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Gay: What would Jesus do?

Discussion of homosexuality is everywhere. You cannot turn on the TV without hearing about the gay community or open a news website and read about it. Olivet’s students have started talking too.

Gay students like senior Brett Carmouche, junior Aubrey Sarna and senior Dominic “Niko” Clark, feel that they are unfairly judged by their sexual orientation. By coming out to the Olivet community they have been labeled and given secret names.

Don’t judge me by my sexual orientation

By Jessica Cohea

Senior Brett Carmouché, 21, was threatened with excommunication from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for being gay. In response, he transferred to Olivet from Brigham Young University, a Mormon institution in Idaho, after his freshman year. Even though he was aware of Olivet’s religious roots in the Church of the Nazarene, Carmouché thought the student body, faculty, staff and administration would be more accepting of his homosexuality than BYU.

He was wrong.

Within the first days at Olivet, Carmouché started to believe that he was alone.

“No one understood [me]. No one wanted to understand.”

The Church of the Nazarene views homosexuality as a sin and as a form of perversion. Its doctrine says, however, that Nazarenes “believe the grace of God sufficient to overcome the practice of homosexuality.” Gay people are allowed to attend ONU, says Woody Webb, VP for Student Development, if they agree to abide by University policy to refrain from acting on homosexual behavior.

It is not Carmouché’s goal to change the Nazarene views, because he says those views are what make schools like Olivet run and function. He and other gay people on campus just want to be treated like everyone else is. They want to be socially accepted.

Carmouché came out to the Olivet community officially in an article in the GlimmerGlass on Feb. 27, 2009.
“Those who know me intimately know that I … struggle with homosexuality,” he wrote – choosing his words carefully to appease the University and protect himself from ridicule. He was not ready to be completely open.

Nonetheless, Carmouché recalls being approached by several people who severely disapproved of his sexual orientation after the article appeared. Many people he thought were friends abandoned him at that crucial point in his life. He cried frequently and took his anger out on those around him. He even threatened self-injury.

He remembered telling his parents, “I need help or I’m not going to make it.”

“I frequently thought about killing myself because it was so miserable here [at Olivet], and my parents wouldn’t let me transfer again,” he says.

With time, however, Carmouché found a group of people he could connect with. He learned that other people at Olivet are gay, too, and he gained support from several of his professors as well.

Time went on and the new Olivetian started to become comfortable at ONU. He studied on campus for two semesters, then decided to study abroad for the fall 2009 semester. Before heading to China, however, he signed up to share an apartment in Olde Oak with three other men. He had confidence in his spring housing situation, so he left and moved on with his semester.

After returning from China, Carmouché recalls receiving a phone call during Winter Break from one of his roommates a few days before New Year’s Day 2010. The essential message, he says, was:

“Here are a few options: either you get it together or I’ll move out, or we will have you kicked out.”

His roommates initially thought that his homosexuality was an issue that he was overcoming. The three men found out later that Carmouché had made peace with his sexual orientation.

“I was under the impression that Brett struggled in the past and was trying to change. I didn’t think he was still actively gay,” said one such roommate, senior Brian Kosek, 22.

Distraught, Carmouché emailed his Resident Director. The two met when Carmouché returned to Olivet’s campus later that month for the start of the spring semester.

Carmouché says he was told that he could not share an apartment with those men as planned because they were not comfortable knowing he is gay.

He packed his bags and was sent to Hills.

“[The Olde Oak RD] said, ‘Here’s the key to the guest room. You’re going to be here for a week. We need to pray. We need to talk about it,’” Carmouché recalls. “It was essentially me being quarantined for a week.”

If a student is removed from the apartments and is sent back to inner-campus housing, it can be seen as a sign of punishment. Carmouché felt like he was being punished for his sexual orientation.

Carmouché says he was told if he could find someone “to deal with him” he would not have to stay in Hills. He did, and shared a room with that friend for the duration of the semester. He says he was not permitted to live in any apartments the following school year, though.

Although he may be the only gay person that has received this “punishment,” he is not the only gay person on campus.

There is a “decent sized underground gay community” on campus, according to a gay rights advocate within the Olivet community who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. A handful of homosexual people are open about their sexual orientation. But they do not enjoy the same rights heterosexual students have. This has led Carmouché and a group of fellow Olivetians – gay and straight – to start fighting for the acceptance of homosexual people at Olivet.

Junior Aubrey Sarna

Junior Aubrey Sarna is part of this group. Telling her friends at Olivet that she is gay was “really scary.” She never expected to ever tell anyone, she says. Not a single soul. Not until she was dying.

“I had visions of being on my death bed and telling one person before I died.”

Revealing her true identity meant freedom, though. “This is only one part of who I am. I am a lot of other things, too,” Sarna says.

However, neither Sarna nor Carmouché or any other gay student on campus feels that the Olivet community sees past their homosexuality.

Gay students are treated differently. For example, if a student needs counseling and indicates that he or she is gay on the application – like Sarna did, Olivet counselors are not permitted to counsel them according to University policy.

“The [Olivet] counselor told me that it would be the same as if you were a drug addict and you were coming to counseling because you want your family to accept the fact that you’re a drug addict,” she says.

Student Body President and student advocate for gay rights, Evan Karg says, “I went and talked to the administration. They said that [the counselors] don’t accept students that embrace [homosexuality]. They are supposed to defer them.”

Sarna did receive a list of outside counselors, but was told that they may not support her either. It has been more than a month already but she still has not found a professional willing to listen. “So where I am supposed to go now?” she wonders.

According to the advocate, gay people cannot socialize on campus. “They can’t get together. They can’t sit down in a room and really identify themselves … and that’s sad.”

Although acceptance and equality for this minority are the ultimate goals, Karg at least wants gay students to know they are safe.

“Jesus spent time with the lowliest of the low. The thing is that the students who are upright, upstanding citizens, who are strong Christians in faith, but homosexual, are told they are going to hell and that’s why people are committing suicide,” he says. “I want students to know that God is a lot bigger than a homosexual hell.”

Frustrated, Sarna explains that Jesus does not care if the person she loves is male or female. He cares about what is in her heart. She strongly believes that. She does not want people to judge her by her preference either.

Senior Dominic "Niko" Clark

“Jesus loves me anyway. I am a homosexual. It’s not something I struggle with … I want respect and equality.”

A bisexual student on campus, senior Dominic “Niko” Clark, says that people tend to limit God by placing denominational views on him.

“I think that especially when you adhere to a certain doctrine concerning your denomination you are painting God into a box,” he says.

Carmouché says he has taken the fall for homosexuals on campus and has no regrets. He stayed at Olivet because of a deep conviction to help.

“I have been the target and I still will be. That’s OK. I want gay students to be able to say, ‘Yes, I am gay’ … I want what little I have done to affect someone here even if I don’t know them. They need to know they are beautiful.”

A-Team stands by what they believe

By Jessica Cohea

People in the Olivet community are divided on the issue of homosexuality. Some believe it is a lifestyle choice that is the right and responsibility of an individual. Others see it as a complete disregard of biblical texts. But no matter what the viewpoint, Olivet Nazarene University has strict policies in place for its students, even a policy concerning a homosexual way of life.

ONU is affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene and therefore follows its doctrinal and ethical principles. The University has centered its campus regulations on those principles, according to the University Life Handbook.

Olivet’s stance and policy are clear on the issue of homosexuality, said Woody Webb, VP for Student Development. “We affirm the biblical teaching that sexual intimacies are to be shared as God’s gift within the context of a committed marriage relationship between a man and woman, and that any form of sexual promiscuity, including homosexual acts, contradicts both Scripture and God’s plan for us.”

Olivet is firm in its beliefs, as is the Evangelical Church as a whole.

Junior Cathy Schutt, 21, shared an apartment with a gay female fall semester 2009. She was shocked at the news of her roommate’s sexual orientation, but with the advice from a mentor, she decided to give the housing arrangement a shot anyway.

Schutt agrees with Olivet’s opinion that homosexuality goes against Scripture and referenced Matthew 19, which says: “‘Haven’t you read … that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” ’”

Schutt feels that acting on homosexual feelings is wrong, but “you aren’t condemned to hell if you are tempted in that way.” A person is only wrong in the eyes of God if he or she pursues the same sex attraction.

There are students on campus that are not sure of their sexual orientation. There are also some people that struggle with the idea that they have those same sex attractions and feel that they need help.

If a student is struggling with the idea of homosexuality, the University will work with them, Webb said, but will not if a student has accepted the idea of his or her homosexuality. “I want students who struggle with this issue to know that they can talk with their RD, our chaplain or our counseling staff without fear of judgment or consequences,” Webb said.

On the other hand, “if a student is asking us to help them embrace their homosexuality and help them find a way to talk about it to their family, because that’s contrary to our position and what we believe, we are going to refer them off campus. We will give them a number of referrals and let the student decide who they want to see.”

The administration and counselors are not trying to get away from the conversation about homosexuality. They are rather helping a student find someone that is willing to counsel them about their sexual orientation when Olivet’s counselors are instructed not to.

In fact, the Church is more open to discussion now about the topic than in the past.

Webb said the Evangelical Church as a whole is more willing today to debate the issue than in previous years, but he does not see the Church changing its view on homosexuality.

“We want to talk about this issue with students, and we want them to feel safe doing so. If they come to us and want help understanding their same sex attractions, our offices are open. While we won’t help a student accept [his or her] same sex attraction and enter a gay lifestyle, if they realize that their same sex attraction is contrary to God’s will for them, we will walk with them on their journey.”

95 Comments on Gay: What would Jesus do?

  1. Doens’t ONU have a counseling program and a social work program? If so, I’m pretty sure that program violates commonplace counseling and social work ethics by only choosing to “walk the path” with students who are “struggling” with their sexuality verses those who have a firm sexual identity. Regardless of the ethical issues, morally as a counselor or therapist this shows great restriction in clinical skills and judgment.

    • I agree. There is nothing this school is doing to make students feel safe about their same-sex attractions if the response to their attractions is that it’s wrong. Counselors and administation are being judgmental from the start and, consequently, unsafe “professionsals” for ALL students.

      • Lynda Mounts // March 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm //

        Jim, ONU has been doing nothing to make students feel safe for decades. This is, unfortunately, nothing new. During my undergrad years (1974-79) I talked with several fellow students who were struggling with homosexuality. We knew better than to speak openly. We saw the removal of at least two professors because of their sexual orientation. I personally believe there were more who were closeted. One prominent student leader, a closeted gay man, died of AIDS. I believe his contracting the disease and dying in semi-obscurity was due in great part to the anti-gay policies and atmosphere at Olivet in particular, and the Church of the Nazarene in general.

