By: Dr. Paul A. Kienel
The American intellectual community is beginning to take notice of the modern Christian school movement. The highly respected Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation has published the following statement “American intellectuals tend to write off religion as a deplorable mythology that once powerfully influenced our basic institutions but is now largely overcome. The rapid growth of Christian schools during the last twenty-five years. . . seen as one aspect of the postwar ‘turn to religion,’ suggests that we may be in the first phase of another Great Awakening involving a general reorientation of the social and intellectual outlook of western society.”
There it no question about it; Christian schools are making a measurable impact on society. The current rise and reestablishment of evangelical protestant elementary and secondly schools are widely known in government and media circle. Some are calling it the “Fourth Great Awakening” Others are referring to the growth of Christian schools as the most significant sociological event in the past decade. Earlier this week, two representatives from the Saturday Evening Post magazine met with me in my office. They shared their plans to publish a positive multi-page article on evangelical Christian schools in the spring or summer of 1985.
It has been my privilege to attend several meetings at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C., and meet with the U.S. Secretary of Education and other leaders from the public school community. These gatherings have made me appreciate Christian school education all the more. I have learned that part of the motivation for the current attempt by the public schools to improve their sagging academic image is the rapid reestablishment of protestant Christian schools. This fact is openly discussed in our Washington meeting. Speaking of the new effort by the public schools to compete with Christian schools academically, one public school leader at the meeting said “I would like to empty the Christian schools in my town.” He laughed when he said it, but perhaps he was serious.
The public schools have launched their “excellence movement” to improve academics, but we know there is more to education than cold academics. The underlying philosophy behind education is more important.
Public schools continue to be secular and spiritually sterile. They are temples of humanism where man–not God–is honored.
It sounds chilling, but consider this quote from The Humanist magazine:
“I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level–preschool day care center or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new–the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism… It will undoubtedly be a long, arduous, painful struggle replete with much sorrow and many tears, but humanism will emerge
triumphant. It must if the family of humankind is to survive.”
Obviously, not all public school educators subscribe to this philosophy, but many do. While not all believe this statement in its entirety, it would have far greater chance for acceptance in the public schools than in those offering a Bible-centered philosophy which acknowledges the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30). Teachers are not neutral. In a sense, public school teachers are secular missionaries. They have official government sanction to offer students the following philosophy: “Man, having evolved, becomes self-existent. Man becomes only a physical being with no spirit, no eternal destiny. With no one outside himself to turn to for the solution to his problems and needs, man becomes his own god.”
Isn’t it better to send your child to a Christian school where teachers have complete freedom to openly share with students the message of a loving Savior who died for them, cares for them and longs to redeem them unto Himself?
Martin Luther wrote:
“I am afraid that the universities and schools will prove to be the gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount.”
(The original publisher of the above material is unknown.)
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