Summary: The 20th sermon in our series on the Baptist Faith and Message
Get Smart! (BFM #20)
Text: Proverbs 3:13
By: Ken McKinley
Well we are continuing on this morning with our study of the BFM, and today we are looking at article 12 on Education so take your copy of the BFM and turn with me to article 12 on page 16 (Read).
I think that one of the greatest ironies among Christian parents is that so many of them seem to have higher standards for their children’s babysitters than they do for their children’s teachers. It goes something like this: “We need a baby sitter. Whoever we hire should be a Christian, and we should know them, and their family, and they should probably have some pretty good references, or else.”
But then 5 or 6 years later Jr. comes home from his first day of school and the first question parents usually ask him is, “So whose your teacher son?” The parents don’t even know the teachers name. They don’t know if he or she is an atheist or a Southern Baptist. They don’t know if he or she is a socialist or a conservative capitalist. They don’t know if they’re homosexual or not. And what is the job of this teacher? Well nothing much, just to shape how their child thinks, to shape their child’s world view. To teach our kids how we got here, what our nature is, what our purpose is, what we should strive for, how we should conduct ourselves… just to name a few.
Now granted, in a small town like Fort Supply this isn’t such an issue, parents know their children’s teachers fairly well. And let me just say this quickly, the Christian teacher in a secular school is just like a front line missionary in a hostile country. But sometimes, even in small towns, even when the parent does know the teacher, they still aren’t sure where the teacher stands on religious issues, or social issues, or political issues. They don’t know because those things are “taboo” they are off limits. And I think there are 2 main reasons why this has happened; first of all, we have bought into the idea that the Federal Government is the one who guarantees “quality” in education. In-other-words; if something is “licensed” or “accredited,” then we just assume that the quality is good. The SBC has 6 Seminaries; but there are many, many unaccredited Bible Colleges out there, some of them are really, really good, some aren’t so good. But being accredited by the Federal Government is by no means a guarantee of quality. And the second reason has to do with our unwillingness to engage in any type of conflict. Now this opens up into a broad array of things; we want to seem tolerant so we don’t pry, we don’t want to pry because we might not like what we find out, which means that we will have to either push our conscience down or make some changes in our lives to accommodate the necessary changes in education our children might require.
But the reality is that neutrality is impossible. Jesus made neutrality impossible when He said in Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me, scatters abroad.” But you see, secularism isn’t neutral either. Ask a teacher sometime if they can explain the origin of man without using either the Bible or Darwin’s theory. Ask a teacher if they can explain why the pilgrims came to America without teaching about their desire for religious freedom? I’m sure they could, but that would be a lie wouldn’t it? Ask a teacher sometime to explain the cold war without siding with capitalism or communism. There is no neutrality. And if we think there is, we are fooling ourselves.
Why is all this important? Because there is a consequence for ideas, and ideas come from a worldview, and our education formulates our worldview. Are our children learning a Christian worldview or a secular humanistic worldview? Why is our country in the shape its in? Why is it that things like abortion, and same sex marriage are even issues today? I would say it’s because our country and our culture is incapable of thinking with a Biblical, or Christian worldview.
Now here’s the thing. Often times we will tell ourselves, “Well it’s the church’s job to give my children a religious education, and it’s the schools job to educate my children in other matters. And the Church will balance out the secular.
But let me show you something that maybe you’ve never considered before.
There are 52 Sundays in one year. Your children; or grandchildren, if they come to church every Sunday, will get to spend roughly one hour every Sunday in Sunday School, and if they come to Team Kids on Sunday evening then they get roughly another hour. That is 104 hours a year that the Church is able to teach them. The last statistics I’ve seen say that the average 8 year old spends about 20 hours a week watching TV – that’s 1040 hours per year watching TV, the average 12 year old spends anywhere from 30 – 50 hours a week in front of his or her computer. That’s 1560 – 2600 hours a year, and these numbers are even worse when the TV or computer is in their bed room. Kids spend roughly 7 hours a day, 5 days a week in school, for about 180 days in Oklahoma. That’s 1260 hours of secular education. Compare any of those with the 104 hours of education a year they get from church. It isn’t primarily the church’s job to educate our children, and it definitely isn’t the government’s job, it’s the parent’s job.