Recently, OCC’s views on homosexuality have been questioned. In light of this, we want to clarify two important commitments. First, we are committed to upholding the truth of God’s Word. We respect others’ freedom to express their views, and we want to genuinely listen. As Christians, however, our highest priority is understanding and obeying the Bible. Second, we are committed to treating each person with the love of Christ. We believe every person is created by God in his image and should be treated “with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). Even when we disagree, we want to show each person the kindness of Christ. For further understanding of OCC’s views on this issue, the following questions and answers may be helpful:
- How does OCC respond to former students now living a gay lifestyle?
We believe every person is created by God in his image, worthy of dignity and love. We recognize this is a difficult subject, and we are saddened to hear of pain any former students have experienced. We want to treat each student with respect and care, and we are always seeking to listen, learn, and grow. Our longtime motto and goal is still “Teaching the Word of Christ in the Spirit of Christ” which is a spirit of humility, grace, and love.
- How does OCC interpret the biblical passages addressing homosexuality?
OCC’s understanding of the Bible’s teaching is the traditional understanding of the Church: God forbids sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman, including homosexual activity.
- What resources would help me understand OCC’s views on homosexuality?
Sam Allberry’s Is God Anti-Gay? is a good starter book—short and readable—which includes his personal testimony as a same-sex attracted pastor. Kevin DeYoung’s What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? offers the historic Christian interpretation of the relevant biblical passages. OCC graduate Caleb Kaltenbach’s Messy Grace is a helpful book on responding with grace to the LGBT community.
- Does OCC admit students who are homosexual?
As a private Christian college, OCC’s policies include a commitment to avoid any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman, including homosexual activity. While some realize we are not the right college for them, we welcome any students who are willing to follow our policies.
- Does OCC practice conversion therapy?
We do not practice conversion therapy. When OCC students experience same-sex attraction, “our goal is not to call them to heterosexuality, but to holy sexuality” (Christopher Yuan). These students may not be able to change that attraction, but we believe they can choose holiness. We call all of our students to obey God’s Word.
- Does OCC teach that AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexuals?
No. We would not presume to judge on behalf of God. We grieve over the global AIDS crisis, and our alumni have served AIDS patients around the world.
- Is OCC exempt from Title IX?
OCC operates under Title IX, a federal civil rights law against discrimination in education. However, Title IX includes a religious exemption, and OCC is one of many private Christian colleges that have been given that exemption (for things like admissions and employment) based on our religious beliefs.
- What do you say to those who advocate that you should change your policy?
OCC respects other’s freedom to express their views, and we hope others respect our freedom as a private, religious institution—with hundreds of other such institutions—to operate consistently with our religious beliefs.
- How should the church respond to the LGBT community?
When we discuss the issue of homosexuality, we are talking about people—brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers—whom God loves deeply. Our best response to these precious people is to love them as well and to point them to Jesus who came “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The Bible says we are all sinners, and we all need the grace and truth of Christ (Romans 3:23-24).