It’s easy to label Lee Christian School’s new requirement that parents and students sign a pledge to denounce all things homosexual or transgendered as “discriminatory.” In fact, we’re using that word in the headline for this post.
Now, you can sugarcoat it all you want by saying the pledge falls in line with religious beliefs, but what the school is essentially saying is this — if you are gay or support gay rights such as marriage or think of yourself as a different sex … you’re not really welcome there. Go find another school.
The more difficult question is why Lee Christian School is doing this. Why did the school’s eight-member Board of Directors and a parental advisory committee decide now is the time to require parents and students as young as 12 to make these bold — and for many, uncomfortable — declarations in order to be a part of the flock? (Because we all know 12-year-olds are ready for this kind of responsibility)
Why trouble the waters at a school that declared itself comfortably “full” in terms of enrollment as recently as 2014? Are gay relationships a problem in LCS? Are gay couples trying to infiltrate the school by (gasp!) seeking a Christ-centered education for their child? Did a freshman come to school in his mom’s high heels?
Current headmaster Don Payne did not give a “why” in his quotes in today’s story in The Sanford Herald. He did say the school reserves the right to refuse admission or discontinue enrollment “on occasions in which the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home or the activities of the student are counter to or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle the church teaches.” Some LCS parents have taken to the Herald’s Facebook page to declare their disappointment (some have threatened to pull their child), while others — such as
town crier former State Rep. Mike Stone — have praised the school for “taking a stand.”
Below, we break down the “covenant” LCS is requiring parents and students to sign and dig a little into why now and why the school is willing to draw a line in the sand when it was probably unnecessary.
Lee Christian School
Biblical Lifestyle Statements and Covenant
LCS believes that every person is created in the image of God, that human sexuality reflects that image in terms of intimate love, communication, fellowship, subordination of the self to the larger whole, and fulfillment. God’s Word makes use of the marriage relationship as the supreme metaphor for His relationship with His covenant people and for revealing the truth that that relationship is of one God with one people. Therefore God’s plan for human sexuality is that it is to be expressed in a monogamous lifelong relationship between one man and one woman within the framework of biblical marriage. This is the divinely designed relationship for the birth and rearing of children and is a union made in the sight of God, taking priority over every other human relationship. This is validated by Gen. 1:27–28; 2:18, 20, 23–24; Isa. 54:4–8; 62:5b; Jer. 3:14; Ezek. 16; Hosea 2; Mal. 2:14; Matt. 19:4–6; Mark 10:9; John 2:1–2, 11; 1 Cor. 9:5; Eph. 5:23–32; 1 Tim. 5:14; Heb. 13:4; and Rev. 19:7–8.
The covenant wastes no time in getting to the point. By Sentence 2, LCS parents understand they’re being asked to take a side on marriage — and if you’re one of the all-male LCS Board of Directors approving this statement, you probably are pretty confident this will go over well.
As recently as 2012, North Carolina voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1, which proposed to amend the state constitution to state that marriage between one man and one woman was the only legal domestic union the state would recognize. The amendment was approved 61 to 39 percent — and by a whopping 70 to 30 percent margin in Lee County.
Of course, the amendment was found unconstitutional by a federal court two years later (sad trombone), but who cares, right? LCS knows where Lee County stands.
LCS believes to follow the Scriptural teachings on marriage, we must affirm that sexual relationships outside of biblical marriage and sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are immoral and sinful. LCS abhors the trend to ignore God’s laws of chastity and purity, and vigorously opposes public acceptance of sexual promiscuity and all factors and practices that promote it. The school maintains a biblical view of human sexuality that makes the sexual experience, within the framework of marriage, a gift of God to be enjoyed as communion of a man and woman, as well as for the purpose of procreation. Sexual relationships outside of marriage and sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are immoral and sinful. The depth of the sinfulness of homosexual practice is recognized, and yet we believe the grace of God sufficient to overcome both the practice of such activity and the perversion leading to its practice. This is validated by Ex. 20:14, 17; 22:19; Lev. 20:10–16; Matt. 5:32; 19:19; Mark 10:11–12; and Luke 16:18.
Before we continue, remember … sixth graders are signing this.
Also, this tosses into the mix not only same-sex relationships, but single parents having sex (or anything close to sex) out of wedlock. The covenant, however, remembers to follow up the “outside of marriage” statement by going back to the “depth of sinfulness of homosexual practice.” It reminds you that, yeah, this other stuff is against the Bible as well … but man, that gay stuff. That has no place here.
Gender differentiation and male/female uniqueness are part of a divine design that God indelibly engraved upon creation. God gives our bodies to us for spiritual and relational purposes, as well as physical ones. It is His desire that the most fundamental distinctions we experience as human beings should remind us that our completeness is ultimately found in communion with Himself and others. For this reason, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him’” (Genesis 2:18). Personal fulfillment involves intimate fellowship and union with God, as exemplified by the ideal of Christ as the bridegroom and the Church as His bride (Ephesians 5:2232; Revelation 19:79).
Hmmm, are they hinting at transgendered students and parents as well?
