The leader of a private Christian school in Florida isn’t backing down from his institution’s biblical stance on marriage and sexuality — even in the face of purported death threats.
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School administrator Barry McKeen of Grace Christian School in Valrico, Florida, reportedly sent an email to students and families June 6, noting children would be only be referred to by their biological sex, and that those living in unbiblical lifestyles would be asked to leave the institution.
“We believe that God created mankind in His image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal dignity,” the email read. “Therefore, one’s biological sex must be affirmed and no attempts should be made to physically change, alter, or disagree with one’s biological gender — including, but not limited to, elective sex reassignment, transvestite, transgender, or non-binary gender fluid acts of conduct (Genesis 1:26-28).”
The text also cited verses to explain these policies and the fact the school won’t tolerate various lifestyles precluded in the Bible, including LGBTQ lifestyles and heterosexual students having extramarital sex.
The verses referenced were: Genesis 2:24, Leviticus 18:1-30, Romans 1:26-29, 1 Corinthians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Thessalonians 4:2-7.
This reiteration of the school’s policy leaked to the media and has reportedly led to Grace Christian School receiving death threats — but McKeen isn’t backing away from the school’s biblical position.
“If I backed down from something like this, I’m abandoning what God has said is the truth. I …. kind of rack my brain to like, ‘How is this hard for people to understand? This is what God said,'” McKeen told Fox News. “This is one of the many reasons we have a Christian school, and we’re not going to abandon this policy. God has spoken on these issues.”
The school leader said the email was meant to remind parents of the institution’s longstanding policies — a sexual ethic since the school was founded in 1975. Procedures like these are standard at Christian schools, universities, and faith-based organizations.
“Although this is being celebrated and encouraged by the country, it is condemned by God,” McKeen said. “And at this school, we’re gonna follow God instead of man.”
So far, no students have been kicked out of the school based on the policy, though one mother reportedly pulled her child, who identifies as a lesbian, after receiving the email.
McKeen has had to hire extra security for the school as people have been calling with “outrageous” claims and menacing messages, even threatening to kill his family and burn his home.
He released a video addressing the letter and the media fallout before speaking with Fox News on Sunday. In the video, McKeen explained the school’s theology, the need for Christ, and the reality his school is anything but hateful.
“We are not a hateful group of people,” he said. “We don’t hate students who are of a particular persuasion.”
Watch McKeen’s video response:
Despite the chaos, McKeen said the community has been supportive. He said he’s surprised by the reaction but believes it shows the chaos brewing inside American culture.
“It’s kind of been beyond me that this has blown up to what it is like you’re shocked that a Christian school has this policy?” he told Fox News. “[It] is just showing you where our country’s at. They either don’t understand God … or they’re just so rejecting of Him that they want to fight on every level about everything that He says.”
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