By Steve Holt, Opinion Editor
Many ACU students have the wrong perspective about Chapel and the new policies regarding absences. The student handbook describes Chapel as a “valuable spiritual discipline.”
And it is.
It is truly remarkable to witness over half the university’s population coming together in worship (if one so desires). At the most basic level, Chapel is a required and planned break during the day, which students and faculty are asked to attend. Don’t we all need a break in the middle of the day?
Lord knows I do.
I can think of no better way to spend this time away from the cares of collegiate life than in praise and prayer to our Lord. What’s more, I can honestly say I would not go to many Chapels if they were made optional-I can always think of one more thing that needs to be done. But on countless occasions, a song or talk has lifted me up and made me appreciate our Lord and the Chapel service through which I saw him. Undoubtedly, many hearts are touched in Chapel that wouldn’t be, had Chapel been voluntary.
But most students know all this. We have been hearing it all semester. So what should we say about these harsh new policies regarding Chapel absences?
I agree with the absence policy. Check that-I should say I do not fear the absence policy because it doesn’t apply to me. And it shouldn’t apply to you, either.
The new policy can be compared to a state’s speed limit. My dad has told me since I was a boy that he doesn’t fear the police when driving. He doesn’t tap the break when he spots a cop or need a radar detector. Why? Because he follows the speed limit. Whether the government stiffens the penalty for speeding is not an issue-he abides by the law.
The same can be said for ACU students and Chapel. If we go to Chapel when we can (and a good system exists to receive excuses when we cannot), then we need not live in fear of probation or assigned seating.
Something also can be said for obedience and submission-Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross, but he obeyed his father and went anyway.
A general heart change needs to take place in those most vehemently opposed to the Chapel system and consequences. Students should begin viewing Chapel as a spiritual break and not a nuisance, and as something as basic as following the speed limit.