In its sexual misconduct code, Baylor University, a private Christian school in Texas, states that human sexuality is a gift from God whose purposes include procreation and “uniting and strengthening of the marital bond in self-giving love.” Acts that fall outside these purposes include incest, adultery, fornication, and homosexual acts.
So far, so good. That’s what the Bible has taught through the ages. But last month the Baylor Student Senate voted to remove “homosexual acts” and replace the phrase with “nonmarital consensual deviate sexual intercourse.” (Can you say that three times fast?) Why replace a simple, commonly understood phrase with a contorted one?
Trenton Garza, the Senate member who sponsored the proposed change, said the current Bible-based statement creates “an uncomfortable environment for the homosexual students here.” “Uncomfortable” is such a weak word in this context. Any homosexual attending a Christian university and who calls himself a Christian should expect such a school to condemn homosexuality. How would removing the word would ease their discomfort? The sexually immoral, whether fornicators, adulterers, or homosexuals, should be uncomfortable in their sin.
As it turns out, the proposed language was shot down. Last Friday, Baylor’s student body president vetoed the change. “I truly believe that Baylor treats its students with grace, love, and truth, and in doing that seeks to accept all students, but does not affirm all student behaviors,” Wesley Hodges said. “Simply because the university disagrees with your actions or lifestyle, does not imply that it is seeking to attack you.”
I think sexual misconduct statements should call out certain sins and separate acts between two men from those of a man and a woman. Sex outside marriage deviates from the biblical norm, as does homosexual behavior. But marriage has been redefined to include two people of the same sex (and might one day stretch to include three or more individuals). Let’s say, hypothetically, we have two male students at Baylor who were “married” in a state that legally recognizes such unions. They’ve overcome the “nonmarital” problem, yet the “deviate sexual intercourse” problem remains. Even if two men are legally married, their acts will always be unbiblical and sinful. Removing “homosexual acts” won’t placate these students. Instead, the change probably would lead them to lobby the school to remove or redefine “deviate.”
Because politically correct ideas have taken root in these schools, the Christian students at Baylor know very well that any statement that even hints at disapproving of homosexuality offends. Semantics aside, downplaying sin or attempting to appease sinners won’t turn sin into non-sin. The statement as it stands makes the point very well. The Bible condemns not just sex outside marriage but specifically between two men and two women.
Along with faith in Christ and repentance of sins, there is obedience. Sexually immoral believers and unbelievers should feel uncomfortable. Their discomfort stems not from mere words. The Holy Spirit convicts and exposes what the natural man longs to keep hidden. The light of truth can be a harsh one, but it also cleanses.