When a Child Connects the Dots

maxresdefaultWe recently took a vacation trip to Kentucky to visit several sights. We had an enjoyable time with my wife’s side of the family and enjoyed some incredible places. We adventured to the Cincinnati Zoo, the Newport Aquarium, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter. The youngest children enjoyed the zoo and aquarium the most, and Aric and Alex enjoyed the Ark the most.

We as a family have been to the Creation Museum several times, the earliest being when Aric and Alex were 1 & 2, but this time as we went, they have gained a little more grasp and understanding on what the Museum was all about. Their favorite things to see were the dinosaur fossils, planetarium, and the insectitorium (there were some pretty cool bugs in there too.) After watching the planetarium presentation about just how amazing our universe is, it was fun listening to Aric and Alex talk about the things that they learned and saw and how God had created it all.

The following day we made our way to the Ark Encounter, a full scale replica of Noah’s Ark. This is where I could see the dots begin to connect in Aric’s mind. We had spent a good amount of time on the ark. It is an incredible museum that really brought the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark to life. There were three stories of artifacts and displays.

The bottom story mainly had examples of what the “kinds” of animals may have looked like, how Noah would have been able to fit all the “kinds” animals into the ark, and scaled model of what the layout of the rooms in the ark may have looked like.

The second story had some more animal examples, a video, and some other articles. We took a break before heading back to the last floor on the ark.

On the third floor, we came to two section that just fascinated Aric. One was a section of fossils and the second was a section about the ice age. Aric had studied about fossils this year in school, so because of that, he started reading a creation science approach about how fossils were formed. After reading it he turned around and told me “this makes much more sense then fossils being ‘millions’ of years old”, he wanted to stay and continue to read about fossils, but the rest of the family had moved on to the next section. The next section we came to talked about the ice age. It compared the creation science ideal of a single short ice age to that of the evolutionary ideal of many long ice ages, the ice age was another subject they had studied about in school. The dot was connected here when he was reading the story of “The Lost Squadron of WWII” and how a 2 B-17 bombers were buried in 250 ft of ice in less than 40 years and how that presents a problem for the ideal of slow ice ages that lasted hundreds of thousands or millions of years. Finally when we got done with our whole tour of the Ark, Aric piped up and said, “boy all this stuff we looked at today was great and makes me know the Bible is true. I know the flood really happened and it is clear to see.”

I loved seeing all this working in Aric’s and Alex’s minds and them learning to connect the dots of science and the Bible. They are learning to listen with discretion and look at things through Biblical glasses and know that science absolutely fits with the Bible without having to believe in millions of years.

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An Honest Review of the Book: Christian Teachers in Public Schools

9780834128644_p0_v1_s260x420Just this week I finished the book: Christian Teachers in Public Schools: 13 Essentials for the Classroom. While the focus of this book is for teachers, as a parent of a public school child, I appreciated the insight into what challenges a Christian Public School teacher faces and what opportunities there are to shine for Christ.

The author was very honest with the struggles that she faces as a teacher and finding way to witness for Christ. She doesn’t try to make you believe that being a Christian in a Public School is easy, but make you realize it isn’t as impossible as some people make it out to be. The author included a lot of personal material in there: letters from students, writing prompts from students, personally stories, and lessons learned from the classroom.

So just to highlight what I got from the book, here are some things that really stuck out to me.

1) Materials from students

If the author had tried to make it seem like an easy task to be a Christian teaching in the Public School then she would have included all the heart touching perfect stories that come from some of her students. Instead she wanted you to see the reality of why there needs to be Christians both teaching and learning in the public school by including letters and paper from some of her students. Some of the papers were written by students who came from homes filled with drug and violence and the influence that a Christian teacher had on their lives. One story that stuck out in my mind was about a student who had no desire to do any work whatsoever and what she was able to do to convince him to actually get engaged in doing his school work.

2) Personal stories and stuggles

While not everyone will always be interested in knowing someones personal stories or struggles, I believe the author did a good job connecting with the reader with her personal tidbits. At one point she gave a personal story about how she was ready to just give up and quit at one particular school, but God sent a student into her class who really didn’t even belong in her class to answer a writing prompt “The worst thing a teacher could do”. A lot of students gave answers like these: Give homework on the weekend, make us do school work, give to many assignments, ECT. But when this student raised his hand he said, “The worst thing a teacher could do is quit.” The author acknowledged that that one boys answer completely changed her attitude and she decided she could not quit.

3) Little short devotions in every chapter

A unique aspect of this book was the author included a little devotional from a fellow teacher at the end of each chapter that helped re-enforce the purpose of the chapter. Sometimes the devotions really hit home for me, making those chapters stand out above others in my mind.

