by Pete Talbott
When I first met Chuck Swindoll, the well-known Protestant preacher, I nearly fell off my chair when he said: “The biggest sin in the American church is we have divided life into two categories: sacred and secular.”
We know we have been infected with SSD [the Sacred/Secular Divide] when we think Jesus and Scripture are only relevant to spiritual or “sacred” things, and the Bible does not apply to the “secular” areas of life, such as work, pop culture and political issues. This is how most people think today. But it hasn’t always been this way.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for decades, you know Christianity has been marginalized. It’s been confined to Sunday morning church. It’s been privatized and relegated to one’s personal life alone.
How did this happen?
We did this to ourselves. We did this by sending our children to public schools for 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 13 years, where they were given the persuasive and unavoidable impression that Jesus and the Bible are irrelevant to math, art, science, music, civil government and economics. Americans have been successfully indoctrinated into Secularism, and thoroughly infected by SSD.
Now for the hard truth: the vast majority of Protestants and Catholics in this country were led by their pastors to make public schools the default “education du jour” for their children. I write this as a life-long Protestant. Pastors did this by making public schools a viable option through their silence about Secularism and SSD. The public schools were “Protestant.” It’s where the King James Bible was read. Until 1962, that is, when the radical secularists took over.
It’s time to be silent no longer, Pastors and Church leaders, both Protestant and Catholic. You may be perfectly willing to say you don’t endorse the blatantly evil teaching now imposed upon children in Washington State, but are you willing to tell parents to remove their children from the public schools?
If there ever was a time for pastors to tell parents to not send their children back to the public schools, it’s now. Pastors missed the cue in 1962. They had best not miss the cue in 2021.
Some Christian parents may want their kids to be “lights” in public schools. These parents are naïve. You can’t fill a sponge with vinegar and expect orange juice to come out when it’s squeezed.
Sadly, most parents don’t acknowledge that God expects them to be responsible for seeing their children embrace a biblical worldview. They actually hope an hour in church on Sunday will counteract the indoctrination into Secularism their children receive 30 hours on Monday through Friday at school.
John Piper, respected Protestant leader, recently stated, “It’s the parent’s responsibility, not first the church, not first the government, to shape a child’s worldview…according to Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered Truth.”
Christian parents of all stripes should not wait for their pastors to tell them to pull their children out of public schools. Just because church leaders silently endorse Secularism, this does not mean parents must succumb to their pastor’s spineless acquiescence.
Parents have the responsibility to do what is right for their children. If this means the Holy Spirit is leading parents to not leave them behind in public schools, they must keep them out.
Thankfully, there are affordable options. For those needing help sorting through possibilities, there are organizations like Renewanation who will help families find an appropriate way forward, to a distinctly Christian education that effectively shapes a child’s worldview “according to Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered Truth.”