The Day of… WHAT?

Oh boy… here we go again. It’s happening next week.

Why is it that Christians always feel that they need to “stand up for their rights” and speak out against organizations, or governments that are caught up in sin?

Where is this in the Bible?

It’s probably no secret to some of you that this Friday is the pro-homosexual tolerance Day of Silence. This day brings attention to the anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. I’m not going to address the issue of homo-sexuality in this blog. I’ve addressed it before in blogs and articles. In this blog I’m simply addressing our RESPONSE to the world when we don’t like what we see. (and I’m going to highlight an example of how NOT to respond)

Why do Christians think that picket signs or protesting is the answer?

Let me ask you one question. Name one person you know that accepted Christ because someone “protested” them into the Kingdom.

So why do Christians feel the need to do this?

Oh… I know why. It’s because when Jesus looked at the corrupt government of his day (Are you aware of what was going on in Herod’s house at the time?) he must have responded by gathering a mob and picketing the immoral lifestyle… wait… just a second… you mean… he didn’t? Well maybe he started a website, organizing people to protest in another way? No?

Hmmmmmm.

Well, Christians have created their own day in response to the Day of Silence called The Day of Truth. On Monday, April 28, 2008, some Christians have decided to establish this day to “counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective… The Day of Truth provides an opportunity to publicly exercise our free speech rights.”

When I saw this I immediately thought of a few conversations I’ve had with Dan Kimball on the subject. Dan is a Christian speaker and author who believes engaging in homosexual acts is a sin, but shows incredible compassion and love to the homosexual community (He touches on this in our podcast with him, Podcast Episode #12 and in his powerful book, They Like Jesus, But Not the Church). I asked Dan his opinion about this Christian response- The Day of Truth. Dan gave me some quick thoughts:

i think those types of things end up doing more harm than good. i would encourage parents to be talking with their teenagers and youth leaders addressing it wisely in their ministries, but doing a public event at a high school i am not sure is beneficial to the direction of hope.  i would encourage the Christian teenagers to simply be friends with gay students and pro-gay students, and in the context of friendships the message of jesus will come through. I don’t know if formalizing a date to do it only reinforces things and we lose our voice. 

I can’t agree more.

Earlier this year many of us saw statistics of just how bad we look to the rest of the world. Only 16% of unchurched people had positive things to say about Christians. The majority of them used words like “hypocrite” and “judgemental” to describe us.

It all comes down to this. The Day of Truth web site is not without good intentions. They seem to be seeking conversation with homosexuals. Their cards bear this as part of their message:

It’s time for an honest conversation about homosexuality.
There’s freedom to change if you want to.
Let’s talk.

I think talking is good. But here’s what I’ll leave you with: If our goal is conversations, do you really think a formal day of “speaking out” will create conversations with homo-sexuals? Or will it build walls?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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8 Responses to The Day of… WHAT?

  1. Jonathon,

    GREAT post. I so appreciate your words, research and conversations you had prior
    to this post.
    I completely agree with you.

    I think its important to find middle ground on these issues and respond as Christ would.

    I also appreciate Dan’s words about losing our voice. This is so important for us to understand.

    I’m with you when it comes to Christians protesting! Read my article on the Kathy Griffin Hate Speech here.

  2. dan says:

    I think Barabbas was “saved” by a mass organized protest. . . against Jesus. Other then that, I don’t know of any one.

  3. Ha… that’s hilarious! Good point Dan.

  4. Amy Richards says:

    I agree with your blog. But there is a biblical example of a protest. John the Baptist got thrown into prison because he was protesting (preaching against) what was going on in Herod’s household. Not that anyone got “saved” by his actions. But it is an example of a believer speaking out against immorality in the culture.

  5. Classic point, Dan! Love it.

  6. kenneth says:

    i’ve been dealing with this issue already with some from some of my parents. they want me to “get involved” with the Day of Truth protest. so i finally said to one of them, “let me get this right. you want me to protest against a group protesting kids getting beat up and bullied at school?”

    really – what sense does that make.

    ultimately, i’s so sick and tired of christian groups prtotesting things after the fact – it portrays the Christian faith as an “alternative lifestyle.”

    Some of our brothers and sisters sit around and wait on someone to attack our faith and/or doctrines and then we are left to “defend” it. And when we do that, we are screaming to the world that we are simply an alternative to the average mundain rat race that most people call life.

    I’m sick of “defending my faith” after the fact to nonbelievers – that means I’m not pro-active in my faith.

    It really irritates me how Christians get so offended at these groups and decide, through their pious thinking, that the best thing to do is create an “alternative” to these days and other ideas.

    Think about it – “WWJD radio, eighty whatever point whatever, your Christian what? alternative. Mypraize.com – a Christian what to myspace? alternative. And now a “Day of Truth” – a Christian what to the Day of Silence? alternative (or, counter promotion, as they call it.)

    Take a Christian Company like Chick-fil-A for example. At least they had the courage and wherewithall to come out with their awesome chicken sandwich before some ungodly, gay rights supporting, evil prize in their kids meal, cussing at the drive thru window restaraunt came out with theirs.

    When did Jesus, the God of all gods become an alternative? When did He become the same as all the others, just different – an alternative?

    If the Christian faith is just an alternative, then you need to find another God – because your’s is bunk!

    Why do we wait until nonbelievers do something offensive and then provide an alternative to it? Why can’t we be more pro-active in our approach to the world?

    Bottomline: God has not called us into his Kingdom and equipped us with the power of the Holy Spirit to be an alternative, or counter demonstration, as the Day of Truth website puts it. He’s called us to be an influence before the fact. He’s called us to be an impact – from the beginning. Not some after thought, but a catalyst that brings on change before the storm.

    Let’s rejoice that the world is seeing that school violence is a bad thing and let’s teach our students that they should already be speaking the Truth, in love, to their classmate.

  7. danette says:

    Here’s a more biblical response a thoughtful college prof came up with:

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9133428179

    The Golden Rule on the Day of Silence

  8. Hi was just checking the site and came accross this post. massive encouragement to me. i too am fed up of Christians who only ever make a noise when it is a protest. It makes us a joke to the rest of the world. An Atheist Comedian in Britain actually made a good point while mocking Christians. He talked about a recent UK christian who had made a protest about not wearing a cross in her job as an airline steward. He went off into a rant basically implying that Christians just stay in their churches singing songs and occasionaly coming out to criticise the culture. He then said to Christians: “If you want to show how much you Love God try loving your neighbour and doing good to those around you.”
    Weird how a total unbeliever who was mocking us could hit the nail right on the head. Not all outside criticism of the church is unjustified. maybe if we were all getting our hands dirty loving our neighbours and sharing the Truth about God then we would have more of an impact. Maybe if we did then people like that comedian would be joining us rather than mocking us. Maybe…