Christians & SOGI

[Background: SOGI stands for Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity. It is the name for recently approved resource for BC teachers (public and private). You can read all about it at www.sogieducation.org.].

Every Christian should be deeply troubled by the health of the church and our society. Troubled but not frantic. This a response to Christians that, like Chicken Little, believe the sky is falling due to SOGI.

First, the sky isn’t falling and it is falling.
Christians that believe the Bible, know that the sky is never really falling (in a chaotic sense) because Jesus is at the helm and He is working an eternal plan that is good. And yet, Christians that believe the Bible, know that the sky will fall (is falling) and that in those days (the here and now) Christians will get caught in the crossfire of Heaven coming and Hell lashing out. We also believe that Christians are to play a role Heaven coming (we pray, we proclaim the Gospel, and we lay down our lives for another – even our enemy). In a mysterious and yet beautiful way, God asks the church to participate (as a way to prepare us for eternity) in His providential plan.

Second, Christians are to fight with kindness.
A Christian with a placard is an oxymoron. Placards are perceived in our day and age as hateful (regardless of our motives or message). Christians win culture to Christ not through political coercion, but by being most loving neighbor and employee around. The only time Jesus got aggressive with the truth was towards the church, not sinners. Christians are to fight the good fight of faith within our own lives and lovingly encourage our brothers and sisters to good works that our light might shine bright.

Third, Christians are to fight with prayer.
I find it sad and telling when there are more Christians gathered with placards than at a prayer meeting. Belief in Scripture leads us to the understanding and practice that prayer is the most effective weapon we have against evil. It fights evil at its source (spiritual realm) and it ignites and informs our practice in the physcial.

Fourth, Christians should always raise their kids as though they are living in a “Daniel Generation”.
It is naive to think that even at a Christian school that our kids will just go through life without our beliefs and faith being challenged and opposed. (In fact, Christian schools can be more spiritually damaging as they carry the potential to inoculate our kids from the Gospel.) Parents must be well versed in Scripture and in culture. Parents must be awesome examples of Christ and live out successful faith in the real world. Parents must pursue deep relationship with their kids. Parents must make time to talk about each day and use discernment about when to speak and when to bite their tongue (give kids space to grow and think, appropriate to the age and circumstance). Parents must live and lead by faith and not fear. (It’s a hard pill to swallow for the religious parent to realize that many kids raised in the Jewish bubble rejected the Messiah.)

Fifth, Christians need to realize that we live in a post-Christian era.
Our culture has been inoculated to the Gospel. Our country feels like we’ve tried the Christian thing and it didn’t make everything right and in some cases, it made things worse (exploitation of others and the environment, residential schools, pedophile priests, faith by coercion, leverage of religion for personal profit, etc.). We will not win our country back (not that we ever really were Christian) by political force or well-crafted placards. We will win our country to Christ by being Christ (loving our enemies unto death). Read Acts 19 for a model of how to win a city to Christ: The church didn’t destroy the silver idol industry with placards, but by winning their neighbour to Christ (and that came at the cost of death to self). The market for idols dried up because the customers switched from worshipping idols to worshipping Jesus. Likewise, the market for the SOGI idol will dry up, when the balance of British Columbians switch to worshipping Jesus.

Sixth, why is it that Christians elevate gender and sex over God?
If I were to protest a political decision it wouldn’t be SOGI. Yes, SOGI is evil, but shouldn’t the removal of Jesus from schools be more alarming? I think it is telling when Christians are more alarmed about the entry of SOGI than the dismissal of Jesus.

Seventh, there is a silver lining.
Hopefully SOGI does awaken us to our hypocrisy, to our mistakes, to our complacency and comfort, to our mismanaged priorities, and to our call to be salt and light. We also know that God uses evil against itself. He brings good even out of evil and life from death.

 

— Why do I think SOGI is evil? —

Because it packs more harm than health; more bad than good. Of course, I love the ‘be kind and accepting of others’ part, but not when it does so at the cost of packaging cancer as a sweet treat. (Clarification: a transgender or same sex student isn’t cancer – they are awesome and made in the image of God and have the same value and worth as every other human being, but they believe or trust in a cancer or walk with cancer [and there will be a day where Jesus will remove that cancer]. It is also every human’s reality that we all are born with a “cancer” of sorts – we all need Jesus to become healthy and whole.)

