Christian School Student Suspended for Prom
May 14, 2009, 06:30
Filed under: Uncategorized
Is this a Kingdom Serving Witness?

Is this a Kingdom Serving Witness?

Heritage Christian school in Ohio has suspended Tyler Frost for going to the prom with his girlfriend.  Heritage Christian school has a statement up on their website that you may read for yourself.


Naturally this bad call will get a lot of press.  When was the last time you read in national news about a decision that seemed odd on the part of a secular school?  Well it happens, but does not create a feeding frenzy like this.  The world is watching those of us in the Christian community very closely, as nothing can damage  us more than the pain we inflict on ourselves.  While we are taught not to generalize about nationality or race, it is acceptable in the world’s eyes to say,  “There go those Christians again.”   Prejudice against us is perfectly acceptable. 

In an unsigned statement on their site, this paragraph may be found:            

In the Old Testament, Joseph was in a place of temptation and he fled. Unlike this situation, he didn’t put himself in that place. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life.” II Timothy 2:22 says, “Flee also youthful lusts but follow after righteousness faith charity and peace with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” When the school committee, many years before I became the principal, set up the policy regarding dancing, I am confident that they had the principle of fleeing lustful situations in mind. The question as I see it is, should a Christian place themselves at an event where young ladies will have low cut dresses and be dancing in them? Isn’t it contrary to the example of Joseph and the verses that I stated?

I feel really bad for the author of that statement in particular, and for the culture of that school in general.  In fact,  more than ‘feel bad’  I dispair of the entire society that takes the Gospel of Christ and tries to shove it into a man-shaped box, instead of trying to grow people into a Gospel -shaped, Christ -shaped community.  Is the author telling us that he struggles with lust issues due to a low cut dress?  Is a little cleavage all it would take to have him fall into sin?  If the sights at a Prom are so disturbing,  how would he go to the beach, or even the Mall?  I have an idea, let us put women in a coverall outfit, we will call it a burka, so that the sight of an ankle, or a thigh, or a breast will not cause us to sin,  oh yeah, wrong religion. 

I am trying to guard myself  from sin and sarcasm and snarkiness, but  failure is imminent.  If Christianity had always had this attitude missionaries would never have gone into the topless peoples of the islands, we would let them burn for fear of temptation.  If this attitude was the correct one we would not be doing teen outreach,  as there are young women who have grown up in a culture of ‘sex sells’ and in appearance are dressing like a display case for Victoria’s Secret.  If this attitude was correct our Savior would not have gone amongst the prostitutes and tax collectors.

Joesph fled a seductress, not a woman in sexy garb.  It was not the woman’s appearance to be avoided, it was her behavior and intention.  I hate it when people pull a verse from a story and say “Here you go, I am right!”    Paul’s advice to Timothy had nothing to do with anyone’s outward appearance, but was wise advice to a young pastor on maturing past a point where the flesh has control, “youthful” is the word, and becoming strong in the Lord.  What about the rest of the story?

Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

 And the Lord’s servant [fn] must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,


Does it seem to you that our administrator is heeding these words?  Is this patiently enduring [what he thinks is] evil?  Try to tell me that this man has not caused a foolish ignorant controversy.  He did. 

The point of the Christian life is not to leave the world,  but to live in it by the Power of the Holy Spirit avoiding sin not by adherence to rules, but by the guidance of the very Heart and Mind of Jesus that indwells us by the Gift of the Spirit.  Legalism in all its forms denies the Deity of the Holy Ghost and His power.  This was not an orgy Tyler was going to, it was a Prom, with teachers and chaperons.  The lesson Heritage has taught here is two fold:

One,  we are weak and need to avoid situations that might tempt us.                       Two, we are better, or at least we think we are, than you Prom goers, oh yeah, and by the way, you are going to Hell.

There are rules to every organization.  My point is not to flaunt rules,  but this is a situation that should have been handled man to youth, in love, and in private.  Christian schools need to prepare students for life, not act as a cult.  The Amish do not require 17 year olds to give up the world, they get a choice when they are a little older.  Maybe they trust their young men more.  I have seen this type of legalism result in two very different but equally unfortunate situations.  Unmarried men at 30 and 40 years of age, not bringing new life into the world to carry on the Christian traditions,  and escapees of legalism who fall into the traps of sin in the world for which they were totally unprepared.  Perhaps Heritage is promoting a culture that is not based on the freedom that is in Christ, but on the rules that are based on the weakness of sinful man. 


