Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Christian Institutions, divorce, grace and love

Secular education institutions don't care about whether you are divorced or not. They don't want to know as long as you perform well as a teacher. They don't care because your private life has nothing much to do with your professional life.

Christian education institutions care about whether are you a divorce or not. They care because that will affect their standing as a 'Christian' college. They care because your private life has much to do with your professional life.

But is that 'Christian'?

I thought the early Christians were known for their open arms, love, grace, and courage to live and die for their belief without causing harm to others rather than 'professionalism'.

A few months ago, Westminster Theological Seminary suspends Peter Enns for his publication on certain issues. Now Kent Gramm willingly resigned from his post at Wheaton College because he got a divorce without wanting to discuss the matter to the college's governing board. Christianity Today's blog on this here.

The college allows their teachers to be divorced as long as the matter is made clear with the board. But to Gramm, "[It's] wrong to have to accuse your spouse and to discuss with your employer your personal life and marital situation".

The college enforces such policy for morality's sake. Gramm's reluctance is also for morality's sake. So both are also for morality's sake. Both sides have a shared value: upholding moral conviction.

Gramm is not being immoral, neither is the college. If that's the case, could there be a similar focus on the shared value rather than different perception on the same thing?

Christian education institutions should be more flexible on their teachers not because they cultivate a dichotomy between private and profession, but because of grace and love.

"But if a man does know he's about to die and dies anyway. Dies, dies willingly, knowing that he could stop it, then, I mean, isn't that the type of man who you want to keep alive?" (Kay Eiffel, Stranger Than Fiction.)


aboulet said...

Regarding Peter Enns: it is Westminster Theological Seminary. And they suspended him not because of his "private perception on certain views" but because of his published book Inspiration and Incarnation.

Please correct these issues in your post.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Arthur,

Thank you for correcting. I've changed accordingly.