In response to the Day of Silence, the Alliance Defense Fund and Exodus International are sponsoring the Day of Truth the following Monday. Also student-run, students are encouraged to challenge homosexuality by wearing T-shirts and passing out cards that state: “I’m speaking the Truth to break the silence. True tolerance means that people with differing — even opposing — viewpoints can freely exchange ideas and respectfully listen to each other. It’s time for an honest conversation about homosexuality. There’s freedom to change if you want to. Let’s talk.”
So the question becomes how do we as Christians encourage the safety of all students, including our gay friends and neighbors without sacrificing our convictions about sexuality? As Christians should we be protesting or leading by example? Are we missing a teachable moment?
Jennifer Autry writes,
While homosexuality should indeed be countered by Christians who believe the lifestyle is harmful and immoral, as I do, it seems intrinsically backward to expect GLBT students to listen to Christians on the Day of Truth when we refuse to extend them the same common courtesy and respect on the Day of Silence.From the Golden Rule Pledge Blog,
…As an alternative to the walkout, [Warren] Throckmorton [Christian and psychology professor at Grove City College] and Michael Frey, western Pennsylvania director for College Ministries with Campus Crusade, last year proposed the Golden Rule Pledge, where Christian students promise to stay in school on the National Day of Silence and hand pledge cards to GLBT students that state: “I pledge to treat others that way I wanted to be treated. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you’ (Luke 6:31).”
We encourage Christian kids to demonstrate the grace of Christ by pledging to follow the Golden Rule in their interactions with all students. Last year, students in over 30 high schools and colleges participated by agreeing with GLBT peers to respect each other as Image bearers of God. Students distributed pledges to honor the teaching of Christ to love as He loved and to treat others as we want to be treated.Autry reminds us,
Christians who remain skeptical of lovingly engaging GLBT students must remember Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, recorded in John 4:1-42. Because Samaritans practiced a religion comprised of Jewish and pagan beliefs, Jews did not associate with them.
Rather than ignore the woman or criticize her for holding pagan beliefs, Jesus showed compassion by sharing the message of eternal life with her and then preaching to the other Samaritans.
John 4:39-41 states, “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days. And because of His words many more became believers.”