Several members of the faculty at Shorter University in Rome are resigning rather than sign the Baptist University’s new lifestyle statement. It says employees must find premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality unacceptable. Employees are also forbidden to drink alcohol in public.
Richard Bristow, assistant professor of theater, says he and several others are resigning. He believes the lifestyle statement violates Jesus’ principal of “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.
“People are saying there’s no gray areas, that it’s all black and white. Well in the Bible I read, Jesus said he didn’t come for the insiders, he came for the outsiders. Who needs a doctor? The healthy or the sick? That’s Jesus, from Matthew, I believe.”
University President Don Dowless says they support the principal of Love Thy Neighbor.
“We applaud that. We do love people. But we are also an organization that has expectations of our faculty and staff along biblical guidelines. And that’s not unusual. I don’t see how the two are in conflict.”
The other two Baptist colleges in Georgia, Brewton-Parker and Truett-McConnell, do not require their faculty and staff to sign such a pledge. However, they do require their faculty to be active church members.