More than ever, it seems that our culture is changing rapidly, and not necessarily in positive ways. That’s why it can be critical to get out ahead of issues before we find ourselves in shock and disorientation as leaders. Embarrassment catches us off guard when we should have known better. We will offer our best as God’s servants if we are prepared when those we serve come to us in the confusion of these cultural changes.
For this very reason, our organization has pursued putting up a hedge or dam against these societal flood waters by formulating a statement of our public policy positions. While we cannot, as a 501(c)3 non-profit promote any one political candidate or party (which in my estimation would be completely counterproductive to our mission), we are able to make it clear how our biblical worldview plays out in issues that deeply affect our community. For example, our organization has always stood for the value of all life. That position can powerfully affect where we stand on such issues as abortion, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, euthanasia and assisted suicide. Parents look to us for guidance and support regarding these very things, especially when society tells them their children’s lives should have been terminated prenatally, or when mixed messages are sent as to the worth of their children as they grow to adulthood.
We are thoughtfully debating publishing a formal white paper on our stances, knowing full well that it may not be appealing to those who do not care to walk under the authority of these biblical positions. Nevertheless, this will prove to be a tool the next time a story hits the news of an insurance company wanting to deny children certain procedures because they are disabled or when a law is made giving citizens permission to legally terminate their own lives, etc. We will not need to take time away from the core mission God has called us to by wondering and debating a response, but rather we will be able to refer people back to our foundational beliefs, and press on in service.
Has your organization considered putting such things in writing? What would you do if the local news reporter came to you asking your ministry’s position on these hot button issues? What would you do if your adherents asked for guidance regarding these difficult dilemmas? Things like “Obamacare” will impact the disability community in powerful ways. Are you educating yourselves on the facts as they become known and measuring them against the yardstick of God’s word? I encourage you as a ministry leader, not to become a political zealot, but to get out ahead of these issues before you find your organization swept away by the culture.