A student who questioned Wheaton College’s stance on homosexuality was reportedly attacked with an apple at a weekly Town Hall Chapel meeting. TIME magazine reports that the Philip Fillion, a senior at the Christian college, was hit in the shoulder with an apple after he asked Wheaton’s president asked about the institution’s treatment of LGBT individuals.
Fillion, who is a heterosexual and married asked, “Why is it the case that our college, in documents we all must agree to or be expelled, insists on formally condemning and denying equality to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, on spurious theological grounds, yet completely leaves behind baptism and Eucharist, which Jesus Christ himself instituted to grow and strengthen the Christian community?”
In the middle of his question, another student through the apple, though Wheaton president Philip Ryken did not see the exchange.
Fillion told TIME, “There was no response when the fruit was thrown. No boos, no gasp. A student was in line after me and when it was his turn to ask a question, he began his time at the microphone by calling out whoever had thrown the fruit, remarking that such behavior was inappropriate and disrespectful. There was restrained applause for this.”
After the incident, a letter appeared on a student bulletin board which claimed to be written by the student who threw the apple.
The note read, “Dear Enemy, In regards to ‘casting a stone,’ you would be mistaken to think that I threw the apple out of hatred. I have strong aim and could hit a head at fifteen meters if I wanted to. No, I threw it purposefully as a warning against insulting the Spirit of grace. Because Truth itself was maligned. For the destruction of those who ‘have the form of godliness but deny its power’ was written about long ago. And in regards to the story of the adulteress, have you not read what Jesus told the woman, ‘God now and leave your life of sin.’ ? So neither do I condemn you, but do fear God and live in righteousness! Do not choose destruction.”
The letter was signed, “Not ashamed of Truth, Roland Hesse.”
Wheaton College is investigating the incident further, after student Justin Massey, who founded LGBT student group Refuge, told administrators that he no longer felt safe on campus.
Publication date: March 2, 2015