The Golden Rule

It is so simple. It crosses theological, ethnic and cultural lines. Just treat others the way you want to be treated. Whether or not they treat you that way in return, really isn’t the issue. This comes up today because of some recent conflict on The God Journey forum. It always disheartens me that people come to forums to make their case by being obnoxious, falsely accusing others by ascribing thoughts or motives, or simply maligning people who disagree with them. I’ve had to remind some people that the key to getting along with everyone else is to simply treat others the way you want to be treated.

This also comes up because many public school students will observe a Day of Silence as a means to protest harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been going on for almost a decade and many parents who are against ‘the gay agenda’ feel the need to keep their kids home that day, or participate in a Day of Truth that makes sure everyone in their district knows they consider homosexuality to be immoral. Is this the way Jesus would respond.

Perhaps a better way to encourage faith-based students to respond would be to adopt the Golden Rule Pledge. “I pledge to treat others the way I want to be treated.” It allows a pro-active response to sharing the burden to increase mutual respect for all, regardless of our differing points of view. While some of it is a little ‘religiously’ with having to quote a Scripture to justify their actions, I appreciate the sentiment.

Dr. Throckmorton, Professor of Psychology at Grove City College and organizer of the pledge says, “There can no doubt that GLBT students and peers as well as other who appear different have been the target of harassment, bullying and violence. We believe Christians should stand with a loud voice to oppose this.”

“Participation in the Golden Rule Pledge helps to demonstrates Christian respect and concern and builds bridges instead of walls,” added Michael Frey, his associate and Western Pennsylvania Regional Director of Campus Ministries for Campus Crusade for Christ.

The Golden Rule Pledge may also be conducted in schools where the Day of Silence is not being observed. For more information you can see their websiteThe Golden Rule dot com, or link up with them on Facebook.

Beyond the program, however, this is the way Jesus asked us to live. You don’t need to throw a Scripture in their face to do it. All you have to do is live differently and it will speak volumes!

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10 Comments
  1. Janna April 14, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    I remember the day the thought came to mind that showing outright disgust for homosexuals might not be the best way to share Jesus’ love. We were so afraid to condone behavior. Always forgetting that He changes us all from the inside out.

    I was wondering, though, about this thought of treating others the way you want to be treated, that sometimes the way that we show love to others isn’t the way that they receive love. I recall some heated conversations with my significant other when I would finally erupt with, “well, that’s how I show you I love you! If I were in your shoes, I would feel totally loved!” To which he would reply, “that’s not how I receive love!”

    Perhaps the Golden Rule would have us not only treat others well but also take that extra time to consider their perspective and what would be the best way to bless them, using their language.

  2. Janna April 14, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I remember the day the thought came to mind that showing outright disgust for homosexuals might not be the best way to share Jesus’ love. We were so afraid to condone behavior. Always forgetting that He changes us all from the inside out.

    I was wondering, though, about this thought of treating others the way you want to be treated, that sometimes the way that we show love to others isn’t the way that they receive love. I recall some heated conversations with my significant other when I would finally erupt with, “well, that’s how I show you I love you! If I were in your shoes, I would feel totally loved!” To which he would reply, “that’s not how I receive love!”

    Perhaps the Golden Rule would have us not only treat others well but also take that extra time to consider their perspective and what would be the best way to bless them, using their language.

  3. Jim Wehde April 15, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Wayne,

    I love this perspective. I think the greatest indicator of how Christians feel about homosexuality is this: Where do they struggle through their issues? Among us, or separated from us, out on their own?

    There is probably no limit to the subtle ways that we DON’T practice love for them…this is so totally opposed to the people who felt irresistibly drawn to Jesus – the “sinners” of society.

    I’m guessing this will be sorted out in the next decade or two, but how much damage will Christians do to their witness of love in the meantime?

    Rock on, Wayne, behind you all the way.

