Maddi Runkles: A Divergent View
I just read this article about Maddi Runkles, and 18-year-old pregnant teen who isn't allowed to walk in her high school graduation ceremony, and is "hurt" about it.
Read the article.
Then please come back.
All over facebook and twitter, her school receives scathing opposition for being Pharisaical, and she receives support for being brave and wonderful because she isn't aborting her baby.
The telling part of the article for me were these words:
When 18-year-old Maddi Runkles found out in January that she was pregnant, she was terrified."I had a lot of fear just because of my background, growing up in church and stuff like that and going to a Christian school, and I just knew what everyone was going to think about me and my family once they found out," the Maryland teenager told As It Happens host Carol Off.It tells me, sadly, that Maddi was worried pregnancy would expose her immorality. Not that she was concerned about the immorality itself.
The article claims she has the support of her family and church, which should imply repentance and humility, yet she wants to be an icon for not aborting her child.
First, education is not a right, it is a privilege. Her parents were giving her the privilege of a Christian education, which required adherence to some scriptural principles. This should not shock us. It is a Christian School. They have standards. She violated them. She knew there would be consequences, but is hurt that they actually seem to exist. The school granted her continued access to her coursework, and is still allowing her to graduate. Contrary to her opinion, this is not a refusal of support.
Secondly, do I think that there are other students in violation of the abstinence clause? I absolutely believe it. We are sinners, and we sin. Then, we admit our sin, turn away from it, and receive forgiveness from a gracious and wonderful God. Hopefully, other students, confessing to this same sin, would have the same consequences. I think she is blessed to learn that actions have meaning.
Thirdly, Of COURSE I am happy that she isn't murdering, after having sex outside of God's parameters for it. Why would I want sin upon sin? But this push to make her a victim makes it all about the brutality she did NOT commit, instead of about the violation she DID commit. Our society continues to attempt mitigation of natural consequences.
As a Christian, I hope that she came to a place of repentence and grace. Since she has her family supporting her, and her church, it seems that she is in a good place. Yet still she admitted to the world that she considered murdering her child because she was afraid of what people would think. It wasn't the sin that caused her anxiety, it was the fact that her sin was about to be apparent.
I wish Maddy recognized that this was a missed opportunity for one who truly understands the gospel. She could have admitted she was wrong, shared about forgiveness, and reveled in the grace of God's people toward her, through her church and family. She could have supported the integrity of the school, in following the written agreement she had made.
Then the narrative would have shown that Christians are people who show love, yet not at the violation of Biblical principles. If we sacrifice the latter, we can't truly show, or even understand, the former.