In Oxford, Alabama this is something parents don’t want to hear. In fact, their city counsel temporarily passed an edict that people must use the bathroom based on the gender of their birth certificate (I guess that meant everyone must carry their birth certificate with them when they go shopping). I served as pastor of a congregation in Oxford for 11 years, so I know a little about the people and culture there.

In Oxford the bathroom brew-ha-ha has many up in arms emotionally. Fire works are going off in all directions. I’ve read on Facebook accusations against those who voted to repeal the edict and calls for the two that supported it to run for governor and president (Joking I’m sure). I understand some of the dynamics going on, I really do. But they are circling the wagons for a fight that has already been lost in our nation.

Does that mean they should give up? No. But I had to wonder… Is there as much outrage for their neighbor that isn’t saved? Is there as much angst about other local injustices? Is there as much anger about the moral conduct of young people in the area? Is there a movement among Christians there to address the other social ills and problems of the community? In Oxford… AND MANY OTHER CITIES ACROSS THE NATION… people just don’t seem to give a damn about the really important things in their community (Those people will probably be angry I used the word “damn” just now.). I’m not saying this isn’t important, but shouldn’t other things be AT LEAST as important?

Hey guys, you’re fighting the wrong fight. Rather than trying to legislate who can go where and do what, maybe… just maybe… it would be good to be salt and light at the ball field, at work, with your neighbor, when you attend church. Maybe it would be wise to live the Christian life outside the church so others can see Jesus in you like He modeled with the Samaritan Woman. Maybe if people of all stripes… including transgender… saw the beauty of Christ IN you they would seek Christ themselves (This is true in all communities, not just Oxford).

People were DRAWN to Jesus, not repelled by Him (Except for religious people). Children wanted to be with him! Actually, we Christians need to really reflect on this description of Jesus as found in Luke 4:22, “And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth.” I wonder if that is what people say about us regarding what WE say?

I was asked by a resident of the city I’ve know for years how a Christian should respond to Oxford’s stance regarding use of bathrooms. Here’s what I wrote in reply (Afterward I will update and clarify it a little):

Go (To the bathroom) before you leave home. Lead a quiet and gentle life. Stand outside while wife is in there. Take small daughter with you into men’s room if necessary. If anyone asks your opinion state it graciously and lovingly. Pray for revival and awakening. Don’t be involved in public protests (Or demeaning arguments). As Paul wrote in 1 Tim 2:1-4“I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth…”