    • I agree feel safe

  2. Brian Schrock // March 19, 2011 at 6:18 am // Reply

    When I think of how outsiders observe a Christian organization leaving their most vulnerable students unprotected from ridicule; one famous quote comes to mind:

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
    -Mahatma Gandhi

    It is unfortunate that a school that tries to seem friendly and welcoming to some, can’t be friendly and welcoming to all. I think the gay students I’ve met at Olivet these past three years are some of the coolest and most unique individuals I’ve ever met. I think before any person decides to shun somebody away instead of embracing their differences, they should take a step back and think, “What Would Jesus Do?”

    • Thanks for the Gandhi quote. I couldn’t agree with you and him more.

    • Just A Thought // April 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm // Reply

      I agree with both sides on this point. Although I understand the way that the school’s hands are tied as an affiliated university, I do think there more acceptance on campus among fellow students than is portrayed in the article. There is nothing wrong with believing that homosexuality is a sin, and a distortion of God’s will. If you choose to ask for tolerance and acceptance, you need to be able to provide tolerance and acceptance to others.

      Personally, if you come to me and tell me you’re gay, I won’t leave you. I also won’t leave you with any question as to where I stand. I believe that it’s wrong, but I also believe alienating people based on sexual orientation isn’t making any progress.

      Often we do not portray Christ in our actions, and that needs to change. But our views don’t have to change towards your choices, only you. Please don’t bash the entire community. There are people out there who care.

  3. A Simple Ragamuffin // March 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm // Reply

    I appreciate the journalistic objectivity displayed in the piece. I think it is a very complex and multifaceted issue that is still being made sense of by secular culture, as well as by evangelical churches and their institutions of higher education at large. My fear is that this piece is written from a position that does not value nor incorporate the issue of Scripture into the response or understanding of this population. If we are to look specifically at “what would Jesus do”, I believe there is the intellectual honesty and duty duty that mandates us to look at how he engaged people in similar circumstances. In John Chapter 8 we see a woman brought before Jesus for a sexual sin (adultery, but we do not know if it was with a man or a woman; what if she was gay?) and we see two critical pieces of understanding unfold as Christ responds. He engages the community around her by inviting those without sin to throw the first stone. From a psychological perspective, he is providing compassion and acceptance of who she is as a person. It would be a fallacy for us to stop here, because it would insinuate that she has the right to participate in this sexual sin and everyone around her should just learn to deal with it and begin accepting her (i.e. the homosexual argument implied in this piece). However, Christ moves from the macro to the micro by then engaging her with these words: “…Has no one condemned you? … Then neither do I condemn you. GO NOW AND LEAVE YOUR LIFE OF SIN” (emphasis mine). While there is grace communicated, there is a command issued: regardless of what we struggle with in this life, we are commanded here it the NT to put those sinful practices behind us. Even if we are still gay, we are commanded to put those sinful practices of gay-ness behind us. We see a similar command from God in the OT in “be holy as I am holy.” Whether or not we agree that this holiness is even attainable in this life, the primary tenet addressed here is living beyond sin’s grasp. I support the position of any institution that holds this Scriptural position in that it will assist students in their struggle to not be defined by their sin or their sexuality, but will not affirm their sinful behavior, homosexual of otherwise.

    If you are more interested in raising a socio-political dialog that is not informed by Scripture, I would encourage you to rename the article and divorce it philosophically from the person of Christ as vague generalizations and oversimplifications do not really directly support the the initial claim posited by the title.

    Thanks for your courage to take on such a complex and threatening topic. I believe there is hope and healing to be found for all of us and raising awareness of where oppression exists is an important first step.

    • These comments make sense if you consider that the woman was in a sexual relationship and unmarried. It is now rightly possible for a gay person to be married and in a sexual relationship. It is so easy for nongays to talk about gays never having the human connection that we are created to have, sexual or not. If it is just the physical act then lots of people live without that, do you really mean gays should never love or be closley connected to another gay person, where is it that you find the sin exactly. Does sexual expression constitute the sin for you. Your assumptions that the gay person is automatically sinning is just as fuzzy as the socio-political dialog.

      • A Simple Ragamuffin // March 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm //

        Help me understand this more. You are insinuating that I am pathologizing any human connection between gays, whereas my post clearly postulates the sexual encounter being the sinful element. I know many gay and straight folks who choose celibacy for various reasons. Why is it that this is such a difficult position to assume? I would argue that it is due to a hypersexual cultural context, both for gays and straights. Pandering to social law (a non-Biblical definition of marriage) in an effort to replace moral, natural and spiritual law really doesn’t hold much weight in the court of anything beyond public opinion (and what we know of the US, that doesn’t mean much of anything all things considered). The ironic thing for me in all of this is that a Calvinistic worldview is actually in many ways more congruent with the argument for the viability of homosexuality (we sin everyday in word, thought and deed), but there is less tolerance for the dialog there than in an inherently Wesleyan context where homosexual behavior is defined as sin, and we believe that God can equip us to live a life above sin, regardless of our sexual orientation.

        And for the record, how do we really know she was unmarried and does it even matter?

    • How do you reconcile the alarming number of suicides attempted and completed by LGBTQ youth attributed to your judgment that acting in love on one’s gay feelings is a sin? To refer back to the article, individuals struggling with drug addiction don’t kill themselves because they couldn’t find acceptance for their addiction in the community, they kill themselves because the addiction takes them to a horrible, horrible hell. The only hell LGBTQ youths find in their lives is not in their love of and for each other, it is found in their closed-minded religious communities where embracing healthy same-sex loving relationships runs contrary to their narrow interpretation of the Bible. Do evangelicals all do everything that is commanded in the Old and New Testaments? Even they have seen wisdom in discontinuing many ancient practices. Why does same-sex love remain forbidden in these circles? Could it rest with a difficulty in embracing sex as something good, joyous, and to be celebrated and love to be cherished as it makes us whole and spiritual?

  4. Eric Wilson // March 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm // Reply

    These students know before beginning at Olivet that it is a Bible-believing Christian institution. It is not like the university was secretive about it and they found out after they matriculated – It is right there in the name – Olivet NAZARENE University. You don’t go to someone else’s house and make the rules, why would these students think they can go to the university and then expect the university to exchange the truth of God for a lie? Olivet IS the perfect place for a student struggling with homosexuality, but if a student is so bent on living that lifestyle regardless of what scripture says about it, then perhaps they need to look into attending one of the many liberal secular institutions. I heard a well-educated answer to the “homosexuals are born that way” argument as I was working an Acquire the Fire youth rally recently. There is no way that a “homosexual gene” exists for two glaring reasons: 1. If it did exist, it would decidedly be a recessive gene trait since the vast majority of people are not homosexual, and 2. If it existed, it would die away because there is no way for homosexuals to reproduce naturally. It is a behavioral choice. Period. Even if it were a genetic issue, we are all predisposed to certain sins. That is a product of the fall of man. However, I have instructions from a Father who loves me more than any other person could, and I have no excuses if I act on the sin my flesh desires to commit, be it a predisposition to lie, cheat, steal, murder, practice homosexuality, etc. Note that I am not condemning homosexuality as any worse than any other sin, nor am I “homophobic” as is the “go to” phrase used by those pushing the homosexual agenda. I am not afraid of homosexuals or homosexuality – I love homosexuals the same way I love everyone else, and homosexuality is sin, therefore I will speak the truth in love, as all Christians are called to do. It is not I who condemns the homosexual, it is the homosexual’s choice to separate him/herself from the truth of God and believe the father of lies. The homosexual agenda is all around us – every time you turn on the television, in the movies, increasingly more in secular music, in the media, and even in our schools. It is little wonder that people, especially young people, are being swayed with the constant bombardment by a sick political movement as if we, by majority vote, can tell God that homosexuality is no longer sinful. Many people are being deceived, and my heart breaks for them. I am affiliated with a very liberal university, and I have many homosexual friends. I do not love or respect them as people any less than any of my other friends; however, they understand my unwavering adherence to the truth that I will never “normalize” their lifestyle choices just to be their friend, and they respect me for that. Students wrestling with homosexuality will find love and support to find the truth at Olivet, but I pray that Olivet will never cave to the pressure to conform to this world and trade the truth of God for a lie.

    • Without addressing the ongoing rant of this contributor I will say that I agree with the contributor’s first statement to the extent that students actively choose to be at this religiously conservative school. I doubt that many of them choose to be there if they are gay and self-accepting. I’m sure they’d rather be at NYU or Oberlin or some other school where not only would they be embraced, they’d receive a much more balanced education. I’m sure they are at this conservative school because that is where their parents want them to be. This, however, still does not resolve the problem of the counselors who work there and are behaving unethically in their treatment of LGBTQ students; i.e. either turning them away or providing “straight talk;” what horrible options.

      As to the contributor’s statement that he works at a liberal university, has many “homosexual” friends (and if you do, I’m sure you know how offensive the term “homosexual” is to so many of us which is why we prefer the term gay or lesbian…the term “homosexual” being a clinical term and why would you use a clinical term in the same sentence in which you profess to be a friend to us???) who profess to respect you even if you don’t normalize their lives, have you ever considered that they respect you or treat you respectfully despite your unwillingness to normalize their lives and may, most likely in fact, not respect your opinion on that topic at all. You say that you will “never ‘normalize’ their lifestyle just to be their friend.” While you think they see you as a “friend” all the same, I know I wouldn’t. I would see you as someone I must work with and am acquainted with, but not as a friend. Yes, for me and for millions of other LGBTQ folks, we don’t count as friends those who would not embrace us as equals in every way. Sorry, but you’re not a friend. And this comes from a Friend (Quaker). Peace to you all the same.

    • Eric,

      You are so right. Sin is sin and sin is a choice – we can either participate or not – whether that be a gay lifestyle or gluttony. Homosexuality is NOT something we are “born” with any more than we are born with a tongue bent on lying. It is a choice. God would NEVER create us “with” something inbred in us without us having any choice in the matter and then turn around and call it detestable as He does in Leviticus 20:13. The Bible is so clear on the matter and anyone who studies it cannot but understand. Praying for those confused as well as for the college to take a stand.

      • Chad Steinborn // March 30, 2011 at 5:48 am //

        Fortunately, it is not a matter of right or wrong. Christians, stop being so obsessed with what is “wrong” with people, and concentrate on what is right. The reality here is Christians are not loving people. And please don’t mask your “confronting” homosexuals of their sins as love. It’s simply not, it is rather an absurd misrepresentation of love. The fact here is this: “Jesus said the world will know his followers by their love. Ask some gay Americans if they’ve felt cared for and sought out by someone who claims to be a Christian and chances are they will say no.”

      • Beth,
        I went to Olivet and I am gay. I was born this way, I did not “choose” it. Why would anyone growing up in the Nazarene church “choose” this? I cannot turn straight anymore than you can turn gay. It’s who we are. I spent the better part of my youth praying each night that God would change me and make me straight. I would also cry myself to sleep each night because I felt so alone and that God wasn’t listening to me. This is why kids are killing themselves today.

