Why do I send my kids to a Christian school when the thing I need to protect them from the most is theology?
I have a question…Why is it that I send my kids to a Christian school so they can learn about God and I still have to spend most of my time protecting them from the Theology, or lack thereof, of the Christian school?
Let me explain, my wife and I are looking at the class options from a well known Christian umbrella school here in Northern Colorado (an umbrella school is a school to supplement home schooling). The classes range from choir to science to something they call “Christian Worldview.” No one wants my children to learn the Christian worldview more than I but it has become painfully obvious that they teach everything but the Christian worldview. The class is taught out of Ken Ham’s “Answers in Genesis” and the results I have seen from other students is a zeal for young earth philosophy and not a single clue about the Christian worldview! Don’t get me wrong, I have not a single issue with young earthers (I happen not to be one) but the Bible never EVER teaches as a distinctive that we must believe that the earth is ten to twelve thousand years old to be Christian! It is and has never been a part of Christian theology and wasn’t even an issue of debate until about 200 years ago when the age of science came roaring on the scene. It has however, become a big part of Christian tradition and philosophy. Just as we hold to a tradition that there was a little drummer boy at the birth of Christ, we also hold fast to the tradition (not fact) that the earth is younger than it appears. The previous umbrella school we sent the kids to had the same problem in their worldview class. In that class they spent more time beating up on other religions than they did giving the kids a positive defense of Christianity! The result was an appalling display of anti Mormon bigotry that was loaded with loose facts and total falsehoods about the religion. The kids were 8th graders and I don’t blame them, but in my opinion, the teacher should be fired. You see I spend a lot of time making sure I have the facts about a religion’s worldview so when we teach our children lies about other worldviews to make ours look good, it is discourteous and completely Unchristian! The best way to defeat Mormonism is to have a positive approach to Christianity, not a negative approach to Mormonism. Christianity stands true based on the consistency of the facts. Mormonism does not and cannot stand the test of truth.
Here’s a thought. Why not teach the Christian worldview in the Christian worldview class? In the rare case that perhaps the schools are following this blog, let me layout a nice little syllabus for you for next semester. If you follow this, you should have kids that can argue the importance of the atonement with as much passion as they have about defending that the earth is ten thousand years old.
1. The Nature of God – Who is God and what are His characteristics?
2. The Person of Christ – Who is the God-Man and why is it important that Jesus be this man?
3. The Nature of the Trinity – What is the trinity and where do we find it in the pages of scripture?
4. The Nature of the Cross – What is so important about the crucifixion?
5. The Nature of Man – Why are we the way we are?
6. The Nature of Sin – What is sin and what is its importance?
7. The Glorification/Second Coming – How does the story end?
8. The Nature of Revelation – What is the Bible and why is it important?
I know this stuff is more difficult to teach than that Noah brought dinosaurs on the ark, but these things are Christian theology, not the philosophical difference we have over the age of the earth!
One last thing on this matter. Why is it that each worldview class seems to have an apologetic spin to it? Do we really want to be teaching our children apologetics and if we do is this the starting point for teaching scripture? I can assure you that if a 12 year old tries to defend her position on young earth theology to me, I would bury her. Not because I am bigger and smarter then her but because I did the foundational work necessary to defend my faith. I understand the 8 point list above, they more than likely do not.
Christianity is hard and some things are too difficult to teach to a small child. That’s why Paul talks about giving them milk while they are babies in the faith. At some point we need to switch from soft food to hard foods with more substance but in the mean time, teach them Theology at their level, don’t fill them full of philosophy! The order is simple. First we learn the stories of the bible, then we learn what they mean, only after we know these things do we defend our faith to others. Your understanding of who God is should guide your philosophy not your overwhelming desire to combat science (a gift from God).
I find myself frustrated, and wondering exactly why Christians school even exist!