In early December I wrote concerning an incident at Belmont University. (You can read it here). The story died down some but has recently been resurrected. Outside the Lines, an ESPN production, covered the story this week, and today the Tennessean reported that Belmont University had a change in policy.
The change in policy claims that Belmont University will no longer discriminate based upon sexual orientation. President Fisher stated, “We are a Christian community that is welcoming, loving, and inclusive of everyone.”
I do not think anyone would deny that a Christian community should be welcoming, loving, and inclusive. However, the real question for Belmont (and any group that wants to market themselves as Christians) is whether or not Christian moral conduct will be carried over into school policy. Teachers, coaches, administrators, and other staff at a University are De facto leaders and role models. Should not these leaders model Christian holiness?
Another problem is this idea of “inclusive of everyone.” Are there no limitations? Will Belmont be inclusive of any type of behavior? If not then, can they truly say they are inclusive of everyone? You see the language sounds great. It sounds loving and has the appearance of great wisdom and godliness, however, it really means nothing. No one can (or should) be inclusive of all behavioral choices.
This means that there must be a standard. And if the standard is going to be Christian, then it must fit with Christian moral conduct.
In all honesty my concern is not with what Belmont University does. I have no proverbial “dog in that hunt.” But I do want us to realize that there are moral standards. And as great as inclusive of everyone sounds, it is not Biblical. Yes, Christians reach out to all people with a message of hope. We model Jesus in not viewing anyone as too beneath us for our time, or too sinful for the gospel. But that hope comes when individuals turn from their sin (repentance) and turn toward Jesus (faithful obedience). We love all people enough to let them know that there is a loving God who cares for them. But that doesn’t mean that God does not have a holy standard that we should strive for. A holy and just standard has been issued by God and violation of that standard makes one a sinner and places the wrath of God upon them. How hateful would we have to be to accept someone, as if what they were doing was totally fine, and watch as they continue a path toward hell! I hope I’m never that loving.