“Formal education is about learning more and more about less and less until you know everything about nothing” – Daniel Lucas, Better Life Church
So I am taking in the Pastor’s Conference at the Creation Museum this week. I heard Ken Ham and Dr. John MacArthur this morning, with a couple of AiG’s other staff personalities this afternoon. Ham and the others stated that our education system has become a target for secular humanism (duh!) and is basically an indoctrination center. Our kids are being targeted so that in just a few generations, our country will exit the church. If you compare the number of hours kids spend in school versus what they spend in church, the math is pretty easy. Add to this the number of hours the kids are exposed to media, and the case is closed.
So what to do? Their solution is to restore Bible education to the kids, restore the foundation of the church to Young Earth Creationism, and we will be on our way to restoring Christianity in America. Sounds good, right?
So why does this bother me?
They made the statement this morning that once upon a time, the schools taught Bible and morality and ethics, while the churches concentrated on teaching their theology. Somewhere, probably in the early sixties, the schools stopped teaching the Bible, stopped teaching morality, and starting teaching the kids they are descended from animals instead of created by God. In the meantime, the churches have continued to stay within their narrow theologies while their congregations are beginning to wander off and wonder, “who cares?”
But do I want my government teaching me what to believe?
I suppose government already teaches me what to believe about mathematics and the rules of English (which are arbitrary by the way). Government teaches me about history, but usually with an agenda, never a bare recitation of historical fact. It teaches me science, and I would be content with that if it left off trying to convince that science can also prove the un-provable.
Science in its essence is the formulation of a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, and either changing your hypothesis to meet the facts or using your data to prove your hypothesis. When science tries to tell me that the universe exploded, stars formed after a particular fashion, and planets came into being by a peculiar process, it is making a hypothesis it cannot prove. No one had ever run an experiment lasting millions of years to prove that you can in fact make a universe given the right conditions over millions of years. It is not an observable process. You cannot prove it, so stop trying to tell me that you can. When you say you know its true without the scientific method, you are expressing a belief, a faith in something, and you are no better in your reasoning that the people you say are “unscientific”.
I suppose we are deceiving ourselves if we believe we can teach anything without a certain point of view. We all have an agenda, a bias, so that when we share information, we also share a perspective. It doesn’t matter if its math, science, or language; you cannot help but share your perspective about it. If you teach history or social studies, you share your bias, what you think is important.
So back to my original question. If the Bible returns to school, whose bias and perspective gets shared along with it? The America that taught the Bible in the classroom was predominantly Christian. Everyone shared the same values and morality, and even though churches disagreed on specifics, they agreed on the general points of theology. But could your Jewish or Muslim teacher teach the Bible in the same way? What about the Hindi or the Taoist? What about the Atheist who is told she has to teach the Bible to her students? How do you think her perspective will affect her teaching?
So many Christian parents have resorted to pulling their kids out of the public schools and putting them in home schools or private schools. Fair enough. That is their right. What happens to the public schools? What happens the Christian influence? It’s like a premature rapture. Suddenly all the Christians are gone, and all that’s left is the heathen. Is that what we want in the public school system?
I guess what I’m saying is that I have no easy answers. My kids are in the public schools, because I can’t afford to put my kids in private school. They have to be salt and light. They have to learn how to get along with people who don’t share their faith. We have open and honest discussion at home about stuff at school. I teach my kids about young earth creationism, because I believe it best fits the text of Scripture. That’s my solution for the present. If you find something better, pursue it.