This book was a blessing to me, I was actually kind of sad to see it end as I am sure there are probably more than 13 life lessons that she has learned from teaching, but the 13 essentials she gave were excellent and very insightful to the ministry of being a Christian Public School Teacher. No matter if you are a parent of public school children, a teacher, or even a substitute (like myself), this book would be a great read for you.

Guest Blog: God’s Leading Each Step Of The Way

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8

There are certain situations in my life that I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was in the right place at the right time . . . in public school.  Over the years, I questioned my parent’s decision because I heard pastors and teachers speak so strongly about the subject.  Then I looked back over my life.

I made lifelong friendships which affected me in a very positive way.  Contrary to popular, conservative Christian beliefs, these friends have taught me to be a better human being.  I have often found that my unchurched friends are more gracious, more forgiving, and generous than I have ever been or many Christians I have met. I would have never met them had I not gone to public school and been able to invite them to teen activities at my church.  Many times when I knew my friends were talking about something of which I would disapprove, they stopped as I walked up to the group without even having to say anything.  They never made fun of me for the way I dressed or my standards. In fact, many times they mentioned they respected me for living as I did.  

Witnessing to friends might be expected, but I also was able to share my faith with teachers.  A few teachers were atheists.  They actually wanted to know what I thought.  I even gave my science teacher tracts and she read them.  Had I not been there, who would have given the tracts to her?  They were about Creation. I was never given failing grades or graded more harshly because of my faith. 

One class that I did have the privilege to take was Latin. It was a privilege to take Latin for four years from one of my very favorite teachers, Mrs. Phillips.  She was one of the kindest, loveliest people you would ever meet and even years after I graduated she knew me by name when I saw her out in town.  She had hundreds of students over her entire teaching career, but she knew me.

Latin is also a window into my husband’s language, Romanian.  I rarely speak about my husband on my blog because he is a behind the scenes kind of guy.  Our plan when we married was and always will be is to return to Romanian to start churches.  When I went to Romania for my college internship, I immediately began recognizing words.  Some Romanian words are direct carry overs from Latin.  Romanian is the closest language which is spoken today and traceable to Latin.  How many Christian schools offer Latin?  My parents would have never been able to teach Latin to me if they homeschooled me.  I would have never imagined going to Romania when I was in 8th grade and signing up for 9th grade classes!

Public school also prepared me for my first real job after graduating college.  I became a sign language interpreter for a deaf student in a public school.  I was not shocked or uncomfortable by my surroundings.  Some might say, “You should never feel comfortable when you are among the Lost.”  In this situation, it was exactly what was needed.  I was not comfortable to sin.  I was comfortable with the public school system.  I jumped right into my role of interpreter without hesitation.  My student was failed by the system and fell through the cracks.  He was defensive towards my presence. I had to be firm and establish my roll.  He later asked questions about God.  I still pray for his salvation.

For a short time, I also worked in an elementary school as an aide to a hard of hearing student.  Many of the teachers both at the high school and the elementary school were Christians.  They asked after my health regularly and prayed for me.  I loved working with those ladies.

I also had the opportunity to observe the education system in action.  A few years later, I was given the opportunity to teach in a Christian school as a 6th grade teacher.  I loved both experiences of interpreting and teaching.  I miss all my students and rejoice when I hear of their successes.

 

 

Guest Post: Why Did My Parents Choose Public School?

My parents moved to Virginia in the early 80’s when my father received orders from the military to once again move.  After joining a church which also had a Christian school, my parents decided to place my brother into the kindergarten class for the school year.  Let’s face it, every school, every educational system, and every teacher has flaws. However, my parents immediately knew there was a problem.  My brother as well as other students (we later found out who had this same teacher) struggled with learning problems.  My parents removed my brother from the Christian school and placed him in our local public school for 1st grade.

It was the last decade or so of the Cold War, but military families experienced the Cold War in ways that most people do not realize.  Our fathers, husbands, brothers, and uncles were constantly deployed.  Mediterranean Cruises, Med Cruises, were common place for Navy families.  My father was typically deployed for 9 months on a Med Cruise, came home for 2-3 weeks, and then left again for 1-2 months on a training exercise to GITMO Bay, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Bermuda.  During a 4 year rotation of Sea Duty, my mother was basically a single parent.

My brother could not have had a better elementary school principal.  When his learning struggles became clear, Mr. Brown took my brother under his wing.  Mr. Brown knew my brother by name.  He knew my mother and I even though I was still at home and not yet enrolled in school.  Mr. Brown even diagnosed my brother’s learning “problems.”  My brother was gifted.

This elementary school principal referred my mother to a child psychologist and helped my family in a way no one else had previously done.  Seeing my brother improve was all the thanks he needed.

