I'm back...and by saying that I'm breaking one of the blogging rules I recently stumbled upon: don't draw attention to long blogging absences...but when have I ever really followed the rules?
It's been a gruelling month. Busy at work and busy at home; make that exhausted at home. This morning my reverend is off to preach his monthly sermon at a local church. Being new at this pastor's wife gig, I have chosen to stay at home and meet up with him after church. Oops, is that another rule I'm breaking?
I find myself in a constant state of anger and weariness. It is mostly related to work, but truth be told, it is difficult to tease out work from life in general. If you're a blogging friend you'll know that I am passionate about my work. Teaching and now counselling is more than a job, but a calling on my life. It is without pride and arrogance that I declare that I am good at both. That has allowed for many blessings throughout my life.
I have vigorously defended public education throughout my 32 years in the business. It is no secret that I struggle with private christian education and when that doesn't satisfy; home schooling. Part of the beautiful life we have in Canada is the option of choices. To disagree is to bask in the freedom of this great nation. So with that in in mind, I anticipate that many of you will strongly disagree with the rest of this post. That's OK. Tension is often needed in order for movement to occur.
Many years ago I predicted that as believers took their children out of the public school system, the gap between the believer and unbeliever would grow. We preach the merits of missions, yet we can not fathom having our children educated along side the unbeliever, possibly by an unbeliever. What I see now, are many, many young people who have never set foot inside a church, have little or no concept of God, and if they do, it is conflicted. Even more alarming is that many of the children/teenagers I work with do not hear about Jesus Christ until Grade 8 social studies. Did you know that religion is part of the curriculum in BC public schools?
So, what's the point of my tirade? Here's my radical thought. I think that Christians have been duped. I think that our world, here in Canada is a less blessed place in part (not totally, that would really oversimplify things) because of the green-housing of our kids in christian schools.
We have pulled our kids out of public school and public sports teams to the point where they have little or no meaningful contact with unbelievers. If our purpose on earth is to testify to the love and saving redemptive grace of Christ, but we never have contact with unbelievers, WHO are we going to testify too? The unbelievers are not the enemy. The Enemy is the enemy. You know, Satan! We have a mission field right outside our doorstep.
Many, many years ago, when I was still a classroom teacher, I would participate in outdoor education field trips. One trip in particular is seared in my memory. It would have been in the late 80's and we had taken several classes to a beautiful lake in BC. One of our grade 7 students was a PK (pastor's kid). I will never, ever forget the boldness of that young lady before meals. She sat at her table, bowed her head and thanked God for the food. I watched with interest as the rest of her table froze, forks in hand and participated in silence as she prayed - out loud. I will never forget the impact of those simple prayers of thanks. She was living the life of a missionary. She was practicing her faith. You could feel the Light she brought into the room. Fast forward to 2011, the number of believing students has dwindled, but not the need for impact. For every courageous believer in our school, I give thanks and offer prayers of boldness for these youngsters!
So here's my radical thought: close the christian schools. Take that money and put it directly into education for all kids. Take your christian teachers and (gasp) send them into the public system. Can they preach with words? No. Can they testify to the grace of Christ with actions? Yes. Do you want your kids to be strong in their faith, to understand that they can be a believer among the 'yet to be' believers? Christ didn't come so that we would live in fear. I truly believe that the beginning of segregating our christian children was based on fear NOT faith.
We need help. The unchurched kids; who will grow into the unchurched adults, need help. If we don't use the influence we have left, we will continue to see the erosion of our values and dark will continue to thrive.
It's just what I think.
Are we still friends?
Matthew 5:43-48 The Message
43-47"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
48"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you."