A school district in Illinois has voted to allow biological males who identify as girls unrestricted access to the female locker room. Privacy stalls are available, but transgender students will no longer be required to use them.
One student was in tears after the ruling, telling reporters she felt “uncomfortable, my privacy’s being invaded, as I am a swimmer. I do change multiple times, naked, in front of other students in the locker room. I understand that the board has an obligation to all students, but I was hoping that they would go about this in a different way that would also accommodate students such as myself.”
Robin Williams was right: “Words and ideas can change the world.” And not always for the better.
Yesterday we discussed God’s call to choose courage when our culture rejects biblical truth and morality. Today, let’s think together about some practical ways we can respond biblically to such opposition.
Ephesians 6 reminds us that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (v. 12).
Using Paul’s military metaphor, let’s consider three imperatives.
One: Remember what is at stake
It’s tempting to accept society’s relativistic narrative that truth is individual and subjective, that evangelical opposition to unbiblical morality is a matter of personal preference rather than a reflection of objective reality.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Consider the abortion debate. The textbook The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology states, “Human development begins at fertilization when a sperm fuses with an oocyte to form a single cell, a zygote” (cited in this article, which offers more scientific evidence for life beginning at conception). Bestselling author Wayne Grudem and biologist Dianne N. Irving offer additional powerful data demonstrating that, as Dr. Irving states, “Abortion is the destruction of a human being.”
This means that the pro-life movement is accurately named: we are fighting for human beings. Abortion worldwide has ended more than 1,555,600,000 lives. If a disease had killed even a fraction of that number, those who work to prevent it would be encouraged, not vilified.
We could discuss scientific evidence and medical dangers regarding euthanasia and homosexual behavior as well. Standing for biblical morality is a spiritual battle with enormous life-and-death consequences.
When soldiers know that the cause for which they are fighting is worthy of their best, they are more likely to give their best.
What cause has your highest allegiance today?
Two: Work uniquely but in community
Paul continues his metaphor: “Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13). The “armor” he describes can only be worn and used by individual soldiers.
Here we are reminded that we each have a unique role in God’s army, a place on the front lines that no one else can defend as we can.
At the same time, Paul calls us to make “supplication for all the saints” (v. 18) and for himself (vv. 19–20), pointing to the fact that soldiers can do much more together than they can do separately. None of us knows what all of us know. None of us can do what all of us can do.
What “weapon” has God given to you? With whom will you use it in community today?
Three: Honor your King
In his seminal work, To Change the World (a book I cite often and encourage you to read), James Davison Hunter states: “An irresolvable and unstable pluralism—the collision and conflict of competing cultures—is and will remain a fundamental and perhaps permanent feature of the contemporary social order, both here in America and in the world.”
However, lest we become discouraged, Hunter notes that our primary call is not to change the world but to love the Lord: “Christianity is not, first and foremost, about establishing righteousness or creating good values or securing justice or making peace in the world. Don’t get me wrong: these are goods we should care about and pursue with great passion. But for Christians, these are all secondary to the primary good of God himself and the primary task of worshipping him and honoring him in all they do.”
Here’s the good news: when we make the First Commandment—loving God fully and passionately—our first priority, we make the Second Commandment—loving our neighbor as ourselves—a reality as well.
If you loved and honored your King even more than you do now, how would your life be different today?