Destruction from hurricanes in September 2017. North Korea’s nuclear threats. The NFL controversy. As we live our lives and seek safety and identity, we have our family roots and university community and hopefully a church home to shelter and guide us. Summit on the ACU campus aids in this by annually providing a focus on who we are in God through lessons from the Word.
As we listened to speakers in special Chapels and classes, we were reminded that ultimately our identity is not that we are Wildcats. Nor is it that we are Americans. If you have put on Christ, then first and last you are a Christian and are led by the Spirit and by Scripture, as the Bible informs us.
So whether we read from Deuteronomy (this year’s Summit theme book) or from Romans, we are built up and reminded as Romans 12 tells us, “to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
However, one of the Summit theme presentations, as recently reminded by an Optimist op-ed, asked us to consider our identity and relationships in a different way. That Summit theme talk proposed that churches treat LGBT relationships as they do heterosexual relationships. Part of the justification for this change was that these persons have simply decided to love someone of the same gender.
This is in contradiction to what God teaches for us.
At this Christian institution of higher learning, many years of conversations and education and assistance regarding sexual stewardship have occurred. We realize that our students live in a sex-saturated culture, and in a country where the legalities regarding same-gendered relationships have changed and changed again.
Over the course of the past year in particular, this topic has been examined by our board of trustees. The board has announced that it affirms the dignity of all people and recognizes that some persons have same-sex attraction. The trustees have also stated their belief Scripture teaches that God intends for sexual relations be reserved for marriage between two persons of different genders — a man and a woman. The administration has now facilitated the creation of a student support and dialogue group on campus. I am confident the conversations at ACU regarding sexuality will remain respectful.
Read Romans 1. Hopefully you’ll read all the Book of Romans. And when you come to Chapter 16, you’ll see the community of believers living out their encouragement and love for each other within God’s will at a time of great turbulence, emperors, gladiators, and debauchery. There was also slavery, underage marriage, polygamy and homosexuality.
Let us remain on this campus, but more importantly in our lives, conformed to Scripture and confident in the God revealed there.