Ah, the memories: two new pair of jeans (one green, one brown; blue jeans were still not allowed); three or four new shirts; perhaps a pair of shoes; sox and understuff … along with pencils, pencil sharpener, erasers, paper, ruler, glue, pencil box … And the smell – the smell of new clothes and school paraphernalia! It marked the end of summer and the advent of a new adventure. While it seemed innocuous enough at the time – a little exciting, even – those forays into the folds of fickledom deposited their deleterious detritus over time. Such is the effect of departing from the designs of the Creator for mankind to “be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth and take dominion over it.”
Perhaps you chuckled at a memory of your early school days as you started reading, as those memories – many of them, anyway – are not unpleasant. In spite of all that public schooling has proven itself to be, it was for many of us a place of beginnings, of initiations, of friendships.
But let’s carry the Back-To-School spirit into the present day and time, even as it is happening in real time around us this week and next in many places, and consider a broader application. Let us consider the church as a platform from which to speak and teach God’s designs for the education of our children.
Many churches, mostly in years past, did start Christian schools. That’s not what is meant here in the preceding paragraph. If our design is only to counter the “worldliness” of the public schools and their teaching of anti-God humanism in the guise of “science” (evolution, etc.), a church-based school with a “Christian curriculum” might be at least part of a solution. But the problem with education is that it has been institutionalized and that the institutions to whom it has been assigned, whether “public” or “Christian,” are not the only institution to which God assigned it – the home.
This author in years past wrote much in this space about the responsibility of every parent for his own children’s education, a repetition of which is neither necessary nor the intent of this piece, but what is new here is an encouragement for the church to serve willingly, eagerly, as the platform for the teaching of ALL of God’s truth, not just that which is comfortably accepted as being part of the “religion mountain” (discussed here recently). Not only that, but if the church were to engage on the business side of the argument as fervently as have many in running Christian schools – serving, for example, as a hub where parents can share resources and ideas for teaching their own children – what a boon that could be in the effort to surpass any externally-imposed “minimum standards for education” that the prevailing institutions assume to be their prerogative to impose willy nilly.
Come on, churches! If you want to be relevant in the lives of those you wish to attract and retain as members, even into the surrounding community at large, you must have a message that is relevant in as many aspects of those people’s lives as possible. This series of articles is aimed at highlighting at least those aspects that have been traditionally divvied up to have their own “mountain,” and to thus encourage God’s people – the ecclesia – to no longer stay cooped up on their own “religion” mountain. After all, if we are to be God’s kingdom on earth, we cannot allow the devil’s diehards to dictate to us the territorial parts of Creation that we are not permitted to enter.
All truth is God’s truth, thus God’s people must speak His truth boldly at all times. That certainly must begin at home. So let’s go Back To School!