Friday, November 10, 2017

Why Choose Christian Education?

At a recent GCACS (Greater Charlotte Association of Christian Schools) meeting, I shared the following words in regards to our ministry. I think the words are fitting for all of us as educators in Christian schools so we can better understand the importance of our mission.

In discussing the importance of Christian education, it stands over and sometimes against homeschooling, public school, and the secular private non-Christian education institutions. There are certainly benefits for the Christian family in regards to homeschooling, and a solid academic program can be found in all the aforementioned forms of education, but there are benefits for Christian families that typically can be found only in Christian schools. We live in a world that teaches children that truth is relative. In fact, many if not most, of the schools that are non-Christian in nature actually reach over into a category that is staunchly aligned with relativism and is actually   antagonistic to a Christian worldview.

Relativism is found in a secular, humanistic worldview that portrays truth as beholden to each individual believer. It takes voluminous liberties with facts which leads to a distinct turn away from a morality that has served society well for millennia. The result of the turning away is a society that has turned morality on its head, a morality that is right and descent and substituted a freewheeling, no-holds-barred morality that has led to a disintegration of the family unit as seen in Scripture...a family unit that is good for our society. Christian education stands against the tenets of relativism and teaches students that truth is absolute. As believers, we are taught to live in the world with all of the mundane, day to day life activities, but, while living in that world, we are taught not to be of that world.

Non-Christian education teaches students to not only live in the world but to live in harmony with all that the world stands for in regards to the relativism that permeates our culture and has led to issues in all walks of life, especially governmental, societal and even within the church. The secular humanistic agenda is juxtaposed with our Christian education, a Christian education that teaches students to be knowledgeable of the things of the world. However, the world is teaching the false presupposition that knowledge is relative to the beholder; it is a worldview that leads to the societal problems that we are seeing on a daily basis.

A public school or secular education appears to even have a non-Christian agenda which is at odds with Bible-believing families. The agenda often pushes on children a secular, humanistic worldview that Christian education and Christian parents are passionately at odds with. Secular schools, even within our own state, push forward worldviews and concepts in regards to gender identity, alternative lifestyles, and sexuality, while refusing to allow a Biblically-based worldview to be addressed. That worldview is often met with antagonistic hostility.

Therefore, It should be the desire of Christian educational institutions to provide a well structured, Biblically-based worldview coupled with a bona fide opportunity for an intentional effort to foster a Godly relationship between our students and the LORD, particularly at an early age. Only Christian education will be able to capture a  “lost generation” that is leaving the church, leaving basic morality and are inflating the demographic of “NONES” that seems to be growing each day. That “lost generation”  is careening towards a path that is dangerous for society as a whole.

Our window of opportunity to engage with culture is small. Consistently, we receive from students comments that, in retrospect, thank Hickory Grove for the preparation that they have received through Christian education. For example,

Student example 1...

(College omitted) My college has these required courses that you must take in order to graduate and one of them, which I'm in now, is (Course name omitted). The other day we were "discussing" truth and how truth could possibly be personal to each individual. However, I really couldn't wrap my head around what the professor was saying, so I raised my hand and said, "Would that mean if I ran a stoplight that I said was green because that was true for me, that I wouldn't be breaking the law because that's what I believe to be true?" (In addition) She (the professor) was talking to us about how the Bible cannot be trusted because we don't know what has been changed, etc. over the course of the years since it has been written, but I specifically remembered in (Teacher’s name omitted) class watching several videos on the accuracy of scribes and the copying of manuscripts.  I raised my hand again and said that scribes played a big role in the copying of manuscripts because their job was to do so accurately and my professor laughed and told me that scribes were not accurate and that they were very "messy" with their work.

In both instances, the professor offered no support and validation for her viewpoint.

Student example 2…

My (Course name omitted) professor said today that John the Baptist changed Jesus’ life and that he wasn’t looking to do ministry until John the Baptist changed his life. He provided no evidence, He had said that we know nothing about Jesus’ early life and (Jesus) then basically wandered up to John the Baptist who changed his life. He then went out and started teaching, healing, etc. Further, Paul was the only reason that Christianity spread.

Student example 3…

My (Course name omitted) professor at (College omitted) told us that David and Jonathan were homosexuals and the Bible cannot be trusted.

Once again, this was stated without support.

Student example 4...

I just wanted to let you know that I am taking a philosophy class at (College omitted) and I am really enjoying it. It is my favorite class so far. However, being in a secular philosophy class there are some concepts and discussions that we are having that sound very logical and even reasonable, but entirely against some of the beliefs I have been taught about Christianity and God, to be specific. If I was not examining my professor's words carefully, some of the things he says would make much sense and I would be agreeing with him

I say all of this to point out that there is a not so subtle attempt to begin an indoctrination process with our children that is neither open-minded or fair. That process often begins in elementary school for non-Christian education students and extends into college. These professors are engaging in “hit and run” tactics that can leave our students wondering what just happened. In three of the four examples above, the schools mentioned were formerly labeled as Christian schools.

We are on the front line of the battle for the minds of our students, and we should never undervalue the work that we do as Christian educators. Keep it up, and even extend, the good fight to keep Christian education a viable alternative in education. We should offer the most rigorous classes possible and not short sell academics in any way lest we do not prepare students that will be able to engage and articulate with the smartest and the brightest that the secular worldview offers. They will face these obstacles in friendships and future instructors. I implore you to do your part to make your students engaging, yet not offensive, and to make our schools bastions of clear thinking Christian education institutions.