Recently, Devin Manzullo-Thomas guest-blogged about Myron Augsburger, who as president of what’s now Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) and then as president of what’s now the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), brought an Anabaptist perspective to evangelical higher education.
Augsburger retired from the CCCU just over twenty years ago, but just weighed in at Mennonite World Review on Eastern Mennonite’s decision to hire employees in same-sex marriages, a move that helped prompt a significant debate within the CCCU. Two pivotal passages from Augsburger’s brief essay at MWR illustrate his attempt to apply Anabaptist distinctives to this debate.
He begins with the argument that a school like EMU “should take as highest priority the lordship of Jesus Christ, the authority of his Word, and the sanctity of the fellowship of his Spirit.” Out of a desire to “place before our students those whose lives model such discipleship of Jesus,” Augsburger concluded that
while not being judgmental, we are selective, in not hiring persons whose life expresses the secular world order, such as those who engage in immoral behavior, who share in same-sex relationships, who endorse military participation, or whose pursuit of financial status is at the expense of others or indifferent to the poor.
But second, he described a degree of “unity with diversity” within a group like the CCCU. At least in his time with that organization,
we had a stance of evangelical faith with a primary commitment to bring a Christian perspective to education. But this was with the diversity of the many denominations represented. In fairness, we did not develop a confessional statement but respected the role of each school. There was unity with diversity, no one position dominated the other, each was responsible to be faithful to the Lord and to his Word, as they interpreted the faith.
Read the full piece here.