What does an ingredient used to bake bread and today’s Alphabet People have in common?
Glad you asked.
Leaven in the Bible is one of those fascinating concepts.
God commands the Israelites, for instance, to use unleavened bread to commemorate their exodus from Egypt, yet later He tells them to consume only leavened bread to celebrate another of the Old Testament feasts, the “Feast of Weeks.”
At first glance, this dietary contrast could seem like an archaic practice that doesn’t have any significance for us right now other than to serve as theological fodder to impress the cute girl setting next to you in the church pews.
But that would be incorrect.
Biblically speaking, “leaven” has less to do about an ingredient that causes bread to rise and more to do with the worldview that influences the way we think and act.
It’s why Jesus instructed His disciples to “watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” The disciples initially thought that Jesus was talking about food, but soon realized that “he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Leaven, in other words, is a unique way of conveying a system of ideas that impacts the character of a person or society. This system will either give rise to a culture that glorifies Christ in its laws and customs or it will produce the opposite — a way of life that clashes with God’s design for humanity.
As such, we are to choose carefully the “ingredients” — read: ideas — that leaven our surroundings.
For parents, it can be the difference between a child who is vibrantly living in accordance with God’s Word and one who has turned away from the Faith to serve another master.
Which brings us to today’s unhinged transsexual zealotry.
It is a movement determined to get our kids to abandon the Faith and serve that other master.
It is a movement offering its own leaven in the hopes of producing hordes of children who, at best, are confused about basic biological reality and, at worst, are experimented upon like lab rats.
It is a movement, in the end, that has no misgivings about usurping the will of parents and elected leaders to get their way.
The Daily Mail recently published an explosive report chronicling how “dozens of midwestern teachers” conducted a workshop that “traded tips on helping trans students change gender at school without their parents’ knowledge.”
One Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) bureaucrat for the Royal Oaks Schools in Michigan boasted to her colleagues that “we’re working with our record-keeping system so that certain screens can’t be seen by the parents,” particularly if the child identifies as a different gender in the classroom than they do at home. Around 5,000 students, grades kindergarten through 12th grade, are in this school district.
Another “educator” out of Ohio encouraged the group to work “subversively and quietly sometimes to make sure that trans kids have what they need,” adding that the “stakes are very high for trans youth.”
Her example of a “subversive act,” according to the Daily Mail, is for teachers to be “wary of treating ‘reinforced heterosexuality as the norm’” when discussing “men, women, playground crushes, love, and marriage with youngsters[.]”
This strategy session was organized by the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center, which has branches in at least a dozen states and received a cool $8.5 million from the Department of Education for their partnerships with public schools across the country.
One participant in the online gabfest unintentionally captured the worldview dynamics behind gender ideology when she admitted: “I have my own right code of ethics, and that doesn’t always go along with the law.”
As if we needed another reminder, here it is anyway: Education is not a values-free venue.
A side is always taken.
In this case, we have leftist teachers literally plotting how to undermine both existing law and parental rights on an issue as far-reaching as transgenderism.
And it’s not just that they’ve taken a side — their intentions are transparent.
When LGBTQ agitators march in the street shouting, “We’re here, we’re queer, we’re coming for your children,” we should believe them.
They are, indeed, coming after our children.
More insidiously, they’re using government schools as the primary vehicle to leaven America’s youth with a deep-seated secular foundation.
That’s not the end of the story, however.
Circling back to the exodus from Egypt, recall how God ordered the Israelites to use unleavened bread to observe that momentous event because, in one sense, it represented how Yahweh was separating His people from the pagan influence of a foreign land.
Dr. Patti Amsden, a longtime Bible teacher and author, refers to this action as “discontinuity.”
God was freeing His people from a past marred by slavery while simultaneously expunging the toxic ideas they had absorbed during their 400 years of captivity. God was saying, as Dr. Amsden put it, “You can’t bring the Egyptian culture with you…Cut that off. Don’t let Egypt grow in you.”
And once that “discontinuity” had begun, God then started the process of “continuity” by giving Israel a righteous standard to live by, exemplified by the Ten Commandments and their civil applications.
“Moses went up the mountain and received leaven for a new day,” Dr. Amsden explains.
This leaven, though, wasn’t just for the adults; this leaven was also for their children and their children’s children. It was a covenantal model on how to keep “continuity” between God’s law and the generations that followed.
In our present context, that means implementing a rhythm of discipleship where we, as households, commit to discontinuity with the humanist garbage of our age; where we, as parents, are purposeful about leavening our children, day and night, with precepts that establish continuity with biblical values; and where we, as fathers and mothers, ensure that the cultural rot that we see on the outside doesn’t at any point make its way inside the home.
So how do we begin the process of “discontinuity” in our current climate?
Removing our kids from government schools would be a fine start.
Follow Jason on Twitter! @JasonMattera
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.