Biblical and Worldly Education
Much that is called education is not education but training. Training or teaching is a process of putting something into a person; data or processes. Education is a process of drawing something out of a person. Teaching or training in many government sponsored school systems is designed to produce worker bees for the economy. The goal of teaching is the formation of a factory worker, economist, mechanic, etc. The goal of education is the formation of a whole person, who is aware of their history and environment and able to think clearly and make moral judgments. An educated person can think well because they are aware of the ways a variety of people think. In Christian schools we should make a major effort to educate rather than only teach.
The World is the salt and the light of the Church. Jesus said the opposite of that. The Church should be the salt and light of the world, but it often happens the other way around. There is a constant worldview competition going on. Values and assumption of the world enter the Church and replace the values and assumptions of the Bible. The world imposes extra commandments on our children and us: Thou shalt be natural, thou shalt go with the flow, thou shalt be cool, though shalt express thyself, thou shalt have fun, thou shalt have a good self-image, thou shalt get in touch with they feelings, thou shalt believe all truth is numerical fact. We must protect our children from the pressure to obey these commandments.
The world will tell our children “You can be anything you want to be!” this is a terrible lie that leads to disappointment, lack of trust, false guilt and shame. The Bible tells our children “You can be what God wants you to be – forever!” The world burdens our children with the need to invent themselves base on their experience of what feels right or what is fun. This has come to the point at which children need to invent their own gender. The world tells our children that nothing is given to them. They need to imagine, choose and get what they want. This makes our children very insecure and gives a profound identity crisis because they actually cannot invent themselves and needs to receive and work with what God has given them. The world tells our children that they are perfect and that “It’s all good!”. The Bible tells our children the truth that they and the world are fallen and not the way God wants them to be.
The world tells our children they have rights and entitlements and the meaning of life is to demand and collect them. This makes our children taker instead of givers, victims instead of responsible change agents.
The world is very powerful so working against its principles and values is very hard and dangerous. God calls us to do this and will sustain us in the battle.
The world tells our children there is no supernatural or miracle. The enlightenment and scientific revolution resulted in many developments and inventions. It also was a humanistic revolution which put pressure on the Church to reduce Truth to fact and prove that the Bible is true in mathematical terms only. Christians have given in to this pressure in various ways. One way is concerning the Star of Bethlehem. People have been making great efforts to establish that the star was a natural phenomenon like a super nova or conjunction of planets or comet. The “star” was really a miraculous appearing of the Shekinah Glory of God, telling the wise men about the coming of the Son of God, guiding them to Him and resting above the house where he was. We should not teach our children to be embarrassed about miracle and the supernatural or encourage them to explain away everything in the Bible as naturalistic or mathematical fact. In a naturalist and humanistic society people who believe in a proclaim the miraculous and loving nature of reality will be bullied in various ways. We must support each other in this battle.
Below is a general pedagogical methodology and instructions for use that can be adapted to most school subjects. The goal of the survey is not to arrive at answers (teaching) but to help people to ask questions and think (education).
The battle for life and the Kingdom of God is hard and dangerous but God is on our side and will sustain us. Be of good courage!
What Do You Think?
1. The Bible is Totally accurate in all of its teachings.
2. If a person is good enough during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven.
3. The devil, or Satan, is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.
4. The Holy Spirit is a person.
5. When He lived on earth, Jesus Christ was human and committed sins, like other people.
6. It doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons.
7. You should not impose your religious beliefs on others.
8. Angels exist and influence people’s live.
9. The virgin conception of Jesus and the coming of the Wise Men are beautiful illustrations, but not historical facts.
10. All people will experience the same outcome after death, regardless of their religious beliefs.
11. The universe was originally created by God.
12. The resurrection of Jesus was in the hearts of believers rather than as a physical body.
13. Sin and crime are the same thing.
14. Prayer is a vital relationship with God and effects lives and history.
15. Buddha, Jesus, Krishna and Mohammed are all divine manifestations.
16. Fellowship with other Christians is necessary. Private Christianity is not adequate.
17. The church forgives sins.
18. Biblical Truth is for science, work, and society; not just for religious life.
19. Like others, Jesus was a very good man, a wise teacher and example.
20. The crucifixion is the center of history and gives the foundation for the restoration of all reality.
21. Good and evil are equal opposites.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Before handing out the survey, ask the participants to take the survey twice: once quickly for their immediate, “knee-jerk” reaction and then more slowly and reflectively. Tell them they may change as many votes” as they like, and to circle the new answer so they can see how many they changed and any patterns that might emerge.
When everyone has finished (20-25minutes, usually), ask how many made no changes. Then one change. Then two changes, up to 10 or more with some groups. Groups of more 20 people usually make a beautiful bell curve with one making no changes, one
making 10 or more and most making 2-4 changes. It can be interesting to point this out so that people feel “normal”.
Ask which item they would like to start talking about. Start wherever they want. When an item is chosen, ask how many put “Agree Strongly”, then “Agree Somewhat”, then “Disagree Somewhat”, “Disagree Strongly” and “Don’t Know”. If everyone put the same thing it is not worth discussing. Then choose another item. When you have an item with a good variety of opinions, ask for a representative of one of the groups, perhaps “Agree Strongly” to give their reasoning for choosing what they did. Listen without comment. Then ask for a representative of one of the other groups to give the reasoning of the “Agree Strongly” group (NOT their own reasoning). Very possibly they will not be able to do it because they weren’t listening. So, they need to ask the “Agree Strongly” person to repeat themselves.
Possibly they will not be able to repeat themselves because they were not listening to
themselves. Wait until they can make a clear statement or change their choice to “Don’t
Know”. Then get the person in the other group to give the reasoning of the “Agree Strongly” person and ask the “Agree Strongly” person if they got it right. Then ask the other person to give their own reasoning. Get all the groups to speak through a representative and ask people to give the reasoning of each other. People will probably discover that their response depends a lot on how various words are defined. This is more complicated when using a translation. See if the people can agree on what the various terms in the item mean. The facilitator should ask questions of clarification and encourage others to do the same. Then move on to the next item. Do not come to a conclusion or identify the right response.
In an hour you should be able to work with 2-4 items. Then ask how many people changed their vote during the discussion. Point out that this is one of the values of having a discussion rather than a debate or argument. The end.
Special note for teachers in a classroom situation: Test this procedure as a pedagogical
method. Write 10 statements about the chapter studied by the class in any week. The
subject can be history, mathematics, literature, language or social studies. Make some of
the statements clear and some not clear, some more true and some more false. Have the
students do the procedure on Friday. Then a month later give a short test on the material of the present week’s material and on the month-old material the students discussed with this method. See if they score better on the material from a month before than on the fresh material. If they did this works as a learning tool.