|Name: Cornerstone University
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Religious Affiliation: No Official Denominational Affiliation or Religious Affiliation
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
Concerning GLBT Equality:
Cornerstone University states in their Lifestyle Statement that students are obligated to, "To avoid every form of immorality, including immoral sexual behavior, homosexuality, lying, stealing and cheating." If a student does not conform to this stand they could face expulsion. The Lifestyle Statement states, "Behavior, either on campus or away, which indicates that a student has disregard for the spirit of the university standards may be sufficient reason to ask a student to withdraw from the university."
View the lifestyle statement here.
The student application also contains the same Lifestyle Statement.
The student handbook contains a Discernment Policy that makes clear that entertainment which includes homosexuality is also prohibited.
Students are to exercise discernment in television viewing based on the above guidelines. Beyond considerations regarding the content of a program, the discerning believer must also consider the point of view or judgments that are made regarding certain issues. Subjects like racism or homosexuality may be portrayed in a program, but consideration should be given as to whether the subject is ultimately celebrated or condemned.
The president of the college, Dr. Rex Rodgers, has made numerous statements on GLBT issues. Three are located below:
The Gay Agenda
Many homosexuals, or as they are more often called, gays and lesbians, are politically organized and have an agenda. I do not mean this in some conspiratorial way. I’m simply pointing out the fact that gay and lesbian organizations now regularly lobby Washington D.C., state capitols, and city councils to pass laws that favor gay and lesbian objectives. Among those objectives is a desire for laws that legalize same-sex marriages, adoption by gay or lesbian couples, and the application to gays and lesbians of civil rights laws based on race.
Gay and lesbianism are nothing new in this country or in any other country of the world. What is newer in the past few years is the degree to which homosexuality has been invited into mainstream culture as an acceptable lifestyle and the degree to which gays and lesbians are politically organized. It is the combination of these two developments that has produced the gay agenda, a social and political statement emanating from the gay and lesbian philosophy of life.
Perhaps it’s this last point that’s the most important. Understanding the gay and lesbian agenda as a set of political objectives is one thing. Understanding it as a worldview is something else. While Christians may agree that no citizen should be denied his or her civil liberties without due process of law, we must nevertheless understand that the gay and lesbian agenda is a worldview that is diametrically opposed to a biblically Christian worldview. Gay and lesbian values about sexuality and the family are not biblical values.
Gay and lesbianism is not like race, gender, or ethnicity. Homosexuality is about morality not about biology. Homosexuality, while capable of clasping individuals in a near death grip, is based upon a series of moral choices not biological, chemical imperatives. Unlike race, gender, and ethnicity, homosexuality is not a divine gift to humanity. Homosexual behavior is a perversion of God’s gift and, therefore, the gay and lesbian agenda must be opposed by Christians who wish to remain faithful to the teachings of the Bible. Christianity and the gay agenda don’t mix.
Saying you do not agree with the gay agenda is not a hate crime. It is not a crime to disagree with another’s ideas or even to politic against those ideas. Saying you disagree with the gay agenda and politicking against it is simply a matter of defending truth.
Homosexuality is Not Biblical
Homosexuality is no longer "in the closet" and thus is no longer a topic that can be safely ignored by the Christian family. Television programs, books and magazine articles, popular music, celebrities, and even local school systems are presenting and promoting homosexuality as an acceptable form of sexual expression or, as some call it, "alternative lifestyle." Many homosexuals, or gays and lesbians as they are more often known, are well organized. They have a social and political agenda, and they are aggressively expressing their views in the public media. Consequently, while we may wish to avoid the topic, Christian parents need to discuss homosexuality with their children.
Perhaps there are a number of issues about which the Bible makes no clear statement and about which Christians may disagree. Homosexuality is not one of those. Anyone who accepts the Bible as God’s inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word must acknowledge that God condemns homosexual relationships as immoral and contrary to God’s plan for sexuality, for the family, and for society (Rom 1:26-27).
Saying that homosexuality is a sin does not mean that one must hate the sinner. Calling homosexuality a sin is no different than calling adultery a sin or calling child molesting, incest, or bestiality a sin. These forms of sexuality are called sin because they violate God’s written Word and will for mankind. Calling homosexuality a sin does not necessarily mean that it is worse in the eyes of God than other forms of sin. Calling homosexuality a sin is not a matter of singling this sin out from among others. It is simply a matter of identifying as sin a behavior being embraced by sinful people.
Christian families must teach children about the definitions and dangers of immoral sexual behavior. We do this so that they may avoid Satan’s sexual traps and so that they may understand the difference between rejecting a sin and rejecting a person.
Homosexuality is very much a part of the American landscape. It is more than a given sexual behavior; it’s a philosophy of life and a political program. The arguments for homosexuality must be understood, then biblically and lovingly refuted. Homosexuals should be accepted as any other human beings struggling with the grip of sin. They need Christians’ assistance, not just condemnation. Our children need family instruction in biblical sexual morality. Homosexuality is a modern question made from an old problem. God has a timeless answer.
