From the Mailbag

In a post written on 1/11/08 and titled “Huckabee, the Liberal Statist” I wrote,

Pastor Bret — “Mark, I thought your Dad would have taught you that it is wrong for the Government to create make work jobs. Public teaching is nothing but a government works project. If Governor Huckabee was Christian he would have, at the very least, encouraged parents to pull their children out of government schools instead of helping to perpetuate and bolster them by stealing from some people in order to give money to school teachers who are teaching our children with a anti-Christ theology. Increasing pagan teacher’s salaries is no Biblical reason for picking somebody’s pocket through increased taxation Mark.

Taking exception to my views Tilly Stephenson left a comment,

As a Christian teacher in a public school who tries to be salt and light in a hostile place, I thank you for calling me a “pagan” who teaches an “anti-Christ” message.

I bring direct attention to this Tilly because this is an important issue for Christians to consider.

First, allow me to thank you for trying to be salt and light in a public school.

Second, in being salt and light do you teach your students in class how the Lordship of Christ affects your discipline? After all even something like Mathematics has been shown to be dependent upon a Christian World and life view. Similarly it would be easy to show how a Christian World and life view accounts for Science and how it alone can make sense of any of the humanities. If teaching the humanities (let’s pretend you teach social studies) have you taught your students how a Christian does social studies is 180 degrees different from how a non-Christian does social studies? Have you taught your students from the front of the classroom, as teacher, how it is that it is only the Lordship of Christ as set forth in a Biblical Worldview that can rightly make sense of all reality? Or is it the case that you go about teaching your discipline without saying anything at all about how pursuit of the discipline will glorify God when done in submission to His Word? It seems to me that you can only make a strong case for being salt and light in the government schools if indeed you are publicly pressing for the Crown Rights of King Jesus in your classroom, helping your students to think like Christians.

In a government school, I don’t know how you could explicitly do that and I am not sure how it is possible to implicitly do that. What our Christian children need is not simply more modeling on how to be nice but they must be taught to think as Christians and what it means to have a Christian World and life view and not the World and life view that the Government schools are officially committed to. If you are not teaching them that then you are, at the very least, acting like a pagan, teaching an anti-Christ message.

There is no area of academic study that does not call Christ Lord. Every field of endeavor should be taught with explicitly Christian presuppositions and the students should be exposed to what their discipline looks like if done from a non-Christian worldview. They should be taught to understand the false worldveiws in the discipline you teach and then counter them by being able to point out their contradictions.

Have you taught your children the components of a Worldview? Have you taught your students how all disciplines are dependent upon some kind of Theological presuppositions that drive the worldview and the discipline in question? Have you taught your students to identify those presuppositions when they come across them in the different academic disciplines? Have you taught the students, not what to think but rather how to think?

Look, Tilly, I love that teachers are trying to be salt and light but if they don’t do the kind of things that I have briefly laid out here I don’t know how they can contend they are trying to be salt and light, and if they do do the things I insist is the very essence of being salt and light, I don’t know how they could keep their Government make-work job. If a teacher did even a portion of what I have suggested here the State would descend on that teacher like farm cats on a leaky cow teat.

Further Tilly, we haven’t even talked about the educational training that teachers get and how they end up imbibing a Worldview that is alien to Christianity without even knowing it and who then turn around and feed that Worldview to the students they are teaching.

No, I suspect that the best that government school teachers can do in order to be salt and light in the schools is to be underground saboteurs and subversives within the system, working to give the beast they are working for a bellyache that it can never recover from.

Tilly, it is my conviction, (and legion is the name of those who disagree with me) that the best thing that could happen to this country is for the Government schools to close shop. Anything that Biblical Christians do to support this behemoth only serves to prolong Reformation and awakening.

Thanks for writing and if we can continue this dialouge in such a way that I can better articulate my concerns and so help you understand me please write back.

Further understanding on the truth of my italicized statement above can be found by reading,

The Messianic Character Of American Education
The Cloning Of The American Mind
The Underground History Of American Education
Teaching as a conserving activity
None Dare Call This Education
The Closing of the American Mind
Is Public Education Necessary
Education, Christianity & the State