I wanted to share this video and article published by the Christian Chronicle of recent goings-on at Harding University. I started to write a status update on Facebook about this, but it started getting out of hand, so I thought it warranted a blog post 🙂

I want to say now that you are welcome to disagree with me in the comments section. I’m cool with that, but your comment will be deleted if it’s profane or bullying or downright mean. Just sayin’.

I’m simply writing this because I want to say I admire President Burks for staying committed to his beliefs. If you read the  in the Christian Chronicle:  and the rest of the article of what’s going on, you will get a better picture of what I’m talking about. Here’s the video:

You may not agree with Hardings or Burks views on homosexuality, or whether or not scripture is God-breathed or even Hardings policies on suspending people who have sex outside of marriage, bullying or ‘unacceptable behavior.’ Then again, you might agree. Let me just go ahead and expose myself by saying I do agree.

But that’s not really what struck me about this situation. I admire their commitment. Harding University was founded on biblical principles and has never tried to disguise that fact. Quite the opposite. I know of other universities, institutions, organizations and individuals who cave at the first sign of pressure from the public. What’s even harder is when you’re being pressured by your own family…in Harding’s case, it’s students. The fact is, it’s right there from the tagline on their website “Faith Learning Living” to their explanatory mission. I agree with Burk that you are entitled to think what you want to think. You’re entitled to believe what you want to believe. But an organization that is founded on certain principles and expects their students to obey their guidelines as a private university is, in my opinion weaker if they give in and backtrack on their resolve just because people want them to. Just because students no longer want to follow those guidelines doesn’t mean the university should change…it means they should go somewhere where they DO agree with the principles. Just like if you don’t like this blog you don’t have to stay and here and try to push hurtful comments through. Go to another blog where they’re welcome.

But I said it wasn’t all about who stands where and so I’ll get back on track. I see so many divorces. I see so many children rejecting their own families…because of trend not because of abuse or legitimate reason. I see “news” giving in to what the public wants – reality tv – and broadcasting more and more sensationalism instead of information. I see parents being swayed by one parenting fad after another instead of committing to parenting their children based on their true beliefs. I see parents giving up altogether on parenting and letting society do it instead. I especially notice Christians when they allow themselves to be sucked out of their commitment to live as Jesus lived.

All because people don’t want them to. All because of opinion. Before I close and condemn myself in some people’s eyes altogether I just want to say first that that does not mean I believe you can’t change your mind. I change my mind, sure…after careful thought and consideration. I listen and I observe. I don’t believe in turning a blind eye and I don’t believe in trying to live in ignorance just to seek bliss. But I do think that if you commit to something…then you commit. Did you see that period?

I committed to being a Christian 14 years ago. That was a big commitment and one I didn’t take lightly. I admire Burks. I admire him because he knows what he stands for. He knows what the university stands for. I couldn’t be happier to see such a display of commitment among all the students and public who are trying to adapt one organization’s belief system to their own.


9 responses to “Commitment”

  1. Beverly S. Fisch says :

    Well said Bri. Thanks for posting.

  2. Caryn says :

    I am so proud to be your friend. 🙂 Love you, and you will hear no ill will from this blog comment.

  3. Pam Davis says :

    I don’t agree with the basic reason Harding did what it did, regarding homosexuality. But I do support your right to state your agreement. And I also agree with your statements about parenting and reality tv etc. It is whacky out there.

    • 5carrolls says :

      Even though I agree with their principles, what I really agree with is that since they are a private university and can make their own mission and whatnot, then if someone does not like their particular mission and rules, then they don’t have to go there. It seems almost silly to me that if a university’s handbook states that they will expel someone for doing certain things, but that person LIKES to do those things, then they would naturally go somewhere else. In other words, I approve of them upholding the handbook and not blocking the website just because they didn’t like it. It actually violated the handbook rules and if you don’t uphold the rules, then you’re just like any other university. You’re not who you are. Anyway, I’m rambling and the chicken is burning in the other room! I value your thoughts and I know I’m approaching this from a more objective perspective while you actually had the harding experience 😀

  4. Pam Davis says :

    I do think that students of the college age are in the process of defining themselves, and that includes defining themselves sexually. So the issue of violating a handbook and knowing they would want to do so may be a bit tricker a proposition in my opinion. However I do also understand and agree that these days sticking to your boundaries in today’s society is something to be appreciated. I applaud your bravery in taking up this issue, Bri.

  5. Stefanie says :

    Hi Bri. Hope you’re doing well! 🙂

    About your comment “they are a private university and can make their own mission and whatnot, then if someone does not like their particular mission and rules, then they don’t have to go there. It seems almost silly to me that if a university’s handbook states that they will expel someone for doing certain things, but that person LIKES to do those things, then they would naturally go somewhere else.” I think that some people just like to buck the system! One of my kids is passionately determined to push the boundaries of every rule I have for him. I think it might be in his make up. Does that make it right or good, or even something to be left unaddressed? I don’t think so.

    God and Christ gave us rules. Most of those rules make good practical sense, but they’re all set up for our protection and well-being. And yet, our rebellious sinful nature likes to dabble in the no-no areas.

    Or maybe these students had no choice of what school to go to. Maybe mommy and daddy stipulated where they’d attend if they wanted a college degree. And so they ended up stirring the pot at HU.

    I don’t know all the details. But I do know that, as a parent, it is necessary and good for me to stand by my word. I don’t think Burks’ position is much different.


    • 5carrolls says :

      Good thoughts, Stef! Someone posted on FB the other day in their status: ‘If you made a playlist for your life, what would it be titled?’ or something like that. I was thinking to myself: “Learning the Hard Way!” I think that when we’re younger, it is definitely hard to recognize that certain rules at institutions, organizations, societies, or in the bible are there for our benefit and not our demise 🙂

  6. Mark says :

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. This is a really hard issue, and it isn’t going away any time soon. We will always be tempted to be lukewarm Christians for the sake of fitting in, but Christ has called us to something better than that, even if it is hard for those around us to embrace the same vision.

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