The “Day of Silence” is a student-advocacy movement in support of the LGBT community. Over the last few years this movement has grown and picked up more momentum.
This post is written with a few people in mind: The Christian teen who is wondering, “Should I participate? What do I say when people ask me why I’m not participating?” I’m also thinking about parents and other youth workers who want to talk about this movement with their teens.
What is the Day of Silence?
This is a day where students take a vow of silence in order to advocate for LGBT rights. The official website for the Day of Silence says,
GLSENs Day of Silence is a national day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools.
…Organizing a Day of Silence (DOS) activity or event can be a positive tool for change-both personally and community-wide. By taking a vow of silence, you’re making a powerful statement about the important issue of anti-LGBT bullying, and when you organize others to join you that message becomes stronger.
How Should We Think About the Day of Silence?
I firmly believe that the Bible teaches God’s design for sexuality to be expressed between one man and one woman through the context of marriage. This is the historic teaching of both Judaism and Christianity. My intention here is not to convince people about Scripture’s teaching on homosexuality, but to address the “Day of Silence,” so please forgive me for simply throwing these statements out there without defending them. If you want to look up what the Bible says you can check out: Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:18, Colossians 3:5 to name a few verses.
While I believe that LGBT inclinations would fall into the category of “sexual immorality,” I also believe that lust, heterosexual sex outside of marriage, and adultery fall under the same judgment. We should be careful to not ignore our own sexual sins while pointing the condemning finger at others, as our own sin isn’t really that bad but theirs is. We must remember that all of us, even if you have never struggled with your sexual orientation, still battle sexual temptations.
The “Day of Silence” website gives the following statistics that should break our hearts for LGBT students who daily live in fear:
- Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment in American schools each year.
- 60% of LGBT youth feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation.
- Nearly 1 out of 3 LGBT youth missed school in the past month because of safety concerns
Christians Can Identify With Prejudice and Hatred
Jesus Christ himself was targeted, betrayed and crucified. He suffered the most agonizing of deaths on the cross, which was such a painful and hideous way to die that even the Romans eventually outlawed its use. God identifies with those who are suffering!
As a Christian who loves studying Church History, my mind turns back to all the persecution that Christians have endured throughout history… and still do in MANY places today. More Christian have been killed because of their faith in the last 100 years than have been killed because of their faith in all of Church History combined. 19 Christians are killed each minute for their faith every day! Visit Voice of the Martyrs for more information about the realities of Christian persecution.
Christians should never be the persecutors. It’s an educated-guess, but I think many who participate in the “Day of Silence” would point to Christians as one of the primary persecutors of the LGBT community. May we, as Christians, remember the Gospel: that Jesus Christ came to save sinners (that’s all of us!). May God forgive us for communicating His truth and grace in such a way neglects to show the beauty of God’s love. Of course, whenever you share that homosexuality is a sin you will be offending people to some degree or another, but we should be careful to remember that the Gospel is “Good News” because there is hope and grace for sinners, even sinners like us.
My intention in sharing this perspective is to call Christians to remember that they are a persecuted group of people in this world. I don’t believe that we should have a “Day of Silence” for Christians who are being persecuted… but I do believe that remembering the “bigger picture” of Christian persecution should fill us with grace and compassion for members of the LGBT community who live in fear.
Should Christians Participate?
No, I don’t believe that Christians should participate in the “Day of Silence,” but I DO believe that Christians should live and love in such a way that the “Day of Silence” isn’t necessary. Although we cannot agree with their lifestyle, we should support the LGBT community in a way that honors the dignity each of them has as someone who is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Many Christian blogs and websites are calling for this to be a “Day of Dialogue.” Speak honestly and humbly about what the Bible teaches, but live in such a way that people will realize that you’re not speaking as a “holier than thou” Bible-thumper.
Most importantly… pray and point people to the love of Christ.
- Pray for God to give you wisdom to know how to respond (James 1:5).
- Pray for your peers who are struggling with their sexual orientation, that they would know how wide and long and high and deep the love of Christ is (Ephesians 3:18).
- Pray that God would keep you sexually pure and from giving in to temptation (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).