A young lady of about eighteen years old, Maddi Runkles received her high school diploma recently as an alternative graduation ceremony at church in Boonsboro, Maryland. This young lady was banned from her student council position, and was labeled immoral by the school’s administrator. So what did she do? Another question was drawn from her situation which states that “where do we draw the line between righteousness?
Maddi was pregnant, in which she made a decision to keep her baby, she didn’t want to get involve in abortion. Her decision to keep the pregnant to now start questioning herself if keeping it to avoid abortion had worth because of the heartache of judgment and condemnation she got as a result of her decision.
According to Heritage Academy where she was banned from, purity is taken with a very high esteem. Heritage academy was founded in the year 1969 by parents who earnestly prayed for a Christian school that would teach God’s Word, the school submits all students to a nine-point statement of faith based on, Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
This pledge prohibits sex outside of marriage, but Maddi broke the purity pledge by having sex with a student from another school. When she started to show visible signs of pregnancy, she knew she was in trouble. After publicly admitting to breaking the purity pledge in an emotional speech in front of the student body, this stellar student with a 4.0 grade point average was hoping for grace. But as far as the school’s administration went, that grace never came.
This particular issue made Maddi the young lady to receive public attention as she began to question why the administration barred her from her own graduation. The New York Times picked up her story to see the reaction of the public about on how Christian handles unexpected pregnancy: GRACE or SHAME?
Because it seems many Christian women who become pregnant outs marriage feel that they have no other choice but to have an abortion so as to avoid the inevitable Scarlet letter in the case of Maddi who choose to keep her baby and suffered consequences. After the school administrator insisted on banning this you lady saying “Maddi is being disciplined, not because she’s pregnant, but because she was immoral.”
Is it Grace or Shame?
This realistic edict issued by the administration has had one major unintended consequence, causing Maddi to question whether she should have kept the baby: “Honestly, maybe the abortion would have been better for me and safe me from all the consequences. Then they would have just forgiven me, rather than deal with the visible consequences.”
Rick Kempton, chairman of the board of the Association of Christian Schools International commented, “There’s a biblical term that many Christian schools use, and it is the whole idea of grace: What would Jesus do? Or how about what did Jesus do?”
The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had committed adultery to Jesus and asked him what to do, he replied, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her” (John 8:7)
While there were no stones thrown at that woman or at this young lady Maddi, it cannot be denied that Maddi has been punished and has felt extreme shame for her decision to keep the baby.
Maddi’s final thought, on the whole issue, calls her unborn son a “blessing” and plans to raise him/her with the help of her parents. In addition, she plans to start a chapter of Embrace Grace, an organization that works with churches to help unmarried, pregnant women.