I am a senior at ACU and have enjoyed my experience here. This school is an exceptional institution for higher learning that encourages Christian relationships and servant leadership. The community that the students, faculty and staff build is honorable.
However, I have noticed that ACU has avoided consistent discussions on controversial topics in the world. While I applaud the university for inviting contentious speakers in the past including Tim Wise and Barron Jones, there is still a lack of ongoing dialogue about debatable topics. Along with that, there is very little awareness of the intolerance that plagues Christian communities across the nation including homophobia, ageism, ableism and church segregation.
We should be challenged to fight the prejudices we hold against the social outcasts in our society. Along with that, we must open our minds to people who have different perspectives about social problems. That means inviting and listening to people who may have an opposing Christian worldview. Whether it is a believer who happens to be a part of the Occupy Movement, or a gun carrying Tea-Party Patriot, we should be willing to listen respectfully to his or her message.
How can we be prepared to live in the real world if we are not challenged spiritually? If we are kept within our comfort zone we cannot expect to grow or relate to others. Whether it is a lesson that challenges the ACU community to reach out to the gay and lesbian population, or a subjective message on why Christians should not go to war, we must continue to welcome thought-provoking conversations. I encourage the administration, faculty, staff and students to engage in ongoing discussions about social issues through forums, Campus Conversations and regular Chapel days.