Speak or be silent?

This past Friday, April 15th was the National Day of Silence for the safety and support of LGBT students across the country. The DOS has spread wide since it’s inaugural year (1996 at University of Virginia) to receive support in all 50 states (as well as the District of Columbia). The event is now led by the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) with the goal of being…

“a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBT students and those perceived to be LGBT.”

The event has drawn a lot of attention across the country from different communities, some in support of and others in opposition to the DOS. The visible mark of the DOS supporter is a piece of tape across the mouth, often with words written on it, as a symbol of the fact that many LGBT students feel harassed and bullied into silence on a daily basis.

In the Christian community, it is very clear that there are many who are STRONGLY opposed to this movement as it is perceived as “a way for schools to force the LGBT agenda on everyone.” Many have called for believers to stand up and boycott the day by keeping their children home from school, while others have taken to social media to make known their stance of opposition. I think it would be safe to assume that there even more of those in the Christian community who rather choose to ignore what is going on, or simply don’t know how to respond.

We assume that also includes some of you, and your kids, and the students that come to our ministry on Wednesday nights…. So how SHOULD we respond? Or yet a better question….

HOW WOULD JESUS RESPOND TO THE DAY OF SILENCE?

The simple answer….. in LOVE!

When I read scripture, it’s hard to find a time when Jesus wasn’t motivated and driven by love. Actually, let me rephrase that… When you read scripture, YOU WON’T find a time when Jesus wasn’t motivated and driven by love. In fact, 1 John 4:8 says that if you don’t know love you can’t know God because “GOD IS LOVE“!!! So if God is love, and as Christians our goal in life is to be a worthy reflection of God’s image…. then that means we have to strive to actually BE LOVE! But in case we miss that particular point, Jesus lays it out for us again in John 13:34 when he says…

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Because Christ loves us WE MUST LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!!! Ephesians 4:15 says that as we speak truth into people’s lives it must be done in a way that is fueled by LOVE. Do you as a Christian LOVE your neighbors? your co-workers? your classmates? those in the LGBT community? I can tell you Jesus would. He would have dinner with them, hang out with them, wash their feet, serve them food, heal their wounds, and tell them why someday he would die on the cross for their sins.

In our world today we have events like the Day of Silence because LOVE is absent in our schools. Or it is reserved for those who are “normal” or who aren’t involved in different lifestyles.  What if as Christians we saw that for what it is and said “Yeah that’s our fault. We are supposed to be the ones who model that love. We haven’t done a good job of that lately, but let me start doing a better job of that today.”

In our culture we tend to lean toward two extremes, one of truth and one of love. A lot of people want to stand on the street corner and shout or march in a parade and hold a sign that speaks the truth, while others preach the need to lay aside our differences and beliefs because love is all that really matters. And yet the teachings of Jesus fall right in the middle, not sacrificing the truth but also never forgetting to love the people. Let’s pray today for the Holy Spirit of God to move in our hearts to restore the balance the Christ so beautifully portrayed.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

-John 13:35-

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