The Ohio chapter of the ACLU is threatening a potential lawsuit against the East Muskingum Local Schools if they don’t remove a portrait of Jesus that has hung in the school hallways for decades to memorialize a teacher who passed away. The school board will meet tonight to determine the appropriate action. (Here are the links to the news stories from the Columbus Dispatch and the Zanesville Times Recorder.)
The ACLU may win and mark it up as another victory for “freedom.”
They can have the painting, if you ask me. (Not exactly the response you were expecting from a minister of the North Terrace Church of CHRIST, was it?)
Let me explain.
Here’s how we as followers of Jesus should respond.
The teenage Christ-followers who walk the hallways of John Glenn High (as well as Zanesville, Tri-Valley, Philo, Maysville, etc.) should respond by displaying compassion and kindness to their peers who are treated as outcasts. They should be pursuers of peace and defenders of the bullied and the oppressed. In their studies, they ought to work at it with all their heart, as working for the Lord. They should show respect for their teachers and be seekers of knowledge and godly wisdom.
The educators and school officials in our region who love Jesus, they should respond by being on their knees, praying for the students every morning before they arrive. Their uncanny patience and unexplainable willingness to serve the students should be their identifying mark.
Christian parents, our response should be waking up to our God-given responsibility to pastor our children and teach them to love the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength and with all their mind. Our response should result in our kids seeing our commitment to Jesus in real and relevant ways.
All of us should respond by devouring God’s Word daily as He speaks to us through His living and active book. We should respond through prayer for our community, our leaders, our educators, our students. We should respond by gathering together in our Bible-believing and Jesus-loving churches so we can be challenged, encouraged and celebrate the work God is doing in our corner of the world.
Legislate public prayer out of school. Take down the Ten Commandments from our houses of justice. Take the portrait of Jesus. Truth is, no man, no organization, no man-made law can stop the power of God working through his people who are in Christ Jesus.
Imagine with me for a minute. What if the thousands upon thousands of people (children, teens and adults) who are disciples of Jesus in our area responded in the way I just described?
There would be no need for an artist’s rendition of Jesus hanging on our school’s walls.
The real thing would be walking the halls.