Back in the late 1960s and 1970s, ACU and other conservative, evangelical universities were going through a “cultural shift” in their student body populations, from a predominantly rural, very conservative, small town student base to an urban, more open-minded student population.
Issues like the Vietnam War opposition and student protests were severely discouraged on campus, but in a relatively short time differences began to coexist and the judgmental attitudes softened.
The LBGTQ issue was not even around back then even though those students did exist quietly on our campus. I sympathize with a university like ACU today that strives to provide its students with a Christian world view along with educational excellence.
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There are far too few universities left in our country with this distinct mission, and our country is worse off because of it, in my opinion. Their biblical position is marriage is a holy covenant created by God between a man and a woman regardless what a human court may rule.
They have every right to teach and adhere to that position in their university along with other LGBTQ-related positions that may run counter to our shifting cultural norms. They may choose to “hate the sin,” but as Christians we should “love the sinner" always.
That person is God’s creation and is loved despite some life choices that may run counter to our sincerely held beliefs. It is sad to read of Dr. Mendenhall’s son’s struggles on campus and his leaving. And I trust in time the differences in these areas, too, will choose to coexist . That appears to be the struggle going on there now.
Remember the church is really a “hospital for sinners,” and hopefully Christian-based universities such as ACU will find a way not to compromise their biblical beliefs, but soften and love those with differences. I found that to be true in my years there.
David Bloxom is an Abilene Christian University alum and a Fort Worth resident.