REVIVING CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Imagine you are a Jew, a citizen of Jerusalem. You are a stubborn skeptic, but….you heard Jesus speak.  You watched amazed when He healed people.  You saw Him die on a cross. You heard His followers’ claim they saw Him and spoke to Him after His resurrection.  You listened to His apostles, once the most ordinary of men, preach in Jerusalem’s temple. Since then you have seen Christians persecuted and still joyously exclaim they saw the resurrected Christ. And at last you too believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.  What do you do now?

For centuries Christians have known the answer. Although they remained imperfect men and women, they loved God, they loved their neighbors, and they sought a Christian education for themselves, their neighbors, and their children.  What is a Christian education?  That involves learning God’s word, the Holy Bible.  Christians understand that God’s Word has the power to transform both individuals and societies. For example, Senator Jim Demint devotes much his book, Saving Freedom, to explaining Christianity’s importance to America’s freedom and prosperity. On page 138, Demint speaks of the Protestant Reformation.

Secular historians often overlook the profound impact of the Protestant Reformation on the cause of freedom.  The Reformation stressed that even individuals without power and position had intrinsic in society and should read the Bible for themselves. They had worth and purpose as individuals because they believed they were created in God’s image.  They began to think, reason, and pursue truth and knowledge on their own. Their faith gave them hope, their hope gave them courage, and their courage led them to action. Millions of autonomous individual actions worked together to create an explosion for freedom.

Yet each generation of Man must learn for itself. Parents can teach their children, but no parent can make their child experience what they have experienced. So each passing generation learns anew hard lessons.

What lessons have we forgotten? One is that as parents we must take full responsibility for the education of our children.  In particular, as parents we must see to it that both we and our children understand the Bible. Unfortunately, even though most American households contain multiple copies of the Bible, few study it.  Thus, our nation faces a renewed threat to freedom unarmored by God’s Word.  As Senator Jim Demint explains on page 155 of his book, that is no accident.

Religion is a threat to socialists because it creates a cultural authority that supersedes government authority. Socialism requires an all-powerful central government to force societal compliance and uniformity. Secular-socialist uniformity is based on the lowest common denominators of values and behaviors because it is based on the minimum standards of external law. A pervasive religious culture creates an internal moral code based on society’s highest values and aspirations.

What is “external law”? Here Demint refers to Immanuel Kant’s usage of the expression.

the harmony of the freedom of each with the freedom of all others according to a universal law (from here)

To exist, socialism requires a People dependent upon government.  Such dependency is contrary to the highest values and aspirations of any religious culture.  Therefore, Socialism requires that each individual must submit his or her internal moral code to the “needs” of the collective. In such a society, where government teaches the People the individual exists to serve the interests of the collective, secular values necessarily displace religious values.

On the other hand, in a free society, the People cooperate to ensure their government acts virtuously on their behalf in accordance with God’s will. On page 156, Demint puts its this way.

Even a population practicing many diverse faiths will develop a consensus moral code that provides guidance and stability to society. This moral code creates a “wall of virtue” that antagonizes individuals and groups practicing countercultural behavior. They want government protection from religiously informed value judgements.

And that is the problem.  Instead of respecting religious diversity, many of our elected officials now seek to empower themselves. By granting them government protection from religiously informed value judgments, these elected officials work in concert with groups practicing countercultural behavior.

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