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Walking a Tightrope in Today’s Culture

posted Dec 9, 2015, 12:30 PM by First Baptist

 

While I haven’t received confirmation yet, the Harlan School Board was expected to approve Monday night an application by students to form a Gay-Straight Alliance club on campus. My first reaction when I heard about this weeks ago was that our society has certainly come a long way from the chess & photography clubs of earlier generations.

 

But, more seriously, I had the opportunity to correspond a couple of times with our superintendent of schools about this matter. He convinced me that the district would find itself in legal jeopardy if the Board did not approve the application. In all my interactions with the superintendent, I have found him to be respectful, thoughtful and accessible. He is a tremendous asset to our community.

 

Nevertheless, I communicated to the superintendent my concern that the GSA club might become a vehicle for intimidating & vilifying Christians who adhere to a biblical worldview on matters of sexuality & gender.

 

According to the GSA website, part of their mission is to pursue the affirmation of homosexuality & transgenderism. This goes beyond efforts to stop bullying (an effort we would all agree with). To affirm something means to validate it; to regard it as good, proper or acceptable.

 

As Christians, we affirm the sacredness of every human being, whether gay or straight, rich or poor, born or unborn. This is because every human being is made in God’s image and thus deserving of honor and respect. We also strive to demonstrate the qualities of mercy, compassion, kindness and love in all of our dealings with people.

 

However, we must not affirm sin. Homosexual practice, as well as the rejection of God’s gift of gender (manhood and womanhood), is never good, proper or acceptable. Indeed, it is destructive and does not lead to human flourishing.

 

Herein lies the dilemma for us as Christians. How do we love sinners (which encompasses all of us) without affirming sin? The only person who did this perfectly was Jesus. For us, it’s a constant struggle. Some would suggest Christians just need to keep their outdated morality to themselves. Obviously, we need to exercise good judgment, but to remain silent on moral issues is to deny our responsibility to be “salt and light” to the world around us.

 

The superintendent assured me the school district will do its best to make certain that Christian students are not intimidated for holding views on morality that are increasingly out of the mainstream. I believe he is sincere in that. Even so, I asked him this question: If a Christian student tells another student that homosexual practice is wrong or sinful, is that bullying? Is there a scenario under which the Christian student might even be disciplined? My sense is we’ll have to wait & see on that. Almost every day, we read reports in the media of how free speech is being curtailed, especially in educational settings.

 

As followers of Christ, I believe we must prepare to be intimidated and even persecuted. Jesus told us to expect this, even to the point of death. It is our privilege to lay down our lives for Him. After all, He gave His life for us.

 

There have been occasions when Christians have spoken to or about homosexual and/or transgender persons in an unloving way. This must not be! On the contrary, we must always be civil and respectful. We need to regard every human being as precious in the sight of God. Finally, we must constantly bear in mind that we’re all sinners in need of God’s grace.

 

At the same time, we are called to proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ. This is not merely salvation from those who disapprove of us or fail to affirm everything we are or do. Rather, it is salvation from God’s wrath; it is salvation to everlasting life with Him.

 

With appreciation,

 

Pastor Dan

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