        Please go back and read Leviticus and tell me you abide by everything in there. Do you eat pork? I sure hope not.

      • Chad Steinborn // April 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm //

        Accompanied by Jason’s question, “do you eat pork,” an equally valuable question comes to mind; do you wear clothing woven of two different kinds of material?

      • You should probably do some research before you go throwing absolutes around. There have been many experiments relating to the biological causes of homosexuality, a topic on which I am writing my Senior Honors Project thesis over at PLNU, that are simply unable to be disproven. Do some research next time before writing comments on highly controversial topics, as a statement like this can make you seem un-researched and ignorant.

  5. Thank you for covering this important topic. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the brave students who were willing to tell their story so publically. I’m sure your courage will inspire others!

    • I agree. And to the students still suffering there, IT GETS BETTER. Once you are out of there, you will find a world of love and acceptance waiting for you a world that your school is unable to provide for you. Your school’s and your church’s inability and unwillingness to embrace you fully is their illness (and sin, if you will), not yours.

  6. I would like to agree with what Josh said. Bravo, brave souls. Your road is hard, and the battle you fight is inspirational to many.

  7. Eric, there are many reasons why a homosexual student might find themselves at a Christian institution such as Olivet. Perhaps they were drawn to a Christ-centered education, the friendly professors, the academics, the supposedly warm and accepting atmosphere, or any number of the positive qualities that Olivet has. Yes, Olivet does have a policy prohibiting homosexual behavior, but these students did not break that rule. So why are they being punished? There is NO policy stating that homosexual students cannot live in an apartment, or receive counseling services from the school, or even meet in a public place to discuss their issues.

    I’m not even going to address your complete misinterpretation of Scripture. However I have to strongly disagree with your statement that homosexuality is nothing but a “behavioral choice,” as would the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of Social Workers, which all state that homosexuality is NOT a choice nor an illness to be treated.

  8. My name is Ian Cole, and I work as a graduate student in Olivet’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry. This is my sixth year on campus and this is not the first time I have seen these issues raised in our community; however, this is the first time that I have read this poor of a presentation of the issue in the Glimmer Glass. I feel that it necessary to point out two things: (1) How many sweeping theological statements the author of this article makes without any sort of qualification or citation (I assume the author of the article is neither a trained theologian, a biblical scholar, nor an ordained clergy member); and (2) How the claims made in these articles concerning the response to these issues by Olivet’s administration do not match the direct quotes from administration members in the articles themselves.

    First, let me note some of the sweeping theological statements made in these articles that I would assume that the author is neither qualified to make, nor that are cited by someone qualified to make them: (1) Referencing Olivet’s official policy on the issue of homosexuality, the author writes in the second article that “Olivet is firm in its beliefs, as is the Evangelical Church as a whole.” Where is the evidence that the entire “Evangelical Church” (which is an amorphous term that I would anticipate the author of the article would not be able to readily define) holds to a firm set of beliefs concerning homosexuality? Isn’t the fact that we are having this debate on a conservative “Evangelical” campus like Olivet evidence to the contrary–that is, evidence that “the Evangelical Church as a whole” is, in fact, NOT on the same page about this issue? Even if it is not, the statement remains a very broad and unhelpful (not to mention misleading) one. (2) After quoting a junior by the name of Cathy Schutt, the author writes in the second article: ” A person is only wrong in the eyes of God if he or she pursues the same sex attraction.” This is a SWEEPING theological statement, one that after six years of theological and biblical education I know I would not be willing to make. Perhaps this was a continuation of the sentiments expressed by Cathy Schutt, but, if so, the author of the article does not make this clear. The author presents it as her own conclusion–and what a conclusion it is! I know of several well-trained theologians, with Ph.D.’s in theology and decades of ministry experience who would not be willing to make as sweeping of a theological statement as this one! So I ask, on what basis does a Glimmer Glass reporter make it? Are you sure that you are qualified to state clearly the criteria by which God makes his decisions? (3) Referencing the issue of homosexuality broadly, the author writes in the second article: “In fact, the Church is more open to discussion now about the topic than in the past.” This is, once again, a sweeping statement that the reader is supposed to accept unquestioningly, even though, once again, no qualification is added to it, nor is there any support or citation for this conclusion. Does the author of the article realize that by simply capitalizing the word “church” she has made a theological statement? I would suppose not. But in case she is, I would ask, on what grounds do you make the statement that the “Church” is more open to discussion about homosexuality than in the past? Do you speak for Olivet alone, and if so is Olivet “the Church”? Or do you speak for the Church of the Nazarene? The “Evangelical Church”? (a most unhelpful term never defined in either article presented here) Do you speak for the church in other areas of the world? Other areas of our own country? Are you quite sure that African Christians in the region of Darfur are more open to discussing full acceptance of homosexuality than they used to be? How about Asian or Caribbean Christians? How about the church in Afghanistan? Once again, how does the author of a Glimmer Glass article speak with such authority on these issues? We are given no response; only sweeping theological claims that we are to take as simply and unquestionably manifest. It is precisely this approach to theology and the Bible that CREATES and SUSTAINS misunderstanding and misinformation, rather than providing clarity and room for discussion.

    My second critique is this that the two articles presented here demonstrate quite clearly that the author of the articles has twisted the use of her sources. I am thinking specifically of the mention made of Olivet’s counseling policies. In the first article the author wrote: “Gay students are treated differently [presumably from straight students]. For example, if a student needs counseling and indicates that he or she is gay on the application – like Sarna did, Olivet counselors are not permitted to counsel them according to University policy.” Here the author of the article claims that gay students are “not permitted” counseling by ONU’s staff, period.
    In the second article, however, the author, quoting Dean Webb, writes: “On the other hand, ‘if a student is asking us to help them embrace their homosexuality and help them find a way to talk about it to their family, because that’s contrary to our position and what we believe, we are going to refer them off campus. We will give them a number of referrals and let the student decide who they want to see.’ . . . ‘We want to talk about this issue with students, and we want them to feel safe doing so. If they come to us and want help understanding their same sex attractions, our offices are open. While we won’t help a student accept [his or her] same sex attraction and enter a gay lifestyle, if they realize that their same sex attraction is contrary to God’s will for them, we will walk with them on their journey.'” Here, Dean Webb clearly indicates that Olivet IS willing to counsel gay students, and would only refuse to do so if the student is intent on seeking help to “embrace their homosexuality and help them find a way to talk about it to their family . . . .” Part of the incongruity in these articles, I’m sure, originates from an immature writer. Part of it, however, is a blatant bias that causes the author to twist the words of her sources.

    Look. Olivet, like many Christian universities in the United States today, needs to have a thoroughly open and engaged dialog about the place of gay students on its campus. I am not arguing against that point at all. Neither am I about to reveal here my personal thoughts on the issue. If students (and others) are serious about engaging in dialog concerning a Christian response to this debate, I would encourage you to start by checking out the chapter entitled “Homosexuality” in Dr. Richard Hay’s book “The Moral Vision of the New Testament”–a chapter he began co-writing with a gay, male friend of his who died of AIDS during the time in which the chapter was written. Richard Hays is a prolific New Testament scholar and an ordained member of the United Methodist Church. If you are serious about understanding this issue from a Christian perspective, don’t read a Glimmer Glass article. Get serious about it and try reading something like the source I’ve just recommended. The articles presented here demonstrate the inability of the Glimmer Glass to produce an objective and unbiased report of the issue. Instead these articles pontificate a particular theological agenda that is hardly congenial to the Church of the Nazarene or to biblical theology; they also betray a bias that has led the author so far as to twist the meaning of her sources.

    This is unacceptable journalism that is ultimately harmful both to the important debate that needs to occur and to the members of our Olivet community who are unfairly represented here.

    • “If students (and others) are serious about engaging in dialog concerning a Christian response to this debate, I would encourage you to start by checking out the chapter entitled “Homosexuality” in Dr. Richard Hay’s book “The Moral Vision of the New Testament”…. If you are serious about understanding this issue from a Christian perspective, don’t read a Glimmer Glass article.”

      Thank you, Ian. Many of the people who are quick to jump into this debate are coming at it from a very poorly-informed perspective, and the ones who are informed don’t participate because they’re tired of explaining the same concepts over and over to people who prefer to look at everything in black-and-white terms. Thank you for providing a source where one can find reliable Biblical information on this topic.

    • Mick Rogers, LCSW // March 23, 2011 at 3:25 am // Reply

      By the length of your response, can we assume you are defensive?

      The state licensure board should be called on those therapists. If they are licensed therapists they should be disciplined for malpractice.

      • Ben Burch // March 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm //

        Mick,

        You said: “By the length of your response, can we assume you are defensive?”

        No. I don’t think we can. Can someone not type out a long, well-thought out, well-reasoned response to something without being defensive. I would think that one can in fact do that.

      • I agree. I just retired from a career in Higher Education as a campus counselor and have never been willing to violate my ethics as a counselor in order to apease the administration or “save my job.” If these counselors want to remain ethical in the eyes of their profession, they need to begin speaking up and out.

    • Ian,

      I hope you don’t mind if I address your comment in a couple of places.

      (For those of you who do not know me, I finished my BA in Religious studies at ONU in ’09 and am finishing up course-work for an MA in Biblical Studies at Point Loma Nazarene University)

      I think that in many ways the thrust and thesis of your comment – which I take to be a need for openness to dialogue, and a seriousness about understanding the issues – is very important and helpful, and a very welcome contribution to the conversation.

      However, I am equally as uncomfortable with your comment as you seem to be with the article. First, is a “Christian response” that given by Dr. Hays, or is that one option which is Christian and level-headed while there are in fact other options which may also be Christian?

      QUOTE: “The articles presented here demonstrate the inability of the Glimmer Glass to produce an objective and unbiased report of the issue. Instead these articles pontificate a particular theological agenda that is hardly congenial to the Church of the Nazarene or to biblical theology…”

      What would an objective or unbiased presentation look like? Is your’s one/it? It would seem here that you come to the issue with an opinion of what is “congenial to… biblical theology.” While you have not stated what your opinion is, you have certainly stated that it is not the same as the author of this article. Have you come to your position in an unbiased and objective way? Has your opinion not affected the way that you understand the issue, the passages, and these articles, in a way that can fairly be stated to be “less than objective”? I’m not trying to say your opinion is wrong, just hoping that you can be more careful with charges of subjectivity.

      Secondly…

      QUOTE: “(2) After quoting a junior by the name of Cathy Schutt, the author writes in the second article: ” A person is only wrong in the eyes of God if he or she pursues the same sex attraction.” This is a SWEEPING theological statement, one that after six years of theological and biblical education I know I would not be willing to make. ”

      “Instead these articles pontificate a particular theological agenda that is hardly congenial to the Church of the Nazarene…”

      And yet, the Church of the Nazarene has stated its position on Homosexuality and it is in fact the one presented by the author of the article. The Church of the Nazarene has stated that Homosexual orientation itself is not sinful, and that the individual only falls into sin if and when they act out that orientation in same-sex acts. So, while you may or may not be willing to make such a “sweeping theological statement”, the Church of the Nazarene has done exactly that. So not only has the author stated what the Church of the Nazarene believes, but you have gone on from there to say that the position advocated for is “not congenial to the Church of the Nazarene.” This leaves me confused, to say the least.

