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Responding Positively to political legislation

April 9, 2016
I have been reading through Ron J Sider & Ben Lowe’s fantastic book, The Future of our Faith (Brazos, 2016). As a result, I have come to ask this question: What if Christian schools/colleges responded to government “inclusiveness” legislation (eg. Alberta’s Bill C-10) with positive language, affirming all the good items these documents contain, rather than screaming (literally and socially) at suggested legislative changes? What if Christian organizations such as schools and churches were known to be the most caring and compassionate places for a person (including an LGBQT person) to share their struggle and fear, rather than the last place a (LGBQT) person would ever want to visit?
With those questions in mind, I offer the following sample statement:
“In recognition of the Triune God as the Ultimate Authority, [NAME] Christian school/college desires to teach and live in accordance with the Bible and affirms…
*God has put the government of [province/state] and the ministry of education in authority over us as individuals and as a school. We will seek to follow their laws and standards for us as an educational institution.
*students and staff will promote a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects the diversity that God has created in each individual person.
*students and staff work to foster a sense of belonging for every member of the school community recognizing that God created each individual to live and be in community.
*students and staff will not discriminate in word or deed against any person on the basis of race, ethnic background, dis/ability, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, recognizing that each individual is created in the image of God.
*students and staff will seek to teach and live by Biblical principles, gently encouraging and correcting one another when a person sins in thought, word, or deed.
Recognizing there may be occasions arise where our Biblical worldview does not permit us to align with the governing authorities desire, following the example of Jesus we will continue speak and act respectfully and graciously to all individuals and organizations involved and continue to follow the above principles wholeheartedly. If the governing authorities decide to withdraw approvals/status from our organization, we will attempt to deal with those decisions in the same manner, though our desire remains to operate within the parameters of governing requirements as long as our faith/beliefs allow.
We do not expect society or the government of [state/province] to endorse our worldview and faith beliefs. Nonetheless, we believe that a truly tolerant and inclusive country means individuals can dialogue concerning differences in a respectful manner, come to different conclusions, and still demonstrate the grace of God in their words and actions.”
Note: A similar letter was sent by Kevin DeYoung to the Michigan legislature in the USA regarding proposed changes.
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