When a reporter for a national black magazine asked Joshua what he thought about people around the world knowing about his popcorn and lemonade fundraiser for the City of Detroit, he matter-of-factly said, “I’m international.” For Josh, it wasn’t arrogance. He was just telling the reporter his current reality. He’s had pretty much the same nonchalant attitude when news outlets in Canada contacted us and even when he appeared on the biggies, like CNN and ABC World News Tonight and in Time Magazine. I was in awe of God’s move with these, but the one that really made me excited was when a producer from Ellen, as in Ellen DeGeneres, called. Though I don’t watch her show often, I LOVE Ellen.
After talking with us three times the producers decided not to go forward with having us on the show. (Maybe there was too much Jesus talk in the interviews. That would be my fault.) While we awaited their final decision I was excited about the possibility of going to meet Ellen, an incredibly generous, kind and hilarious woman, and to share with her the love of Jesus. Some of my friends thought we would turn down the invitation to appear on Ellen because she is a lesbian. Ellen’s character traits and her being a lesbian were the reasons I wanted to meet her. I may not be going on Ellen, but I think a kid-friendly version of what I planned to say is what we could use to help our children respond to the national and calculated move to normalize homosexuality.
I practiced in the mirror what I would say, wanting to make sure that my face conveyed my heart’s love and like for her. I imagined that Ellen, being so straight forward, would tell me how surprised she was that we came on the show, me being a conservative evangelical and her being a lesbian. I would laugh, touch her on the arm and say, “I know. My friends didn’t think I would come either, but I had to come. You are hilarious, crack me up, and you have such a sincere and generous heart. And, yes, I believe homosexuality is a sin because that’s what the Bible teaches and I have to follow the Bible, even if I don’t like it. If it were up to me, I would tell you to love and marry who you want. You’re a great person. But the Bible teaches that we have all sinned and that our good works don’t save us, just the grace of Jesus, our accepting that He died to take away our sins. If we realize that we have gone against His word, the Bible, that we can’t save ourselves and we need Him to save us, and if we repent and ask Him to save us, He will transform our lives on earth and when we die we will have a place with Him in eternity. I can’t judge you or make you choose what I believe the Bible clearly conveys, but I can tell you and hope that I would be with you in eternity. But that’s not why you had me come on the show. . . .”
For children a monologue like this may be a little harder. They still want to fit in and they have the extra burden of having to make sure they are not guilty of hate speech or appearing to be a bully. And if you have children like Joshua, they may get stuck on a person’s good deeds and not on the grimy heart. One day, before the Ellen producer called, Joshua saw Ellen giving away something to a guest on her show and said “She seems like a nice lady.” “Yes, she is. She has a big heart and a girlfriend,” I added. “A girlfriend?” he asked then tried to see Ellen’s relationship with her ‘wife,’ Portia DeRossi, like his mommy’s with her good friends. “They probably don’t kiss; they’re just girlfriends.” I corrected him, told them I’m sure they do more than kiss, and he wanted to know why two women act like a man and a woman. This brings me to my points to share with our children:
Explain the nature of sin. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All means homosexuals, liars, thieves, gossipers, murderers, the envious, the prideful and whoever else practices what goes against God’s word. David said he was born a sinner, which means we come here with a sinful nature (Psalm 51:5). This sinful nature causes us to naturally want to do what is wrong. So when the homosexual says they are born that way, agree. We were all born with a propensity toward some sin, but with Jesus we can be born again (John 3:1-18). Then explain to your children how salvation in Jesus Christ makes us new creations.
Explain the penalty of sin. My mama, who’s been living with us for the last six months as she recovers from a host of ailments that kept her in a hospital and rehabilitation facility for 3 ½ months, one day wanted me to serve her another round of junk food and complained when I refused. I told her that I knew the consequences of bad eating and wouldn’t be complicit in her getting sick again. Like I told my mama, we must tell anyone who continues in a lifestyle of sin what the temporal and eternal dangers of their behavior are. To not tell them when they ask us to participate in their demise makes us complicit in their behavior. Yes, we are all entitled to equal rights and those rights include receiving the consequences of our behavior, which is eternal separation from God for those who don’t accept Jesus as their personal savior.
With schools advocating gay studies curricula, laws being passed to accommodate the gay lifestyle, homosexuality being talked about and seen in every form of media, children as young as 7 identifying themselves as gay, and Christians being attacked for having a biblical view of marriage, our children must know how to form a biblical perspective on the issue and how to stand firm. Our children must know that we must agree with and follow God’s word because the Bible is the final authority for how we live. Yes, even for us, it may be more comfortable to remain silent and even to compromise our biblical beliefs, but when we do this we have our reward with man and not God. We have to help our children know they can speak the truth in love and that the Holy Spirit has the job to change hearts; they only have the job of sharing God’s heart (John 16:8; Matthew 28:19-20). People may get angry about what we say, but we can’t respond to them in anger because anger does not produce the righteousness of God (James 1:20). We are Kingdom citizens teaching our children Kingdom laws to live and share with the world. When we do this, we are definitely working to keep the Kingdom first.
What mock script can you give your children to help them give a biblical response to someone wanting to know their view on homosexuality?