Word from the Center Digest: May 3, 2019
Adam and Eve: The Original Diversity
by Rev. Marcus T. Zill
Our LCMS young adults will learn a lot of things at college about marriage and sexuality. Unfortunately, few of those things will be what God wants them to learn and most of them will be precisely the opposite. They will also hear unending secular litanies chanting the demand for “diversity” at nearly every altar in the academy.
What will they not learn about? What won’t they hear? A clear presentation of the holy estate of marriage as God intended.
Two years ago at St. Louis’ Washington University, one of our LCMS U campus ministry chapters hosted a lecture by LCMS pastor Rev. Jonathan Fisk entitled, “The Original Diversity: Man and Woman in Christ.” I attended this event and watched as the message of God’s plan for man and woman, and His gift of procreation, was well received by all who attended it, including some skeptics.
Regrettably, this simple event caused no small amount of consternation among students and faculty in the Washington University community. Articles protesting the event were written and a rival and more “inclusive” event was held in the same building at the same time. Rev. Fisk and those who supported him were called all the names one might expect from that well-rehearsed litany: homophobes, transphobes, and anti-choice fear mongers.
We Lutherans are not alone in receiving such unfounded ire. Last spring a student resident advisor at Providence College, a Roman Catholic institution in Rhode Island, was subjected to all manner of intense harassment by classmates, including a drawing depicting him being raped, for creating a simple bulletin board display advocating for traditional marriage.
These stories, however appalling, teach us to be ready and eager to raise and encourage our young people in understanding and appreciating not only what God says about marriage in His Holy Word (think Gen. 1:26-28; Eph. 5:1-2; 22-33; Matt. 19:4-6), but also to give them examples of what that holy bond looks like, including the blessing of the fruit that comes from it. By God’s grace, we pray – as their church family – that they will then seek out faithful, Christian spouses in healthy marital relationships like that which they have heard and witnessed.
Make no mistake: Our faithful young people will be and are challenged during their formative years to forsake this foundational institution in our culture at nearly every turn. Most of our state universities now sponsor week-long “Sex Weeks” that include various lectures, activities and events related to sexuality. (Read more here if you can handle it.) Topics range from information regarding sexually-transmitted diseases, the promotion of the LGBTQ+ agenda, lectures from porn stars, and even “How to…” courses about all things perverse and unmentionable.
While we should certainly discourage our young people from attending and being exposed to things so outside of God’s design and will, we also recognize that God works through means, and the First Amendment that we have inherited in our constitutional republic is one of them. The stronger our youth remain in the faith — and when surrounded in college by a churchly core of support — the more they are eager and able, wherever possible, to use the system available to them to promote alternatives to those worldviews presented to them, namely God’s diverse plan for man and woman – the institution of marriage.
Foundational to any culture is its view of marriage and all that it entails. We as Lutherans confess – in the Fourth Commandment and its explanation — that this estate is the seat of temporal authority among us. So, this is no time for timidity on campus! Our young people, with our support, are ready to make this stand, not only because God’s design for marriage, the original diversity, is meet, right and salutary for them, but also for their neighbors on campus who, while often confused by conflicting worldviews, are yet eager to learn healthy alternatives to the newly accepted norms.
Rev. Marcus Zill is the LCMS director of campus ministry and LCMS U.
Learn about a bill that would “add a new chapter to state education code to require student health care clinics at all 34 California public colleges and universities to ‘offer abortion by medication techniques’—aka ‘the abortion pill’—starting on Jan. 1, 2023.”
As many high school seniors prepare to graduate and start college in the fall, they’re also preparing to enter an academic environment that is increasingly hostile to religion. Click here as First Liberty Institute attorney Justin Butterfield and Florida State University student and teaching assistant Darrell Jordan join moderator Kip Allen in KFUO’s Free to Be Faithful broadcast, identifying these challenges and the rights of believers in the academy.
“Part of our mission is proclaiming God’s authority as Creator, which calls us and all people to a morality and holiness accountable to His design. So, when we stand for religious liberty, life, marriage and educational freedom, we do so for a missional reason: to be faithful to the God who has created and redeemed us.” – Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz