Something has gone terribly wrong and what transpired during our Christian youth event last weekend was just one more example. Held in the local area convention center, we were interrupted by the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Rally College Conference holding their meeting in the hall next to ours. To the best of my knowledge, we did not experience any out-of-order behavior from the college students who came from all over the Midwest to celebrate their personal identity. In fact, we coexisted together quite peacefully with their rainbow display of balloons on one side and our twinkling display of Christian-witness wear on the other. Our eruption occurred later as the parent group I was leading reconvened for our afternoon session.
"I just couldn't believe what my kids said over lunch! Our teens thought there was no big issue! In fact, they kept trying to convince me that everything was OK!" one leader passionately reported, while others nodded in sober agreement. The revelation that a great number of our Christian kids had no problem with the LGBTQ focus of the college group across the way shook most of the parents to the core. The bigger shock for the parents was that many of the Christian kids thought the display from the "open" viewpoint of the other group was "cool."
And no wonder. The barrage of cultural change is all around us. How could our kids - or we - not be affected? In one week alone recently, the following issues emerged in the media: the Nye-Ham evolution debate; the Common Core arguments; Missouri football player Michael Sam announced that he was gay; Attorney General Eric Holder declared that all states must give same-sex couples the same rights as married heterosexual couples; Christian rappers received death threats; the Sochi Olympics were surrounded with controversies over gay athletes. The result is that we feel utterly stunned. And why wouldn't we?
We "common people" don't know what to do! We are overwhelmed. And frustrated. And afraid - not of those who are living their lives as homosexuals or lesbians or transgendered. Or even of those who put scientific "faith" in a Big Bang. But afraid of ourselves ... and our kids.
Our society is changing and as Christians, so are we. But we can't seem to stop ourselves. We know we are. We can feel it. We are adapting to a morphing culture because ... well ... it seems it is our only reasonable option. Keep the peace. Make no waves. "Hold on," but find ways to compromise.
Statistics reveal the truth: Only 9% of all adults in America have a traditional biblical worldview? And worse yet, only 1% of our young millennials adhere to that same traditional belief and biblical foundation?
Changing? Compromise? It is more like crashing! We truly don't know what to think and believe!
"What is happening to us?" parents continued to comment as we discussed an appropriate response. We hear words like intolerant, hate, normal, truth and judging; and we shrink back in an earnest desire not to offend. We wring our hands in concern. We want to find ways to show His love. But we don't dare talk about the issues in public for fear others might label us or mock us or run away. So we soften just a little. Just enough to keep ourselves and our kids out of the line of fire.
Maybe our problem is we are still in shock. It seems like only yesterday when my biggest mothering concern was whether or not I should allow my kids to watch the Care Bears on Saturday morning cartoons. How did we suddenly get to this new place?
I appreciated the gut-level honesty of those parents regarding the tough challenges they felt that day at our event...
"I don't want to talk about this."
"Surely if we ignore this, it will all just go away."
"I just want a simple life with my kids."
"Raising good kids is tough enough, who wants to add this issue on top of it?"
"Can't somebody else please figure this out?"
This is the invisible spiritual cultural war that is attempting to take our kids captive and silence our own voices as well. It is an "open-to-anything" world charging toward us and expects us to bow. This is a real battle with real casualties and eternal consequences.
But down in our little parent room at the convention center, we were reminded of the most incredible truth: It is not too late! People may have changed, but God and His Word have not! This is not the time to lose focus and throw in the towel!
In the end it is not about political correctness, the gay agenda, abortion, evolution, or assisted death. These are the surface issues; the root issue is simply truth.
We cannot afford to falter now. We must not let the "open-to-anything" mindset win.
And even when we are tempted to pull an Elijah and wail, "God, I am surely the only one left," He is right there beside us saying, "No way! There are countless others who are set apart for Him for this hour. Will you just stand up and look around?"
We left our meeting last weekend quite differently than we had come. A new resolve emerged resulting in a greater desire for Him and His truth. We would not quit.
We would go home, roll up our sleeves, and get to work. Our kids need clear answers to questions that require us to dig deep into our Bibles to find the truth. But that's OK, because His word is 100% accurate. And His Word in every age and every time has always been enough.
And what about the kids of our friends? What about those who were attending that conference right next to ours? An overwhelming love filled our hearts as we recognized how much they needed answers also. So we prayed, honestly and fervently for ourselves, our kids, and for all grappling with these issues.
In the end it's not about the homosexual debate, or abortion, or capital punishment, or any other issue. It's simply about truth. Biblical truth. It's time we take our stand, join our voices, and empower our children to know the real truth, for the truth will indeed make us free.