Russell and Duenes

Irrelevance and Education: Some Snippets

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Here are some snippets I gave in response to a friend with respect to education:

My argument is this: Jesus is officially excluded from the public school curriculum, and thus, he is officially excluded as having anything authoritative to say about anything that we currently take to comprise knowledge. This means that Jesus is reduced to a nice, safe, little guru that gives old grandmas and other superstitious folks a little comfort on weekends, but he’s not really relevant to anything that has significance. This is conveyed in a thousand different ways, but mostly by this exclusion. And so what does little Miss Christian learn at her public school? She learns to that there must always be a cognitive dissonance within her. She learns, not that Jesus and the gospels are untrue, for the public schools do not seriously overturn anything in the gospel; but rather, she learns that her faith is largely irrelevant, private, subjective and thus, hard to believe. This is soul-destroying stuff. Regarding Islamic or Buddhist, etc. schools, I’d be all in favor of them. if Muslims want to start up their own schools, I say, “Amen.” If secularists or atheists want to start up their schools, I say the same. We should be free to establish the schools we want for our children, and the government should stop mechanistically enforcing a “one size fits all,” politically left-ish curriculum on American citizens.

I care not whether I am “relevant” in the sense of being in-line with the world or what the world thinks is important. I used relevance in the sense that, the belief is taught in public schools that Jesus has nothing to do with anything of any importance to human existence. In that sense, he is deemed “irrelevant.” In saying this, I’m not pitting “the way of Jesus” against “relevance.” I’m saying, there is no “way of Jesus” in the public school curriculum. He’s a non-entity as far as the public schools are concerned. Perhaps irrelevant is not the best word, but what I’m saying is: the student learns that Jesus, and the way of Jesus, have no authority and nothing to do with anything important to human existence and flourishing. I certainly agree with you that “parents, mentors, teachers, and other leaders who walk in the way of Jesus will pass on the faith,” and they need not be “relevant” in any cultural sense in order to do so. But what you have in public schools is this: Parent wants to inculcate the way of Jesus, but the public school demonstrates that the way of Jesus is nothing, literally “no thing,” and no part of life. So what is the kid to think? She wants to listen to her parents, AND she wants to listen to and respect her teachers who officially exclude Jesus from everything educational. Thus, she must choose and set her mind against one or the other, at least to some degree. Christian education will never be “relevant” in one sense of the term. It does not intend to be. But it will be redemptive, and in accordance with truth.

And your point about youth losing their faith in churches and Christian schools equally is what? We should thus continue to cede all the educational territory to those who officially deny Christ and his worth and glory and reality? The church is doing a bad job, so let’s beef up the godless who want to teach that Jesus has nothing to do with real life and real knowledge? That makes absolutely no sense to me. The answer, rather, should be for the Church to wake up and start realizing that education is part and parcel of Christian discipleship, to repent of her indifference to the mandate to love God with everything we are and do, and to start working towards educating children so that they do not “lose their faith” by what we are doing. Repentance, not “hand it over to the secularists,” is what is required.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

September 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Posted in Duenes, Education

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