January Question of the Month

date Jan 11, 2010
author Voddie Baucham topics & issues Biblical Ethics, Children, Education

Question Of the Month:

What do you think of a Christian being employed by The Youth Ministry of the State Church of Secular Humanism as a teacher?

A Loaded, but Important Question

I often receive ‘loaded’ questions, but this one wins the prize.  It is obvious that the reader not only has an opinion on the issue; it is also clear what that opinion is.  Nevertheless, the question (in it’s less ‘loaded’ form) is one I receive frequently.  I have chosen to answer this one, because it’s phrasing will help me get straight to the point. 

I have made no secret of the fact that I believe the American school system is inferior in terms of academics, bankrupt in terms of morality, and corrosive in terms of spirituality and religion.  In short, the government education system is no place for the children of people who claim allegiance to the King of Kings.  I have stated this clearly in the form of blogs, books, sermons, resolutions and more.  However, what is often less clear is whether or not I believe Christians should serve as teachers or administrators in the government education system.  The lack of clarity here has more to do with the complexity of the issue than any lack of conviction. 

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a great battle and the government schools in many ways represent the front lines.  As such, it is important that we have well-trained, well-equipped men and women (not children) engaging in warfare there when possible.  Unfortunately, few Christian teachers understand this.  As a result, the vast majority of Christian teachers (ignorant of the battle raging all around them) are merely serving as willing accomplices.  Of course, they will argue that the mere fact that they are Christians makes all the difference, but this is a farce.  Other Christian teachers see themselves as “missionaries” working to save souls on a sinking ship.  This, while admirable, is ultimately a bandaid on a cancer.  This is the equivalent of teaching slaves “inner freedom” without rejecting or opposing slavery, and worse yet with slaveholders doing the teaching!

Finally, there are those teachers who see the problem and have every intention of fighting the good fight until they inevitably lose their jobs.  These teachers realize, as do all honest observers, that they are not going to change the schools.  No one can.  They also realize that what they are teaching is subversive and illegal.  As Francis Schaeffer pointed out nearly three decades ago:

"By law, you are no more allowed to teach religious values and religious views in our public schools than you are in the schools of Russia tonight... as far as all religious teaching (except the religion of Humanism, which is a different kind of a thing) it is just as banned by law from our schools, and our schools are just as secular as the schools in Soviet Russia -- just exactly! Not ten years from now. Tonight!" (Francis A. Schaeffer:  "A Christian Manifesto" from a speech at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, 1982.)

As a result, most of these teachers 1) don’t (and wouldn’t) have their children in the government school system, 2) don’t gain much power, authority or status in the system, and 3) find themselves at odds with, and often ridiculed by, their fellow Christian teachers who fall into the other categories.

So, to answer the question more specifically, I do not believe that every Christian teacher in the government school system is in sin.  I do believe it is important to have Christians involved and engaged in the battle at every point.  However, the government school system is a foe to be defeated, not a friend to be reformed.  Government education is one of the most corrosive influences in the history of the United States.  It has served as an incubator for ideologies like Darwinian evolution, Gramscian Marxism, feminism, progressivism, and the radical homosexual agenda (to name just a few).  Not to mention the teacher/student sex epidemic that makes the Catholic priest scandal look like a minor blip on the screen (see previous issues of The Continuing Collapse and Bruce Shortt’s book, The Harsh Truth About Public Schools, for detailed information on this growing, frequently overlooked trend).

If a teacher understands this, his teaching tenure will be fraught with peril and contradiction.  He will constantly find himself fighting one battle after another as the system becomes increasingly aggressive and antagonistic.  He will probably not find himself in line for many perks or promotions.  And in the end, he will likely end up in another setting where he can teach with a clear conscience in an institution committed to Christ and his Kingdom, or get out of the teaching profession altogether. 

What worries me, though, are the scores of Christian teachers who give their lives to the violent, immoral, academically-inferior, anti-Christian, “soul-killing” (to quote J. Gresham Machen) government education system and see no problem with it whatsoever.  These are the ones who read the Continuing Collapse each month and get angry with Bruce for writing it (and me for carrying it) rather than acknowledging the problem.  Unfortunately, they are also part of the reason many parents think their schools are different (since they have so many Christian teachers).  Hence, these Christian teachers help the system stay afloat by assuaging the fears and guilt of families sacrificing their children to the Moloch of government education.  In short, it’s a MESS!