More from the “Our School Has Christian Teachers” File

date Mar 10, 2010
author Voddie Baucham topics & issues Education

As I continue to post The Continuing Collapse each month on this blog, there is a steady stream of public school defenders who insist that, although TCC has been finding and publishing evidence of widespread corruption, under-achievement, radical Gramscian marxism, violence, fraud and more in the American education establishment from coast-to-coast, this has no impact on these people’s educational choice because (altogether now) “their schools are different!”  Of course, the main difference is the presence of Christian teachers.

Of course any attempt to point out the lack of biblical worldview of most professing Christians in America, the socialist/neo-marxist leanings of the curricula to which these “Christian teachers” are forced to adhere, and the Gramscian residue that clings to an education degree as relentlessly as dirt clings to fallen snow, is met with blank stares and incredulity.  Not to mention the fact that these “Christian teachers” were trained in institutions that bathed them in the worst the left has to offer; and that includes Christian colleges.  In a recent Town Hall article, Sandy Rios exposed one of these institutions.  Writing about the prestigious Wheaton College, Rios wrote:

So imagine the dismay of many to learn that, in an effort to educate its students, Wheaton has moved to the left, so much so that in a survey by the Wheaton Record, 60 percent of its faculty voted for President Barack Obama, the most pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda, spiritually confused president the nation has ever elected. 

Beyond this general lunge to the left, the philosophy that has overtaken the school of education is particularly troubling.  Rios continues:

In the current document known as the “conceptual framework” of the education department at Wheaton College which must be endorsed by each of its faculty, the thinkers cited include among others, the father of the social justice movement, Brazilian Marxist, Paulo Freire and former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. Just a glimpse at Freire’s foundational treatise “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” will clearly display his sources: Marx, Lenin and revolutionary murderers Mao Tse Tung, Fidel Castro and Che Guevera (see, “Pedagogy of the Oppressor,” March 28, 2009, in National Review by Sol Stern).

Amazing!  If these teachers had been forced to endorse the London Baptist Confession, or the Westminster Confession of Faith there would have been a revolt.  However, they endorse the “Conceptual Framework” and parents who are paying obscene amounts of money for an education degree from Wheaton (nearly $40,000.00 per academic year for tuition and more than $50,000 total cost) haven’t heard or made a peep.  All of this in the name of “open minded” academia:

Dr. Jillian Lederhouse, chairman of the department of education defended the conceptual framework by saying “we don’t teach our students to be afraid on an ideology as long as we give them a critical perspective. We do not have a list of people we do not read. Our goal is to produce a thinking Christian teacher.” And that is as it should be in an institution of higher learning, except for one thing. Lederhouse went on to admit that the people who were foundational to Wheaton’s conceptual framework were all on the far left. 

Isn’t it interesting how real “thinking” always requires one’s mind being open to the Gramscian left?  Christ and his Kingdom = closed-minded fundamentalist teacher.  Marx and his kingdom (Paulo Friere and Che Guevera) = “thinking Christian teacher.”

Wheaton is not alone in this matter.  Christian colleges across the country have been co-opted by the marxist, socialist educational establishment, and the teachers they are producing are the most dangerous of them all.  Unlike the teachers coming out of Stanford, Wisconsin, or Columbia, the teachers coming out of the Wheaton’s of the world have instant credibility among unsuspecting Christian parents in both public and private schools who believe that a teacher who professes faith in Christ and has credentials from a Christian college MUST BE the real deal.  Who better to send your children to for their education?

For years I have tried to communicate the reality that there are few Christian schools in the country worthy of the title.  Almost without exception, Christian colleges and universities in this country are Christian in name only.  Perhaps they have a historic connection to a religious founder, a nominal connection to a Christian denomination, or a public acknowledgement of a broad, sweeping, shallow confession of faith.  However, most lack the courage and/or conviction to uphold the aforementioned commitments in their hiring practices, or in the development and implementation of their curriculum.  

Moreover, these realities are not about to change.  As long as schools like Wheaton can “push the envelope” in the name of open-minded “Social Justice,” and still fill their dorms with students whose families are more than happy to pay the $40,000.00 per year price tag we will not see a revival of God-honoring, Kingdom-minded, Christ-exalting, culture-transforming Christian education.   

Here are a few predictions:

  1. There will be no outcry over this issue (unless you count the outcry against anyone who would dare to question the Christian commitment of Wheaton and other Christian colleges). 
  2. Those who expose this issue will be vilified as narrow-minded “fundamentalists” while the marxists are heralded as broadminded defenders of education and free expression.
  3. Students in the program (and those who’ve graduated) will insist that this is all blown out of proportion, and the education faculty at Wheaton (who supported Obama overwhelmingly) are wonderful, committed Christians who “believe and teach the Bible” (even though they endorse the “conceptual framework” which is completely inconsistent with the Bible).
  4. Parents will continue to pay the obscene tuition for the prestige of a Wheaton degree. 
  5. Wheaton, and other Christian colleges like it, will continue to surge to the left in search of “friendship with the world,” and recognition as a prestigious university.

Nothing would make me happier than to be wrong on this.  However, the key here is the tuition.  Universities don’t charge $40,000.00 a year unless they can fill their dorms at that price.  Any school that can demand that kind of money doesn’t do so because they offer sound biblical education.  There is not enough demand for that (which is the primary reason we don’t have an abundance of sound Christian colleges).  Parents don’t pay $40,000.00 a year for their children to be trained in godliness; they pay that kind of money for prestige and upward mobility.  The bottom line is quite simple:  We worship the god of education and status, not the God of the Bible.  

The good news is there are schools out there where something like this would never have happened.  I would be shocked, for example, to learn that New St. Andrews University (about $9,000.00 per year tuition), Grove City College (about $13,000.00 per year tuition), or The Master’s College (about $25,000 per year tuition), asked their professors to endorse the “conceptual framework.”  And none of these schools takes a back seat to Wheaton academically!

Does this mean that Wheaton is the antichrist and the other schools I mentioned are without sin?  Absolutely not.  I’m sure there are good people at Wheaton who abhor the fact that the school of education has taken such a stance.  Nor is every professor at NSA, GCC, or TMC perfect.  Don’t miss the point here.  This is a serious matter that cannot be ignored.  We should all expect more from Wheaton .

VB