I’m trying to think this problem out. I don’t know what to do, necessarily, but I also feel like I have an opinion. I anticipate angering both sides of the argument. Why anger just one side when you can anger both? Am I right? No, my goal isn’t to make people angry or to offend people. My focus is to better follow Christ. In the tough decisions in life, which are the most Christ like?
In the upcoming week, or maybe already, my work is going to post a statement saying that transgender individuals are welcome to our spa. It’s nothing new. I’ve encountered transgendered people while working long before the Bathroom Wars started. Without this blog post statement, I anticipated encountering them for the foreseeable future. Yet, stating the spa’s stance has made the spa take a side. It’s not a side I’m on.
I don’t agree with many life choices that are happening in the secular world in which my work dwells. Many of the choices directly contradict what I believe to be right. I knew this when I was hired in. I also knew this when I was hired into Meijer. In fact, it’s something that every Christian who’s being hired into a non-Christian organization has to acknowledge. My values are the minority.
My discomfort over the past few days stems from the niggling voice in the back of my brain that won’t shut up. “This means you’re agreeing with something that’s in direct contradiction with the Bible.” “You’re tacitly agreeing with non-Christian values.” “You should quit. Make the big stand. Sacrifice everything for God.” I’m starting to feel physically ill. I don’t live with the constant knowledge of what God wants me to do with my life. I do, however, know that as a Christian I’m sent out into the world to preach his love and to preach Christ triumphant. I’m wondering if quitting is really the answer though. I’m wondering if I can’t still be a strong Christian influence in an otherwise secular environment.
I’ve had a lot of friends who say they aren’t going to shop at some store anymore because of gender neutral bathrooms. I think that’s doing a disservice to the cross. Maybe I’m reading the Bible wrong, but Christ didn’t come into the world to snub sinners. He didn’t eat dinner with the Pharisees. I’m not saying he told those sinners they were fine and to keep on with what they were doing. He told them to repent. He explained the law and the gospel to them. He told them they needed forgiveness and then happily gave forgiveness to them. Jesus was able to have those conversations with people because he lived among them. He didn’t shun them. When a Christian makes the active choice to not shop at a store that allows transgendered bathrooms (and I’m not saying it’s correct or that I want transgendered bathrooms because I don’t), I feel to a certain degree they are making a decision to not allow the opportunity to share Christ with someone in need of Christ. How are we supposed to go out and make disciples of all nations when we’re simultaneously saying, “No, that nation is too sinful”? Who are you to decide? Christ made no exceptions. He died for all. Everyone is a beloved creation of God.
I have and I will continue to treat people as those knit together in their mother’s womb by God. He created them. He loves them. He sent his son to die for them. And, quite possibly, I’m someone he’s sent into their lives to show his love. At the risk of sounding like I worship the Warm and Fuzzy Jesus, I’m going to err on the side of love. I am not going to tell them they’re right. When the opportunity presents itself, I will be more than happy to share Jesus and my beliefs. However, as a general rule of thumb, I’m going to treat them like the human beings they are. I’m not going to ostracize them. I’m definitely not going to act like I’m a better human being or a better Christian. I need a savior too. I can’t save myself. I can’t save others. Jesus saves. I can only act as his ambassador with the hopes that by simply working in places that are secular and not hardening my own heart against them I will be able to share Jesus with someone. If just one person is brought closer to God by my working at the spa, it will be worth it. I will take the criticism and anger of both sides if it means one more person is saved and in heaven. I mean, it’ll be hard and uncomfortable and I might spend most of my days emotionally at war with myself, but it will be worth it. God is worth it because God is good and his love endures forever.