To avoid skirting around the issue I will begin with this: I agree with ACU’s new stance on same-sex dating relationships. And I do not believe the university is acting out of hatred or insensitivity.
In fact, I would contend that though this new policy might feel rash or unexpected, by breaking silence on the issue, the university is sacrificing its own well-being to allow people to be informed of its values.
However, my goal with this piece is not to justify the decisions being made, but rather to recognize ACU’s commitment to their beliefs.
As a private institution, it’s no secret ACU reserves the right to employ at its own discretion, and for many years it has sought to uphold a Christ-like model of excellence. During my four years here, I believe I have seen ACU administration succeed, as well as fail, in its attempts. But with the recent decision in regards to the student handbook, I believe administration has chosen to stand on its belief that marriage and dating relationships are reserved for a man and a woman.
It’s worth noting that this stance comes on the wings of the university speaking out about Hooters and discouraging students to promote the sexualized cultures many have associated with that establishment. As many might remember, a university representative of student life issued a comment cautioning students “to consider what Hooters reflects and how we value others.”
These recent outspoken stances are crucial because I think and hope this will mark an end to the identity crisis the university has been walking through. With transition in athletics, expansion around campus and the surge of polarizing issues such as race and sexual identity, I believe ACU has struggled to find where it lands. But with these decisions of the board and administration, I think the university is clearly stating its values and beliefs for everyone to see.
Therefore, whether you agree with what is being decided, the fact that ACU has made a statement allowing students, faculty and staff to see where it stands is crucial. It is also worth noting that the new policy for LGBT employees is still being developed, but it allows people to recognize where ACU stands.
Although this break of silence was overdue, I appreciate the university’s administration for speaking out. I hope that, while these decisions can be polarizing, this narrative might encourage individuals to find out what they themselves believe.
Take some time to read the inerrant Word of God, pray and see how Jesus handled situations like these. Maybe you’ll land where ACU did or maybe in opposition. But I promise you that God’s perfect love never fails. It’s sacrificial, it pursues you and it keeps no record of wrongs done on either side (1 Corinthians 13).