Thursday, October 26, 2006

Is an “exodus” from public schools wise?

Last week, I ran across this article from the Christian Newswire.

From the article:
The call for an “exodus” from the public schools continues to build momentum within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

...The Exit Strategy Resolution is based on Dr. Albert Mohler’s recommendation in a 2005 op-ed article that, in light of the spiritual, moral, and academic decay in the government schools, Southern Baptists develop an exit strategy from the public schools. Dr. Mohler is President of the SBC’s flagship seminary, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, and is also one of the SBC’s leading theologians. first thought was that I’m not sure this is the best idea. There are many very good public schools, yet I understand the concern that at some schools, we are seeing spiritual, moral and academic decay, especially at the university level.

My fear is that if Christians start pulling their children out of the public schools to send them to private schools, we may be causing an even more daunting division between those of various worldviews. It seems as though this would display an elitist attitude. But, the alternative is to throw our lambs out to the wolves and hope they survive.

I feel very strongly that students who are subjected to evolution as a basis for our existence along with secular religion and philosophy of religion classes are being set up for disaster.

Most religion classes at public universities are taught by agnostics in order to ensure that no particular ideology is imposed on the students (as if agnosticism or atheism isn't an ideology itself). KU is a classic example of this. We are all aware of the Mirecki episode. If you are not familiar with this fiasco, please read the link carefully.

Mirecki commented that:
But the religious-studies department may not be the healthiest environment for any kind of retreat: “The majority of my colleagues here in the dept[ment] are agnostics or atheists, or they just don’t care,” Mirecki wrote in explaining, correctly, that it wasn’t the job of the department to make converts. “If any of [the other professors] are theists, it hasn’t been obvious to me in the 15 years I've been here.”
So, our students are taught that all religions have similar concepts and that they all boil down to mythical beliefs held by various groups of people for whatever reasons. I took one of those courses in college and it made quite an impact, but that’s another story.

From the Christian newswire:
Anyone who thinks that a few hours of youth group and church will have more influence on a child's faith and worldview than 40 to 50 hours a week of public school classes, activities, and homework is simply not being honest with himself.
This is true, and that is why it is vitally important to teach our kids not only ~what~ we believe, but ~why~ we believe it. If we send our kids off to college without giving them evidence and reasons why we believe what we do, then there is a good chance that they will graduate from college and reject their Christian faith at the same time. We base our Christian beliefs on faith, but the basis for our faith is based on facts that can and, in my opinion, should be investigated.

For examples of this, start your kids out with Lee Strobel’s, "The Case for Christ, student edition". Then show them the DVD of Strobel’s "Case for a Creator". Before sending them off to college, have them read Frank Turek and Norm Geisler’s, "I Don’t have enough Faith to be an Atheist".

Frank Muncaster has written a series of booklets, titled "Examine the Evidence". These booklets lay out the reasons why the Christian faith is based upon facts. Information regarding biblical manuscript reliability, along with archeological, prophetical, statistical, and historical data supporting biblical facts are provided. Josh McDowell’s A Ready Defense is also an excellent source. There are many more along these lines, but those mentioned above provide a great starting point.

Parents also need to become more active in their church life (vs. being a Sunday morning church goer), and encourage their kids to become involved in activities and biblical instruction so that they are equipped to answer questions when non-believers question their faith.

If we work hard within our churches to equip our children with the answers to the questions coming from non-believers, perhaps we’ll find that our children are persuading the non-believers toward faith in Christ rather than the opposite occurring.

[Yikes, after writing those last few paragraphs, I’m mildly concerned that Richard Dawkins is going to send out the secret atheist police to put a stop to my attempt to teach my children the truth.]

From the Christian newswire:
Roger Moran states, “Although changing the hearts and minds of people is often a slow process, attitudes about how we educate our children are changing within Southern Baptist life. Increasingly we are recognizing that if we are going to profess the name of Christ, then our lives should be a testimony to authentic Biblical Christianity. Yet, how can we expect our children to have that testimony when they are “trained up” in secular public schools to have a secular mindset that excludes the acknowledgement of God and the Word of God at every point?
We need to work harder at equipping our kids with answers. After all, isn’t our calling to spread the good word to all nations? Our children have a marvelous opportunity to do that during their school hours, and by that I don’t mean handing out Bibles and shoving their beliefs down their friend's throats. I mean through their attitudes and the way they live, and when they are asked about their faith or their faith is being questioned in class, they can speak with conviction about the truth that they find in scripture.

Hopefully, our kids will be the persuaders versus the ones being persuaded to reject their faith, though it doesn’t always work that way. One word....prayer.