Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's Diversity Weekend in Westminster, but Don't Worry!

(*this article has certain explicit terms abbreviated to keep from tripping content filters that any reader may wisely have in place. You may notice the misspellings, they are intentional.)

As Christ’s disciples, in every circumstance, we are called to be of good cheer.

Recently DW posted a great article about this and I am with him 100% here, but am having a good chance to put some shoe leather on it this week because I was greeted w/ this headline in my local paper: Westminster to hold first Diversity Weekend. (http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/news/local/westminster-to-hold-first-diversity-awareness-weekend/article_2715ac56-9d41-11e0-8f28-001cc4c03286.html) then later: (http://www.pflagwcc.org/)

Of course, by "diversity", we’re not talking about a joyful recognition of how God has made us all “different”, in that some people are big and some small, some people are male and some female, some people are dark-skinned and others lighter. We’re talking strictly about how some people in our town are “different” in that they engage in certain sxl acts that our society has historically viewed as immoral and repugnant.
So “Diversity” was sort of a misleading title for this event. It’s really just all about sxl acts performed by members of the same gender and how society [and the specific institution of “the church”] should no longer view these actions as immoral and repugnant, but as acts whose perpetrators should be warmly accepted and even celebrated. But I suppose “The Redefinition of Sxl Ethics by the [deceptive] Use of Emotionally-Laden Language from the Civil Rights Movement and Highly-Politicized Rhetoric Weekend” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

So how should faithful Christians in our county respond to this? Hint: not with Chicken-Little hysterics.
In answering, let me snatch three phrases from the NT and drop them on you. Here they are: “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”; “such were some of you”; and lastly, “according to their own lusts they will heap up for themselves teachers”.

Firstly, “be of good cheer[Jn 16.33]. If Christ required this of his original eleven, all of whom would be facing martyrdom [though John would survive the ordeal and later be exiled to Patmos], what do you think He expects of you? Do not surrender your hope or joy when the battle lines intersect our little corner of Mayberry. Be joyful in battle. This is not a ‘sign of the times’, as if the gospel were in the final stages of its failure in human history and Christ’s kingdom is about to come crashing down around us.
Don’t fail to notice what’s really going on in the world.  For every American church that slides into apostasy here, there are probably two new faithful ones that spring up in Chinese homes across the globe, despite the best efforts of their local regional authorities. Be of good cheer. God is at work. The leaven is spreading through the loaf. 
How many years have the folks in my town been gossiping about all the unmarried couples’ love lives? Well, that lust has finally conceived and brought forth the offspring of further corruption and now we’re celebrating w/ rainbow colored balloons.
Examine yourselves; repent of your sins; and praise the Lord. Do not be robbed of your joy, or as David would say [did say – Ps 37], do not fret because of evil doers… refrain from anger and turn from wrath. The evil will be destroyed but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Christ has overcome the world. This is His guarantee. These chancel prancers [props to DW] will whither like the summer grass. So don’t fret. Stay the course. Be steadfast. Remain faithful. Be of good cheer. Keep calm and carry on.
If ever in His earthly life Christ winked, I believe he did here. Sure, you’re all going to face fiery trials, but … hey – be of good cheer, I’ve already won, and you’re here with me.

Secondly, “such were some of you [1 Cor 6.11]. Do not respond by starting our local chapter of Westboro Baptist hatemongering [Christ taught us better: Lk 9.52-56]. If God does not delight in the death of the wicked [Ez 18.23], then you are not being like Him when smile through foaming lips below a giant "God hates You" poster.
Now I am not saying that everything is hunky dory. But we do not gnash our teeth back at them in kind. Just like we do not "mourn as those who have no hope", we don’t strive that way either. God delights in mercy and so should we. The sacrifice He desires is a repentant heart. Paul deliberately emphasizes the fact that the Apostolic church in Corinth was made up of those who were formerly guilty of these abominable sins. This is not the unforgivable sin. This not a sin that cannot be turned from and repented of. The Bible plainly teaches these things. God is eager to receive repentant sinners, and His Church should loudly proclaim this.

