"If we let the world raise our children, we can’t be surprised if they come to love the world rather than God."
Into The Laps Of Our Children
The text message saddened and angered me. It astonished me to read, “Wow, Mr. Ratburn on PBS kid show Arthur is gay. He married a man on the show”. Kid shows often stay neutral on these issues, so I searched for myself. Sure enough, Mr. Ratburn came out as gay and got married in the “Arthur” season premiere.
I watched “Arthur” as a kid. My children did, too.
The Ratburn episode illuminates a grander reality in America. American Christians aren’t surprised by gay marriage, nor are we oblivious to the reality that gay marriage is legal and now being embedded as a cultural norm. However, alarm bells ring when homosexual marriage sneaks into our living rooms and whispers a contradictory worldview in their ears.
Homosexuality has appeared in children’s television before—in fact, a 2005 “Arthur” episode featured a friend with two moms. Doc McStuffins had an episode featuring an interracial lesbian couple and Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie have also been confirmed as a gay couple.
Homosexuality as a cultural norm is no longer something “out there” waiting for our children when they enter the real world. It is barging into our living rooms and demanding that we say something.
Gay Marriage is a Sin Problem
Am I just an alarmed, far right bigot indoctrinating my children with an ancient text? Some readers will say that I am. Is this post uttering intolerant hate speech and teaching our children to hate homosexuals? To many, it will be read that way.
That is far from the truth. Homosexual marriage decimates Scripture’s proclamation that “a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Instead, people have replaced God’s special revelation with an alternative that doesn’t even allow for natural procreation.
In all of American history, heterosexual marriage was considered the norm, even by secular Americans. The tides have completely turned.
Homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin (Matthew 12:31-32). Numerous other sins will keep people from inheriting the Kingdom of God, such as sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, greed, drunkenness, reviling, and swindling (1 Corinthians 6:9–10). There are more lists, and we are all on them. There is none righteous (Romans 3:10).
But the same Jesus who died on the cross for those other sins also died to save homosexuals who will place their faith in Christ and turn from their sin. The same Spirit who brought us from darkness to light can do the same for homosexuals. The same Father who loved us and gave His Son for us can do the same for homosexuals.
All sinners, whether gay or straight, can run to Christ for forgiveness and repentance. The Scriptures still hold true that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Parenting On Guard
I need to repent of being too lax with television consumption in my home. We don’t even have cable, so I convinced myself of some illusionary control that slipped from my hands in an instant.
If you’re a Christian parent concerned with your child’s worldview, join me in guarding our children. This doesn’t mean living in a “Christian bubble” pretending that sin doesn’t exist. Rather, proactively instill a biblical worldview through conversations and discussions using Scripture as the foundation.
In response to “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone” we must commit to using much wisdom and diligence in protecting our children from anti-biblical worldviews. How can we do this?
Guard the worldviews that enter your homes. As our culture embraces abortion, gay marriage, transgenderism, and other sins as normal, Christians must engage with the world’s perspectives and refute them with Scripture. Talk about the Bible with your children when “you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Dt. 6:7). If we let the world raise our children, we can’t be surprised if they come to love the world rather than God.
Guard the media your children enjoy. Change the media appetite in your home. Rather than cherry-picking which hot ticket sins to guard them against, families should ask of every show, “Does this hinder my child from the glory of God and His work in the gospel?”. Any shows that normalize sin should be removed from our watchlists—at least until our children are old enough to teach them discernment. Christian alternatives such as Pureflix, JellyTelly, and RightNow Media might sound corny, but holiness will never be cool to the world.
Be bold like Joshua who said, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Guard against losing the gospel. We will fail our children if we don’t give them the gospel. Sin is in their hearts, even if they’ve been rescued by our Savior. Stop treating them like they’re innocent little angels who could never do wrong. It’s simply untrue. Every human being carries the sin of Adam—even our beloved kiddos. Like their parents, they deserve to be punished for their sins by the Holy God of the universe.
But God, in lovingkindness sent Jesus to save people from their sins. But God gave His Holy Spirit to turn our dead, stony hearts into living, bleeding hearts alive to His goodness and glory. But God calls all people, gay or straight, to repent and believe in His Son. He will rescue any sinner who cries out, “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” and places their full hope in Jesus.
God can reconcile the worst of sinners to Himself. If He saved us, He can save anyone. Ask Rosaria Butterfield. Ask Jackie Hill Perry. Ask Peter. Ask Paul. Ask Solomon. Ask David. Ask Rahab. Ask Abraham. Ask Noah.
How will you and your family respond to the moral shift that is working its way into our homes?