23 Comments so far
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I don’t agree with the rule one bit, but their web site says the young man signed an agreement not to participate in such activities. I can understand the school’s need to teach him that he must stand behind his word.

Their rule may be wrong all the way around, but could it be even more harmful to teach kids they don’t have to hold true to their word and obey a contract they signed?

Comment by Shawn W

Shawn makes a very good point – at least, one I would thoroughly agree with if this was a Christian college that imposed the rule and the punishment.

There is a reason people younger than 18 can’t legally sign contracts – the ability to think beyond the immediate, to consider the long term, is not as developed until a little later in the development process.

The boy may have signed the contract without knowing all the implications, may have developed in faith to realize this rule is absurd, or may simply (as youth are wont to do) reacted to the present circumstances and decided that immediate gratification trumped arbitrary rules. Show me a young person who hasn’t done that.

That said, the young man has a choice to make going forward. Either comply with rules that are imposed or do not be part of things like this. I am willing to bet, however, that the original choice and probably the next one will not be his – it will in all likelihood be his parents.

Comment by Rev Andy Little

So well said! Also a contract made under duress or with undo pressure is invalid. The sign off forms to play sports are similar and have been ruled as non-binding, if you don’t sign, you can’t play.
I hear Shawn W, and I do not want the school to ignore their own standards, I want them to deal with their problems biblically, avoiding senseless controversy and patiently enduring those things we disagree with in order to correct with Love.
Rev. Andy, ever think about taking a Bar exam? With your attention to detail and concise writing you would be the next Johnny Cochran.

Comment by willohroots

“Perhaps Heritage is promoting a culture that is not based on the freedom that is in Christ, but on the rules that are based on the weakness of sinful man.”

Exactly, Will!

You are spot on!

Comment by theoldadam

Rev. Andy makes a good point. I’ve often accused my own children of not thinking past the ends of their noses.

I also agree that the schools reaction was over the top, just as many of the public schools with zero tolerance rules have overreacted to minor offenses. We’re suppose to be intelligent beings, and should be able to temper discipline with common sense, and yes in the case of the brethren, love.

Comment by Shawn W

Is it me, or has legalism exploded? You remind me of the cases where a girl is expelled for sharing a Midol. A student in 3rd grade was reprimanded for drawing a picture of a gun. Cut me a break!!!

Comment by willohroots

We had a great kid here expelled for a forgotten shotgun shell in his truck bed. Legalism is indeed alive and well, and our children are paying the price.

Comment by Shawn W

A shot gun shell! how would it be fired? Many schools in my area once had Marksmen class! No more.

Comment by willohroots

I’m not so sure the boy had any choice in the matter of signing the “contract”. Assuming he is/was not 18, it was very likely his parents’ choice entirely… he’s just doing what he’s told. I would venture a guess that he is/was in zero position to refuse to sign, even if he had read the stipulations of the contract.

Further, did he sneak around his parents’ wishes to attend the prom, or was it with their full knowledge? If the latter, then it is his parents who have put him in this bind (along with their insistence he attend the school, by signing the “contract”).

We can argue all we want about the school’s policies… they are just doing what they said they would after full disclosure. Even if the boy had sneaked behind the backs of his parents, it is their witness to him–them passing the buck off to the school and/or the by–that is under serious doubt in my mind. Way to go Mom and Dad!

Comment by Justin

An expert on Delinquent Miners weighs in! Even at 18 it is a pressure contract, no sign ,no school. You are right, parents responsibility is trump. Can a school call it self Christian and then not teach the Freedom of the Gospel? I guess so.

Comment by willohroots

The genius of the Reformed view is that it corrects the libertines without falling into legalism. Ironically, some of the most legalistic groups have been those who have been more eager to deny the Law any place in the Christian life. Typically, they have abolished the Law while, at the same time, adding a host of extra-biblical requirements, like no drinking, dancing, or movie-going. Their peculiar rules support the observation that man needs a law-if he doesn’t have God’s, he’ll make his own.

The Reformed faith has adamntly maintained that there is Christian liberty in areas outside of the application of the moral law. Every bit as strongly as it has argued for the need of absolute and precise conformity to the Law of God, it has argued for liberty of conscience in areas not addressed by Scripture. No tradition has been so strict and rigid in its use of the Law. No tradition has been so rigorous in banishing the commandments of men.

