I recently convened a student forum on campus to hear directly from students about whatever issues were on your mind. Although we touched on a few other things, the majority of time was spent on LGBTQ+ matters.
I was pleased that over the course of two and a half hours, we had a good discussion of where students are today, where the Church of God stands and how our AU policies inform LGBT issues. We also discussed where we might be going as a Christian community.
I was disappointed to learn later that some students did not attend because they were concerned they would be labeled “haters” of LGBT students because they adhere to a Biblical definition of marriage.
One of my reasons for holding the forum was to encourage and model ways we can seek to understand each other regardless, or perhaps in spite of, strongly held beliefs and convictions. After all, as members of a Christian university, God calls us to love God and to love one another, using the parable of the good Samaritan as an example of loving our neighbor.
My hope and prayer is that, as we navigate the sometimes challenging road of differences, we can respect and affirm one another as children of God, adhering to our own beliefs and convictions while living in community.
If you are interested in a follow-up discussion on this issue, several faculty and staff have offered to meet with you, similar to our forum. I have asked SGA President Liam Crays to coordinate this, so please contact Liam to express your interest and I can then coordinate with these faculty and staff members.
May the peace of Christ be with you,