The ruling that came down this week was not unexpected. It was a slow build that started in the 1960’s with the sexual revolution. What the ruling did was place the final nail in the coffin of Orthodox Christianity as the majority viewpoint in our country. As a country we have been drifting for years and we have finally hit the sand bar of post modernism with full force.
Here is what we don’t need to do. Freak out and bunker down. We must love and engage. The beautiful thing about Orthodox Christianity is that it is about true love, costly love. We as a culture have fallen in love with love. Not real love but the idea of love. Real love is not loving those who love you but loving those who hate you. Love is not a constitutional right, love is a gift. A gift that cost God what was most dear to him to ransom back to himself what was most far from him. We must convey this kind of love in everything we do and say. We must fight tolerance by actually loving our neighbors.
This ruling is not good for our society because it further erodes the family structure that free sex, abortion and no contest divorce started. A society without strong families will not last. This ruling is bad for the church because it blurs peoples perception of truth and love and paints Orthodox faith as bigoted and out of touch. This ruling will not destroy the church but will force the church to realize what we have been denying for years America is post-christian. So the question is then how do we operate in this new, uncharted territory of post-christian everything. As a parent how do we raise our kids in post-christian America? I believe parents are going to have to make the following 5 shifts to raise their kids in LGBTQ America.
1. Realize that as Orthodox Christians we are in the minority. We should no longer assume that people understand even the basics of Biblical truth. When I grew up everyone referred to America as a Judeo-Christian nation. We had a time for silent prayer in school, the ten commandments where everywhere. As a result you could make certain assumptions based on the basics of Christianity. This is no longer true. We have to learn how to connect people to the basics of our faith in real and meaningful ways.
2. We must teach our kids to listen as much as they talk. When you are in the majority you tend to talk more than you listen. You also tend to assume common ground with whoever you are talking to. To change our culture we have to engage it we have to listen so that we can become better interpreters of truth to our culture. We have to help our children as they grow learn to listen so that we can speak in a way that is both truthful and loving no matter what worldview the person we are talking to hold. So many Christians have a faith that is driven by clichès rather than truth and that has to change.
3. We need to connect our kids to creeds and old truth. The relativistic, emotionally driven idea of truth is so pervasive in our culture it has even infiltrated our churches. The best ways to combat the idea of what is true for me is not true for you is to see that there is such a thing as truth that has stood the test of time. Our kids need to know what Martian Luther stood for, what Jan Hus died for. Our kids need to know that Christians lived and died to protect the truth that we so lightly toss about today. Old truth reminds us that all truth is God’s truth. Our feelings about something don’t change the truth we are charged with keeping.
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4. We need to teach our kids that love is not blind acceptance of anything. It’s grace and truth in everything.
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5. We need to teach our kids that there are some things we can not shrink back from can not walk away from and can not give into. Because the weight of the gospel and the weight of Glory far outweigh the lesser glories of fame acceptance and faux tolerance.
Christan parent do not be filled with fear, soberness yes, but fear no. We serve a sovereign God who is at work in our lives and in history to perform ALL of his will. He will lead you, he will sustain you, and as the darkness and relativism swirls around our kids remember that it is in the darkness the light and the beauty of Christ shines most brightly. I leave you with the first question of the Heidelberg catechism. It brings me much comfort when I feel uncertain as a pastor, parent and adopted son.
Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,1
body and soul,
in life and in death—2
to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5
He also watches over me in such a way6
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;7
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8
Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life9
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.10
Such a powerful reminder. I am not my own but belong to my faithful savior. Oh that our kids would grasp that truth and live a life of love and sacrifice in response.