In the first meeting of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in 1906, a committee was formed to investigate the establishment of a liberal arts college. That action resulted in the founding of Oklahoma Baptist University. For almost 100 years, our university has trained students in a variety of majors to take their faith into the workplace.
Our university was founded upon biblical principles. We are unashamed in our commitment to biblical truth. Professors are expected to teach their respective disciplines within the framework of biblical truth. Those who participate in the university are expected to measure their conduct by biblical standards of morality.
OBU can require adherence to biblical standards because we do not receive government support. While students may get government grants provided for higher education, the school itself receives none. Our university is supported by student tuition and fees, endowment and gifts by people who believe in the standards of the university, and the Cooperative Program. Indeed, the Cooperative Program provides approximately $1,725 per student this year.
Why is this important to know? Last week, a group of homosexual activists descended (as last year) on our university. They came to protest the stand OBU and Oklahoma Baptists take regarding homosexuality. Our biblical standard is that homosexuality is a deviant and sinful lifestyle. Students who practice this lifestyle will be confronted, counseled and-if unchanged after much grace-dismissed from the university. This same standard is applied to heterosexual immorality as well. Immorality is immorality.
The Equality Ride group, as they are called, did all they could to portray OBU as bigoted and intolerant. Of course, intolerance for these folk and many others across our nation means “disagreement with them.” They have chosen to be intolerant of our biblical views!
OBU is not intolerant, but it is not without standards of conduct. Funding a university without government support is extremely costly. Yet for nearly 100 years, Oklahoma Baptists have chosen to pay the high price so we can train our young people in the way of Jesus without outside interference. Neither the government nor special interest groups can set our values or alter our commitment to biblical standards.
When Equality Ride arrived at OBU, they were treated with fairness, but asked to respect our university boundaries. They were not allowed on the campus. Unfortunately, they persisted in unruly and unlawful actions, and arrests occurred.
I am very proud of Mark Brister and the OBU administration and family for their stand on this issue. They have sought to be kind yet unwavering in their commitment to biblical truth. When tested, they have not bent. They stand with truth measured by grace.
Oklahoma Baptist University is our university. After nearly 100 years, the school remains anchored to the same Bible and the same Savior and Lord as her founders. NOW THAT IS BRAND NEW IN THIS DAY AND TIME!