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.
6 thoughts on “Missing pieces: a return to school”
I focus often on surrender to Christ, either as the inital act of personal salvation or to live in the Kingdom. Kingdom life is Christ-centered. If we center our lives on Christ, he develops our lives in the Kingdom. Unfortunately, we all too often pursue what we think that life should be and confuse our own agenda, frequently social or political, with Christ’s. The result is a disortion of how life is intended. Education is a perfect example as it has become a platform for political and social agenda, from those inside and outside the church, rather than a platform for truth.
Amen, Brother. Glad to know you’re out of the swamp and back on the Rock. He is faithful…
The world of politics and governing is a slippery slope. I constantly struggle with it. I think is more out of love for my children and grandchildren than anything else. I want them to be able to live in a free country.
But the people have been in bondage to the most powerful governments before. The Hebrews in Egypt, Rome in it later stages, the shurch in the middle ages, the Soviet Union. It is really just a matter of time before the United States joins some of the most oppressive regimes.
But the Kingdom of Heaven will abide. Read Exodus 6:2-8. See God’s heart for his people. See how he desires to deliver them from their persecuters and bondage. But he does not stop there. He wants us for His people, His Kingdom. That Kingdom begins before he delivers us to the promised land. It is now.
The government is not going to relinguish its power. His Church has to take it. His Church must be the Kingdom on earth. It must be the beacon of Truth, contend with evil, bless the needy, and teach the flock. I have come to the conclussion that the rising tide of darkness in the U.S. can only be thwarted by His Church living the Kingdom.
Sorry to hear about the despair, but happy to hear about the ascent out of it into God’s Kingdom where He breathes life.
I just got home today from Haiti and in about 5 days David and I leave to return there. The Kingdom is being made manifest there.
Miss ya bro.
Hey Donnie! A high note for our family was that son Greg was awarded a 3 year fellowship from the National Science Foundation to pursue his PhD. Apparently the awards were increased this year as part of the stimulus plan. (Hoping he might have received one anyhow….but I have to mention that)
HI, Don, Betty Lou forwarded your sharing about “Wonderland” and it was good to hear your reflections again. I love your picture of Jesus washing the feet of world leaders, and agree that only when God is sovereign is there freedom and order. That’s where I want to be and what I hope to teach.
In earthly terms, it seems to me that “less government power” in our system equates to more corporate power, an arena where citizenry have even less of a voice than in democracy as we know it. I think we need strong government – NOT to control the world, but to limit power/ moniter actions of multi-national corporations within our borders.
So glad to hear you’ve spent time w/ our David.
Blessings and love, Joan