“The Elephant in the Classroom?”
Think seriously of biblical Christianity: faith alone in Christ alone, by grace alone. Now think of every religion, belief system, or ideology you can imagine. Do not forget atheism and humanism. What do all these other beliefs systems have in common? The most obvious answer is that they do not acknowledge the Lordship of Christ over all things. Now try to guess the one thing they all do quite well. To one degree or another, they exert much effort and control over the education of the children under their spheres of influence. And why? Because“Proponents of virtually every ideology seek to gain a foothold in the classroom, because they know that the key to shaping the future is shaping the minds of children.” (Nancy Pearcey) They get it!
Do we “get it?”
The important question for Protestant evangelicals is, do we “get it?” Shockingly, I have found that we, heirs of the great sixteenth-century reformers, are generally unaware of the ideology daily infused into the lives of our Covenant children. Children spend all day in schools that count God as irrelevant to academic pursuits, passing on to them a false view of God and His world. And most are ignorant of this, the Elephant in the Classroom!
Why, when we are so clearly commanded in God’s Word (think Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78), are we not stirred to passionate action to obey God’s specific commands about the teaching and training of our children? Around the world, I have seen the great lengths to which Education officials, funded by the United Nations, go to ensure that godless agendas are faithfully taught, especially in the younger grades. How? By firmly controlling national curriculum standards, teacher education, and licensing processes. The non-Christian world “gets it.” They know their agenda, they fight, and they do not give up.
Do we “fight?”
What are we doing in our churches and mission organizations to promote God’s design for the education of our children? Are we pushing back against distorted world views of education being taught as the truth? A few questions:
- In locations where Christian schools do not exist, are we equipping parents with the tools they need to counteract the false teaching their children are receiving? Are we encouraging and helping parents and church leaders around the world start Christian schools? Do we include the establishment of Christian colleges in our long-range planning for a region or country?
- Where Christian schools exist, are we equipping Christian administrators/teachers to teach each subject in the light of God’s Word? Or are we expecting them to magically teach in a God-honoring way, with little or no training to do so?
- Most importantly, are we teaching our congregants that the vows taken when children are baptized call them to sacrifice to ensure that all Covenant children receive an education in which God is honored; that the purpose of education is not about self-betterment, but about glorifying God through living as His children? In other words, are we fighting The Elephant in the Classroom for the hearts and minds of ALL our children?
Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide…but tell to the coming generations the glorious deeds of the Lord.