Pacific Union College's legal counsel recently asked that Jonathan Henderson's sermon “Adam and Steve” be pulled from the PUC Church Livestream page. The controversial sermon led Wayne Blakely of Know His Love and Coming Out Ministries to respond in "Qualified in the journey: a response to 'Adam and Steve'," which had over 18,000 unique views within weeks of publication. Among other responses, nursing student Gigi. Beckham also responded by writing to PUC President Heather J. Knight, expressing her concern about Henderson's sermon. She published the correspondence on her Facebook profile over two weeks ago.
Dear Dr. Knight, President of Pacific Union College,
I appreciate how you wish to emphasize the “Adventist Advantage” at Pacific Union College. As a current nursing student and parent of two potential PUC students and former staff member, I know you will consider my concerns regarding the influence of the college.
I listened to Jonathan Henderson’s sermon entitled Adam and Steve and can understand the thrust of his message to extend compassion, love, and mercy. However, my understanding from scripture is that God considers homosexuality a sin. Which is good news for He is able to keep us from falling:
Jude 1:24 King James Version (KJV)
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy
Not only that, but the Lord is able to recover those who are in alternative lifestyles:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11King James Version (KJV)
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Pastor Henderson mentioned how some are born with these tendencies. I can understand that. As a nursing student, I have tended to newborns born with narcotic addictions due to the mother’s habit and some are born with a tendency towards alcoholism, but my understanding is that we are all born with sin. But, God is able to give us power to be born again and overcome all inherited and cultivated weaknesses:
John 1:12-13King James Version (KJV)
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
This is what I am teaching my daughters. I did not perceive this teaching in Pastor Henderson’s sermon but rather, quite the opposite, so much so that a confused young person may embrace the homosexual lifestyle as a result of his message.
As a current nursing student and former employee at the Records Office, I have wonderful memories of the events and people here. My daughters and I especially enjoyed the Christmas Banquet for faculty and staff and remember the time you had Open House and enjoyed meeting and conversing with you. Other fond memories include the wonderful Christmas programs presented by the music department and the helpful faculty and staff. Unfortunately, the atmosphere on campus is such that I feel I cannot, in good conscious, encourage my daughters to attend this school. Should they attend here, my concern would be that they would no longer abide by the guidance and principles I felt convicted to teach them.
After listening to Pastor Henderson’s sermon, I felt the time had come to voice my disappointment and concerns and forward them to your office for your records. I appreciate your leadership of the school. The campus is beautiful, but, as a parent, the moral atmosphere of a college takes priority as a factor in choosing a school for my daughters. May the Lord continue to guide you in your work.
Gigi C. Beckham
Thank you for caring enough to write me this note of concern. As you indicated, I have been focused on improving Pacific Union College ever since my arrival here 5 years ago, and indeed, the Lord has blessed us in many ways. I, too, was disappointed with this recent situation, and I am taking steps to counsel with Chaplain Henderson who is a new employee of the College. I hope that we will be able to win back your trust, and that you will see PUC as a wonderful institution to which to send your wonderful daughters at the appropriate time. Please continue to keep me and PUC in your prayers as we continue to fulfill God’s will for us.
Heather J. Knight, Ph.D.
Pacific Union College
One Angwin Avenue
Angwin, Ca. 94508
707 965-6211 office
Dear Dr. Knight,
Thank you Dr. Knight for your response to my concerns. I will consider PUC for my daughters should the Lord so direct. You, and others in leadership on campus are in my thoughts and prayers.
Gigi C. Beckham