News / Edmonton

Camrose school division could cut ties with Christian academy over bible tiff

Battle River School Division asked Cornerstone Christian Academy Society to remove two bible verses from handbook revisions.

File / Hamilton Spectator

The Battle River School Division southeast of Edmonton could cut ties with one of its member schools Thursday following a disagreement over bible scripture.

The Cornerstone Christian Academy Society in Kingman claims the Camrose-based school division is overstepping its boundaries, after trustees asked the academy to remove two pieces of scripture from revisions to its student handbook.

The passages include 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, which states, “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

“We asked them to not include it, but perhaps use a different piece of scripture, said Diane Hutchinson with the Battle River School Division.

“There is a lot of love in the word of God. We were concerned about that specific piece of scripture, given today’s legislation and sensitive environment.”

Hutchinson said recent changes to provincial human rights legislation were part of the reason for concern over the two passages, as they could be seen as "targeting vulnerable minorities.”

Cornerstone agreed to drop the verses, but the society’s board chair Deanna Margel now fears Battle River wants to limit what bible verses they can teach, and that they will bar certain passages from the classroom if they could be deemed offensive to anyone.

“It’s a restriction on freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, it’s a violation of our constitutional freedom in Canada,” Margel said.

Both sides said they had a good relationship before the controversy.

Battle River will discuss the topic at a meeting Thursday, which Hutchinson said will either result in an agreement being reached, or Battle River dissolving its relationship with the academy.

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The two verses that the Cornerstone Christian Academy proposed for a revision of its handbook, which the Battle River School Division asked it to remove:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Galatians 5:19-24

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Passages copied from the New International Version (NIV) at biblegateway.com

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