Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Chicken Little is about a bird who gets hit on the head by an acorn while walking one day and he suddenly thinks that the sky is falling in. He convinces all his friends that this is true, and in the end they all get deceived by a fox that lures them into his cave for protection and eats them. The point of the story is this: Don’t be a scaremonger. Beware of being the mistaken alarmist.
On March 10th, Bill 10 was passed in Alberta (where I live), allowing Gay-Straight Alliances for any students who want them in any Alberta schools. The GSA network says that these are student-run clubs in middle or high school. They are “a safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and work to end homophobia and transphobia.” One newspaper wrote,
“Students will also be allowed to name them whatever they want. In addition, the legislation also adds sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex to the Alberta Bill of Rights. Once it receives royal assent, it will become effective as of June 1.
On March 12, Minister Gordon Dirks stated that there is no requirement for schools to inform or receive consent from parents for a student to participate in a GSA.”
In short, GSAs promote an LGBTQ agenda, and Bill 10 has now normalized this in schools. It is done in the name of human equality, human rights, and human flourishing. And it is perceived as a good and moral thing. Yet GSAs simply emphasize an “us/them” distinction with the government ruling for one side so that anyone opposed to it is unlawful. Authority has been handed over to children so that they may decide what sexual orientation they prefer and how to cultivate its affirmation and propagation. Also, Alberta Education minister Gordon Dirks, a former Calgary pastor and Christian college administrator, has shown a lack of public conviction and advocacy for religious liberty.
Should Christians be alarmed by the normalization of GSAs? What should pastors say to their people? What should parents say to their children? What should our children say to their peers? Is the sky falling in on our culture?
GSAs are the fruit of moral declension:
Well, it’s not being alarmist to say that the answer is yes. A quick look around tells us that the fundamental values of our civilization are being undermined. We live in a day where we are experiencing a so-called “moral revolution” which is travelling at lightning speed through our global culture. Yet all the structures our culture was based upon for human freedom and flourishing are being eroded. There are no absolutes anymore. And where absolute authority gives way you are left with relative truth and pluralism.
A culture that says it is morally progressive must ask the question, “upon what basis can we say this and how can we be absolutely sure?” The normalizing of GSAs is based on a secular worldview that will actually end up destroying the things they aim to promote. The “moral progression” of GSAs is instead moral declension, which will lead to human destruction. Why? Societies that flourish are based upon certain absolutes that cannot change, which means the hopes of GSAs are wrong because the foundations are wrong.
The foundations for GSAs are wrong:
GSAs rightly promote human dignity for all. But the foundations for human dignity cannot be determined subjectively. Only a God who creates all human beings in his own image can give the ultimate value and worth to people. If we are not made in God’s image, then where do we find our identity? Only a Christian worldview shows that there is one Creator God who wonderfully makes humans, even knitting them together in the womb (Ps. 139:13). And he graciously makes them his moral representatives and gives them personal worth (Gen. 1:26-28). We don’t define human dignity, God does.
GSAs also rightly ask for human rights for all. But based on what? The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states in Article 1, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and in rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
Again, unless there is one God who defines humanity and sexuality, people will assume the right to be and live as they want. Desires for identity and community, if not rooted in the foundation of God’s Word , will find expression according to fallen impulses and cravings. Universal human rights must be based on what it universally means to be humans who bear God’s image as male and female. Without a clear understanding of this, gender becomes a social construct and homosexuality, and same sex marriage, becomes one more choice among many.
Finally GSAs rightly hope for human flourishing for all. But the family is the basis for any healthy society because a man and a woman in marriage produce children who will continue to shape cultures and build community. Destroy the family and you destroy the foundation for human flourishing. The hope that gay students will flourish in a gay-affirming community, even though it protects them from bullying and isolation, are wrong, because the foundations on which they base their hopes oppose God’s word.
What can we do?
We should lament the introduction of GSAs, the moral declension and the crumbling foundations of our culture, but Christians are called to action.
Firstly, we must defend and celebrate complementarian truth in the church and the home. Preach it from the pulpit and teach and model it in the home, so that our children are equipped with truth that God created us equal but different by design, and that is a good thing.
Second, we must pray for cultural change, and moreover pray for heart change. Whether a person is gay or straight everyone is sexually broken and needs to become a new creation in Christ. And that will only happen through regeneration by the Spirit as the gospel is preached, and people repent and believe.
So third, we must use these crises for gospel engagement. As responsible stewards and obedient servants, pastors, parents and children are all called to engage and confront the culture for its good with transforming gospel truths. The gospel is the only true answer to loneliness, identity crisis, and oppression. Gospel identity, and reconciliation are a great hope. This hope is not in gender but in Christ, who redeems our sexuality for his gospel purposes and our maximum joy.
Nevertheless, and fourth, we must not be idealistic. We are not mistaken alarmists. Culture is crumbling. A difference can be made, but we are in the last days. Christians are exiles in the West in way they haven’t been for a long time. Persecution is on our doorstep and the context is biblical sexuality. Our stand on this issue will reveal where we stand with God.
Fifth, we must hold a vision of biblical hope. Christ reigns and he is coming to judge. Palm Sunday celebrates King Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. He went to a cross in humility with glory veiled in order to win his Bride and defeat Satan and sin. But he rose again and ascended to the Father in heaven and he will return on a different steed.
Revelation 19 paints the picture of a rider on a white horse. This is Christ when he comes again in victory. He is called the “Word of God”. All human dignity, identity and hope relates to him and finds foundation in his Word. Jesus, the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” who came as Savior will return as Judge to set all things right. We need the hope of a risen King on a white horse, who is in absolute control with all authority and who is with us now. His Word is our unshakable foundation and his coming is our sure and better hope. Let this sustain our witness, in the face of GSAs and when it seems like the sky is falling in.
Gavin is the Director of International Outreach at CBMW. You can follow him on Twitter @GPeacock8.
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