A Letter with Answers: Love is at its Core

Maybe you have wondered why any member of this enlightened community would not want EMU to change its hiring policy to accommodate individuals in committed same-sex relationships.

Strange though it may seem, there is actually an answer to that question, and love is at its core:

1. Love for God, and desire to obey His revealed commands, love for Jesus, and gratitude for his redeeming work on our behalf.

2. Love for God’s Word, and willingness to accept its authority in our lives, and in our institutional governance.

3. Love for my students, and a desire to see each one discover his or her true identity as a child of God and an unwillingness to encourage any into what could be a destructive lifestyle or eternal choice (see Unprotected, by UCLA psychiatrist Miriam Gross, 2006, Chapts. IV and V, if you are willing to read some factual information on the biology of same-sex behavior. See also Matthew 18:1-6 for some words of Jesus that challenge me daily).

4. Love for EMU, and heartbreak to see her bear disgrace in the eyes of a large part of the local Christian and Evangelical community.

It is true that this love has not been demonstrated actively on campus this spring.

In the Old Testament, God prohibited the kings of Israel from counting their troops- the public metric unit of political power of the day.

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” declares the Lord (Zech. 4:6).

Some of us believe that this is not a political struggle, but a spiritual one.

In December of 2013, I asked the EMU President’s Cabinet to consider inviting a community moratorium on political display around this topic, so we could engage in true spiritual discernment as the Church.

This suggestion was rejected, so now here we are. Some of us have been praying and fasting, and trying to be persuasive within our spheres, but we will not count our troops.

A colleague of mine observed that the heightened use of political tactics on campus might have actually had the net effect of stifling good conversation, rigorous discernment, authentic discourse, and true listening.

Who wants to put their head up and take a shot?

If all we have taught our students through this Listening Process is how to engage in political intimidation, which is what most political tactics are (t-shirt displays, solidarity stand-ups, etc.), then we have not served our students well, and we as an academic institution of Christian higher education should be embarrassed.

Should we be surprised when these approaches find their way into the life of the larger church?

I will leave it to the reader to judge if true biblical discernment has characterized this process thus far.

“Aslan is not safe, but He is good,” Mrs. Beaver assured Lucy.

If we first concern ourselves with being good, we might discover that we are also safe- the safest place for any of us is in God’s perect will.

To all at EMU:

Please consider yourself invited and welcome in my office — maybe together we’ll meet Aslan.

Lester Zook,

Physical Education and Recreation Professor

Categories: Opinion

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