      Whether or not the author possesses the theological training to make such a claim seems to be inconsequential when they stand on good footing with the stated beliefs of the Church of the Nazarene. We could debate back and forth the validity of the CotN’s position, but I don’t think that is your point or my point, here.

      QUOTE: “I would ask, on what grounds do you make the statement that the “Church” is more open to discussion about homosexuality than in the past? Do you speak for Olivet alone, and if so is Olivet “the Church”? Or do you speak for the Church of the Nazarene? The “Evangelical Church”? (a most unhelpful term never defined in either article presented here) Do you speak for the church in other areas of the world? Other areas of our own country? Are you quite sure that African Christians in the region of Darfur are more open to discussing full acceptance of homosexuality than they used to be? How about Asian or Caribbean Christians? How about the church in Afghanistan?”

      While I can appreciate what you are saying here, theologically, are you not also only obfuscating the issue? After all, if we begin with the assumption that all Ecumenical Bodies who claim the name of Christ, together, equal “the Church” (which would be a Nazarene position on such a question), then is it not safe to say that “The Church” is more open to the discussion about homosexuality than it has been in the past? Can that point, and your point, not exist together? That is, while most sectors of the Church, as well as most cultures in which the Church is imbedded are not open to this conversation at all, and while the majority of the Church remains steadfast on this question (simply look at the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, who comprise the majority of The Church), is the fact that more sectors of the Church are open to this question (Episcopal, Anglican, Lutheran, RCC in Germany, PCUSA, Anglican in Australia, etc) thus nullified? I would argue that it is not and, by nature of this fact, The Church, which includes these bodies, is in fact “more open” to the conversation… even be it ever so slightly, with the majority of the Church remaining steadfast on the issue.

      So my issue is that you seem to take a rather clear and true statement, apply a bunch of theological reasoning to it, obfuscate the point being made, and then claim that the author made a sweeping theological statement. Has the author taken something that’s true and applied it unfairly, or represented it poorly? Sure, I think that’s a possibility. But I’m not sure that your critique adds any clarity – rather, quite the contrary.

    • I am an openly gay man who graduated from Olivet and have a very clear idea of how I think the Nazarene Church should respond on this issue, still I totally agree with your statements. I feel for the students in the article, but the author is just to imature to understand the complexity of the situation.

    • Well! I see that I have garnered some critics! Thank you. I truly appreciate the fact that there are other individuals who are taking this issue seriously and not simply accepting what I or anyone else may say on the topic. Critical thinking and writing–such as I tried to engage in with my comment–must always be open to critical response. Those of you who have provided this critical response do me the honor of taking seriously what I have said; for that I am grateful.

      Because the caliber of this discussion has risen, I would like to offer a substantive contribution to the subject itself–that is to the issue of being a gay Christian, not just to the issue of the author’s of these articles comments. It is always easier to dissect someone else’s argument than it is to offer a thoughtful argument of one’s own. Aware of this fact, I have spent the better portion of today composing what I hope to be a fairly thorough appraisal of what I perceive to be some of the most important points of misunderstanding in this discussion. Because my written substantive contribution is far too large to post here, I have posted in on my personal blog: http://www.hestruggleswithgod.blogspot.com. I would encourage both critic and supporter alike to come and visit and add your thoughtful responses and critiques to the more thorough argument I have laid out there for a Christian understanding of what we often (though sometimes offensively) refer to as “homosexuality.”

      Though that post is on my blog, I do wish to post here a few brief responses to the direct critiques I have encountered here on the Glimmer Glass site (as of Friday evening, 3/25).

      First, to Ben Burch, my most thorough critic: It’s good to hear from you! I hope your program at PL is going well, and I trust with your talents that it is. I appreciate your thorough criticism of my argument. You pointed out flaws and inconsistencies that I was not aware of and I am grateful for that. This is the stuff of real debate, real learning, real life. I would respond to a couple of points you made about my comment: (1) Dr. Hays’s chapter on homosexuality is obviously only one possible Christian alternative response, and I in no way tried to insinuate that I believe it to be a “end-all” argument on this issue. I have simply found it extremely helpful for my own personal processing of the issue, especially of the biblical texts involved. (2) My “charge of subjectivity” was leveled against the Glimmer Glass precisely because it is (or purports to be) a news source. The Glimmer Glass qua news source ought to strive to present an objective picture of the issue on which it is reporting, unless there is a clear designation that we are reading an op. ed. These articles were not listed in the “opinion” category of the newspaper, however, so I expected a higher level of objectivity in their reporting. I was disappointed in that expectation and expressed this in my comment. I do not, however, claim to have an “objective” opinion (what would that even be?) about the issue myself. I am not a news source; I am an individual with a perspective, and though I did not explicitly present my opinion on the matter (that is what the blog post is for) I do not think that, if I had, I could be expected to do so in anything that might be called an “objective” manner. In short, I make no pretense of objectivity, but normally news sources–like the Glimmer Glass–do. (3) It is apparent that you and I understood the phrase “pursues the same sex attraction” in the first article in two different ways. I do not think that we can be faulted for this, since the phrase is fairly ambiguous. I see your point that this phrase could be interpreted as being congenial to the Church of the Nazarene’s position, and I concede your point if that is how it should’ve been interpreted. Thank you for pointing out to me this hole in my reasoning. (4) And finally, as to your point about what the articles and/or I meant by “the Church,” if I am understanding you correctly you are basically arguing that because SOME of “the Church” is more open to discussion, then the article’s statement that “the Church is more open to discussion” is technically true. I will also grant you that point, but, as you said, I’m not sure it clarifies much of anything. All I was trying to get at is that the article’s author probably has a fairly narrow and misinformed view of what “the Church” really is, but I may have overstated my case. If that is the case, then, again, I thank you for pointing it out.

      Since I think that I have responded to the major points Ben made (thanks again, Ben!), I would next like to respond to “An Olivet Alum”: (1) You are correct in saying that I “need to expand [my] understanding of the counseling community.” In fact, I have been in constant dialog over these issues the past few days with my wife, who is an MSW who, among other things, counsels Spanish-speaking children who are victims of sexual abuse at our local Center Against Sexual Assault in Kankakee. I am not unfamiliar, then, with sexual therapy, but there is much that I’m sure I’ve yet to learn. I must say, however–in response to yours and other comments of a similar nature on this site–that, as a person who has personally benefited from the wonderful counseling services available to Olivet students (I’ve battled my own demons), I am concerned about all this talk of litigation being brought against our campus counselors. I truly hope that this doesn’t occur as this would be far more detrimental to ONU’s campus than I think you could imagine. Once again, I speak as a personal recipient of these services. (2) As for my comment about the author of these Glimmer Glass articles being an “immature writer,” I said she was an immature WRITER, not an immature PERSON. I meant the former; I did not mean to insinuate the latter. I believe you misunderstood me.

      Next, a response to Chad Steinborn: Again, thank you for your critique. Let me offer a response or two: (1) You critique my having cited my position as a graduate student in the Theology Department at Olivet. You called it “irrelevant.” I notice, however, that you did not make the same appraisal of Ben Burch’s similar citation. He cites nearly the same fact, as it is that we are both in MA in Biblical Studies programs at Nazarene Universities. Is it possible, then, that you are not truly against citing such credentials, but rather against my (and apparently not Ben’s) position? Furthermore, I would expect that if either of us were to walk into a doctor’s appointment we would be comforted by knowing the fact that our doctor is licensed and has an M.D. Credentials—even as meager of credentials as mine (though I have been hired on as an Adjunct Professor of Old Testament Literature at ONU for next Fall)—are not irrelevant. You are right in implying that credentialed individuals are not the only ones who can express intelligent opinions on a matter related to their field (I am counting on that fact in this ongoing debate), but you and I both know that we would be much happier to have an M.D. put us on an operating table than a Ph.D. in mathematics. If that is illogical, I reject your form of logic. (2) As for the rest of your comments, I have responded to them indirectly on my blog: http://www.hestruggleswithgod.blogspot.com.

      Finally, I would like to also thank “Zeus,” “dmc,” and “Christyn,” whose kind words toward myself have raised the level of this discussion from the type of non-sense characterized by the posts of “ham” and “Garren” to a level of amiable and conversant dialog. Again I would encourage any and all to continue raising the level of debate; you could make checking out my blog a part of that process: http://www.hestruggleswithgod.blogspot.com

      • Ben Burch // March 26, 2011 at 5:42 am //

        Ian,

        Thank you for your response. I can’t disagree with anything you’ve said there. I am doing well, and my program is going quite well. I see you’ve succeeded quite well so far in your program, and even beat me to securing a position for yourself! Congratulations. I’m sure it’s well-deserved. Lord willing I will have a concrete direction for thesis work by August and begin the work by December. We shall see. Now on over to your blog!

      • Chad Steinborn // March 30, 2011 at 5:59 am //

        It’s not that I am against citing credentials, i’m just against the idea of using credentials to back up a position. Moreover, making a correlation between theology and medical practice is a faulty analogy. There are two many dissimilarities in the two to be comparing them. For example, credentials for a theologian is based on theory and thought, while medical practice, although theory can be incorporated into the process, physical output is the ultimate factor. In addition, doctors’ work generally does not deal with the interpretation of truth, while theologians’ do. Therefore, credentials in the case of the doctor would hold more value than that of the theologian or clergy member or whomever, but nonetheless in any case, does not prove truth. The point being, you cannot assert something to be true because the claim comes from a person that has certain credentials. I agree that it has a higher chance of being more valuable under these conditions, but nonetheless, does not prove its absolute. If we were to go with your hypothetical situation that you laid out, then the same would hold true for this: Say a pastor, with all the education, justifies slavery and claims that it corresponds with the teaching of the bible’s principles, which has happened in the past in multiple occasions, am I supposed to believe this because the person has proper credentials, or do I ignore that, and look at the facts for myself? Again, credentials have no authority on the topic of interpreting theories of religion or faith.

        As for your blog response, how can you claim that it’s a fact that God works mysteriously through ancient books? Your argument is based solely upon bold assumptions with zero evidence, for there is no possible way to know this. Your only evidence, and I say that loosely, is your claim that if God did not work through ancient text, we would be contradicting millions of Jews and Christians. Logic is not a popularity contest. You cant go off appealing to tradition or what most people think and claim it to be truth. Just because something has always been done a certain way in the past, does not prove its truthfulness (ad antiquitatem). Again, like I said earlier, you cannot apply absolute truth to faith, because proof and faith cannot co-exist. And yes, I would agree that we do not have enough common footing to engage in debate; there is too many holes and hasty generalizations in your arguments to do so.