Transgender and same sex students should feel safe in our schools. The rub however comes, when we feel our view of ourselves should be adopted (agreed) by everyone as good. Love does not equal agreement. We need to teach our students that we can disagree on what is right and wrong and still be loving and kind to one another.

What is the evil in SOGI?

  • It’s preaches a Godless view of the world (and therefor a low view of human worth and purpose).
  • It preaches that the church of LGBTQ+ is to be believed by everyone. It’s forcing a religious view on others (sound familiar 😉 ).
  • It preaches that sex is just an appetite and as long as both parties consent then it’s not causing any harm (ultimately it preaches a very low and incomplete view of sex).
  • It preaches that truth is subjective and we are the authority for what is right and wrong, good or bad (both science and experience actually defeat this belief very easily).
  • It preaches that love equals agreement. That you must believe what I believe if you love me (when true love actually frees the will of another).
  • It preaches views and practices of sex and gender that aren’t good or healthy (or even logical).
  • Because of all this, it misleads our students into believing lies instead of truth and says what is bad is good.

What should be taught (at an age-appropriate level) is an unbiased analysis of all the world views so that our students are actually educated (not indoctrinated). And we should teach our students how to live peacefully and respectfully with those of different views. Lastly, we should teach our students how to think – how to reason and discern a good idea from a bad idea (but that’s a topic for another day).

 

–What is a Christian parent to do?—

It depends. On you, on your kid, and on your school. Education isn’t a one size fits all. Study the Bible. Study your culture (and school). Study your child. Talk to mature and loving family and friends. Pray with your spouse. Don’t act out of fear or pride, but rather faith and obedience. Listen to the Spirit of God.

We also live in a democratic society (very different from Bible times) so vote Biblically and share in gentleness your views with others and politicians.

I also find it better when engaging in conversations with others to err on the side of telling a better story. Rather than pointing out all the things wrong with another’s view, spend more time talking about the beauty and life and fruit that the Christian view brings you and our world (Christians have the most life-giving view of suffering, evil, eternity, identity, sex, gender, etc.). It’s Good News!

By |2018-04-24T07:39:50+00:00April 23rd, 2018|Blog, Pastor Clint|26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Reece Friesen April 23, 2018 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    Well written, brother – thank you for this Bibkical and thoughtful analysis!

  2. Ronald Donkersloot April 23, 2018 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Great Post Clint! I completely agree!

  3. Pastor Kevin Cavanuagh April 24, 2018 at 7:49 am - Reply

    Clint, bless you, brother! Way to get yourself out there. A number of Pastors and Leaders are joining me tomorrow morning from 9:00-10:30 Cedar Grove to discuss this issue. We’d love to have you join us. If you have any interest please contact me or just show up.

    • Clint Nelson April 25, 2018 at 8:59 am - Reply

      Thank you, Kevin for the invite. The meeting day/time didn’t work for me.

  4. Rebecca Friesen April 24, 2018 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Wonderfully put, Clint! I especially love the conclusion to keep our focus on the Good News – Jesus.

  5. Greg Booker April 24, 2018 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Greatly appreciated the gentle spirit for presenting truth in love. My angst is teaching or defining the context of sexual identity to those students under 8 who have little ability for critical thinking and absorb information from people of influence / authority as absolute truth without filters. Children can rarely articulate or differentiate truth from feelings and thus easily manipulated by carefully crafted situational dilemmas. Does their answer make them feel happy or sad not what is true.

    • Clint Nelson April 25, 2018 at 8:57 am - Reply

      Thanks, Greg! Age-appropriate is key and parents need to be wise in the timing of when to let their children/teens walk into the real world.

  6. Betty April 24, 2018 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    “A Christian with a placard is an oxymoron.”
    Isn’t that rather judgmental?! It is insulting to the sincere, concerned Bible believing Christians who got out of their comfortable pews, and perhaps for the first time, had the courage to make a public statement of their concern in the only way that was left to them! You give an excellent analysis of some of the main dangers of the SOGI agenda — but then advise us to do nothing but pray and be nice?! We’ve already done that, by the way… meanwhile we are losing our children and grandchildren to a horrible fate! Once a deluded young person has taken cross sex hormones and had their body parts chopped off, there’s no remedy! So if i can prevent that from happening to even one kid by pressuring the government or school board to remove this destructive agenda, I’m willing to risk everything. Are you? If more pastors would take a strong, public, concerted stand, maybe ordinary folk wouldn’t feel so powerless that they have to resort to carrying a sign to get their message across!

