Why the Divide?

This year has been one of controversy and divide across Gordon’s campus. For all the scandals, tears shed, and heated arguments, there is something else that pulls at the seams of our togetherness.

Gordon is a unique institution as one of the only Christian, liberal arts colleges nestled in the pocket of the so-called unchurched region of New England. I’ve found it generally attracts 2 types of students:

  1. Christians from New England who want to go to a Christian institution close to home. These folks tend to be along more conservative lines. Gordon in the context of other New England schools is a safe haven for those looking for a Christian environment, away from a lot of the stereotypical things that mark the average student’s college experience.
  2. Christians from across the nation looking for a more liberal and diverse environment that cannot be found at most other Christian schools. In the context of other Christian schools, Gordon is significantly less homogenized and reputedly more open. It is the closest thing to a “normal” school while still being a “Christian” school.

These are very different people expecting very different things out of their school, prompting the question: why isn’t there more divide?

When discussions over loosening the rules affecting the LGBT community, one side wonders why this idea is being entertained at all while the other questions how progressive the school really is. Both sides feel strongly they are right and that the spirit of Gordon is with them.

Conversations revolving chapel changes focus less on, “How does this glorify God?” and more on, “I’m paying Gordon how much a year for this?” for various reasons on both sides.

For all the divisive issues plaguing our campus, I wonder how these differences can unite. At the end of the day, we all chose Gordon. We all chose to be Fighting Scots.

We all chose to still be here despite the disagreements.

As the college launches this campaign of, “Together as One,” I challenge us all to meet that call.

To think before we speak.

To treat people as people and not as some job title or identifier.

To extend grace before hate.

To celebrate rather than destroy.

To unify rather than divide.

Let’s be together as one. Let’s be Gordon.

 

Ocean