  9. A Better World // March 21, 2011 at 2:06 am // Reply

    To address the counseling issue, there is another, free counseling service offered on the campus which is not affiliated with the university’s policy. This service is offered to the surrounding community, but Olivet students can also be counseled. The number is (815) 939-5273.

    • A Better World: The issue isn’t whether free counseling is or is not available to students. The issue is that if a university counselor is a mental health care professional who is licensed by the American Psychological Association, he or she has an ethical obligation to provide therapy to any student who needs help. That professional would face disciplinary measures, including losing his or her license, for violating these ethical standards. It’s unclear if the counselors mentioned are licensed psychologists, but if so, they are not acting ethically. If the counselors are not licensed psychologists, it’s another matter, but it still goes against the ethical spirit of mental health counselors to deny a student services just because that student’s values don’t match those of the therapist or those of the university.

  10. Too bad you don’t actually have any account of what Jesus would do. Great title.

  11. Ian, Thank you! You have hit on a lot of things that needed to be said and you said them well.

  12. I just think this article is gay

  13. Irritated ONU Almuna // March 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm // Reply

    The attitude of the ONU administration expressed here is the exact reason I do not tell people where I completed my undergrad.
    I am absolutely ashamed to have accepted a degree from this institution.
    People do not choose to be born homosexual, and according to YOUR belief system people come into this world without sin.
    Olivet has never supported this belief, choosing instead to persecute their LGBT population, but are kind enough to offer leniency to gay students who disclose other student they know (or suspect) to be gay.
    I watched friends suffer at ONU and I’m sad to see that nothing has changed since then.
    Furthermore, please do not associate Richard Hays with the UMC as a whole. As a former United Methodist who stood proudly beside my bishop while he was attacked for marrying same sex couples, we do not appreciate that association. Dr. Hays is maybe ‘forward thinking’ for such a culture as Olivet, but in the real world with real world issues to deal with, he is not looked upon favorably.
    If you want a progressive role model in the clergy, I suggest V. Eugene Robinson.

    • Irritated Alum,

      Who are you claiming believes that we are born without sin?
      If you are talking about Olivet or the Nazarene Church we believe in the biblical account of the fall of mankind… ever heard of it?

    • Thank you for following up on that. It relieves me from doing so. Mel White’s work is another good resource.

  14. questioning // March 23, 2011 at 9:37 pm // Reply

    The article states that, within the first days at Olivet, Carmouché started to believe that he was alone. However, no one should have known about his orientation if he came out in February of 2009. If this is the case, then was he alone possibly for other reasons?

    • He wrote in Feb 2009, “those who know me intimately know that I struggle with homosexuality.” Some people would have known about his orientation before that time.

  15. An Olivet Alum // March 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm // Reply

    Student Body President and student advocate for gay rights, Evan Karg says, “I went and talked to the administration. They said that [the counselors] don’t accept students that embrace [homosexuality]. They are supposed to defer them.”

    Is the word “defer” supposed to be “refer” here? I believe that would make more sense.

    @Ian

    While some of your theological critiques of the author may be valid, I believe you may need to expand your understanding of the counseling community. You state here that…

    “Here, Dean Webb clearly indicates that Olivet IS willing to counsel gay students, and would only refuse to do so if the student is intent on seeking help to “embrace their homosexuality and help them find a way to talk about it to their family . . . .” Part of the incongruity in these articles, I’m sure, originates from an immature writer. Part of it, however, is a blatant bias that causes the author to twist the words of her sources.”

    The writer may be immature, I have no way of knowing that and I am curious to know how you know that this is so. Before you call someone immature, can you please define what that means? It’s a a rather sweeping statement to make for someone who critiques other for making sweeping statements.

    Regardless, I believe you fail to understand that denying a person counseling services due to their sexual orientation, or any embracement thereof, is illegal(see Bruff v. North Mississippi Health Services, Inc [2001]) and violates the ethics code of AAMFT, NAADAC, ACA, and the APA. Any of these organizations ethical codes are available online. Whether Olivet’s policies are those outlined by the author or those outlined Dean Webb, they are still illegal and ethically wrong.

  16. Chad Steinborn // March 24, 2011 at 6:09 pm // Reply

    First, I want to responed to Ian Cole’s reply. Ian, in your first paragraph you say, “I feel that it necessary to point out two things: (1) How many sweeping theological statements the author of this article makes without any sort of qualification or citation (I assume the author of the article is neither a trained theologian, a biblical scholar, nor an ordained clergy member).” Ian, being in a graduate position that you felt necessary to irrelevantly highlight, you should very well know that retorting to the appeal of authority makes for an illogical argument, thus a very weak one at that. It is possible for people to research and come to their own thoughts without proper credentials or formal education. Thinking otherwise is a fallacy of Ad Verecundiam, which essentially states that it is illogical to assume truth or value based solely on credentials.

    Furthermore, on the content itself; People, please, please, please, stop quoting bible verses as if it were a text that speaks divine magic. Please stop limiting God to an ancient book that was written by violent desert dwellers just as flawed as we are, with mortal agendas, not to mention, canonized by even more flawed humans. For the sake of pete’s goodness, the bible advocates slavery, murder, inequity of women, and condemnation of homosexuals. Not to mention, has been used to start countless wars. How can you bible quoting fiends ignore these inconsistencies and still claim that the bible is absent of flaws, and endorses love. Use your heart and brains that God has given you (no pun intended) and realize that Christians are hurting people with their so called ‘divine’ scripture principles. When you start hurting people by complying with religious conventions, you don’t keep pressing the button, you open your ignorant minds and apply some coherent logic to the situation. In this case, start loving homosexuals, and everyone, for that matter, unconditionally, regardless of their situation. Yes, that means accepting homosexuals for who they are, and not scaring them away from Christianity by trying to change them, whether or not you believe homosexuality is wrong or not, of choice or not. Something that Olivet should adopt, but does not, because it is the exact opposite of Christ’s intentions, that of love, as it were. It is a real shame that these educated adults can ignorantly behave as they do, and still claim to be “Christians.” It’s an absolutely asinine.

    Now, I have seen it a hundred times, many people will reply to this comment with biblical scripture to prove the bible and its divine power, and how it says homosexuality is wrong, which is an appeal to circular reasoning, but nevertheless will happen, so I will save you the time. If you need the bible to prove your faith, you never had faith in the first place. Proof, the bible, and faith cannot coexist, for once you have proof, it is no longer a faith. God works through the hearts of individuals, not through an ancient book.

    Chad Steinborn

    • Chad,

      The reason we quote the Bible – as bad as you think it is – is because we are talking about a college that is under fire for their stance on the gay agenda. That same college holds to the fact and Article of Faith that “the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.”

      • Chad Steinborn // March 30, 2011 at 6:10 am //

        This is essentially what you wrote: “The bible is true because the bible says so.” Are you kidding me? You can’t prove truth using the same source in which is being argued. Keep your circular reasoning for the kids.

  17. Not only is denying a student counseling services due to his/her desire to come to embrace her/his same-sex feelings possibly illegal, the college is putting itself in a tremendously vulnerable position in terms of litigation. If the student “referred out,” most likely feeling rejected and abandoned by the very professionals who are there to help with self-esteem, despression and possible suicidal ideation ends her/his life, the college is accountable. Check out your checkbooks, Olivet, your in for a bumpy, bumpy ride!

    Submitted by a retired Higher Education administrator and counseling professional.

  18. Brett Michael Carmouche // March 26, 2011 at 1:11 am // Reply

    Friends,

    First, I wish to thank all of you for your comments thus far. It has been so encouraging to see an actual conversation occurring on this campus, and beyond it as well. Your phone calls, letters, messages, and friendship is so very much appreciated. Though not explicitly granted this power, I wish to, on behalf of the LGBT community at Olivet and the nation over, offer up a sincere and heartfelt thank you.

    Secondly, I wish to point out that while I strongly stand against many of the actions taken up by the university, I remain grateful to those people; administration, faculty, staff, and students alike who have and continue to support me and others like me–regardless of our orientation. I appreciate you and love all the same. I do not take our relationship(s) for granted.

    Finally, let me say this. True change does not come as the result of an article, protests, or in some cases, even martyrdom, but rather, a steadfast commitment, both in heart and mind to bring justice to the forefront. When an unjust law or policy exists, it must be broken so that justice might prevail. Such has been the inevitable trend of history, so too is the trend today.

    We must not succumb to hatred, but rather love. We must be willing to listen before we speak. We must embrace those who may not desire an embrace with us. We must respect everyone, so that we too might be respected, and we must, even in our darkest hours, remember that we have the power, and it is a real power–to change not just unjust policies or laws, but the world.

    My friends, Olivet Nazarene University is not at fault, but rather, the policies accepted, implemented, and acted upon by some. But make no mistake, even those in charge answer to a higher power, and unfortunately, it’s not God in this case, but rather, those flipping the bill. So the true question is, which one is more important: the well being and fitness of our students OR our donor relations?

    From Olivet to Point Loma, from Harding to Westmont, and from Rutgers to Harvard, and to the deep dark closets in which we all find ourselves at times, LGBT students have risen and we will continue to do so. We will be respected! We will stand up for what is right and against that which is wrong. Our voices shall not go unheard! We will do so peacefully and honestly. We will not desist!

    Such is the call to which we all must answer, gay and straight alike.

    My friends, spread the word. Rise up, where ever you are. Be PROUD of who you are, and no matter what, KNOW THAT GOD LOVES YOU!

    You are NOT an abomination.

    You are NOT disgusting before the eyes of the Lord.

    You ARE a CHILD OF GOD.

    You ARE loved.

    You ARE beautiful.

    And you are NOT alone.

    Do not give up!

    Do not fear their warnings or their lies! Wrap yourself in the banner of truth and march onward in the reality of knowing that “if there is no struggle, there is no progress”.

    May the peace & love of our God be with you all,

    BMC

    • An Olivet Alum // March 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm // Reply

      Thank you for this post Brett. I resonate with it very strongly. God bless you and the rest of the LGBT community go through this journey in your time at Olivet.

  19. An Olivet Alum // March 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm // Reply

    “I must say, however–in response to yours and other comments of a similar nature on this site–that, as a person who has personally benefited from the wonderful counseling services available to Olivet students (I’ve battled my own demons), I am concerned about all this talk of litigation being brought against our campus counselors. I truly hope that this doesn’t occur as this would be far more detrimental to ONU’s campus than I think you could imagine. Once again, I speak as a personal recipient of these services.”

    I’m glad you are concerned, and hopefully your person experience in counseling makes you more aware of how awful it is to have counseling services denied to you when they are most thoroughly needed. I regret to inform you that litigation will almost certainly be brought against Olivet and I can very well imagine what the effect of that might look like. It will not be pretty, but as I demonstrated earlier, is in step with the both the law and ethics of the profession. If Olivet cannot meet those requirements, Olivet should not offer a counseling program.

