OPINION: Stressing Abstinence While Addressing Sin

 Photo courtesy of unsplash.com 

Photo courtesy of unsplash.com 

Christian Segers, Opinion Editor

Although North Greenville University dictates clear cut action against sexual misconduct within the student body, there should be forgiveness granted to first time offenders.

At North Greenville University, students are bound by the code of conduct set forth by the school, christened “The Enlightener.” This code serves as a necessary set of guidelines that each individual in attendance must follow. Upon signing that “The Enlightener” has been received and read by the individual, that person is not only agreeing to abide by the rules, but to face the consequences should the rules be bent or broken.

One of the quintessential points of the rulebook is that there should be no sexual activity during one’s tenure at the university, except under the provision of marriage. This is in accordance with the Bible’s command to “flee sexual immorality” in both 1 Corinthians 6:18 and in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor.”

As a university that is extremely adamant about abstaining from any sexual relations, it becomes increasingly difficult for those who sin while at the university, to repent and move on from their previous actions or lifestyle.

As a Christian school, it should be our job to welcome the lost as the father of the prodigal son did and show the same forgiveness that Christ gives us freely each and every day. Abstinence is key in preventing premature heartbreak and physical trauma but moving on from one’s sin is also covered in the Bible.

2 Timothy 2:22 says, “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”

Bearing this in mind, the Bible calls us to put aside the sins we make in our immaturity or sinful nature and instead pursue righteousness and sanctification through the cross where Christ’s blood was poured out for us. It is this method of teaching that is in accordance with scripture.

There is no denying that sin of the sexual nature is an abomination to God’s eyes. Numerous biblical references highlight the sanctity of sex while in marriage and denounce the act when not within the guidelines set forth in the Ten Commandments. These acts should be avoided at all costs for reasons spanning from a feeling of loneliness, to feeling lost to being damaged externally and internally. Even though forgiveness is not promised to heal the wounds left by former lovers, it does promise to provide a renewed sense of purpose and hope. This is why North Greenville should adapt a policy with a different view on forgiveness.

If a student is seeking out counsel for their prior actions and have promised to not repeat the same mistakes, then as Christians, it is our job to not only forgive, but help our brothers and sisters in their time of need. Our gracious heavenly father has surely forgiven us and his instructions are to care for those in need, not kick first time offenders to the curb.

Following the Biblical model of forgiveness, after the first offense, students should be given the option to remain in school, as long as they agree to see a counselor for a set amount of time per week. The NGU campus offers free counseling regardless, so why not put the program to good use? It benefits no one by kicking people out who have no prior history of rule breaking.

It is inevitable that sin occurs and people stumble in their walks with their Creator. I want to be clear that by instating a program such as this, I am by no means advocating sinning until you get caught. My only hope with this article is that I put some perspective on the issue and that the University sees the benefits of upholding the biblical precedent of forgiveness. 

I am eternally grateful that the Lord does not kick me out of his good graces after one wrongdoing, but instead, picks me up and allows me to try again. If the Bible is the model to be followed, then forgiveness goes hand in hand with the teachings already being portrayed in North Greenville's leadership.