Christians, conservative Christians, have this idea that public schools will change your child’s values, your child will just be a number amongst the crowd, and or your child will receive a substandard education.  We did not.  I will address some of those topics later.  Were there problems?  Absolutely.  I am not going to lie or whitewash history.  My point is this, there are wonderful public schools available and parents should not be made to feel like they are sinning by sending their child to public school.  Their children should not be segregated from “good Christian school kids” either.

Learning to be Patient

expression -  Patience is a virtue - written on a school blackboWhen it comes to writing blog posts I usually try to write them ahead of time and schedule them to be published at a later date. So I am writing this particular post on Aug 20, 2013.

Patience is a hard thing when it comes all areas of life. Today we were hoping that our #3 child would be born and had had plans for my wife to be induced today, but the baby and my wife’s body are just not ready at this time. I can see how uncomfortable my wife is and she tells me often how sore she is. We also have my mother down here for the week as we anticipated getting to hold Baby Alton in our arms today but instead we are having to wait patiently for natural process to start. My wife was ready to kill me today as I have forced her to walk down every isle in the grocery store, walk up and down the sidewalk at our church, and later we will be walking some more. We are hoping for good news from the doctor tomorrow, but until then we just have to be patient.

Romans 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

While it is hard enough to be patient as we wait for a new child to be born, there is another lesson in patient that God has been teaching me while Aric is in school. Sometimes it is easy for me as a father to lose patience when it comes to my child doing well behaviorally at school. The first week of school I felt like Aric did a great job, he only had one  bad mark on one day and the rest of the days he had all good marks. The second week he did great on Monday, but had a bad mark on Tuesday. We had a long talk on the way home about paying attention in class and doing right. I told him that “I don’t want to see any other bad marks this week”. Wednesday and Thursday he did great with great marks. On Friday when he got in the car I asked him, “Aric how did you do? Did you bring home a green face today?”. When he hesitated to answer, I knew he must have gotten something other than the “Green Happy Face”. He once again had 1 bad mark against him, this time for making loud noises in class. So once again we had a long talk on the way home about how he should act in class. Then Monday rolled around and once again he had gotten a yellow face, indicating he had done something bad once during the day. It was once again for making loud noises in class and yelling an answer. Man did this frustrate me!

I have to realize something though, while there is no excuse for bad behavior, I have to realize that this classroom thing is all new to Aric, he is still having to learn and adjust to not having the freedom of playing all day. I have to take time to understand this and to let it process in my mind. I also have to take time to let the structure of a classroom settle in Aric’s mind. It is going to take patience as we learn this process together. I know as a father that I also need to be careful to not get overly frustrated at the times he might forget instructions or rules. It is easy to get upset as an adult when in our minds the classroom instructions and rules are so easy to follow, but then when we stop and think about how hard it was for us as children it certainly can help us be much more patient.

What are ways that you have had to learn patience with your children?

Update on Baby: While I wrote this post ahead of time, at the time of this being published we are currently at the hospital with my wife being induced. Praying that the baby comes quickly and safely.

The Blessing of Public Schools

Okay I know that people probably think that I talk to much about the negative views that many Christians have of the public schools, but I like to take those negative outlooks and try to let people see that not everything about Public Schooling is negative. Just the other day I saw someone put this negative ideal on Facebook using the words “failing public school system”. Is it true that some children come out of public schools unprepared? Sure it’s true. But the same can be said of Christian schools and Homeschooling as well. People will make statements like “Well 75% of people who are homeschooled go on to further their education, while only 49% from public schools go to college”. Well it’s a nice stat to state, but considering that there are about 49 million more people in the Public school than there are homeschooled those statistics really aren’t that impressive. Now if there were just as many people homeschooling as there were in public schools and the percentage came out like that, then I would say, “maybe homeschooling is a better option for us”. (NOTICE: I said a better option for us. I am in no way saying that the option of public school is for every Christian family.) The other statistic that many people like to point out is that when compared to other countries, the US doesn’t score as high on standardized testing, but I will answer this stat in one of my points of the blessings of public schools.

Blessing #1: EVERY Child is given a chance to be educated

Some children, if it were not for Public Schools, would never be educated at all. When the US is tested each year, many people criticize that our test scores compared to other countries are very poor, but the difference is, in most other countries children who are poor or have disabilities are not given a chance to even go to school. In the US, however, children with disabilities are given a chance to get an education, children who are poor are given a chance to receive an education, so of course scores will be lower in standardized testing. Perhaps if all we did was test the elite of our education system the statistics would measure closely to the rest of the smartest countries in the world, but in the United States every child is given a chance to receive an education.

Blessing #2: Low income children are given a chance to be healthy

I know some people would say that part of the problem with our country is the amount of people who receive food stamps and free housing. Do I believe that is part of the problem with our economy? Yes, I believe it is so. I think many of those people could do better for themselves but have gotten lazy and leach off the government and our taxes. While all this is true, should we punish the children for the sins of their families and say no to giving them the nutritional food they need? No we should not. Many children who eat their breakfast and lunch served by their schools will receive no other food from their homes. This does not negate the responsiblity of the parents, but for that child who is going hungery because of the neglect of his family the provision of food at his local school is a huge blessing.