    ” (2) As for my comment about the author of these Glimmer Glass articles being an “immature writer,” I said she was an immature WRITER, not an immature PERSON. I meant the former; I did not mean to insinuate the latter. I believe you misunderstood me.”

    My apologies if you felt misunderstood, however I believe I understood you quite well. I would like to point out that at no point in my post did I say that you called the author an immature person in my response to your post. It is quite evident in my first sentence in response to your quote.

    “The writer may be immature, I have no way of knowing that and I am curious to know how you know that this is so. Before you call someone immature, can you please define what that means?”

    Perhaps I should have explained more but lack of time prevented me. Perhaps this has led to a misunderstanding on your part of what I was trying to say but I do take responsibility for an unclear post.

    The concept of “maturity” is very culturally conditioned and takes on an added dimension with the task of journalism and the ethics of that profession. Without that added clarification of what maturity is for this female college journalist, (who I’m assuming is a young student of Olivet’s) your label of “immature” needed to be expounded upon and was a rather sweeping statement in my view.

    If you were reacting to the word “someone” in my response, then I would like to know what language you would find more helpful to express the essence of human individuality. I will use that word from now on. Since emotions do run high in this discussion, I would just like to say I appreciate your contributions to the conversation but I feel my critique of your last statement in my original post is valid. Please be assured, I did not mean to give offense.

  20. Frustrated Alumna // March 27, 2011 at 6:19 am // Reply

    While I am not LGBTQ, I too have had serious issue with Olivet’s counseling department. Clinical depression runs in my family and, while I don’t believe I’m clinically depressed, I have several learned behaviors and coping methods that can be rather destructive. Recognizing the trend, I requested counseling for myself.

    I was accepted…for awhile.

    It became clear pretty quickly that the counselor had little credence for my analysis of the behaviors. He cancelled several sessions without rescheduling and, finally, asked if I still wanted to continue. I said no. I’ve always had great respect for the counseling profession and I figured if he, a trained individual, felt I didn’t need the sessions then I probably didn’t.

    That summer was one of the most depressed periods I’ve ever gone through. Crying at nothing, severe apathy, friendships crumbling. I pieced myself together with the help of friends and some very wonderful, godly people…but it certainly wasn’t with any help from Olivet’s counselors.

    Perhaps others are better. Perhaps the one I talked to was a bad egg in a good batch. But it made me never want to trust Olivet’s counseling service again, without even touching on the fact that they’re denying services now.

  21. Bob Fruehling // March 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm // Reply

    To the Q. “What would Jesus Do?”, read the following from Scripture:

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become on flesh’? Matt. 19: 4-6″.

    One can live as they wish; ‘free will’. But one cannot say they are Christian and live contrary to the teachings of Jesus. “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I say? Luke 6:46″

    • Brian Schrock // March 30, 2011 at 6:31 am // Reply

      That doesn’t answer what Jesus would do. Besides, that question was asked by a pharisee regarding divorce, not homosexuality. Don’t twist your own Holy text by concealing important details.

      3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

      4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

      7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

      See how a meaning completely changes when someone like Bob Fruehling tries to tell you what the Bible says? Read it for yourself instead of listening to deceitful people like him.

      Shame on you, BOB.

  22. Bob Fruehling // March 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm // Reply

    Brian, Do you think that Jesus acted contrary to what he taught? In His answer regarding Divorce, He gave the proper sexual relationship in all situations. I will say it again: One cannot call themselves a Christian and go against Jesus’ directive.
    Shame me all you wish. It does not Work! Interesting that you call the Bible MY Holy Text. What Text do you believe?

    • Brian Schrock // March 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm // Reply

      I’m sorry but you are just assuming that’s what he meant. Instead of telling people what Jesus means as if you are reading his mind, you should be admitting that this is just YOUR interpretation. Since it is obvious that the verse you posted was in response specifically to divorce, you can not just use the same verse in regards homosexuality as well. It could even be said that you are slandering Jesus by saying he means something other than what he directly said.

      To be honest, I really don’t think your final words on your last post were necessary. This discussion is open to anyone despite where their religious beliefs lie. Therefore, it is not necessary that I reveal my own.

      • Bob Fruehling // March 30, 2011 at 11:44 pm //

        Brian, I take it that you believe Jesus meant one type of sexual rules for Divorce and another type for Homosexuality. Are you serious?
        The fact of the matter is, when someone asks the Q. “What would Jesus do”, it is usually rhetorical. It is as if there is not a concrete answer, or Jesus just loves whatever people do and so thats OK. Please do not tell me what my Bible says if you do not believe it.

        My Q. is did anyone writing their blogs, know what statements Jesus made in the above Scripture?
        Believe the verse don’t believe the verse, that is up to you. But please do not think for a moment that Jesus did not address the issue of proper sexuality.

        Concerning religious belief. Here is an observation. There is not a major world religion from point of origin that promotes same sex marrige. Now I am not talking Richard Gere Buddhists, I am talking from point of origin. In that case it becomes more a question of Humanity and care for the Village, than Christianity. CK it out. Take care.

      • Brian Schrock // March 31, 2011 at 1:05 am //

        Once again you are just making assumptions for which you have no basis. I don’t mind debating this issue with people but you are not presenting your argument in a fashion that can be debated. You are simply trying to make your interpretations of a scripture regarding divorce into an argument against homosexuality. You might as well use Martin Luther Kings famous “I Have a Dream” speech to argue traffic laws. You are using material that was intended to answer an issue about divorce and by reducing the entire passage down to a single verse; arguing against a completely different issue.

        I’m not even trying to argue that your views against homosexuality are wrong, but simply the way you are trying to present them. If you pull up a source where Jesus has specifically stated his views regarding homosexuality (and not some other issue), then please present it and make your point. Don’t try to prune passages from the Bible so that they fit any issue you want to present.

        At this point I no longer want to discuss this with you since I have tried to make my point three times now which has just led to you questioning my own faith. I hope you find some clarity in what I am trying to say.

        Adios.

  23. Bob Fruehling // March 31, 2011 at 1:38 am // Reply

    Take care Brian, Goodbye

  24. What would Jesus do? Well, he did hang out with 12 guys, dine with prostitutes, actually showed grace to the oppressed and “unclean” of society… Would Jesus care more about our sexual attraction or the love we show to others and our desire to follow Him? I think the latter. We would be surely surprised to examine how Christ would act towards the LGBTQ community should He come back today.

  25. Bob Fruehling // April 2, 2011 at 2:17 am // Reply

    To Whomever cares.

    When Jesus quoted the Scriptures (Luke 19: 4-6), as he was questioned about divorce. He quoted from Genesis concerning the creation of Adam and Eve. To say that these verses just applied to divorce is a misapplication. Since they refer to God’s design for sexuality at the very beginning, it must mean that they apply to all situations.
    After all, I do not think that anyone was divorced before Adam and Eve and there is no record of Adam and Eve divorcing. Laugh ’til you cry. But know I care.

    • Well since Adam and Eve is a myth stolen from a mix of ancient Sumerian and canaanite religions and comes from a time when the Jews worshiped different gods and goddesses…it doesn’t really matter, it’s a story, that’s it. God also “commanded” the israelites to slaughter every male(including babies) and any woman that was married or not a virgin and then take the remaining virgin prisoners from the slaughtered cities ie. in Judges in order to make them sexual slaves. I don’t know about you, but that is wicked. It is cruel. It is genocide. And this is the god that you get your morality from? And don’t give me the tired excuse that Jesus did away with all that in the NT. Jesus said not one jot or tittle from the law would be changed. Also if you think that god is unchanging then that means you believe in the tribal war deity that slaughtered all those babies and had all those young girls raped and sold, demanded animal sacrifices, even accepted human sacrifice(read your bible, kids) over winning battles, was obsessed with altering penises(there are more verses about the importance of foreskins than there is about loving one’s neighbor, if he hated foreskins so much then why did he bother to put em there in the first place? silliness), and promoted punishing whole families for the sin of one person, stone them all!

      I used to be one of those super christians…I read my bible every day, prayed to the point of tears, sang in the choir, did puppets, spent lots of time and energy on mission trips abroad, played in the church band, led bible studies, went to church at least 3 times a week…but I read the bible too much. I studied it so much that my eyes could finally see what it really was. I tried to get closer to god and it turned me into an agnostic. I can never go back. You can never go back to believing in a real Santa Claus. Even if the main god of the bible was proven to exist, was seen all over the world, I would not worship it. I would rebuke it. How many folks in the bible did Satan murder? Job’s family? and that was sanctioned by god…so only half counts. It’s been calculated that in the bible god is responsible for murdering millions of people. MILLIONS is the lowest estimate. I’d rather go to hell knowing that I am a better, fairer, more controlled, more loving being than this god that loves people so much that he created hell just in case you didn’t love him back. It makes no sense. It is dangerous. It has killed too many good people in the name of religion, including those in the GLBTQ community that take their own life rather than disappoint their christian parents.

      It will never ever ever make sense to me that some god created the vast unknowable universe, billions upon billions of other worlds and stars…only to be obsessed with who is having sex with who and in what way or who is eating or sacrificing the wrong animal, favoring one minority semitic tribe in one small corner of the Earth, ordering rape victims to marry their rapist(if the woman isn’t stoned to death for not screaming loud enough if it was in a town), how to brand your slaves and who can be slaves and how much to charge for them. WRONG is WRONG no matter who does it.

      Sorry. Enough is enough! I’m tired of people making excuses for an inherently subjective evil jealous misogynistic deity and I’m even more tired of the fact that “christians” are trying to base laws on this catastrophic moral failure. If our society’s definition of marriage never changed from biblical times then Boehner and Santorum would not be screaming the ol’ “ONE man and ONE woman” bit. We would still practice polygamy and incest out in the open. If a husband dies then his brother gets to marry the widow(s). Biblical marriage…whee!.