    • Clint Nelson April 25, 2018 at 9:23 am - Reply

      Betty,

      I too struggle with the tensions you presented.

      First, Christians should be judgemental (we are to judge right from wrong, truth from a lie). The difference is Christians aren’t to judge in the sense of writing someone off – we continue to pursue peace and extend kindness (judgement, but with the goal and practice of reconciliation with our brother/sister). This post is meant for Christians to accurately understand and live out Scripture. It is my understanding and I’d like to work towards agreement.

      Second, A Christian with a placard is an oxymoron (as I understand Jesus and the Scriptures). I can’t see Jesus ever holding a placard. He didn’t come to protest sin, He came to take sin upon Himself. He defeated sin with righteous living and dying to self. He saved us through kindness. Are we to do any different than He?

      Third, because of Jesus, we don’t fight the way our world fights. Sin and Satan use government and intimidation by number to corrupt hearts. God uses the Spirit from the inside and kindness from the outside. Prayer does this from the inside and servant heartedness does it from the outside.

      Fourth, pastors are just as ordinary as everyone else. Every person has equal access to God. We are all powerless, but with the Spirit of God equipping and igniting our hearts to be Christ, the Saul’s of the world will become Paul’s.

      So how is a Christian to practice kindness when they want to protest?

      Imagine if instead of protesting, each protestor went over to a SOGI advocate’s home for a meal (or invited them over for a meal) or imagine if each protestor washed the feet of a SOGI advocate! Obviously, we need modern versions of foot washing (maybe picking up their trash, giving out water, sweeping the front sidewalk of the BCTF headquarters, etc.?).

      My heart is broken with yours at the devastation that such policies and content will bring to our children and future society. And it is tempting to put all my energy into fighting it politically, but to think that a change in political policy will change our neighbour’s heart is to fight like Satan and give into the weakness of our flesh. From creation, to marriage, to abortion, to gender and Godlessness, these are all symptoms of a blind heart. What makes a blind heart see? Not a placard, but the Spirit of God (through prayer) and the manifestation of His saving mercy through you and me in dying to self (kindness).

      The battle will not be won in government, but in our kitchens as we feed our enemy and make them a friend. Jesus, friend of sinners.

  7. Ken Pudlas April 25, 2018 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Clint,
    Thank you!
    Your original blog and subsequent responses to the comments are well thought out, well reasoned, and based on sound biblical doctrine.
    As an educator I am perturbed by the misinformation that is perpetrated on both sides of this discussion.
    For example, people are under the false impression that the resources offered by SOGI 123 are in fact part of the official school curriculum. That is simply not true.
    Another concern is that if the only time our young children hear about sexuality and gender and identity is in the school then shame on the parents for so greatly failing in their God given responsibility and duty to train up their children.
    Another area in which I agree with your blog is that of showing love. I find it very clever that those who promote homosexuality as normative have allied themselves with the anti-bullying movement. That is if we are not “pro gay”, so to speak, the inference is that we are not “anti-bullying” but rather we are pro bullying. The sometimes violent rhetoric of those opposed to SOGI plays right into the hands of those who see Christians as bullies.
    Keep speaking the truth in love, my brother.

    • Clint Nelson April 25, 2018 at 10:27 am - Reply

      Thanks, Ken! I agree.

    • Jodi July 5, 2018 at 2:07 am - Reply

      I’m a bit late to the party here, but I wanted to let you know, Ken Pudlas, that I appreciate your comment. I’m a woman who prays to God on a regular basis, I am also a mother of a transgender teen.
      I won’t go into the details about my child, because I do not feel safe in doing so. I have witnessed some terrible behaviour from a few key Christians who have been slinging incorrect information around and the consequences of those words have led to confusion and hurt feelings.
      I truly believe that SOGI will be a huge benefit for children like mine, who never felt like they belonged, even in their own body. I would have been so very grateful if my child would have known sooner, or just had more information about what he was going through. With the help of a resource tool like SOGI 123, teachers can save children like mine from a ton of unnecessary heartache. SOGI will NOTturn kids gay or make them transgender. Just like sex education will not suddenly make kids want to have sex. If nothing else, SOGI will empower kids to be tolerant and kind to their peers who may be struggling with being transgender and all that goes along with it.
      So really, it appears to me that you Ken, and you as well pastor Clint, seem to have been blessed with tolerance and kindness for something that goes against your beliefs. I try to be kind as well to those who push back with venomous behaviour because I know that it must be difficult for the SOGI opposers to understand something that we feel so strong and protective about. SOGI came to fruition for my child, and all the kids just like them. It’s something that both sides can find useful. It teaches kindness, respect, compassion and tolerance. God knows we can all use a good dose of those things!
      Thanks!