Christian Colleges and Universities and the Homosexuality Issue on Collision Course
Virtually every time an incident occurs in a local college or university related to homosexuality, a media personality visits our campus and asks me, "Do you kick out gay students?" If I say, "Yes," than the university may be portrayed, at a minimum, as old-fashioned or intolerant, or at worst, as gay-bashers or homophobes. If I say, "No," than perhaps the public will think that the university winks at such matters or maybe even endorses homosexuality in some way.
So I say this: "Cornerstone University affirms biblical views of human sexuality and, therefore, we teach and promote abstinence from any and all sexual activity or expression outside the boundaries and the bonds of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. Consequently, all forms of sexual expression outside the marital relationship are immoral."
For those who want more than a sound-bite and are willing to read the university’s "Statement on Human Sexuality," we observe that "in a biblical view, God defines one’s gender at conception prior to birth. One is either a male or a female. Sexuality, however, while a gift of God, is often perverted to sinful ends by both men and women. Sexual expression is a moral choice. According to the Bible, God defines all forms of sexual immorality as sin, and God condemns any and all alternatives to monogamous, heterosexual marriage.
Christian colleges and universities around the country are struggling with what has become "the homosexuality issue." Why?
- Homosexuality has become a key, unavoidable moral debate of our times.
- In some states, gay individuals have targeted Christian institutions of higher learning as a battleground.
- Some colleges and universities that still wish to foster some form of Christian commitment no longer employ a confession of faith or other policy statements requiring personnel to affirm the institution’s understanding of Christian values and practice.
- Some Christian colleges and universities have been challenged by personnel who have in one manner or another publicly endorsed homosexual expression in same-sex marriages, etc.
- Media sources periodically probe Christian college and university attitudes and practices regarding homosexuality whenever gay issues develop in area educational institutions.
- For many people, homosexuality has become a political not a moral issue, so Christian colleges and universities wishing to maintain biblical injunctions regarding homosexual expression are increasingly portrayed as biased, discriminatory, "intolerant," or hateful.
- With the continuing collapse of cultural barriers, homosexual practice is increasing, so more Christian students are struggling with homosexuality.
Homosexuality, or gay and lesbianism, is as old as humanity but it is a particularly bold and central issue of the new millennium. Christian colleges and universities, therefore, cannot and should not ignore the issue. Christian schools must and should engage the issue. "Engage" in my book does not mean embrace or endorse. "Engage" means to know applicable biblical principles, to be informed about social developments, to participate in public debate, and to seek to influence public morality based upon biblical morality.
I believe Christian colleges and universities must continue to affirm biblical truth regarding homosexuality and then exercise moral leadership on behalf of the Christian Church. Homosexuality is a question for which God is the answer, and Christian campuses are in the business of providing answers. No other response qualifies as faithfulness to God and his Word.
The following is a statement adopted by the Cornerstone University Board of Trustees:
Cornerstone University affirms biblical views of human sexuality. C.U. believes the Bible is God’s Word and, therefore, we teach and promote abstinence from any and all sexual activity or expression outside the boundaries and the bonds of monogamous, heterosexual marriage.
In a biblical view, God defines one’s gender at conception prior to birth. One is either a male or a female. Sexuality, however, while a gift of God, is often perverted to sinful ends by both men and women. Sexual expression is a moral choice. According to the Bible, God defines all forms of sexual immorality as sin, and God condemns any and all alternatives to monogamous, heterosexual marriage.
While others adopt labels, we try to avoid labeling individuals based upon some spiritual struggle in their lives. In other words, we think of a person struggling with narcotics, not just a "drug addict." Or we think of a person struggling with temptations to steal, not just a "thief." We do this because we do not recognize any of these labeling designations as indicative of some kind of "unalterable state or condition."
We are all "sinners," but praise God this condition is not unalterable. If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, then we are "sinners saved by grace." Yet sometimes the sin is more evident than the grace in our lives.
People’s expression of human sexuality is influenced by this sin and grace struggle in the form of sexual temptations. The temptation in itself is not a sin; dwelling on that temptation, yielding to that temptation, becomes sin. People struggle with sexual integrity. Sometimes they yield to immoral behavior, whether heterosexual or homosexual. This act of sin does not make people unforgivable nor does it mean that by the grace of God they cannot change. A struggle with sexual temptation, even an act of sexual immorality, does not turn a person into a labeled category. It simply means there is sin in that person’s life and Christ is the answer to that sin.
Cornerstone University’s mission includes those students who are growing in the Lord, and the university’s mission includes those students who, while struggling with sexual temptation, are desirous of following principles of Scripture.
Adopted Jan. 24, 2002 Board of Trustees
This statement can be viewed on the Cornerstone University website here.