Friday, June 03, 2005

Public Schools

From Crosswalk.com, Christian Parents Challenged Regarding "Godless" Schools:
"[Rev. Grady] Arnold says the vast majority of Christian children (88 percent) who attend public schools leave the church once they graduate. "Southern Baptists have been playing the 'ostrich with its head in the sand' routine long enough," the Texas pastor laments. "The time is way overdue that we acknowledge the devastating effects public school is having on the faith of our children."
Why not ask if the problem isn't with the churches? Why not ask if the problem isn't with the youth groups inadequately preparing the children spiritually? Why not ask if the parents aren't dropping the ball? Why point judgmentally at the public school system without at least self-addressing internal issues?

9 Comments:

Blogger janet said...

I think the answer to your questions are right in the article itself:

They "have been playing the 'ostrich with its head in the sand'" ... apparently in more ways than one.

3/6/05 4:34 PM  
Blogger jen said...

gee... my "godless government school" made the honors kids read the Bible for junior honors english and ap english. we also *gasp* talked about the christianity in history and talked about church and state issues in government.

i love it when idiots in the church pull stunts like that. [sarcasm] it just does *sooooooo* much for evangelism [/sarcasm]

3/6/05 7:17 PM  
Blogger julieunplugged said...

When you vaccinate people against infection (and give booster shots), they really do develop resistance.

Church and Sunday School are the biggest repeat doses of the same old, same old ever.

Public school just lets kid know there are alternative adventures they haven't experienced in church.

3/6/05 10:19 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

So they leave the church...but how many of them come back later? One of the most powerful parables in the bible is that of the prodigal son. The world can be very attractive (especially when you are young), but ultimately it doesn't offer what our souls crave. Very often people will remember their christian upbringing when they find themselves in a dark place in life with nowhere to go. Then they discover what Christianity is truely about. And don't forget that God is actively seeking them out too... I think the best (and perhaps only thing) that can really be done once they have left the church is to pray. It will always be up to them to take the step and accept Gods love, but that doesn't mean God can't push them in that direction.

3/6/05 11:48 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

thanks for the comments - it's just troubling when conclusions are jumped to without considering other alternatives. mass exodus would be wrong on so many levels, and having worked with kids i know that it's at least as much the fault of the local church that they leave to follow the "adventures" julie wrote about because there's nothing worthwhile and meaningful coming from the church.

we would love on kids for two, maybe three hours a week as youth leaders and as a youth pastor - but there would be no reinforcement of that at home. and someone has to get the blame when they leave.

4/6/05 5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sister was brought up in a Southern Baptist church and quit going after graduating high school. She is returning, though. Another example of a prodigal.

Sometimes it's not parents or youth groups or church, it's someone's personality, as it was in our family's case. She is strong-willed and determined to do her own thing, and if someone tells her one thing, she wants to do the opposite. She's learning now (at age 27) that sometimes people do know what they're talking about... My youngest sister and I were raised the same way as our middle sister. We just didn't respond to things the way she did.

Also, the whole political mess with the Southern Baptist Convention - pull your children out of public school, boycott Disney, etc. - is why I no longer consider myself a Southern Baptist and no longer attend a denominational church. Their focus is on the wrong thing. I'm sure they have good points on things too, but you don't ever hear about those.

Ashley
http://chapter4.diary-x.com

4/6/05 7:18 AM  
Blogger Car Gal said...

I am a Christian and my kid is in public school. I do not believe that you are protecting your child by separating them from it. You protect your child by preparing them to live in this fallen world.

4/6/05 10:13 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

hi, ashley and car gal - as the husband of a publis school teacher and the daddy of public school students :), our decision is based on what's available and what's best. the school our kids attend is very good, and the teachers are very good. if that were not the case, we would make other arrangements - not because of some over-arching stereotype, but because it would be necessary in our role as parents.

so many times, it's the gross generalizatons that mess us up, you know? thanks for playing!

4/6/05 12:09 PM  
Blogger MaryAnn M said...

we keep pouring more and more money into the public school system and it seems to be getting worse.....you are right...maybe the attention is going to all the wrong places.
where are the parents? where are the youth groups that are into more than pizza and basketball?

i avoided the "evil" public school system until the "evil" private school nearly ate my daughter's soul. It isnt about the schools in either case: it was and is ALL ABOUT the PARENTING (or lack thereof)

4/6/05 2:39 PM  

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