  8. Linda Evans April 25, 2018 at 10:20 am - Reply

    This is more about parents rights. Right from the beginning of every rally it has been made crystal clear that this is not about condemning the choice to live the LGBTQ lifestyle if that is their choice. Why is it okay to sexualize a five year old? Why is it okay to tell any child that they may be the opposite sex than what they were born with. Why can’t parent’s take a stand against their rights being taken away? Did God ever call His army out to fight? This isn’t even necessarily a “Christian” fight as Muslim’s, Jews even some of the LGBTQ’s have agreed that we need to stand against this. This isn’t a fight against flesh and blood this is spiritual battle and who stands to fight? As Christians, we know God tells us NOT to condemn or judge; that is totally God’s job. For all the reasons you have listed against SOGI123 why aren’t we speaking out? I totally agree that we need to live every single moment of our lives for the Lord; that’s why he died; to set us free, but to sit silently and do nothing about the great cultural changes that have taken place in this country isn’t what God wants for his people. He calls us to stand for truth, without bullying. By the way, the rally was terrific with over 300 people and lots of people were giving high-5’s. Hasn’t the silent majority been silent for too long? Perhaps checking out the facts of what has been happening in our schools will open eyes to see the danger that awaits all of us. Go to culture guard.com and actually see what is happening. By the way, respect was shown by both sides at the rally.

    • Clint Nelson April 25, 2018 at 10:38 am - Reply

      Thanks, Linda! I think we agree on the morality and infringement of rights in this matter. Yes, we are to take a stand, but the way in which is stand is just as important as what we say. Jesus changed the way we fight. We fight that we might win a friend not defeat them. We fight by staying true to His definition of good and evil even when the current of culture wants to knock us down. Read my response to Betty L. in the comments to see how we stand/fight. Also, I mentioned in the post that because we live in a democratic society, we vote and speak to our politicians about our view of what is good and healthy.

      Also, as it relates to the silent majority, I can’t speak to what the majority believes on the subject. Has a significant survey been done on the subject? The most efficient way for the majority to be heard is to vote at election time for representatives that will lead out corresponding values to those that elected them to office.

  9. Linda Evans April 25, 2018 at 11:46 am - Reply

    And what are politicians saying? We have in our hands a letter sent to us by the school board and I quote “school districts are required to teach the mandated provincial curriculum. The curriculum includes content related to sex, sexual identity and gender. The school district for diversity and tolerance are treated as core values. We recognize that some parents may have concerns with respect to teaching the prescribed curriculum.” So there is a curriculum. The Supreme Court said, and I quote “ Parental views, however important, cannot override the imperative placed upon the British Columbia public schools to mirror the diversity of the community and teach tolerance and understanding of differences.”

    Are parental rights being denied? Pretty clear from the letter that they are. Is there a curriculum for this? Absolutely. We have seen it with our own eyes. Tolerance and understanding to allow our children to be confused by gender identity? To be confused by what bathroom to use? How many of the contributor’s to this site are going to actually Invite someone over and eat with those who are pushing their “rights” upon their children. Didn’t Jesus himself drive out the money changers.

    • Clint Nelson April 25, 2018 at 11:57 am - Reply

      Linda, my understanding is that those topics are part of the curriculum and SOGI is a resource that teachers can use to meet the requirements of the curriculum. However, teachers may use their own curriculum. Parents have the right to pull their child from those lessons, but since those topics are part of the curriculum they are not required to give advance notice (I disagree with no advance notice). I agree that parents should be the final authority for their children and would vote for a politician that would seek to restore or strengthen a parent’s right to parent their child in a way they see fit (obviously the rub for this right comes in all aspects of morality).

      Jesus drove out the money changers that is right. The money changers were Jewish people who were making it difficult for Gentiles to worship God. I’d argue that in this scenario the people with placards are making it hard for non-believers and seekers to see (and therefore worship) a kind God.

      You’ve also touched on the crux of the matter. The church needs to eat with sinners, not protest them. If we did more eating together things like SOGI would be less prevalent or take a more balanced approach to diversity of views.

