Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bullying & Homosexuality: A Challenge to Youth Ministers

It seems that everyday there is a story of a teenager committing suicide because of bullying. Typically, it is a youth who has been identified as gay. What a horrible world we live in that says to a child, to alleviate the abuse you suffer, kill yourself. Unfortunately, many celebrities have made public service announcements (PSA) that say, "It gets better." This is not comforting to a kid who is emotionally wounded. And for that matter, where are the PSA's that say bullying has no justification and is wrong.?

I am addressing this to Christian youth ministers because it is never too early to share the gospel with our youth. But the Gospel is not, "It get's better." For the homosexual who does not repent, it does not get better. Suicide is not salvation. The young teen who 'checks out' will find eternal punishment waiting for them. (Ex. 20:13; for more on suicide, see Augustine's City of God, Book I ch. 18-23)

And the bully is not justified either. If his or her hate leads a person to kill himself, then Jesus' words in His Sermon on the Mount are all the more sobering. (Mt. 5:21-22) In other words, without repentance, the bully will find himself side by side with his victim suffering eternal torment.

We should never assume that a youth pastor's flock knows the Gospel. If a teen does not have a regenerate heart, then they are damned. (Acts 15:8-11) If the straight boy believes he is not a sinner based on his predilection for girls, he is sadly mistaken. If people believe the saved can commit suicide, then God's Law is mocked. Our actions matter for they flow from the heart. (Mk. 7:21) It is our heart that needs to change. And this is the job of the Holy Spirit for nothing is impossible with God. (Mk. 10:26-27)

Youth pastors, use the Law as it was meant to be used, as a guardian until we have faith. (Gal. 3:24) Shepherd your flock through the Law aiding in the teenager's knowledge of her sin. When they can see their need for the Cross, their heart will change. The bully will become humane, the gay will become straight. A heart of stone will become a heart of flesh. (Ez. 36:25-27)

Sin is real. We are all sinners. It is not a respecter of age. There is no purgatory. Death is final. Save our children by showing them in a very personal way, just exactly what Jesus did on the Cross for it is He who saves us from hell. When the truth of this Good News is realized in the teen's heart, the fruit of repentance will show forth. Then it will get better for the gates of hell will have been closed and the child will mature into their faith.