recently, one of the first questions I was asked when they came to my campus was with a bit of defiance, "So, you don't admit homosexuals?" My response was, "Wait a second. I think the premise to your question is wrong. If you're defining a person by virtue of his inclinations, if you're suggesting that a person's identity is nothing but the sum total of what they're inclined to do, we reject that very presupposition here."

At Oklahoma Wesleyan University, you're the Imago Dei, you're not the Imago Dog. You're the image of God. You're not the image of an animal. You can rise above your inclinations and be something bigger and better than what you're inclined to do. In fact, all of us should resist some of the inclinations that we have in life. That's what makes us morally culpable human beings. We're not defined by our desires at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. We expect people to behave biblically.

Dr. James Dobson: If that were not true, then a heterosexual couple would have sex because that's who they are. That's who God made them to be, and therefore they're expressing themselves.

Dr. Everett Piper: Absolutely. If all-

Dr. James Dobson: I don't know how you can have one without the other, and I don't hear pastors talking about that. Those who take a liberal view of homosexuality look at the heterosexual and say nothing, but the truth of the matter is if it applies in one case, it applies to the other.

Dr. Everett Piper: It's the slippery slope and you're spot on, that if you believe in sexual licentiousness, if you believe in sexual license rather than sexual morality, if you believe that sex is nothing but recreation, if it's nothing but consumption, if you will, then your attitude toward all sexual behavior, all sexual decisions is going to follow suit. So, whether it's homosexuality or heterosexuality or whether it's incest or whether it's bigamy, whether it's polygamy or whatever sexual appetite you may have has to be sanctioned. If all sex is is a recreational choice, I reject that. That is not biblical. It's not even logical. Sex is a moral discussion. Otherwise, we wouldn't be seeing these things in the newspaper that we see all the time in terms of sexual-

Dr. James Dobson: So-

Dr. Everett Piper: Harassment and sexual assault.

Dr. James Dobson: If a student came to your school, and I'm sure this happens regularly, and says, "I have homosexual tendencies, but I'm celibate. I'm trying to serve the Lord and I behave with regard to my sexuality the way a heterosexual who is Christian is trying to behave," would you accept them?

Dr. Everett Piper: Absolutely, but I would suggest this. You know, even Gore Vidal. Gore Vidal, who as you know and the listeners should know, was rabidly pro-homosexual behavior when he debated Bill Buckley and otherwise. Gore Vidal was a very sexually hedonistic man. Gore Vidal said this, "There is no more such thing as a homosexual person than there is a heterosexual person. These things are behavioral adjectives."

Even Gore Vidal admitted that the discussion of homosexuality is a behavioral adjective, it is not a human identity. I think that's really where the church has lost it today. We have failed to remind culture that human beings are made in the image of God. They are the Imago Dei, the image of God. They're not the Imago Dog. We do not have to subscribe to our every appetite, inclination, and instinct. Human beings can rise above that and behave differently.

Dr. James Dobson: In fact, we're called to do that-

Dr. Everett Piper: We're demanding.

Dr. James Dobson: In every area of our lives.

Dr. Everett Piper: Not only biblically, but culturally. What society can exist if the human being doesn't have some sense of moral restraint?

Dr. James Dobson: Well, that's powerfully said. All right, let's go back to that student who was offended by what he heard in chapel and your editorial has led to your new book.

Dr. Everett Piper: Yes, Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth. The premise to the book is basically this, "Without big laws, you don't get liberty. You get thousands of little laws that rush in to fill the vacuum." That's G.K. Chesterton. He told us that when you get rid of the big laws of God, you don't get liberty. You get thousands of little laws, reams upon reams of government imposed little laws, that rush in to fill the vacuum.

Today as a culture, as a college, as the ivory tower, we can't live with 10 simple laws any longer. Jesus narrowed it down to two. We can't live with 10 or two any longer. So, what do we get? Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of man-made little laws that restrict us and actually take away our freedom rather than enhance our freedom. We end up with ideological fascism rather than academic freedom at the end of the day. The proof is look at Berkeley.

Berkeley fancies itself as the birthplace of the free speech movement. Berkeley isn't the birthplace of free speech, Bethlehem is. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." With truth, you have freedom. Without truth, you have this fascism that's prevailing in the nightly news from Berkeley to Brown, where kids are protesting any idea they don't like, usually a conservative Christian idea. They're shutting it down and they're saying the speaker is unwelcome and verboten simply because he challenged them with an idea that might cause them to feel uncomfortable.

Dr. James Dobson: Make some comments about today's millennial generation. What is your observation? I know you can't paint everybody with the same brush.

Dr. Everett Piper: Well, I would argue, Dr. Dobson, that we've created a monster. When I say we, I would argue the parents and the grandparents of today's millennial generation have created a monster and it's turning around to bite us.

Dr. James Dobson: By doing what?

Dr. Everett Piper: By teaching them terrible ideas that life is about them rather than about others, that somehow self-actualization is the goal of the church and the academy rather than confession. In other words, we've taught this generation to look into the mirror and to be infatuated with the God they see in the mirror, as opposed to honoring the God they see in the Bible, and then what we have is a selfish generation that expects every wish, every feeling, every whim, every opinion to be honored and we're surprised by it.

In other words, how many times have you heard, and you've confronted it in your ministry, what I will call the whateverism of our culture? Where your kids or your grandkids will look at you and say, "Whatever, it doesn't matter what you believe as long as it works for you"? Well, that's nonsense. What worked for Pol Pot and Hitler and Mao and Mussolini may not be something that's all that good for the rest of the people that had to suffer and their bad ideas. This whateverism of our culture that's led to this millennial generation celebrating their feelings, rather than wanting to ground their lives and their education in facts, was inevitable.

We taught them this. The helicopter generation, the helicopter mom and helicopter dad, taught these kids, again, that the God they see in the mirror is more important than the God they see in the Bible. Therefore, they're worshiping that God. As Narcissus gazed into the pool, infatuated with his own image, these kids are gazing into the pool of themselves. They're going to slip and fall in and drown. That is absurd. We know that life doesn't work that way. We know that opinions are not the end of our existence.

I'm fond of saying at Oklahoma Wesleyan University that when you graduate from my college, I'm not going to give you a degree in opinions. I'm not going to give you a diploma that says you majored in opinions. In fact, when you graduate, I don't care what your opinion is, and I don't want you to care that much about mine. I hope you actually learned something. If you're a nurse, I hope you learned how to administer medication on the basis of what's true. Not your opinion, what's true, because if you didn't, you're dangerous. Stay away from me. If you're-

Dr. James Dobson: What did you mean by saying you're not going to coddle them?

Dr. Everett Piper: Well, you have an opinion. It may be wrong. I'm not going to coddle you in your opinion, I'm going to confront you with the truth. Isn't that what good education is supposed to be about?

Dr. James Dobson: Of course.

Dr. Everett Piper: The pursuit of truth rather than the perpetuation of your feelings and your opinions. If all you get out of education is an opinion, you wasted your money. You were coddled. If you actually understand something that's true because you were confronted with the facts, then that's good education.

Dr. James Dobson: But most universities don't believe in truth.

Dr. Everett Piper: No.

Dr. James Dobson: There is no absolute truth.

Dr. Everett Piper: No.

Dr. James Dobson: The students come out believing that too.

Dr. Everett Piper: It's absolutely true there is no truth. It's self-refuting.

Dr. James Dobson: It is.

Dr. Everett Piper: It's like saying, "I can't tolerate-"

Dr. James Dobson: It's contradictory in itself.

Dr. Everett Piper: How many times? "I can't tolerate your intolerance," "I hate you hateful people," "I'm sure that nothing is sure," "I'm absolutely confident there are no absolutes." This stuff is nonsense. It's self-refuting at every turn. They're sawing off the branch upon which they sit. It's our obligation to help them and make sure that that lie is confronted.

Dr. James Dobson: Well, I tell you, I'm convinced that some radio programs go by faster than others. This one has been on a breakneck pace because I've appreciated so much what you've had to say. Our guest has been Dr. Everett Piper, the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and the title of his book is, Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth.

Man, I began reading this yesterday and you couldn't put it down, but I did because I ran out of time. But this is a book that listeners and especially our parents and grandparents should read because there are implications here for how you raise kids and young adults and how you relate to them. There's more here, however, that we need to talk about, and if you'll be with us tomorrow, we will continue it.

Dr. Everett Piper: Absolutely. I'm honored to be part of your program.

Dr. James Dobson: Let's pick up right here next time.

Dr. Everett Piper Thank you.

Roger Marsh: Yes, we should confront the lies of the enemy indeed. But we as Christians sometimes struggle with confrontation when we see our own beliefs called into question. So, how do we train up our young people to be bold in their faith and conviction when outnumbered or in a new environment where they feel insecure or vulnerable? Dr. Piper and Dr. Dobson sure seem to have some of the answers, and that was just part one of their conversation. Be sure to join us again tomorrow for part two, as Dr. Everett Piper and our own Dr. James Dobson will provide more answers for a young person's dilemma and discuss how millennials are falsely taught that truth is not absolute.

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Make your check payable to the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, or if it's easier, just make it out to Family Talk or The JDFI. Again, our ministry mailing address is The Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, P.O. Box 39000, Colorado Springs, Colorado, the zip code, 80949. I'm Roger Marsh. Be sure to join us again tomorrow for part two and the conclusion of a powerful conversation featuring Dr. Dobson and Dr. Everett Piper as they share timeless truth and sage advice to help millennials and young adults. That's right here tomorrow on the next edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. Till then, have a blessed day.

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