  10. Linda Evans April 25, 2018 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    Parents do not have the right to pull their children from the program. We have a letter in hand from the lawyer for the school board stating that we are NOT allowed to take our children out of the program. We had our lawyers send a letter to the school board. We got a reply back. If there is a sight where we can give you our request and the response back we will be more than happy to forward them to you. Your understanding of the curriculum is the way the SOGI 123 wants you to believe. It is not the truth of the matter. We were also told by our school district that this was a “resource” only. It is not a “resource” it is a curriculum that is being taught.

    • Clint Nelson April 25, 2018 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      Linda, it seems like there is conflicting information as different boards and administrators are saying different options than you. My experience has been that it isn’t being taught as THE curriculum across all schools, but some teachers do teach it.

  11. Pastor Kevin Cavanuagh April 25, 2018 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Dear Brother,

    Bless you for your courage in speaking out your prespective and personal convictions, that isn’t easy to do these days on most issues but especially not easy on this one. If you would allow me to present a little different perspective to think about…While I appreciated you directing the coversation back to scripture Acts 19 to see a Christ honouring response, I was a little confused at your conclusions regarding the passage. The presentation Paul had made created a riot and would have likely looked a lot more like the gathering in Vancouver on Monday than not. It was done in the public square. There is no mention in the passage about Christian winning the day and or defeating the darkness through their ‘loving actions,’ this was a truth confrontation. Jesus clearly warns us that in the latter days deception will be the halmark of the day as well as the fact that we will be ‘hated’ by all men on accunt of Him. (Mt.24/ 2 Pet. 2 etc). On another note, there has been a weekly Pastors Prayer meeting in Surrey for over 20 years. Many are praying…and many are also putting feet to those same prayers. Bless you Clint and may God grant you both wisdom and courage to lead in these growing perilous days.

    • Clint Nelson April 25, 2018 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Kevin! I appreciate your gracious tone. I’m not saying that the Gospel won’t create a riot – it is offensive. I’m not saying be private about proclaiming the Gospel. But the church didn’t seek out a riot or come with their placards to fight back against the silver artisans. Paul preached in the marketplace (a public forum for sharing ideas, philosophy, etc. – a place to debate and talk). He preached in the synagogue and got kicked out and rather than protest, he moved to another building. He taught for 2 years there and people came to faith in Jesus and Jesus transformed people to the point that they got rid of their idols and enough people came to faith in Christ that it made a dent in the silver business (which incited the riot). The silver artisans brought the Christians before the court to account for their dying business – that would be like SOGI advocates bringing Christians to court because sales of hormones are down. I agree that Acts 19 doesn’t explicitly mention sacrificial acts of kindness, but it is implied (by nature of Paul’s instructions in other passages and him discipling this region for two years) as weLl other texts would shed light to this (Rev. 2 sheds light on the church in Ephesus as well as the letter to the Ephesians). The NT is replete with instructions to prefer others, die to self, be kind, live at peace, as the Way of the Gospel. Let them hate us because we don’t hit back. Let them hate us because we don’t waiver. Let them hate us because the Gospel requires man yield to God. That is my understanding that I submit to you for consideration. Even if we don’t end up agreeing on some of these matters, I am grateful for your dedication, passion and sacrifice to our Lord and His Bride. Bless you!

  12. Linda Evans April 25, 2018 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks Kevin, this issue is definitely being bathed in prayer. God directs us to be strong in Him and the power of His might. Be strong and take courage Clint. As mentioned before I will be more than happy to send you our correspondence from the school district lawyers.

  13. Jorlean April 25, 2018 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    I have this whole subject very alarming ….on the grounds of the curriculum firstly…it just seems beyond belief that sound thinking individuals would consider this something that needs to be addressed to this degree,…but largely because it has been implemented without any surveys to the general public to see what the average parents think about it and there has been no public forum regarding this .. or really any choice for the families. Someone arbitrarily decided this was needed and everyone better fall into line with it ….like communism. And parents not having the right to exemption seems very socialistic. Meanwhile prayers are banned in school! So sad…and scary! ! !thankfully God is still in charge!

  14. Martin June 5, 2018 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much for this article. I hope you and your readers can support my petition against RBC and other banks funding SOGI in our schools (please spread throughout your network) – they should never interfere with such socially sensitive topics, and certainly not use our money to curtail parents’ rights: https://www.change.org/p/graham-maclachlan-stop-rbc-from-supporting-radical-sex-education-in-schools

Leave A Comment