Challenging Thoughts Made Me Stronger

Published on Jan 14, 2016.

An overarching theme of HNRS 3560—Being Human—was that it challenged many conventional ideas I had.  Not that this class brought up subjects I had not studied before, but I was tested regarding the basis behind my beliefs when it came to God and evil, disability in the church, blind spots, homosexuality, and the meaning of my existence as a human, to name a few subjects.

By far, the thing that challenged my previous conventions the most was the discussion on homosexuality.  I came into Honors the start of my second year thinking that all homosexuality was wrong, sinful, and should not be tolerated in the Church, but our class sessions exploring this topic muddied the waters for me quite a bit! If I was wrong in my thinking and homosexuals should be allowed in the Church and treated just like everybody else because their sin was an infirmity (according to Nazarene philosophy), what else was I wrong about?  I was increasingly disturbed over this subject because many of my Honors classmates thought that homosexuality was fine as long as it was in the context of a loving, mutual relationship and its subtle acceptance in today’s church.  In mild distress, I turned to well-known theologian and pastor John MacArthur and his biblical opinion on this topic.  He affirmed what I believed by explaining relevant biblical passages, which was that homosexuality, whether oppressive, loving, celibate, or even humanly lawful, is not an infirmity, but an immoral violation of God’s righteousness and a perversion of His gifts of love and sex.  My understanding of this interpretation was informed by a sound exegesis of Scripture, instead of twisting and diminishing the Bible to fit the philosophies of this age like many tend to do.  It was mentioned, perhaps playing the devil’s advocate, that everyone has different biblical interpretations so the Bible is not a reliable source of truth in regards to homosexuality, but this argument seems to promote relativism.  I think a correct theology of God’s justice, holiness, and righteousness is necessary to live without conforming to the world.  I still think Christians should abhor the sin, yet continue to give the good news of the gospel to homosexuals.  

In short, my faith and beliefs have not changed because of our class lectures on this subject.  I may not have appreciated this look at a difficult cultural topic, but because this confrontation of beliefs occurred in the context of an Honors class (which sometimes can cause raised eyebrows ☺), I am stronger and more sure of my personal principles.

Esther Frederick.1

Honors College

The Honors College offers a unique, interdisciplinary educational experience for students who meet the academic qualifications and who desire stimulating participation in small, challenging classes.

Quote from an Honors College student, Kirsten Jenson“Honors College has prompted me to grow and determine where I fit in the academic world.”

—Kirsten Jenson (class of 2017)