Thirdly, “the time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own lusts they will heap up for themselves teachers, having itching ears[2 Tim 4.3]… When people abandon faith in God on His terms [the basic tenets of the faith taught with uncomfortable clarity in the Bible], they do not always do so by leaving the Church. This is an important point to wrap your brain around. Often, rather than leaving church, they will instead burrow deeper into the pew and then volunteer to chair the steering committee to help find “heaps o’ teachers” who will act as mouthpieces for their own lusts.
This is what Paul told us to expect will happen. Why are we so surprised when it does? Don’t be shocked, for instance, when you read that in workshop #1b, Tom [or no, I’m sorry … Thom] presented the case that the Bible really doesn’t condemn sodmy after all. According to the write up, his workshop concluded with a time of sharing about how the Holy Bible is often “used to teach prejudice and foster unloving relationships by those who claim to be faithful People Of God”.  I hope they saved a few minutes for a second time of sharing about how modern scholarship is often used to foster an unloving relationship with the actual text of Scripture in the many instances that it categorically condemns hmsxl activity with the strongest possible language.  Maybe next year they’ll add a workshop on how, a thousand periwinkle stoles not withstanding, “diversity” workshops are used to teach prejudice against the uniform understanding of God’s faithful people on this matter for the past two thousand years. But that would be asking too much. That would be scratching where their ears ain’t itching.

So how should we then live? Please allow me to make a few brief, humble suggestions. Firstly, I would like to suggest that you not send your little ones to this event. What?! you say. Send my little ones there? Why, of course not!?! Seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? 
But let’s track this one down for a minute… who do you think is organizing this event? It all began w/ President Obama declaring June GLBT appreciation month and then the mayor of my town “proclaiming” this “perver… er, um, I mean diversity week”.  Now who do you think holds the reigns of the curriculum committee at the Carroll County Department of Public Education?  What do you think your children will hear on any given day through throughout any given year in any given Carroll County “public” school? You better believe that “celebrating diversity” is one of the “core values” that educators will be working to instill in their little brains.
So don’t send them. Obey your God Who commands you to teach them about Him when they rise up, lay down, walk along the way, etc. [Deut 4]. It is literally illegal to obey this command in the context of a government school. Pull your kids out and send them to a Christian school or teach them at home. Downsize to a smaller house; sell your second car; bring your wife home; do what you have to do. This is THE battle of our times and Christians are loosing ground because we are afraid of being viewed as weird or taking the financial hit.

Lastly, allow me to remind you how difficult it is to make that case that hmsxlty is hereditary. Please note that it is physically impossible to be a practicing hmsxl and pass along your genes. These folks, by definition, can't have natural offspring.  Again, not impossible to argue, but certain a difficult case to maintain under an even marginally rigorous cross x.
Where do hmsxls come from then? They are made, not born. Where are they made? At home. And the most reliable [and Christian] research indicates that the single largest factor that drives a person to hmsxlty is a failed fatherly relationship.
So firstly, if you have the chance to interact with any of these folks, don't add another failed relationship to their lives by treating them with hatred or contempt.  Pray for wisdom and love them in every appropriate way you can.  [on balance: calling another professing Christian to repent with meekness and fear is an act of deep love.]  These people are ... people, real people.  Treat them the way you would want others to upon finding your own son or daughter in their place twenty years from now. 
And finally, if you are a father, it is time to rethink your spousal and paternal relationships. Refuse to sacrifice your children on the alter of Molec Corp International. They need you and your time infinitely more than they need expensive presents at Christmas or extravagant vacations at Disney. Cut back or change jobs if you have to. Spend time loving your wife. Spend time - lots of time - at very regular intervals - loving your kids. But don’t do it running scared. Do so out of trust in your Father. And be of good cheer.

[photo of rainbow flag in the castro district found at several locations on the web. It is used as an item of public domain, but will gladly be removed or revised to attribute credit to its owner if such information is brought to my attention.]

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