Human Rights Summit and a Poet’s Calling
Posted by Logan Gates on July 27, 2017
It’s been just over a week since the close of RZIM Canada’s Understanding and Answering Human Rights Summit, but a poignant moment remains fresh in my mind that encapsulates the crux of the days we spent together.
It came from the time of “Q and A” following Alycia Wood’s talk on “Sexuality: Whose right is it anyway?” Alycia had just walked us through the cultural shifts of our times, the growing hostility to the Christian worldview, and yet the enduring beauty and power of the Christian message to speak good news into these tough questions. A participant raised her hand and shared she was an artist and a Christian, but was finding in the arts community this issue was one that kept many people at arms’ length from the Christian faith. She shared vulnerably how challenging it was at times to press into caring for dear friends in that community, without compromising how she saw her faith speaking into this issue and the way the Gospel, as it does for all of us, offers a challenging yet deeply positive message. Alycia’s response was a beautiful exhortation to persevere — to continue pressing into those friendships with deep, sacrificial care, even when it’s hard to know exactly what this looks like, to hold together both compassion and conviction.
For me this moment got to the heart of what the Summit had been driving towards, with the question, “What does it look like —practically — to live as a Christian in our society in the midst of these delicate issues?”
It’s one thing to talk on the theoretical and cultural plane, but when these questions intersect “real life” — our relationships and our families — the temptation is to pull back and disengage, because those situations are challenging. It’s hard to know what to say. It’s hard to know how to love. Wouldn’t it be easier to stay in the Christian bubble?
The answer, of course, is a resounding, “Yes.”
Yet we follow a Saviour who, forsaking the “bubble” of heaven, came down into our broken world, to press into our broken lives, to endure the greatest suffering on our behalf, that we might be made right with Him. On the cross, he lost his “rights” to give us the “right to be called children of God,” with all the rights that new status entails. He gives us Himself — in his Son on the cross, and in his Spirit who now lives within us and guides us with right words when we don’t know what to say (Luke 12:12).
It’s costly to follow Christ into the world yet not be of it. To the extent we see He has done this for us will we have the compassion and conviction to press into the challenging situations God has placed us in, with the love of the Cross and the power of the Spirit, for the sake of the Gospel.
RZIM Itinerant Speaker
We had the opportunity to speak to Medgine following RZIM’s ‘Understanding and Answering Summit on Human Rights’ to hear how the week had an impact on her. Take a look: