Hopefully my friends will forgive me if I confess that the reason I haven’t written lately is because I stumbled briefly into a swamp of despair. My heart got slimed by news and politics and I lost sight of the dreams and promises of God. But today I’m returning to the only foothold I can find in this messed-up world: the certain reality of Jesus and his kingdom.
I left off talking, (in “Missing Pieces“), about how the kingdom might influence the sphere of education. With America spending in the neighborhood of 100 BILLION dollars per year on education, our schools remain in a state of crisis. One National Geographic survey shows the disturbing trend that when American 18 to 24-year-olds were given world maps,
- 87 percent could not find Iraq
- 49 percent could not find New York
- 11 percent could not find the United States
With such shocking results in a field as objective as Geography, who wants to even imagine our command of Truth, reasoning, and understanding of the world itself? In the diagram below the yellow circle represents Truth, which ALWAYS produces life. The red circle represents our beliefs. Notice that when our beliefs intersect with Truth, the result is knowledge and life. But when our beliefs fall outside the scope of Truth they produce death, whether it’s mathematical, scientific, psychological or spiritual. Hosea 4:6 tells us “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
So how would the Kingdom influence education? Just a few thoughts:
1. The church would repent of it’s narrow message which idolizes “personal salvation” and “getting into heaven” to the neglect of “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Personal salvation is the entry point into the kingdom, (John 3:3), but it is not the end-all of the gospel. The church must re-embrace the entire gospel, which declares a kingdom plan for every sphere of life from schools to science, from films to families. (Eph. 4:10)
2. The basis of Education would return to the focus of “These things are True,” rather than “This is the stuff you should know in order to enter the job market.” We are not perishing for lack of information and opinions, but for the lack of Truth.
3. Parents would assume the God-given responsibility of teaching their children. “Teach these things to your children, and talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up.” (Deut. 11:19) That doesn’t mean we need to home school every child, but that parents, (and not the government), should assume a primary role in educating their children. When we allow the direction of our schools to be dictated by government bureaucrats we get exactly the kind of students we have today, who can’t locate America on an unmarked map.
4. Schools, (both public and Christian), would turn their focus from teaching students what to think, to training them how to think; how to assess truth, how to reason, how to employ logic and exchange ideas in constructive and meaningful dialogue.
One more idea I’ll save until next week.