Educator Etiquette Rule #1: Never offend anyone. Ever.
Such an offense against a student, parent or colleague could easily cost you your job and reputation. It is rather sad that in a world where few excellent educators truly exist, they must abide by such strict rules.
We have become so fearful of offense, that we have forgotten what is truly worth being offended about!
As a result, many Christians have neatly put their morals into a box and shoved it into storage.
Some Christians hold fast to their beliefs and truth, but are hiding in their storage closets. This group of Christians know what is right and true, but fail to express it for fear of offense and condemnation from the world.
Some Christians have bought the lie of secularism: truth is relative, keep yours to yourself. These lukewarm Christians then fail to pass the morals of the faith to their children then stand with gaped mouths wondering why their children have such animosity for the church.
Some Christians would like to have a voice and express their opinions of truth, but do not have guidance or direction from the leaders of the church, many of whom are also fearful to touch certain subjects. These Christians are unable to effectively communicate our truths and appear overly impassioned, irrational and uneducated.
There is only a very small, very select group of Christians who will dare take on the subjects of abortion, marriage, homosexuality, secularism and moral relativity and who can do so in an educated manner; from both the secular end and the theological end. For those of us who are religious educators, we must work tirelessly so that each Christian soul we come into contact with can be a part of this group. As parents, it means we must educate ourselves on these issues and not be afraid to discuss them with our children. Priests need to address these subjects to their faithful so there is no question why the church stands in the positions it does.
We all must stop getting offended by the rude customer at the grocery store, or the obnoxious boss we work for, and work towards aiming our offense and indignation at only those things which work to inhibit our spiritual growth and attack the Truth of the Orthodox Church.
We must remember the words of Christ,
“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” (Jn 15:19).
We are not here to please our neighbors, we are here to love them, but we are here to bring them the Truth of the gospel. Again, in Matthew 10:22
“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved”
We have One Lord, One Truth, One Savior and One path to Salvation. Amen.