  4. Jim Wehde April 15, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Wayne,

    I love this perspective. I think the greatest indicator of how Christians feel about homosexuality is this: Where do they struggle through their issues? Among us, or separated from us, out on their own?

    There is probably no limit to the subtle ways that we DON’T practice love for them…this is so totally opposed to the people who felt irresistibly drawn to Jesus – the “sinners” of society.

    I’m guessing this will be sorted out in the next decade or two, but how much damage will Christians do to their witness of love in the meantime?

    Rock on, Wayne, behind you all the way.

  5. Gary R April 15, 2009 at 10:05 am

    I am an addict. You are an addict. What we are addicted to is irrelevant; the issue is we are addicted. The question comes, do we take power and authority over our actions that continue to feed our addictions or do we become spiritual seekers in our Father’s Love. I do not understand much about being addicted to homosexuality but one of the things I do know for sure is that those who are looking to us for spiritual sustenance need us first and foremost to be spiritual seekers ourselves. They need us to keep searching for the bread of life that feeds our own souls so that we can guide them to places of substance for their own souls. Rather than offering those who are addicted to homosexuality the cold stones of denunciation, when will we have bread to offer that is warm from the oven of our intimacy with the Father?

  6. Gary R April 15, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    I am an addict. You are an addict. What we are addicted to is irrelevant; the issue is we are addicted. The question comes, do we take power and authority over our actions that continue to feed our addictions or do we become spiritual seekers in our Father’s Love. I do not understand much about being addicted to homosexuality but one of the things I do know for sure is that those who are looking to us for spiritual sustenance need us first and foremost to be spiritual seekers ourselves. They need us to keep searching for the bread of life that feeds our own souls so that we can guide them to places of substance for their own souls. Rather than offering those who are addicted to homosexuality the cold stones of denunciation, when will we have bread to offer that is warm from the oven of our intimacy with the Father?

  7. Don F April 16, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Unfortunately, there is a vast number of American Evangelical that see America as a type of Israel. Under the Mosaic Law, Sodomites were to be killed. Secondly, many interpret Romans 1:28 to mean that once a person chooses the Homsexual lifestyle they are out of God’s reach and cannot be saved (The God Hates Fags crowd are a small but loud proponent of this view). But to accept this interpretation, one has to ignore Romans 1:29 through 1:32 which continues the thought of verse 28 and really condemn all of us – apart from the loving mercy of God.

    “28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

    In fact if you continue on to chapter two, Paul’s conclusion of this thought is that the self-proclaimed judges are the ones that are in the greatest danger:

    “1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”

    They are ones who do not see their own need of God’s mercy.

    “4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;”

    Purging the land of all the homosexuals is not the answer, But being an instrument of God’s love to draw them unto himself is.

  8. Don F April 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Unfortunately, there is a vast number of American Evangelical that see America as a type of Israel. Under the Mosaic Law, Sodomites were to be killed. Secondly, many interpret Romans 1:28 to mean that once a person chooses the Homsexual lifestyle they are out of God’s reach and cannot be saved (The God Hates Fags crowd are a small but loud proponent of this view). But to accept this interpretation, one has to ignore Romans 1:29 through 1:32 which continues the thought of verse 28 and really condemn all of us – apart from the loving mercy of God.

    “28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

    In fact if you continue on to chapter two, Paul’s conclusion of this thought is that the self-proclaimed judges are the ones that are in the greatest danger:

    “1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”

    They are ones who do not see their own need of God’s mercy.

    “4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;”

    Purging the land of all the homosexuals is not the answer, But being an instrument of God’s love to draw them unto himself is.

  9. George April 17, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Wayne:

    Love this post!

    Our racket has historically proven to avert attention away from the source of most problems; OURSELVES…Living out the greatest commandment could potentially resolve much of the conflict we create.

  10. George April 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Wayne:

    Love this post!

    Our racket has historically proven to avert attention away from the source of most problems; OURSELVES…Living out the greatest commandment could potentially resolve much of the conflict we create.

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