Next month, the issue of homosexuality is coming to local schools and colleges. Not in people form, but awareness form. On April 16, 2010, the Day of Silence will once again take place across the US.
I believe this is a good thing. I believe that every Christian student should get involved.
Despite what your views are about homosexuality, the truth is this: gay students are being harassed, beaten up, teased, and even killed, because they are gay. This is NOT right by any means. No one should face this type of treatment – whether you are gay, straight, transgendered, handicapped, or from a different culture.
This event is being put on by GLSEN. While I do not support everything that GLSEN does or promotes, I do stand behind this Day. This is a day that offers awareness that we, the Church, need to recognize. As many of you have read already, my high school years were hell for me. I was harassed daily, I received death threats, I was mocked and the butt of many jokes, I would hear the words “fagot” screamed through the halls, or as my peers walked past me. The majority of this hate did not come from the jocks, either, rather it came from Christians. My experience resembles a lot of what today’s students go through – in schools, in colleges, in youth ministries. And it needs to stop! It starts with us, Church.
My friend Warren Throckmorton came up with a way to get the Church involved. On the Day of Silence, he is challenging Christian students to stand in support of their gay peers. He is challenging Christian students to help combat the senseless teasing and bullying done to gay students. His plan is simple: pledge to live out the Golden Rule.
Sadly, there are some in Christian circles who think this challenge will do harm (such as Americans for Truth). Sadly, they have missed the point of the gospel … they have missed the message and heart of Christ.
Many Christian parents will keep their kids home from school on April 16 – in their own silent protest of the Day, not the cause. While this may be a good thing to do, in some parents minds, I think it is important for all students to attend this day of school. Like every child that gets bullied in school, gay students need to know that they have friends they can count on to stick up for them. They need to know that they have support in classrooms, hallways, gym locker rooms, and school yards. They need to SEE that people care about them – as people. What better way to show this than for Christian kids to shine forth these attributes to their gay friends/peers?!
Jesus told us to love others as ourselves; that in loving others, people would KNOW that we are His disciples; that in loving others we are loving God. He didn’t give us options in choosing who we want to love … He told us to love everyone. In standing up, in Love, we are offering the Truth of the gospel. In backing away in silence, we are silencing the gospel message of Christ. We are commanded, time and again, in scripture to be light in dark places, to be witnesses of the Truth and Love of Christ. This includes being a light and witness of Jesus to the gay community – teens and adults.
six11 Ministries fully supports the Golden Rule pledge (and the work of Warren). We are challenging other youth ministries, Christian families, to do likewise. We also challenge students to live this pledge out everyday – not just once a year.