"Standing Firm "
June 3, 2017
Ephesians 6:12-14 - For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.
Dustin Braxton was and is a good student. In 2013 he made the dean's list. In 2014 he even improved his grade point average.
With all that in his favor, when Braxton applied for a spot in the radiation therapy program at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), he was pretty sure he was going to get in. Indeed, he might have made the cut without any difficulty if he hadn't failed the interview.
And he did fail the face-to-face interview. It was his answer to one question that sunk his ship. The question was "On what do you base your morals?"
To that query Braxton replied, "My faith." Although his religious precepts were not mentioned again, that one answer kept him out of the program.
That's because the CCBC Program Director, Dr. Adrienne Dougherty, penalizes, and denies admission to students who are forthright about their faith. Another student, Brandon Jenkins, was also not allowed into the CCBC radiation therapy program. Jenkins' sin was this: when he was asked "What is the most important thing in your life?" he replied, "My God."
Reviewing the interview and the decision, Dr. Dougherty said, "The applicant brought up religion a great deal during the interview... (The radiation therapy field) is not the place for religion."
Recognizing the unjustness of the situation, these boys have "appealed to Caesar" and their case is being decided in the next few months by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. By God's grace the Court will plainly rule that nobody in the U.S. of A. should be penalized or ostracized because of their race, creed, or color.
The truth is this:
• while we don't expect Christian students will be given extra credit for being believers, we also don't expect them to be downgraded for their faith;
• we don't expect the rights of every person on campus to be defended except for those who are part in the Christian community;
• we don't expect our Christian students to be profiled when nobody else is.
Following in the 500-year-old steps of the Reformer, may we take a stand. Echoing the apostles, may our present age hear of our loyalty to the Redeemer as we say, "We must obey God rather than men" (see Acts 5:29).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, bless and protect our young people who are enduring attacks that were never directed against us. Keep us all in the faith and love of our Redeemer in whose Name we pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by the Michael F. Haverluck for One News Now on May 21, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written. Please click here
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries