But Didn’t His Acne Clear Up Beautifully!
Guest post by Mark Kennedy, ACSI Canada
The Trouble with Avoiding the Issue That’s Killing Us
It might have been in an old issue of The New Yorker or maybe I just imagined it – a single frame cartoon in the darkly amusing style of Charles Adams. It shows two octogenarian ladies standing in front of an open casket at a funeral parlor, ‘viewing the remains’. One dear old soul says to the other:
“But didn’t his acne clear up beautifully!”
The point, of course, is that the disappearance of the dead person’s pimples is not all that significant in light of his overall condition. It seems to me that the message of that cartoon applies with painful poignancy to the North American church and perhaps especially to our Christian schools. We address all sorts of worthwhile things in our ministries, but in the early decades of the 21st Century we still avoid addressing the thing that’s crippling our students and killing our society. What is it?
Jesus often answered a question with a question, so I’ll give that a try.
What is God’s primary human building block for a strong, stable nation? (HINT: when this building block crumbles, even the wealthiest and most advanced society collapses.)
And a related question, if Satan wanted to destroy a society that has had a Christian foundation, what would his target likely be? If you guessed Monday Night Football, try again.
If you think it is the family, you’ve got it! And an effective way to destroy the family would be to dismiss or distort God’s standards for human sexuality.
Human sexuality, now there’s a topic to make some Christians cringe and change the subject. These days we can’t help seeing sex saturated content in media not only in entertainment but even in news reports where aberrant sexual behavior is legitimized and affirmed. So we close our eyes, say nothing and hope it will all go away. But it never does. And it’s worse for our students who face North American youth culture’s self destructive sexual ‘norms’ just about everywhere, even on their smart phones. And they hear not much from us.
There’s a principle that is trotted out in the courts every now and then. It’s based on a Latin proverb “Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit” which means ‘he who is silent, when he ought to have spoken, is perceived to agree’, or, to put it more simply, ‘silence implies consent’. The failure of the Christian church and Christian school to address contemporary sexual issues compassionately and with biblical integrity does exactly that. It tells our students that ‘normal’ is whatever the media and secular culture say it is. Our silence, or relative silence, then leaves the most prominent social battlefield of our day in the hands of our enemy and our students become his victims.
“We must always take sides.” Says Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
For the sake of our students we must no longer remain silent.