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Posts Tagged ‘teachable moment’

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is sponsoring “Day of Silence” this April 15 in some public schools across the country.  To where… and what… does this group want to lead our children?

Some call this a “hijacking of the classroom.”  Others label it “political propaganda.”  Take note of the name of this organization.  How deceitfully it shapes impressionable minds to believe that any and all sexual preferences are “normal.”  The question hangs heavy: “Will there be a ‘Day of Silence’ for Biblical manhood and womanhood?  For traditional marriage?  For “equal, but different”?  For abstaining ’til marriage?

What is the destination determined for our children by GLSEN? 

There is only one voice I know of that tempts and stirs up doubt.  It is the voice that asks, “Did God really say . . . ?”  That voice is hissing in the ears of our children today.  Did God really say He created humans: male and female?  Did God really say He made male to fit with female within the faithfulness of marriage?  Did God really say behaviors can bring blessings or curses? 

Is this event being planned for your school?  (The national date in 2011 is April 15, but some schools observe Day of Silence on a different date.)  Learn more by visiting Day of Silence Walkout.

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Two days have passed since my hometown newspaper ran a page one story of a young man’s “marriage” to another young man.  If the headline, “Mr. & Mr,” didn’t capture people’s attention, the photos of the men kissing and signing their “marriage” license did.

Today, several members of my congregation made a request and a promise.  If I would write a letter-to-the-editor, they would gladly sign it.  As members of our community, we agree that every home, classroom and newspaper mentors children and encourages them in one direction… or another.  As Christians, we agree that we are compelled on behalf of our neighbors (young or old) and for the benefit of society to speak whatever the Word of God speaks.

Pondering appropriate words, I’m aware that some  of my neighbors will claim that it’s the personal right of those men to marry (especially in light of Iowa’s same sex “marriage” law) and that everyone should just leave them alone.  But…

  • Do we all have the right to do whatever we want?
  • When does my perceived “right” place my neighbor in harm’s way?
  • Does a newspaper have the right to print any photo or article that gets attention, even that of a curious child?
  • When two people do whatever “feels right” to them and one or both contracts an STD or HIV, do I have the right to insist that my personal tax dollars not fund their medical bills?

My hometown newspaper chose to highlight the “marriage” of two young men, ages 19 and 21.  What was the message of the lead-in paragraph: “There wasn’t any music.  No flowers or photographer.  But something else was there Wednesday that’s present at most weddings — the look in the couple’s eyes.”  Why was the reporter at the “wedding”?  Obviously, photos were taken, but for what purpose?

I am concerned for these two young men.  I am concerned about their spiritual welfare.  Are they (like so many young people today) confused about their “sexuality?”  Were they enticed by momentary feelings, flattered by attention, or empowered by a trendy social experiment?  Did the newspaper paint a bulls-eye on these young men?  If either of the young men experience emotional stress or depression, will the newspaper and community offer themselves as care-givers?  What happens if these men want to be fathers?

What lesson… what value… what hope for the future of families and children is being taught when behavior is celebrated that flies in the face of the Creator of man, woman, and marriage?

Jesus said,

Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!  It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:1-2).

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Sorting through a box of photos, I came upon a few that I thought someone close to me might appreciate.   One was a photo of her dad in uniform.  He and I have spoken of the high price paid for freedom in this country.  He has expressed his disappointment that our nation seems to have forgotten that price of freedom.  Before sealing up the envelope with photos, I inserted a brief note to this daughter of an American hero.  My note read something like: I am sad that after all your dad endured for his country, he now sees this nation slipping.

Within a few days, she wrote back.  I was delighted with the quick response… then stunned by her words.  Her note to me read:

In response to your comment about my dad having fought for a nation that is now “slipping,” I find that we have very different political views.  My thoughts, beliefs and convictions are strong, as I know yours are for you.  For that reason, I am asking that we not engage in any kind of political discussion and refrain from making comments to each other so as not to create discord in our family.

In what way is the word “slipping” divisive?  In what way is it “political”?  Forget politics.  We are morally and ethically “slipping.”

I see it personally — every day.  In my vocation of “helper,” I work with people — young and old — who are suffering the consequences of choices that set them on a destructive and painful course.   A long time ago I became aware of something so wrong that it could never be called right.  52 million babies — human lives created and redeemed by God — have been aborted in the U.S. alone since the practice was legalized in 1973.  How could a nation that kills its own children not slip into a deep abyss?

My conscience would not rest.  I was compelled by God’s Word to become involved in Lutherans For Life.  I traveled the country, speaking in schools, congregations, and communities.   Never intending to do so, I became an advocate for those caught in the muck and mire of a “slipping” society: boys and girls stripped of their innocence, mothers grieving aborted children, and fathers regretful of their passivity or angry because they were unable to lead out of harm’s way.   People in other parts of the country weren’t the only ones “slipping.”  People here at home were “slipping,” too.  For this reason, two other moms and I founded the local caring pregnancy center in our community so that we might help warn against danger, equip for healthy choices, and encourage on the difficult journey of life.

I long for a soul-to-soul visit with this special person in my life who was offended by the word “slipping.”   Why?  Because dozens of men and women have shared with me their painful stories of “slipping” away from God into unhealthy relationships, false love, and grief.  At last count, 24 of my friends, relatives, or acquaintances have told me about their abortions.  Most of these women have asked me to “speak up” and to warn others not to “slip” away from God’s good plan into the quicksand of doubt.  I’m convinced that the Holy Spirit used those women to nudge me in a direction never before imagined (by me, anyway).  In 2002, I started a little mentoring ministry called Titus 2 for Life.

So, I would like very much to explain to this dear person in my life what the word “slipping” means to me.  I drafted three letters to her, but my husband cautioned me against sending them.  Although I long for a “soul-to-soul” visit with this woman, I hear the wisdom of my husband’s advice.  For now, this blog will have to suffice.

Reality tells me that this special person in my life represents so many others — in families and congregations — who don’t want to talk or “engage in any kind of . . . discussion” that would cause “discord.”  Oh my!  While people are “slipping” away from all that God desires for them, am I to chat about weather and fashions?

Yes, I am stunned.  But, not so much that I can’t recognize a teachable moment.  God’s Word is divisive.  It divides loved ones and strangers.  His Word divides because it opposes our sinful nature.  His Word opposes worldly opinion.  But, faith in God’s Word compels me to use It in every relationship and all circumstances.  It’s the only thing I can trust because while I am “slipping,” It cannot.

God came to this troubled earth as the Man, Jesus Christ, because we are all “slipping.”  My ancestors, Adam and Eve, chose poorly and, ever since, all human beings have been conceived right onto a slippery slope of sin.  The institutions of marriage, church, and state — designed for our protection — are all “slipping” into chaos.  The God of order does not want us to live in chaos.  And so He offers His Word to us today just as He has to every generation before us.  A divisive Word, yes.  But, also a healing and hope-filled Word.

I pray that this special person in my life and I will one day speak of these things.  But, even if that day never comes, I cannot be stunned into paralysis.   On every day that passes until Jesus comes again, people will be “slipping.”  This isn’t my opinion.  It’s not my politics.  It is, rather, a cold, hard fact.

In the face of this cold, hard fact stands a warm and welcoming Savior.   He’s the One who stretches out His arms to prevent us from slipping and, when we go ahead and slip, He encircles His arms around us to bring us back onto our feet.  He’s the one I really want to talk about with my loved one.   He’s the One she and I — and all of us — need in this battle for hearts and minds and souls.

So please, dear God.  Protect the heart and mind and soul of this special one in my life.  I may be stunned by her words, but she still matters to me.  More importantly, she matters to You.

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