      My parents found out I wasn’t a christian anymore at the end of my senior year and forced me to attend Olivet, refusing to help pay for any non christian school. Good luck making 20+/K over 1 summer as an 18 yr old. I made it one through one year back in 2003-2004 living in the Williams dorm surrounded by sheltered girls that were more obsessed with getting their MRS degree than a career. Luckily I was able to find a great group of creative upperclassmen to hang out with. I was a member of the infamous Spoons 4 Forks, that probably saved my life. I struggled hard with depression and used the counseling program…but it did not help much at all. I also knew that I could never truly be open with the “therapist” because if I admitted to being bisexual and unrepentant about it I could be suspended, lose my dorm room, and be forced to attend reparative therapy sessions. They’ve probably scaled this back a lil bit, but it doesn’t sound like much. I remember canceling an appointment and never went back. They didn’t bother following up either. My parents realized that the school would not get me to be a christian again, in fact I think I was a part of many friends of mine becoming secular humanists and GLBT allies. Back in 2003 marriage equality was still a minority opinion, NO ONE openly disagreed with the university’s bigoted stances. Focus on the Family came to campus, took over chapel, and held their Love Won Out program, that consisted of “ex-gays” preaching about how being gay is a mental illness/addiction as a result of abuse or sex addiction. My closeted gay friends dared not speak out that they came from a loving christian home, no abuse of any kind, no drugs, no sex, no nothin’. In fact one of my best friends was a gay religion major. I decided to make rainbow pins for students that were too scared to publicly stand with me to protest those events. I was the ONLY student to stand in front of the chapel with my homemade LOVE IS LOVE sign. I got a lot of flack for that. Even the christian punk rockers gave me a hard time. It was surreal, but I knew that I was doing the right thing. If I didn’t stand there, literally no one would. My sister decided to stand with me after her high school got out, I remember helping her make her sign in a dorm lobby, she drew a great cartoon of a doctor shaking his index finger disapprovingly with the caption “Homosexuality is NOT a disease” with a list of health/psyche organizations. While we were drawing I saw a shy gal that I knew was in the closet. I saw her smile a HUGE smile that I hadn’t seen before, she looked truly fascinated by what we were doing and saying, I would even say it looked like she had a boost of pure hope for the future, that one student dared to stand up for love. The public safety officers gave me a hard time, they couldn’t believe I was a student. They thought I must be some activist from Chicago that came to campus to protest. But once my RD and RA came over to ask if I’d “prayed about what I was doing” they finally left me alone.

      I do not equate sex with love and vice versa. But one should have both, and when you have both it creates strong fulfillment and well-being. I’m bisexual. I’ve never said to myself “I would never have sex with that person because they are X gender” I’ve always been attracted to who people are, not how they pee, or what parts they may or may not have. I’m currently dating a guy, but if he happened to be a girl I’d feel the same way about them. I have close friends that have changed their physical gender. Most girls at Olivet would take one look at my friend M. and would never believe that he was born female. Attraction is NEVER a choice. Attraction is a primary reaction. Any psychologist worth any beans would tell you the same thing. My straight friends, empathetic as they are, would never be able to force themselves to be gay and feel inner attraction for the same gender. Not that these categories are black and white. But hey, I had crushes on girls in kindergarten, I was 5! Nothing felt wrong or weird to me. Some of my barbies would date guys, others would date gals. No one ever taught this to me, I didn’t even hear the term gay until I was probably 12, and even then it was my christian school denouncing it.Like I said, I was raised in the church. But it was just a natural manifestation of who I am deep down.

      Also. Gay marriages DID occur in ancient times. They were even performed in the Byzantine christian empire. in churches! gasp! They’ll never tell you that in a christian college history classes, haha. Some think that Paul was gay, it’s funny that Paul came up with most of the doctrines of christianity and yet he really thought marriage was a bad idea, especially having kids. He recommended you only get married if you would overindulge in fornication if unmarried. Other non Judeo-Christian cultures believed gay and transgendered folks had more capability for spirituality and would often make them spiritual guides, priests, etc. especially in the native american cultures of N. America, it was a BLESSING to have a gay child. Then the Europeans moved in. ugh. .

      Anyways, I’m going all over the place here. This was supposed to just be a quick response to the Genesis comments and I got carried away, like usual. But it is complex. It took me a long time to connect the dots with all that bible stuff. But no one in America lives with the Bible as their sole guide for morality. We do what we agree with and ignore what we don’t whether it says it in the bible or Lord of the Rings. WE are ultimately the ones that develop our own version of morality. Secular morality is the base of every moral system. Religions merely conform over time to what society deems right, it evolves. we learn lessons. Jews don’t sacrifice animals anymore in the temples. We don’t test witches by drowning them anymore. etc etc etc. Christians used the Bible to support slavery until it wasn’t socially acceptable anymore. Same thing will happen with attitudes towards gays. There’s more verses in the bible about slavery practices than about homosexuality. Also lesbianism is never addressed, only homosexual male activity is mentioned specifically. But a guy with 4 wives…well those wives would technically be married to each other too huh…maybe that’s why they left it alone. But in our modern culture marriage is primarily about love and wanting to share your life with who you love, not property issues or creating an heir like in old times. people forget that women couldn’t inherit anything for a very very long time, in order to survive you had to marry someone. Our country is a secular democracy, this helps protect religions as much as it protects we secularists. No law or act should be based solely on a subjective religious moral code. It should allow everyone to practice their faith freely, not mandated. If you don’t agree with abortion…don’t have one. It was legal in this country until the early 20th century when morality hawks started regulating private matters. If you think homosexuality is unappealing to you,..don’t date your gender! Seeing a gay married couple in your neighborhood will not make you value your partner less! Gay parents have straight kids! Straight parents have gay kids! Family is more than just passing on genetics. would anyone in their right mind tell a straight couple that adopted children due to being sterile that their marriage doesn’t count? that their family isn’t a REAL family? I don’t think so. at least I hope not. I gotta go to bed. ugh. If you read this far, thank you. I just get riled up whenever I see anything Olivet related or hearing people try to justify homophobia by saying it wasn’t their idea, it was god’s and hiding behind it with their tail in between their legs.

  26. Dr Chuck Millhuff // April 3, 2011 at 12:14 am // Reply

    So what was a major part of the tragedy in Sodom and Gamora? Are we dealing with the same God? I think so ! I pray OLIVET will hold the line with love. I believe OLIVET will not allow the evangelizing of THE PRACTICE of the Gay lifestyle. We are not going to let the culture create our life style and disregard The Holy Bible if I have anything to say about it, and I do. I so believe in the OLIVET leadership I know they will deal with sin and do all they can for the sinner. Let us all love, obey God’s Word and pray !

    • Dr. Milhuff,

      Nowhere in the Bible is homosexuality linked with Sodom and Gomorra. It is linked with greed and pride in Ezekiel, and is linked with going after “strange flesh”. This passage is a connection to desiring sexual intercourse with angels, which is what brings destruction upon the whole earth in Genesis 6, and is fitting that this would also bring destruction on S&G a few chapters later in Genesis 19. In between those two passages, humans attempt to mix heaven and earth in the tower of Babel and judgment is brought down in Chapter 11. So it would appear that Scripture never equates Sodom with homosexuality.

      Why do we?

      • there was an old mistranslation as I recall. I forget if it was in the Septuagint or the Latin vulgate, but yeah. There’s not one lick of it in the story, we just have had centuries of references built into our culture from that misunderstanding…and it’s still going strong.

    • Chad Steinborn // April 9, 2011 at 12:51 am // Reply

      Dr. Chuck, you reference God’s love and then the same God destroying Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins in the same paragraph. Do you not recognize the contradiction between the two here? Destroying someone for their sins is in no way an exertion of unconditional love (and please don’t just tell me God works in mysterious ways). So either we have a God that doesn’t love unconditionally or the bible is inaccurate. Ill choose the latter, for if the bible was really “perfect”, I wouldn’t want to follow a God that destroys people anyway.

  27. For those of you in pain because of anti-homosexual hatred and exclusion, please do not give up. Know this: it gets better.

    http://www.itgetsbetter.org/

    • Hey I will tell friends no straight male or female knows how it feels until they are in the sichuation. I have no idea what it’s like to have homosexual feelings

  28. I would just like to point out that there is a major error in the first paragraph (BYU is in Utah, not Idaho… I thought this fact was somewhat well known) and this makes me question the legitimacy and accuracy of the reporter.

  29. Although I may not agree with the actions and feelings that many people have at ONU about homosexuality. I do not understand why a homosexual would attend the school thinking that they would be openly accepted by most. It does not take a genius to research not just the Nazarene church, but many conservative denominations, to realize that a large majority of those churches strongly disagree with homosexuality (whether they are right or wrong). If I do not agree with the fundamental beliefs of a group then WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD I JOIN OR GO TO THAT GROUP. I do not mean to be insensitive, but maybe do some research about the denomination and their FUNDAMENTAL beliefs before you go there and then act all confused and upset that people feel this way.

    • Chad Steinborn // April 15, 2011 at 10:14 pm // Reply

      I would presume its because they thought it was a university that correlated with the teachings of Christ.

      • Confused // April 16, 2011 at 3:29 am //

        Chad,
        Yes in a perfect world maybe or at a non-denominational university, but we are talking about Nazarenes. I am not defending the church and am nowhere close to being a Nazarene, I am just being a realist. Yes in a perfect world we would all hold hands and run through the fields together singing. All I was saying is that the Nazarene church clearly disagrees with Homosexuality. There is a difference between hoping things would be one way and being a realist. I went to ONU and was not and am not a Nazarene but I understood that I CHOSE to go to a Nazarene school and although I disagreed with a lot of things the Nazarene Church believed in, I still understood that I CHOSE to go to their school and as a result will never attend a Nazarene church but respected that they have their own conservative beliefs. Do I agree with some fundamental teachings of the Mormon church? No, so I choose not to go to Mormon things…..If your goal is to rewrite fundamental beliefs in different denominations and churches then go for it and I will shut up. Not trying to smart off but come on people you chose a Nazarene school…. WHAT DID YOU EXPECT!? Try Calvin College, Christian basis but very liberal compared to Nazarenes

    • Not every student chooses to go to a Nazarene school.

      There are many factors that go into choosing a university: finances, distance from home, academics, religious tradition, family tradition, etc… Not all students can afford to choose a school solely on the basis of which will accept their sexual orientation (and shouldn’t have to). This is especially the case for those students who come to awareness of their sexuality while attending college.

      If you want to have a better understanding of this issue, I suggest you read this article. It’s about another Christian university called Harding, but I think most things said could be applicable to this situation as well. http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/4363/coming_out_on_a_christian_campus%2C_then_and_now/

      “A couple of comments kept coming up. Repeatedly, people kept asking, “Why would you go to Harding if you’re gay?”

      The question is unfair. So many factors—funding, family, a deep connection to the religious culture—could place a student at Harding. While more and more students may show up their first year of college with self-awareness about sexual identity, as they do at the public university where I teach, I know it is difficult to come to terms with yourself if you grow up in fundamentalist Christian culture. Many of us come out while in college; at Harding finding ourselves in a world in which something fundamental about ourselves is a category of silence at best, more likely a category of condemnation and stigmatization. I have no doubt that many find themselves coming to sexual awareness at Harding, as I did, or they hope and pray that Harding and its culture will, in some way, cure them—something I had also hoped.

      Self-awareness is difficult at Harding, coming out well-nigh impossible. It’s impossible to come to terms with yourself in a place where it it’s impossible to talk about who you are. ”

      Also, there are many schools which have prohibitions against homosexuality written into their handbooks, but with varying levels of acceptance by the administration and student body. It’s not like every school comes with a handbook that says “this is what’s going to happen to you if you come out here.” Most students have to play it by ear.

