March 8, 2011

Fighting a battle that isn't really ours

People have different beliefs. How far will we go to defend them? When do we submit to authority, and when do we continue fighting?

Here are two perspectives from the article: Transsexual coed tells UP prof: I am not a ‘he’. (Thanks to Cyril Sadia and Michiko Alcanzare for the heads up. :) )

"She also told me that she cannot separate being a Christian from who she was as a teacher. She then continued that she believed that homosexuality was a sin, and it was due to this reason that she cannot allow herself to address and accept me as female...
"My pronouns are MY pronouns. I don't care who your God is, but I will not let you take my gender identity away from me."
- Hender Gercio, transsexual student, "Stop Transphobia/Homophobia in UP Diliman!"

"While it is true that Ma’am Nikki [Del Corro] is the authority figure in the classroom, she has never used her authority to influence the class or Hender herself. Her own address of Hender as il did not stop the rest of the class from referring to Hender as elle and, again, neither did she try to...
"Language and speech have immense power. For Hender, not being addressed as elle is the denial of her identity, her sense of self, the sacredness of her belief, whereas for Ma’am Nikki [Del Corro] words that she chooses, the words that come out of her mouth, this same address of Hender as elle, is a violation of her own sense of self as an evangelical Christian, which puts above all else the authority of the bible.
"If we don’t understand either of these beliefs, if we think one or the other is ultimately wrong, we attempt to inform each other. Failing conversion on either side, we agree to disagree."
- Gercio's classmates, “On Mutual Respect"

The other main character in this issue, professor Dominique del Corro, chooses to remain silent for now as Gercio is still her student this semester. I think she shows much wisdom in tackling a very controversial issue: balancing her personal beliefs, academic authority, and respect for her fellowmen. Even her silence right now shows considerable tact. May we all do the same.

I can relate to this issue on so many levels: as a former UP Diliman teacher, as an undergraduate in the same campus, and yes, as someone who was previously confused but now relies on the Bible's teaching regarding gender and sexuality.

As Christians, we hold on to Jesus as the Only Way, Truth and Life. How does that apply to homosexuality? What about all other issues? How do we point out "sin" while obeying the command to "Love one another"?

"Open war is upon you, whether you would risk it or not." - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Such issues need to be addressed. Either we are for God or against Him. The good news is, following God does not mean fighting everyone else. We Christians are fighting for our fellowman, by fighting beliefs that run contrary to God's revealed Word. Even better news:

"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." - Jesus, John 14:26

It's not our battle, not our war. The enemy is not the people we are sharing to, either.

Christians, we have a King --- let's use His weapons: the sword of the Spirit (the word of God, the gospel of Peace), the breastplate of Faith and Love, the helmet of Hope of Salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8, Ephesians 6:10-17)

Besides, the outcome of the war is already known. The only question is, "Whose side are we on?"

No comments:

Post a Comment