Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

At Cedarville University, we strive for academic excellence with Gospel purpose. We believe the Bible is God’s Word. We have chapel five days a week, a Bible minor in each of more than 100 accredited programs of study, and a biblical worldview in every class. We have a doctrinal statement and a community covenant that every faculty and staff member  affirms, and that is what has recently attracted a good bit of attention.

J.D. Winteregg, a high school French teacher who used to serve as an adjunct online instructor for Cedarville, released a campaign ad against Speaker John Boehner parodying a Cialis commercial. Some have contended that Cedarville University gave into pressure from Speaker John Boehner and fired J.D. Winteregg. That is not true.

Here are the facts.  First, we did not fire Winteregg. He completed his contract and finished teaching his one online French class. He was, however, informed by the Academic Vice President that we would not request his services in the future.

Second, we did not receive any communication from Speaker John Boehner or his office.

J.D. Winteregg’s ad was creative and clever but inappropriate. It may have gained him name recognition for future political pursuits but does it represent what Cedarville University expects from its professors?

Every faculty member affirms our Community Covenant, which includes the following:

  • We covenant together to express our love for others through acts of kindness, wholesome and uplifting speech, redemptive expressions of confrontation and forgiveness, merciful acts to those in need, and loving proclamation of the gospel.
  • We covenant together to be people of integrity and self-control, truthful in our speech, honest in our conduct, and morally pure in both thought and action.
  • As a Christ-centered learning community, we understand that we are role models; and students, as well as others, observe our values, our conduct and our work ethic. This not only takes place as we perform our University function, but in our non-work and home environments as well.

Many people who watched the video will agree that it does not reflect the values and high standards expressed in our Community Covenant. We must engage the culture, but we must do so with statesmanship. I like a good joke as much as anyone but does this type of humor set a proper academic and spiritual example for Cedarville students?

Ephesians 4:29 states, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” We will all fail to keep biblical commands at some point. When we fail, we repent and keep growing. But as followers of Christ, we must constantly seek to live up to the commands of Scripture or we lose respect and our witness to others.

After all the second greatest commandment, Jesus said, was to “love your neighbor as yourself.” While that doesn’t usually play out in politics, it should at a Christian University.

 

13 Comments

  1. Well said Dr White, well said.

  2. Thank you for these thought provoking words! Well done!

  3. Thank you for this post… I agree with the above. Well done!!!

  4. Lyle Anderson

    May 1, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Many thanks for your spiritual, thoughtful response to this issue. God is being glorified through this!

  5. Dwayne Frank

    May 1, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing this statement from Dr. White. Given the current culture of the U.S. the comments referenced will be perceived as politically clever and effective, but were inappropriate for anyone teaching at Cedarville University. even in a relatively minor capacity.

  6. HATERS GONNA HATE

    May 1, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Poop fart…poop poop

  7. Kudos Dr. White! We appreciate your thoughtful & reasoned response.

  8. I thank you too, Dr. White, for the tone of your response, and speaking as the chair of ELML, I also wanted to make sure to commend J.D. Winteregg for the great job he did as an adjunct in our department. Too often these moments become the only thing by which we’re remembered. I don’t want that to be the case with J.D., who’s a committed follower of Christ and a very busy man–a young husband and father, a Ph.D. candidate at Ohio State, a high school French teacher, and now a grass-roots “millennials” politician taking on an incumbent in the national spotlight. J.D. helped to revive the French program at CU, and along with the folks in the CTL, he developed the online Elementary French class that we’ve offered for the last three years. To borrow a familiar phrase, that class has “quality stamped all over it.” I’d like to thank J.D. for his contribution to CU and wish him and his young family well in the future.

  9. This is why the country is in the mess that we are in. It is wise to live by these standards, but it is not wise to let people walk all over the country that was founded on good christen standards. People like this need to be defeated. We need good people like Winteregg to succeed in bringing our country back from the mess that our current congressmen have put it in. I am glad that he was not fired.

  10. Love your neighbor as yourself, huh? Except for progressives, LGBTQ people, egalitarians, and essentially everyone who doesn’t hold to every jot and tittle of your beliefs. #hypocrisy

  11. I can certainly understand why CU wouldn’t be pleased with what Mr. Winteregg did. It was not in keeping with this community’s values. I only wish this community’s leadership always lived by these principals you wrote, Dr. White. I’ve witnessed far too much disintegrity here. And it hurts the Kingdom.

  12. As a Cedarville grad, I was pleased with the university’s decision in this matter. I was also very pleased with Mr. Kevin Heath’s remarks on this discussion board.

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