By LaRae Munk - CEAI's Director of Legal Services
The massacre in Las Vegas has gripped the attention of the nation over the past few days. Emotions were spinning in multiple directions even before this horrifying tragedy as many were glued to the weather updates following Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria. WHEW! Years ago, Christian author Barbara Johnson wrote a book that right now seems to hold an appropriate title for many: Where Does a Mother go to Resign? She too felt like she was caught in the spin cycle of a washing machine as she grappled with making sense of one emotional challenging situation after another.
God’s truth is the answer to the emotional challenges as well as to the cultural degeneracy that could even lead to tragedies like this. But, as educators we face the challenge of how do we convey that in the classroom and with colleagues inside the school walls when our freedom to speak freely of our faith and hope is so restricted? How do we communicate to students God’s truth without violating board policies regarding religious speech?
The following ideas are just that—suggestions to guide you. Perhaps they will bring other ideas to your mind that you would be willing to share with other educators. If you have an idea, let us know in the comments below!
1) David Barton, Wallbuilders, is noted for saying “we need to think Biblically but speak secularly.” There are probably few who did this as well as Benjamin Franklin. Educators can use Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanac as a resource in the classroom. Many of the sayings contained in that classic writing are directly from the book of Proverbs. Whether in Language Arts, Social Studies or History, writings such as this can be used. Dale Carnegie’s classic How To Win Friends and Influence People could be utilized in a middle school or high school Language Arts class, or in some business-oriented curriculum courses. Classical literature such as the writings of the nation’s Founding Fathers are valuable resources for a number of different grades and subject areas.
2) Utilizing the Greek Virtues as a moral focus in the classroom would not violate any policy regarding communication of religious views. Lower grade classes could even using these virtues as spelling words and asking students to define each would plant seeds that God can later water in that student’s mind.
3) Studying the architecture in our nation’s capital could include the discovery of many engraved Biblical quotes. Similarly, studying history of the development of individual states can lead to interesting discussions regarding the founding Biblical principles contained in most of their original constitutions.
I could list many more ideas, but hopefully, just these few will generate more thoughts. Taking the Christian worldview into the schools across the land is carrying out the Great Commission from Matthew 28, which was summed up by Chuck Colson when he stated:
“When the church aligns itself politically, it gives priority to the compromises and temporal successes of the political world rather than its Christian confession of eternal truth. And when the church gives up its rightful place as the conscience of the culture, the consequences for society can be horrific” (God and Government, Zondervan, 2007).
I am convinced that like God prepared Esther for “such a time as this” to save the Jewish people, God has and is preparing CEAI members to be the voice for truth that many students are hungry for today. It isn’t through wagging fingers or being arrogant in asserting “God says….”, that we can make a difference. Rather, it is time for us to speak God’s truths in a way that they can be heard.