With the number of non-church of Christ affiliated students continuing to rise at Oklahoma Christian University the importance of inclusivity is becoming more and more clear. If we as a university want the best possible campus the first step in the process to getting there is to be inclusive of everyone.
Romans 12:5 says, “so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another”. However, it does not always feel that way. I’m confident I am not alone in the fact that I have had run-ins with very judgmental Christians. The type of people who take more pride in condemning you for your actions and beliefs than they do loving you as a brother/sister in Christ.
It is hard to move anywhere and start a new life. If you’re like me and come into a completely different culture than what you’re used to the whole experience becomes more trying. Growing up with a Baptist background and coming to a church of Christ university without a clue what Church of Christ believed in ended up being like culture shock for me. I started to understand why certain parts of the text were interpreted the way they were and how these viewpoints guided belief. This led me to become a lot more understanding of all Christians.
The Bible can be a very hard book to take literally when you consider every person can interpret it a number of different ways. It is not until you work to understand someone else’s viewpoint that you can truly understand someone. If everyone on campus made the effort to put themselves in the shoes of the people around them there would be a visible change to interactions on campus.
The best way we as students can work towards this is to be intentional with our interactions around campus. Emphasizing speaking life into our relationships ought to be a collective goal we can all share at this university. Petty issues on campus shouldn’t foster distaste for one another. As a “town built upon a hill” none of our actions are hidden. People look to our university and see a university representing more than just an education. I hope that when they look to us they see a university that is inclusive of everyone, and that starts with us as students.
The Bible is very clear when talking about how Christians should view each other. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and Matthew 7:1-5 says, ““Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”