Comment by Ike

Well said Ike. I have a tag and label reluctance. It seems as if every time I say,”I am in that camp!” I am horribly disappointed. I do respect many in the Reformed movement, but then again I have met Spirit lead Christians in many denominations, even Lutheran! [ please do not tell TheOldAdam, he will get all swell headed about pedobaptism and The Real Presence!]
It may well turn out to be an individual struggle, but as a recovered Fundy I say Viva la Reformation!

Comment by willohroots

I hear you Will! As for “theoldadam”…I love the guy even if his head does swell a bit!!

Comment by Ike

Hi Will,

Here is a similar story with an “interesting” twist. I wonder if you and your readers would feel the same way about this one.

Mike Bell

Comment by Eclectic Christian

Thanks for the input, Mike, but Homosexuality, can be found in the New Testament as a sin, so I think the Catholics have something to stand on, but again, what is the purpose of banning the kid? I do not think that the school population will turn gay due to this one fellows presence.
Honestly as I write this I think the guy should be allowed to show, There are homosexuals in our society, we need to love them and deal with them. Banning seems very barbaric! The blue hair is another issue.

Comment by willohroots

Hi Will,

Notice my very wimpy way of leaving the link without comment. I always have mixed feelings on the issue, similar to what you just expressed.

By the way, I still keep reading your stuff, even though my time for commenting is limited. Keep it up, you are one of my favourite blogs.


Comment by Eclectic Christian

I am glad you called yourself out on that, Mike, and thanks for the kind words. Nobody said these things are easy. We all draw lines in the sand at some point, but we need to look at what The Master has written in the sand before we pick up a stone.

Comment by willohroots

I dusted off and updated an old sermon when Ray Boltz came out. If you’re interested.

Comment by Shawn W

I checked it out, good post, thanks for the link.

Comment by willohroots

One correction: Shawn’s post states that Romans 1 is considered hate literature in Canada. That is not correct. Here is the most relevant court decision which in fact confirmed that the Bible on its own could not be considered hate literature.

Just wanted to set the record straight as far as Canada goes.

Comment by Eclectic Christian

Thanks Mike Bell for the Canadian correction. There is a definite fear in this country that we will lose our God given liberties, and often Canada is used as an example, even if an exaggerated one. There are trends in Australia that are disturbing also. One of my favorite adages is,”Just because you are Paranoid, doesn’t mean everyone is not after you”. A little paranoia can be healthy, especially in the Freedom of Religion area.
I just had a thought, we just grouped Taylor Frost in with a blue haired Homosexual. Both young men loved by God,I am sure. One got in trouble for going to a dance with a girl the other fellow for not going with a girl. Just can’t please some people.

Comment by willohroots

“I have an idea, let us put women in a coverall outfit, we will call it a burka, so that the sight of an ankle, or a thigh, or a breast will not cause us to sin, oh yeah, wrong religion.”

As coincidence would have it, I’m in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where they all wear burqas, more-or-less voluntarily. I’ve seen the results of this. One does catch a glimpse of an ankle from time to time, and when one has gone months without seeing anything else, a well-shaped ankle can suddenly be remarkably alluring. It’s a strange sensation.

The burqa, I am convinced, does harm to the men’s development. I’ve seen guys who should have been old enough to control themselves go all giddy and ridiculous at the site of one ordinary female in western dress. I know of one particularly unpleasant case in which the man reacted violently, though there were likely some other factors at play there besides the sight of a pretty blonde.

The philosophy behind the burqa is that men cannot control themselves, and this belief becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. A lot of Afghan men down here have an immature outlook on women, and disturbingly, they don’t seem to handle other forms of beauty very well, either. They tend to want to sequester anything pleasant, and kill anything that moves and breathes. (This isn’t true of all of them, of course, but many of them.)

We cannot run from beauty, or from everything that triggers positive emotional reactions; there would be nowhere in God’s world to hide. We have to engage these things.

Comment by Alamanach

Nice to have you weigh in. A sociological view of what arrouses men can best be described as, ‘what ever is forbidden or hidden”. Your writing about the ankle reminds me of period pieces written in England in the Victorian age. There was cleavage from North to South, but men strained to see the ankle, hidden by the floor length dress. That is us guys for you. I have no study to read on Pacific Islanders in their topless garb, but i imagine a girl with a bra would be a rage back in the day before European intervention.
“We cannot run from beauty, or from everything that triggers positive emotional reactions; there would be nowhere in God’s world to hide. We have to engage these things.” Words from a wise man Alamanach.

Comment by willohroots

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