    • atleast we agree that Olivet is mere rubbish

  30. An Olivet Alum // April 11, 2011 at 3:48 am // Reply

    I would highly suggest getting Sy Rodgers to come back to Olivet and speak again.
    He was easily my favorite and best speaking in all of my four years there and had incredible, revolutionary, Christ-like and biblical views on this exact topic.

  31. Jesus loved everyone and met them where they were. However, a life touched by the love of Christ and the truth of the Gospel did not remain the same; it was forever changed. Jesus loved the sinner, not the sin. As Christians, we should do the same. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not do away with it. Jesus never contradicted the will of His Father. If God says that homosexuality is an abomination, you can be sure that Jesus would not say it was okay. There are factors that can play into someone having homosexual tendencies, but people are not born that way. That is a lie of satan, the great deceiver. God would never create someone to be something that is contrary to Himself. Homosexuality is a sin. We are all born into sin, and have different tendencies towards sin. You can thank Adam and Eve for that. The Bible says that Jesus was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. God is holy and cannot accept sin; that is His nature. He is love AND holiness. Jesus came to show us God’s love, and to identify with our humanity by becoming one of us. He knows how each of us struggles with our “bent to sinning”. Read about the thorn in the flesh that the apostle Paul begged to be delivered from, yet was not. The Bible doesn’t say what the “thorn” was; whatever he struggled with could be whatever we struggle with. As Paul said, “thanks be to God, who will deliver us from this body of death”! God does love us and He has the power to enable us to live without sin through the blood of Jesus Christ! The road may not be easy, but it is possible. Jesus was the most loving person who ever walked this earth, but He still called sin sin. The answer is not in dismissing a sin and saying God doesn’t care about it just because it happens to be the one we struggle with. We may not like everything God says, but that doesn’t change His Word and His truth. What would Jesus say to the gay and lesbians if He were here today? I believe He would say “I love you”, your sins are forgiven, now go and sin no more”.

    • or he would say, “I love you…regardless?” Even if you think homosexuality is sin, is it really going to effect if someone gets to heaven or not? Just seems so minuscule in the scheme of things. If they love God, whats it matter? “How merciful is God in hearing the prayers and receiving the worship of people whose beliefs are less than fully accurate? If God requires 100% accuracy, we’re all hopeless.”

  32. Jesus does love everyone regardless. He loves the sinner, but cannot condone sin. Loving God with all of our hearts means trying our best to follow his desires and commands. Yes, we are human and imperfect, which is where grace comes in. But our hearts and intentions are to be perfect. We seem to want to make God into a big, forgiving pile of fluff who says, “It doesn’t matter what you do; there are no bad consequences for any of your choices because I am loving.” That is far from what the Bible says! God will forgive anyone who comes to Him and repents, but the key is we must repent. True repentance means turning from sin, not continuing to live in it. God’s power is limitless in enabling us to live above sin! Not in our own strength, but His!

    He has blessing and forgiveness to pour out upon us, but there is repentance, commitment, and responsibility on our part. God does not send anyone to hell. He does not want anyone to go there, which is why He sent His Son to provide an escape from damnation. He gave all of us free will. We can choose to accept His salvation and walk in truth and holiness, or we can refuse and walk in darkness.

    Read the following verses from the Bible. They are not my words, but God’s.

    21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” Matt 7:21-25

    9 “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. ” I Cor 6:9-10

    • Paul’s writings are letters, not Jesus’ words, and are certainly not from god. Paul’s letters are in there because his faction of Paulian christianity won the culture wars and took political power away from the jewish, essene, and gnostic christians that were less politically motivated groups, In fact Paul never quotes Jesus once…but since he never met him in person I could see why that would be the case. Why do humans always limit the gods they create? we make them into versions of our own culture. Gods are mirrors, pictures that we use as tools to understand ourselves. Why would an eternal being that encompasses a vast universe with billions and billions of worlds, likely other conscious life forms of some kind that we will never get to meet be sooooooo obsessed with penises and what we do with them, how to cut em just right? The truth is HUMANS are obsessed with it, therefore most all of those gods in more ancient times were fertility related, Jews were no exception and were actually polytheistic until Hezekiah was king around 700 BC and made sweeping monotheistic reforms kind of like pharoah Akhenaten did in Egypt. Like in the temple they’d have statues dedicated to all kinds of deities. Even in the moses story the healing snake staff was taken from local mythology surrounding a snake god, probably where the one in Genesis came from too. Switching things up probably had more to do with dealing with a few really bad invasions/sieges by the Assyrians and trying to figure out what they could do differently to please whatever god was doling out the bad luck. Back then if something good or bad happened and there’s not a clear answer why it is chalked up to a deity or some other supernatural thing as not knowing is scarier than a tall tale.

  33. One problem that I have with a non-biblically supported human behavior is the acceptance of some as ‘normal’ and the rejection of others as ‘perverse’. If this article were about students who were theives, or murderers, bulemics, or pedophiles. Would we say “that’s how God made them and we need to just love them and overlook God’s design for them”?

    As our culture moves away from God and becomes more humanistic, we are seeing more physical ailments. We are seeing more non-biblical behavior. Just like in the days of Noah……

    • I dunno if you want to bring up Noah when talking about “biblical/nonbiblical behavior”(which is a ridiculous way to look at behavior in general as the Bible would get an NC-17 rating in the theater…but especially Noah. Remember? He got wayyyyyyyyyyyy too drunk one night in his tent and was stark naked. His 3 sons had to help cover him and all that shame up, but one son saw Noah’s “family jewels” and Noah was sooooooo mad that he cursed his son’s entire family. Good going Bible. Good going.

  34. This is a very lively discussion. I invite you all to check out my blog. But let me be frank. Being gay, is not a sin, being straight is not a sin.

    The definition of sin by the Church (historically) and by COTN doesn’t state that someone’s sexual orientation determines their salvation. Salvation is only a matter of asking Jesus into one’s heart.

    I am a pastor in the Nazarene Church, so coming out has been a very delicate topic. I love the Church, that it why it pains me when I see stories like this. Our universities, and churches need to be a place of safety for all, not just the WASP (White-Anglo-Straight-Protestants).

    We used to be a Church that looked after the outcasts, now we shun then, and make them 2nd class citizens and support politics of the state that oppress people groups.

    As far as what the Bible says, 5 verses are devoted to the subject of homosexuality. All of which can be explained away by cultural issues of that Biblical-Age. (Why do we pick and choose which verses to follow?) Jesus speaks on divorce, and says nothing on homosexuality. Tradition is only basis for the Manual statements.

    What happens if homosexuals get the chance to marry or (like me) openly be clergy, nothing. God is still God. What are the fundamentalist-Nazarenes scared of? We CANNOT be a church or a university that runs itself in fear! Where there is fear, there is not love. And were there is not love, there is not Christ.

    Again, I invite you follow me on Twitter, facebook and my blog.

    http://www.twitter.com/nazagay
    http://www.facebook.com/nazagay

    http://nazagay.blogspot.com

    -The Gay Nazarene

  35. I feel no one has the right to judge as a human I am a liberal Christian, this post brought me to tears. I believe this is something no one understands until they are in the situation. I attended Onu and at times it was very judgemental and i feel every person should be loved and needs the support to do so. My sister had a gay male friend who commited sucide due to his parents constant “sin” talk. I feel they are partial to blame it really to this day saddness me at parents and at the church. If anyone would like support or to talk to me further I would welcome an e mail gchristina88@yahoo.com. Please know you have a friend and a listener. There were some at ONU that were amazing I however urge people to get out of the box and realize if we keep placing the word “sin” on the issue of homosexualiality we are stepping back in time. A move for all people to watch as cheesy as lifetime movies is the movie is called prayers for Bobby. I hope more people post and feel the freedom to respect others in their views as well as journey.

  36. brettmichaelcarmouche // March 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm // Reply

    Reblogged this on Layers and commented:
    A year ago this week, this article was released at my university. While I truly believe that strides were made, the struggle is not over, and we must continue to strive for equality, respect, and love. As an alumnus of the university, I remain deeply concerned by this injustice.

  37. I grew up Nazarene and this is sadly one of the reasons I chose not to go to a Nazarene University. Coming out to someone is scary enough, but when it is thrown in your face after being so broken that is mental health issues occur. Stay strong friends.

  38. My family members every time say that I am killing my time here at web, but I know I am
    getting experience all the time by reading such nice articles or reviews.

  39. Sinnerjustlikeyou // April 12, 2014 at 12:17 am // Reply

    ” I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

    Take heart Christians, because our God is powerful enough to see through this all. Stay strong in the faith, and do not let these advocates of sin sway you. Homosexuality is a sin, and sin is wrong.

    Do not loose faith Christians, for all those that share in homosexuality and accept it will surely not inherit the Kingdom of God.

    Peace be with you.

    God is good. All the time.

  40. It is to bad Olivet didn’t put a blemish on Brett’s record. He sexually assaulted a male student while at Olivet. This assault was reported to Public safety ,but little was done. The victim of the assault was pressured into leaving the school. After Brett graduated from Olivet he did this https://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140321/news/140329543/ .. Maybe if something had been done to his record the fourteen year old victim would have been spared from meeting him at the BGCE.

  41. Sarah leeke // May 12, 2014 at 8:23 pm // Reply

    You guys are killing me. When will really real Christians get serious about being transformed Christians? Yet Satan sits and enjoys you tearing each other down. The problem with us in General is that what we think is right… Oh my didn’t Christ say that? Yes he did. Hate the sin n love the sinner. They will know we are His servants by the we live, love, and serve. Homosexuality should never be our number one agenda. Showing His love should be. Let Christ do the rest. We all will stand before Him and will be held accountable. I would rather my family and friends judge me and help guide my feet to the sanctuary so I can get my life in order then to find myself at His throne receiving his judgement. Praise God for loving me despite my struggles. We all have secret sins but God knows everything . My plan: serve Him n love Him. Few will get the chance to spend eternity with Him because of their earthly choices. Make a decision: who will you serve? God or yourself. Me: I choose God. Good luck on your debate. FYI it will never end. That’s the way Satan works. And as long as you all stand on your soap boxes that’s exactly what you are doing. I am a very proud olivetian but I’m mote proud to be a Christian. Sarah

  42. Actually, it is all today. No subject is taboo. Sex, homosexual, heterosexual, etc. But the crux of matter is not really these topics but rather the policy. Right or left, these topics are just pawns.

  43. berrierdorian // June 30, 2014 at 3:20 am // Reply

    Actually, it is all today. No subject is taboo. Sex, homosexual, heterosexual, etc. But the crux of matter is not really these topics but rather the policy. Right or left, these topics are just pawns.
    Visit also : http://www.sales-solution.fr

  44. I savour, cause I found exactly what I was looking for.
    You have ended mmy 4 day lonmg hunt! God Blerss you man. Have a nide day.
    Bye

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