January 24, 2018

The Women’s March & the Importance of Discipleship

Editor’s note: Esther Chung serves as the 2018 Spring Intern for the Institute on Religion and Democracy. She is currently studying political science at Pepperdine University.  

On Saturday, January 20th, an estimated 470,000 women and men, young and old marched down the streets in cities all over the country for the Women’s March. Among the marchers were many young Christians—including some of my Pepperdine University peers—who have fallen prey to the false notion that the Women’s March is about dignity and equality, two intrinsic concepts within Christianity. However, when one looks closer, the Women’s March is anything but a stand for Biblical principles.

The principles of the Women’s March state:

We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans, two-spirit or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters and siblings. This includes access to non-judgmental, comprehensive healthcare with no exceptions or limitations; access to name and gender changes on identity documents; full anti discrimination protections; access to education, employment, housing and benefits; and an end to police and state violence.

In addition, the principles claim:

We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education. We understand that we can only have reproductive justice when reproductive health care is accessible to all people regardless of income, location or education.

While there are other principles that encompass women’s rights, the two principles above are contrary to traditional Christian teaching. But sadly younger faithful participants either overlooked or embraced the march’s affirmation of abortion, gender dysphoria, and practicing homosexual behavior. Some of my peers argue that we should love the LGBTQ community because Jesus calls us to love everyone. They are absolutely right. But love does not mean affirming sin.

I reached out to some of my fellow peers from Pepperdine University, a Christian college, to understand why they participated in the Women’s March. Some knew that the Women’s March affirmed LGBTQ activity and is pro-abortion. But they still marched, choosing to personally focus instead on equal pay, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Also, to protest the Trump Administration.

I, however, did not participate in the Women’s March in Washington DC. But I did have the privilege of participating in the March for Life, which was held in Washington DC the day before the Women’s March. Disappointingly, not one of my fellow students I spoke with joined the March for Life, the largest pro-life demonstration in the world.

For this reason, it seems to me that a deeper understanding of Biblical teachings is needed among younger Christians. As a young Christian, I pray more Protestant churches strengthen their social witness and preach the truth. Churches should be fully engaged and making efforts to accurately teach the younger age group about what the Bible has to say about sexual ethics, marriage, and the sanctity of life.

There are certainly liberal Protestant churches misleading Christians as they conform doctrine to the expectations of popular culture. But many faithful, orthodox churches are watching their young people fall away from the traditional teachings they’ve taught. This is why a maintained relationship and continued discipleship even after a young person moves to college is so important. I can tell you that many of my close college friends have fallen out of the Church or even rejected the Church once they have left for college. They do not actively seek out mentors and leaders who would help nurture their faith.

The best way to ensure traditional teachings are lived out by younger Christians is by having a strong relationship with a faithful Christian mentor. Young Christians value relationships. They might not listen to the teachings of their pastors and youth leaders on tough social issues, unless there is a powerful example and relationship.

I can’t stress the effectiveness of a mentorship between young and old Christians enough. I have grown up in the Church and strive to obey Christ’s teachings. However, I would have a harder time growing deeper in my faith or always keep His teachings under cultural pressure if it wasn’t for my female Christian mentor. She reaches out to me and encourages me to explore my faith and abide by Biblical teachings while I am away at school.

Titus 2:1-7 says:

But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.

Discipleship between young and older Christians is vital in strengthening the future public witness of the Church.

I pray that next year more of my Protestant peers will skip the Women’s March and join me at the March for Life.

5 Responses to The Women’s March & the Importance of Discipleship

  1. Sun Young Chung says:

    Praise the Lord! While I was reading this article, I found a hope for the churches which strive to follow the all teachings of Christ. I really enjoyed reading this article. Esther demonstrated her exceptional Christian thought which every Christian should keep in mind. She also suggested an outstanding idea how Orthodox church keep their young members from the world. Esther, you really did a great job. I am so thankful to God because of you. Glory to God.

  2. MYUNG JIN LEE says:

    I applaud Esther for her outstanding writing.
    Deep spirituality and stable thinking stands out

  3. Patrick Chung says:

    Reading your writing made me feel more educated and encouraged. I am thankful that young person like you have not only strong conviction in faith but also solid biblical knowledge. Keep spreading the Good News! 🙂

  4. Eric Choi says:

    Really enjoyed reading your article. We need more younger people like yourself who has the spiritual discernment to know what is right and what is wrong instead of “following the crowd.” Keep up the good work!

  5. Eleanor J. Stevenson says:

    I thank God for your good thinking and your faith and pray He will continue to lead and strengthen you in your walk, as you witness to other young women and men in living the gospel and standing for Biblical principles. God bless you and raise up many, many others like you. I am 77 and have seen many changes and still walk in the blessed hope of Christ. I hope I can recommit to my own witness however God would bring that about. Right thinking and sharing has been very crucial for a long time to me, but feel tethered by my life, even my personality, to say nothing of outer realities – age, economics, etc. However, we know that what is seen is temporal; eternal things are “unseen”. God grant us courage to live and move within Him, His parameters for each of us, that is to say, within true liberty. I can talk; walking is harder but so worth it. Bless you, our daughter and our sister, and all those who will come through you.

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