This past election has held a whole new level of interest for me because of where we live and some of the issues that were being discussed. I have never been overwhelmed with politics and at times scoffed at the whole political realm. I see way to much bickering, arguing and squabbling and not enough hard work to create a healthy way of life. But this year has ben different for many reasons.
Within California there was a significant proposition called Prop 8 that was to be voted on. This item had a HUGE conversation piece with-in our students because of the talk it was being brought up at their schools and with their friends.
In Short here is what it was talking about;
This measure amends the California Constitution to specify that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. As a result, notwithstanding the California Supreme Court ruling of May 2008, marriage would be limited to individuals of the opposite sex, and individuals of the same sex would not have the right to marry in California
As we gave student the chance to share their thoughts/concerns/questions about this issue, even though they could not cast a vote, we noticed two distinctive perspectives arise.
Many students had a view based on 'who they knew' not 'what they knew'. Many had friends whose parents or relatives were gay so therefore they wanted them to be happy. Those same students were also very willing to put aside their 'spiritual understanding' on life and vote with 'what made sense'. All of my quote marks are actual verbal statements we heard students make. We really noticed that students were able to compartmentalize their faith with their convictions. Their convictions were not faith based, but emotionally based.
The second perspective was that many of the students we were communicating with verbally shared that they want to live in a place where everyone was happy and not be the one to hurt someones feelings by standing up for something else.
These conversations gave us some good and frustrating moments to share about the difference between how people view life and how God views life. It was some great opportunities for us to take a look at Scriptures and honestly say "we don't have all the answers to all life's questions, but what we do have is some very healthy guidelines from God to go with".
Some students were surprised to see how much Jesus talked about life, social issues, sexuality in his teachings. Some said, "that worked then, but what about now?" and it gave us a chance to show how diverse life was then as well as how diverse life is now.
I guess i share all this because of the great moments we have had to encourage students to seek God's direction for life as opposed to what they 'feel' is right. We are definitely in a culture that encourages emotional response before a conviction of standards response. What people find as 'convictions' come from the emotional influence of the world around them. Many people, especially teenagers, never ask the question of "are my influences positive or negative upon my entire being?". We separate the spiritual, emotional & physical sides of our lives and create boundaries for all of it instead of viewing our lives as Jesus taught, we are spiritual beings and we never escape that nor the presence of our creator.
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