Based on our biblical and theological study, there is no argument for a “third gender” among humans. Gender confusion and dysphoria are ultimately the biological, psychological, social and spiritual consequences of the human race’s fallen condition. This state of depravity affects all persons individually and collectively. While society is at liberty to legitimize any behavior it chooses simply by reclassifying and renaming it, Christ followers adhere to biblical boundaries. It is our Christian conviction that renaming them cannot normalize sin and its expressions.
We call upon biblical Christians to continue to accept their role as witnesses who speak prophetically about the need for repentance and sanctification in every culture.
Our mistake, they aren’t “hinting” at all. Those of you who prefer to live as the opposite sex or are confused by your gender … this refers to you as well.
Lee Christian School is a religious, nonprofit Christian school representing Jesus Christ by helping parents prepare their children spiritually, academically, physically, and socially to become His disciples. The biblical and philosophical goal of Lee Christian is to work with families who desire themselves and their children to develop into mature, Christlike individuals who will be able to exhibit a Christlike life. This involves the school’s understanding and belief in what qualities exemplify moral and sexual purity based on its interpretation of Scripture. Lee Christian School stands firmly upon the historical truth claims and moral foundations of Christianity. This includes, but is not limited to, the biblical definition of marriage, the attendant boundaries of sexuality and moral conduct, and the clear biblical teaching that gender is both sacred and established by God’s design.
Lee Christian School is a religious, nonprofit Christian school, and as many people on The Herald’s Facebook site have pointed out, they have a right to make their own laws and … well, discriminate. Because that’s what they’re doing.
But let’s not pretend they’re entirely broken off from the state, of which legally, there is supposed to be a separation from the church.
In July 2015, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Republican-backed program that spends taxpayer money on tuition for students at private and religious schools. In 2014, the program distributed more than $4.6 million for 1,216 students from low-income families to attend 224 private schools. At least three-quarters of those schools identify themselves as religious.
Lee Christian is eligible to take in taxpayer-funded students. To their credit, they are currently not enrolling any “Opportunity Scholarship” students, although they did have one applicant in 2014-15.
It costs approximately $4,000 a year to send a high school-aged child through Lee Christian Schools. That cost lowers per child for families with multiple children in the school.
Parents or the legal guardians, who choose to enroll their children at LCS, are agreeing to support these and other basic biblical values derived from historical Christianity. Parents understand and agree that LCS will teach these principles and biblical values. In addition, the School Board urges parents to recognize their scriptural responsibility (Deuteronomy 6:1–9, Psalm 78:5, 6, Proverbs 22:6) to provide their children with a Christian education and to understand that the primary responsibility for this task rests with the parents (Ephesians 6:4). LCS was founded and continues to operate upon biblical values and the desire and commitment for Bible-believing Christian parents to enroll their children in an intentionally Christian environment. LCS will accept students who are willing to support the school’s philosophy of Christian education, student conduct requirements, and the school’s stated positions and whose parents are willing to allow their children to be educated and influenced in an intentionally Christian environment. Continued enrollment at LCS is contingent upon this same understanding and support by both the student and parents.
Important because of the last sentence. Not only are they not accepting families who don’t support this covenant, but they’re willing to boot out those who don’t as well. Which goes back to “why?”
LCS is a religious institution providing an education in a distinct Christian environment, believing its biblical role is to work in conjunction with the home to mold students to be Christlike. On occasions in which the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home or the activities of the student are counter to or in opposition to the biblical lifestyle the school teaches, the school reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant or discontinue enrollment of a current student. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to, living in, practicing, condoning, or supporting sexual immorality, including but not limited to, sex outside of marriage, homosexual acts, bisexual acts; gender identity different than the birth sex at the chromosomal level; promoting such practices; or otherwise the inability to support the moral principles of the school (Leviticus, 20:13a, Romans 1:27, Matthew 19:46).
More of the same, with a little biological science tossed in.
Marriage, Gender & Sexuality Statement
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen 1:2627). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person. We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Gen 2:1825). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:25; Heb. 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt 15:1820; 1 Cor 6:910). We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of LCS as Christian ministry, and to provide a biblical role model to the LCS families, it is imperative that all persons employed by LCS in any capacity, that serve as School Board, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:1416; 1 Thess. 5:22). We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:1921; Rom 10:910; 1 Cor. 6:911). We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:2831; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture.
Note the sentence: “We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity.” Also, note the irony.
Final Authority in Matters of Belief and Conduct Statement
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of LCS’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our School Board is LCS’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
Sanctity of Human Life Statement
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including preborn babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Ps 139).
Marriage Policy Statement
Because God has ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, LCS will only recognize marriages between a man and woman at the chromosomal level. Finally, the facilities and property of LCS shall only host weddings between one man and one woman.
That’s it. The full three-page document Lee Christian School parents and students (from sixth grade to seniors) are being asked to sign.
We’d love to offer our opinions that the covenant as a whole goes against the moral fibers of Christianity … that it’s a step backwards for humanity … that it could potentially lead to lawsuits … that it’s unnecessary on the surface, other than to invite discord among their ranks … that it reads like a manifesto ….
But that’d just be anti-Christian, gay-loving mumbo-jumbo from the mainsleaze media, wouldn’t it? So, we’ll just include comments from the peanut gallery, courtesy of The Herald’s Facebook page. From both sides, because we like to include everyone.