Last night I attended a worship service convened in the form of a Parkway School Board meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. As the conversation turned to their revolting new sex education curriculum, a dazzling pantheon of gods were worshipped: pleasure, relativism, intellectualism, tolerance, and self-actualization. The Living God was not welcome. At all. He sat weeping with a rag-tag collection of His people peppered throughout the sanctuary who offered unwelcomed praise in allotted ninety-second windows.
It was a very passionate service. People clapped. People preached. People laughed. And people testified to the glory of their gods.
As an ordained clergyman, I experienced a unique sadness and an even deeper form of lament as I felt bereft of my peers. If there were other ordained clergymen in the room, I did not detect them. I say this without judgment toward my peers, or pride in my own attendance. I was honored, in fact, to present a petition signed by myself and twenty-four other religious leaders in our community that affirmed God's gift of sex and that urged the Board to vote "no" on the proposed sex ed curriculum.8
I express my peer-loneliness with great sadness, even though I was happy to sit with several wonderful, godly, courageous laypeople in the audience and join them at the podium to offer the truth in love. My brothers and sisters in leadership, where are you in these dark and decaying public contexts? Our/God’s people need us out front, leading in grace and truth from gospel-inspired hearts from the church pulpit, the lectern, AND in the public squares and marketplaces. I need you, too! My personal worship service of lament continues as I write this with tears in my heart. Lord, hear my prayer.
That the leaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the LORD! Judges 5:2
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
1 Romans 1:16
2 Romans 1:32
3 Ephesians 5:19
4 2 Timothy 4:2
5 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Timothy 2:8, Psalm 57:5
6 Psalm 51, James 5:16, 1 John 1:9-10
7 1 Timothy 5:17
8 These are the words of our Proclamation: We, the undersigned Parkway-area clergy and ministry leaders, affirm our desire to see every Parkway student enjoy the benefits of life-long sexual integrity. We affirm that these wonderful benefits, and the means by which we may enjoy them, are given to us by God, our Creator. In honor to God, and with the best interests of all Parkway students in mind, we oppose any changes to Parkway School District’s sex education curriculum that contradict God’s design. In particular, we oppose the inclusion of concepts from Comprehensive Sexuality Education into that curriculum. Thus, we urge the Parkway School Board of Education to vote “no” on the proposed changes to the sex education curriculum on March 9, 2016.