Targeting your Protest

We have the latest Christian protest on our hands. Target has adopted a new policy allowing trans-gendered individuals to assert their sexuality in bathrooms across the stores. People who accept their own biology get upset. Christians protest. Some have already pointed out that to protest this would really lead to so many other such financial decisions that it would be extremely difficult to stay consistent.

Yeah, probably..

I think it is fine if you want to protest but vote with your wallet and see if that makes a difference. It won’t, our country has moved on from caring about old Christian morals and that is the point. Our protest won’t change anything like it didn’t the last hundred times we did it. Raising awareness does very little to change things. In case you hadn’t noticed both sides are now protesting, so who wins?

I know that the bigger issue here is safety but many do not want to discuss that the very real purpose of the those male/female door signs is for the comfort and safety of those who use those places of rest. Will there still be a room for resting in? Or will there now be a worry that someone is there who shouldn’t be. Well that is not the point is it? At least for the trans-gendered, it is about their rooms for rest, not whose picture is on the door.

It will no longer be rooms for rest but rooms for worry. At least for some, and those some are not the ones we are concerned for at the moment.

The real question for us is what do we do about it? Do we demand that the morals of the day be reversed to where they were? Well I think a voice is important, this is a reason I write for instance. But the legal systems we have in place to do more would be about placing a moral person in office who will enact change. Garner votes, pass bills, and see what the support says, or we can realize we live in Rome and it is falling. Both require prayer, both are options, and both do not change with protesting. If Christians actually would vote with their wallets it might make a difference, but often we will still go where the savings are after the initial commotion dies down.

Some have pointed out how Paul used his rights as a Roman citizen to address the injustice in his life. Yes he did, to save his life, he did not do it to change the policy that non-Romans citizens should have more rights. Some have pointed out that Daniel similarly did not protest, but the truth is he did. He refused to stop praying just as, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down. It put their lives in the balance. This is the only form of useful protest, refusal to acquiesce. Follow God’s law over man’s. Who cares what the culture is doing? Laws are being written against values, if you do not like it pray or run for office. But always act under the law of God. Remember though, the laws of God do not demand that we require everyone else to live by them. They require obedience from us.

Sometimes that is going to put the pressure on us, not them. We show Christ by continuing to praise and worship and love and build in the midst of persecution.

Protesting won’t make much difference. If we are Christians we follow God’s law first, we do not obey because the country is on our side and we do not disobey because the law says so. How about instead of protesting the trans-gendered policy we share the gospel with them when we see their turmoil over which room to use?  As a man I am not as bothered by a woman dressing as a man trying to use the bathroom, it is silly and sinful, but this tends to be more of a man issue wanting to be with the ladies, doesn’t it?

If it is foolish and unsafe then by all means shop elsewhere, or simply watch over your kids closely. Predators are everywhere, as a parent I have to be always on duty. But I do see the point, it is not simply that “Well a man could always just walk into a bathroom and assault a woman.” Sure enough, but now he can get through the door without raising an eyebrow.

What we have created is a phenomena of less prevention and more aftermath.

As long as nobody was made to feel bad, who cares about the ladies sense of security right? I guess feminism really does work. We care so much about rape culture that now we welcome men into the women’s restrooms? We are so progressive. It is terrible policy but our morals are already in the toilet, so why not invite the men into the women’s as well?

But sarcasm aside – this is a sin problem, not a policy one. The Bible actually speaks to this. A man is forbidden in dressing in women’s clothes, and vice versa. (Deut 22:5) It is to confuse and distort the created order. We don’t seem to truly care about right and wrong is the obvious point. The prevalence of sin will always give way to the lowest common denominator. If you haven’t noticed by now this was always about more and more freedom for sexual expression. Our culture wants the lines to be so blurred that every sexual inclination is permissible. It is said that that is not the point but eventually you have to wake up and see what you are force feeding everyone. When all of our foundations are completed eroded away, what kind of building do you think will remain standing?

Apart from the Gospel, I don’t know how to demand morality and sanity to a world that wants more and more licence. I don’t know how to make the greater point of safety for people in their times of vulnerability (in the restroom) if our culture pretends to not know the differences between men and women. Only the Gospel can cause people to wake up to the drowning nature of sin. Finding death at the end of that road is only visible through the eyes of Christ.

So when we protest our message has to be appealing to a more excellent way. I do not believe that holding a sign will do that. I believe that getting in among the people and lovingly applying the Gospel is how we change things. If we believe that this will harm ladies and children then we should prepare to minister to them, let’s say what we can but help as we must. We should be on the forefront of compassion in this whole debate.

A better weapon in the Christian arsenal is called prayer. Take it to the Lord in prayer. As far as protesting I would also recommend blogging. I think a well thought out reasoned response puts you in a position to clearly say why and how and better yet that you are not a simply a hater. Try it out. Maybe with enough well-reasoned arguments being written somebody with wake up?

Either way we need the Lord on this one. We will always be the screaming bigots when we oppose culture. But we needn’t be feeding the machine with our own blood. We can feed the machine with our good deeds and cause it to break down. We can share what is true, but demanding that things be different is probably not going to garner much following in a fallen world. What does speak is our conduct. Let’s go out there and feed the poor, clothe the naked, minister to the widow, help the single mother, care for the orphan, defend the weak – and thus win a voice.

This is the truth in love. It is not so much sharing our truths as living them that they are undeniable. People need to see our good deeds, not our angry protests. Christ’s way of life is made appealing by witnessing his design for life in action, not simply by signs. He said the truth  – absolutely,  but he was present in their lives.

I fear we are called bigots because often we are more willing to hold a sign than to actually minister. If the enemy is people then protest, but if the problem is a lost soul, we should change our tactics.

Peter says it this way: For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:5)

Paul says it this way: that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. (Phil 2:15)

Jesus says it this way: 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. (Matt 5:16)




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