A private Christian school in Kansas City that changed its mission to say it believes in the “holiness” of the LGBTQIA community has been forced to permanently shut down after its local church benefactors withdrew their funding.
The school, Urban Christian Academy in Kansas City, Missouri, is a kindergarten through eighth grade institution that provides tuition-free education. In 2021, it had 105 students, 96 percent of whom were African American. The school received the bulk of its funding from eight local churches. UCA has supposedly always had “inclusive theology” since its founding nine years ago, but churches rescinded their funding after UCA announced early last year its affirmation of not just the LGBT community but also its “holiness.”
UCA’s executive director and co-founder Kalie Callaway-George explained,
“I think our community members felt safe within our walls, but we wanted them to feel publicly protected as well. Eventually, it felt like our silence was contributing to the hurt and pain our queer community members were experiencing. We deeply longed for all people to feel welcomed, loved and celebrated not just secretly within our walls but very explicitly to the public as well.”
The school’s “manifesto,” located under its “some thoughts on being a Christian school” heading, provides telling information about the school’s views. The phrasing that seems to have led to the loss of funding is
“We are an affirming school. We stand with the LGBTQIA+ community and believe in their holiness. We celebrate the diversity of God’s creation in all its varied and beautiful forms. The first time the Bible talks of humanity it does so from the assertion that we are all made in the image of God. This claim provides dignity for all people and is our starting point with every person we meet. We believe God exists in gray and multitudes. We want all people who are part of the UCA family to feel free to explore and express who they are. We don’t put people in boxes. We don’t believe in being spiritual gatekeepers who say who’s in and who’s out.”
Callaway-George said that six months after the announcement the school had lost 42 percent of its funding, and by the end of last year, it had lost 80 percent.
She said the eight local churches provided “a disagreement of values based on the inclusion of the LGBTQ community” as the reason for their withdrawal of funding. “Although we love and admire you in many ways, for your hard work, compassion, commitment, strength, we draw the line at this issue,” one donor said.
“Christian compassion doesn’t mean universalism. Jesus loved all, but told them, ‘go and sin no more.’ He died so we could be saved, healed, delivered, and set free.”
A quick perusal of UCA’s website, particularly its manifesto, shows that the school was far more committed to the religion of wokeism than to Christianity. It’s opening statements on being a Christian school said,
“The term Christian means a lot of things. It’s been used to oppress and silence and also to bring light and hope and freedom. Our team is full of people who are willing to look honestly at both the damage Christianity has caused and the truth it holds to invite us in deeper.”
UCA did not express a commitment to the infallibility of Scripture, only that the Bible is “full of wisdom and the person of Jesus is the most powerful example of embodied love. We use these tools as guides to lead us to deeper places of love.”
The school also has a blog post regarding white privilege and racism entitled God’s Skin Color.
Exactly when the school adopted various aspects of its manifesto is unclear, but there are definitely lessons to be learned for parents, schools, and Christians.
For parents, do not assume that a private or Christian school will teach your children biblical doctrine. Some private schools teach the doctrines of men rather than the doctrines of God.
Christian schools can actually be worse than public schools because the school, unrestrained by the Establishment Clause, are allowed to advance a religious worldview — though, in this day and age, it’s not necessarily going to be the religious worldview parents expect. Therefore, it is critical that parents diligently look into a school not only when deciding where to send their children, but even after choosing a school. You must continuously look at what your child is being taught. Do not assume the school is teaching academics or Christian faith when, in fact, they may be teaching leftist ideology.
For schools, the lesson is really simple: do not go woke by teaching LGBT ideology. Parents do not want their children to be brainwashed into celebrating the LGBT lifestyle or, worse, enticed into exploring or adopting it themselves. Public schools have experienced the loss of scores of students whose parents pulled them out of school rather than allow them to be taught LGBT views. Private schools are no different; parents want their children to learn academics and a deeper understanding of Christian truths and values, not Marxism and sexually explicit ideology.
For Christians, we urge you, with a somber pleading, to reject the lies being advanced by the left. We don’t pretend to know the hearts of those involved with UCA, whether they have a saving faith in Christ. Yet many, whether they be nominally Christian or truly redeemed, have been led astray by the false compassion of wokeness.
Wokeness champions “love,” acceptance, and affirmation of those who are said to be oppressed. Christians are often tricked into feeling guilty and believe that becoming an LGBT ally, or antiracist warrior, is a way they can help others. However, advancing lies is not loving, teaching others to stay in their sin, or advancing division through “antiracism” tools is not love.
Whenever the infallibility of Scripture is rejected, one is lost, to be “tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming,” as the latter part of Ephesians 4:14 tells us. In order to keep our anchor, we must hold to the Bible, not just the parts that culture accepts, but all of it.
In Chapter 3 of 2 Timothy, God, working through Paul, taught Timothy about false teachers. In verses 13-17, God gives us the vaccine to false teachers:
“But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
Learn the Bible, believe it, cling to it, pray for God’s protection, and you will be guarded from straying from the truth.
Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.