By any measure, there have been enormous changes in thinking sweeping across society over the last few years, leaving many uneasy with the pace and scale of the change. Worryingly for some, most of these changes are leading to every firm pillar of Biblical morality being swept from underneath an entire generation. Whether it’s the sanctity of life, sexual conduct/attitudes, the definition of marriage or gender identity, the sheer aggression and intolerance that accompanies these changes is the most disturbing feature – especially as it’s the youngest in society who are now being targeted, primarily through the education system. We are seeing the role of the parent being replaced by the state, while children should be enjoying times of innocence, nurture and exploration, we are instead engineering confusion and disorientation.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NIV)
The issue of gender identity is a perfect example. We are increasingly being asked to believe that gender is a trait that should be determined by personal choice as opposed to being a relatively straight-forward binary form of identity. Most of us instinctively know this makes no sense at all as it betrays our natural reference points as well as having very little support from biological science. This is not to deny there are genuine situations where babies are born with an unusual condition that complicates assigning a gender. Nor do we deny the fact that despite our biological genders, a huge number of personality characteristics that are usually more associated with one gender than the other, are apparent in both sexes. However, this is very different to the notion that we can simply choose our gender and then change our minds at a whim. Why teach kids such ideas when the scientific research asserts that for the vast majority, gender is a biological fact determined at birth rather than a social construct?
This is now being forced on kids through the education system. Recently, draft lesson plans drawn up by the Scottish government include teaching 5-8 year olds that their real gender may be different to the one assigned at birth. Other lesson plans include teaching 8-11 years olds that they get to decide their gender and that they may be a boy or a girl.
Earlier in July, a primary school in Croydon had to scale back a ‘Pride’ event after 110 children failed to attend. Parents naturally expressed concern that their children were ‘too young’ to be taught about these issues and that they should be able to perform this role. Predictably, many of these concerns were met with accusations of hate and intolerance.
Parents are genuinely dismayed – children aged 4-11 years are simply too young to process these complex and controversial issues and most parents instinctively understand that. Why are our schools so determined to socially engineer our children? Surely this is the role of the parent? And worse still, why are those with legitimate concerns sweepingly labelled as hateful and intolerant? Are differences of opinion simply unacceptable now?!
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. (Proverbs 1:8-9 NIV)
We live in bewildering times where children are treated like adults and adults are treated like children. Children are being force-fed with a secular moral narrative far before the appropriate developmental age, whilst parents are being lectured about tolerance, inclusion and threatened/intimidated if they fail to obey like naughty school children. This dramatic reversal of roles being engineered by the authorities will cause incalculable damage to an entire generation.
We do not deny the need to be taught to respect individual choice and treat every human being with dignity, no matter who they are. The Christian community should be fervent advocates of tolerance, love, and acceptance – the Christian believes in the intrinsic value of every human being, whatever the struggles/issues they face and how they ‘identify’. And although we believe the moral and biological boundaries found in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures provide the ideal model for life, we acknowledge that not everyone agrees and that the reality of the fallen world means this is sometimes far more complex than we would like. However, there is complete harmony between demonstrating the love of Jesus and maintaining firm parameters on issues such as Biblical marriage, human sexuality, and gender.
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4 NIV)
Our authorities seem to believe that the solution can be found by simply removing all boundaries and forcing any dissenters to comply with a pseudo-tolerance that is only tolerant to those who agree with it. Anyone asking legitimate questions or protesting is marginalised under the broad and subjective banner of ‘hate’ speech which is nothing of the kind.
We suspect the net will continue to close around those daring to question the path we are taking, no matter what evidence of harm is produced. Furthermore, parents who attempt to distance their young children from the state-sponsored social engineering will face increasing suspicion and sanction. Our nations children will grow up in a society which immerses them with ideas that they sense are wrong whilst their muzzled parents will be unable to provide any sensible guidance and restraint. Strange times…
The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives. (Proverbs 16:17 NIV)