For it is by grace you have been saved...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How Far For a Good Cause?

Recently I was asked to participate in a fundraiser for Relay for Life. I’m all for the cause. I would love to do my part. In fact, last year when I was asked to do this same event, I was all ready to sign on. Until they got to the “kicker.”

You see, they were recruiting area pastors to participate in a little softball game. Now, I’ve never been all that athletic, but I’ve played my share of church softball games. So I was ready and willing, even if I am less than completely able.

But just as I was about to agree, the “recruiter” for this event said, “Oh, and by the way, the catch is that all you pastors will be wearing dresses and catching with purses. We’re calling it ‘Dude Looks Like a Lady.’” That’s where I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Of course, the event went on without me (a reminder to self: you’re not that important!), and the event was all the rage in the local paper. Now we’re doing it again. And again I declined, in spite of the fact that I was told “all the other pastors are doing it.” (Enter my children repeating what they’ve heard: So, Dad, just because all the other pastors were jumping off a cliff…) Just love being the odd guy out.

My beef is three fold. Number one, I’m not sure if the event organizers know (or care) that the song they are taking their title from is an extremely vulgar one by Aerosmith. I know, I shouldn’t even know that. But I do. And it’s a repugnant song, with highly suggestive lyrics based on a theme that should be obvious (if you doubt, read about it here). So strike one, I don’t think I want to be associated with that.

Number two, the whole cross-dressing thing. I know it’s all in “good fun” and maybe years ago we could have seen it all as a big joke. But this is a different day and time. The culture around us is pushing heavy for acceptance of the whole gay/lesbian/transgendered lifestyle. Gay marriage is a huge issue right now. Cross dressing just isn’t funny. How can the church take a stand for holiness, for biblical marriage, and against sexual perversion when preachers are making light of the whole thing in this way. That for me is strike two.

And finally, there is the whole issue of respect. I’m willing to, and have done, some strange things. Having been involved in drama in high school and college, I’ve done my share of “funny” roles, etc. But in a day and time where there is already a huge decline for the respect and authority of the pastoral office, it seems to me that this kind of stunt does nothing to help. Not to mention the respect of my children in my own home.

Let me say again, I support the Relay for Life cause. We lost my mother-in-law to cancer over 16 years ago after a struggle of over a dozen years. So count me in as a general rule. But playing fast and lose with sexual identity in this culture, coupled with the images brought on by the title song, and I’m just not sure this pastor is “with it” enough to participate.

Anyone out there: let me know what you think…


Rod said...

Some very keen insight, my friend. I think you're getting sharper in your old age. Holiness is what matters. On all three counts the event is indicted and found guilty. What's a prophet to do these days?

Scott said...

Thanks Rod, good to hear from you, brother. With you not around I've been trying hard to find someone to fight with! I thought maybe this might be "controversial" enough to generate some discussion, but either it's not, or I've chased away the few readers I've had. Oh well.

Applied Christianity said...

I really liked this post. I am having to deal with a similar, but different, issue. The cause is great, but I just can't support one aspect of it. Thanks for the encouragement.