Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Public Schools and Secularist Indoctrination

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

We often quote this promise. At the same time, we are also troubled by the surveys that show that 70-90% of church-going youth cease going to church entirely by the end of their senior year in college. Meanwhile, many who remain in church survive their college indoctrination with a seriously compromised faith. We are therefore left asking the question, “What is required in training up our child?” Lots! The Bible describes it as a full-time occupation:

• These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deut. 6:6-9)

God-talk should be pouring from our lips into our children’s ears as we “sit at home…walk…lie down and…get up.” How then can we fulfill this command when we send our children off to public schools for 30 hours a week?

I have dialogued with enough atheists to know that they are just as evangelistic as we are. They boast, “The church may have your children for two hours a week, but we have them for 30 hours. And then they sit in front of the TV for an additional 25 hours a week. And when they go off to college, they become our property.”

The public school system is opposed to the Christian faith and has become a promoter of a secularism that silently insists that God is irrelevant to questions of science and even of life.

• On November 17, 1980, the Supreme Court struck down a Kentucky law that required the posting of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. The court said that the Ten Commandments were “plainly religious”…and may induce the children to read, mediate upon, and perhaps to venerate and to obey the commandments. (Erwin Lutzer)

What then are our children left to “venerate and to obey?” The Self! Our feelings and our subjective value judgments! Our sexuality! A natural explanation behind all phenomena! Whatever is not of God! Columnist George Will had summed up this hypocrisy very succinctly:

• And it is, by now, a scandal beyond irony that thanks to the energetic litigation of ‘civil liberties’ fanatics, pornographers enjoy expansive first amendment protection while first graders in a nativity play are said to violate first amendment values.

All of this is argued on the basis that the law must be neutral and not favor a particular religion. However, as Erwin Lutzer has written,

• No law is neutral. Every law imposes some form of morality on society. Abortionists impose their morality on the unborn. Homosexuals want their views flaunted in the public school classrooms. Atheists want religious influence excluded from public life.

What then has been the result of this new secular religion? No more Bibles, prayers, and religious symbols in the public school system! However, what is worse is the subtle imposition of secular humanism upon the thinking of the youth. The contributions of Christianity to society are ignored, while everything that presents a godless worldview is persistently promoted. Harvard professor Harvey Cox claimed that secularism “seeks to impose its ideology through the organs of the State.” However, this isn’t done overtly, but instead under the guise of “neutrality” and fairness to all religions, while disguising the fact that secularism also is a religion. It has also become the State religion. Vanderbilt Professor Carol M. Swain takes it one step further:

• The most powerful and elite educational institutions in our nation have for decades chipped away at America’s godly heritage as our educational institutions have become bastions of secular indoctrination…believers are asked to watch silently as secular humanists promote sexual activity among our nation’s children. (Be the People, 221

Meanwhile the atheists and secularists hypocritically charge us with indoctrinating and brainwashing our children. However, we also have ourselves to blame. We have fed our children to a hungry Jezebel. Christ had criticized the church of Thyatira because it allowed the self-proclaimed prophetess Jezebel to influence its flock (Rev. 2:20). We are doing no better by allowing our children to be indoctrinated by secularism.

We have paid little heed to Paul’s admonition that “a little leaven [false teaching] leavens [or corrupts] the whole loaf” (Gal. 5:9). We are then surprised that Jezebel has turned our children into heathens. We then chalk-it-up to the so-called “natural” and “inevitable” teenage rebellion we call the “generation gap.”

The dangers of leaven are so great that elders were required to refute falsehoods:

• [The elder] must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach…(Titus 1:9-11)

Here, Paul refers to the corruptibility of the thinking/believing of adults. If adults are so easily persuaded, then children are little more than putty in Jezebel’s hands. We are therefore instructed to be vigilant about what enters our minds:

• See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. (Col. 2:8)

What we believe can build us up or it can tear us down, depriving us even of Christ. How can we then subject our children to the “hollow and deceptive philosophy” of the world? Instead, Paul has warned us against the deceptive seductions of secularist philosophy,

• Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Tim. 3:5)

Sadly, instead of fleeing this system, we throw our children into its mouth. However, our God is full of grace and hears our broken prayers of confession. My daughter had been a product of the public school system. Consequently, she rebelled at an early age and didn’t want to hear anything more about my faith after she turned 13. For the next 14 years, we lived in opposing fortified camps. She knew I didn’t approve of her thinking, and I knew she didn’t have much use for mine. One day I received a call from her that God had touched her precious heart, and now she wanted to return to Him.

We are now good friends. All the barriers are gone. I didn’t do anything to deserve this blessing; we never do. We just have an unbelievably gracious God who calls on us to confess our sins and then forgives us and wipes us clean from all its filth.

No comments:

Post a Comment