Blessing #3: Public Schools provide jobs for many Christians

When my wife and I moved to Northeastern, GA in 2011 I had no ideal how I would provide for our family. We were stepping into a new ministry and while they were able to provide us with housing, we still had to make enough income to pay for the rest of our bills. I had put an application in at several businesses, but to no avail. Then I found out how to become a substitute teacher in our local public schools. I took the course, had my background test done, and was able to get on the Substitute list. The first year I was here I was able to sub an average of 3 days a week. This job provided me with enough income to make it through each month. If I had decided that the Public Schools were a “Godless place not fit for any Christian” than I would have failed to provide for my family like the Bible commands me to as a father and would have been “worse than an infidel” (I Timothy 5:8). So I count the public schools as a huge blessing to me and my family.

Blessing #4: Public Schools provide education in areas of knowledge that parents are lacking

Let’s face it, not all parents are experts at Math, English, Science, History…. and the list could go on and on. I can tell you that personally I like History, if I were to homeschool my children they probably would learn more about history than any other subject. I was pretty good at math up to a certain point. While I could help them with basic math, when they get to more advanced math, I am helpless. You probably can also tell that English is not a strong suite for me. I probably put punctuation in wrong places and repeat words a whole lot in my writing. Science, I can get that pretty good to a certain point but when it comes to chemistry and biology “forget it”.

While I know there is some “junk” that is taught in many of the subjects, I understand enough as a parent that I need to carefully explain and teach my child at home the truths from God’s Word relating to Creation, historic events, life styles, and godly living. I need to teach my children how to tell the difference between the facts from God’s Word and the fiction of the world. But in the end I also realize that the school my children attend is able to offer them some very good skills and knowledge. Do I have issues with some of the things my child may learn about in a public school setting? Yes, just as I take issue with some of the things that don’t line up with God’s Word in Christian Curriculum.

I am sure there are other blessings that could be added to this list. What blessings have you found from the public schools?

Finding Time to Teach God’s Principles

The frequent argument that I hear for those who oppose the Public School for their children is the fact that your children are surrounded by the teaching of the non-Christian schools for 8 hours a day. They will say something like “The school gets your children longer than you do as a parent, so when are you going to have time to teach your child about God.”  I appreciate something I read in the book Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public, while the authors have sent all of their eight children to public school, they have stated that every parent should be a “homeschool” parent.  They did not say that every child should do their schooling at home. But they stress the importance of the parents teaching their children their principles as a family every opportunity there is. The truth is even in Christian homeschooling you aren’t being taught the Bible 8 hours a day. So to answer a question some have asked me “How do you apply Deuteronomy 6:7 when your children are being taught in a public school?”

Before I give a few ways I teach it, we need to look at the verse in the context of the passage of scripture.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Many people like to make this passage say something that it does not, this passage does not say, “Keep thy children in the house all day to teach them only the principles of the Bible.” Should the Bible be key in any Christians life? Absolutely. But you know we learn things outside the Bible all the time. If you have a mother who knows how to cook and clean, she didn’t learn that from the Bible. In context these verses are very clear on what we are to be teaching our Children, “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”. We are to teach our children to love God with everything. That is the command of this passage. So here is how I do this according the verse 7.

1. Teaching my children to love God when we sit in our house (when thou sittest in thine house)

Each time we sit at the dinner table we take time to teach our children about God. Aric is in school now, so while we don’t get to sit at breakfast and lunch together during the school day, we do get to eat every dinner meal together around the table. When we sit at the table before we eat we take time to learn a verse. We work on the verse until our children have the verse memorized. After working on the verse for the day, we take time to pray, not just for the food, but for prayer requests that are on our hearts. Why do we do this? To teach our children the importance of memorizing God’s Word and to teach them that God answers prayer. We are teaching our children that before every meal they need to take time to pray to the Lord who wants to have a loving relationship with them.

I also like to include in this part of sitting in our house, that the church should be an extension of your home. Your children should know that church is important to you. That your relationship with God goes beyond just words, but also is demonstrated by actions. Many Parents spend more time criticizing the Pastor of their church, than they do worshiping the Lord in the church. This is a poor testimony of the way that God has asked us to love Him, after all God did say if we “love Him, you will love your neighbor”. So I take time to teach my children the importance of the church and the pastor that God has led to lead our church.

2. Teaching my Children to love God when we journey together  (when thou walkest by the way)

I know not every parent will take time to drive their children to school. Most probably put their children on the bus as it is more convenient.  But whether you drive your children to the school yourself or wait with your child as the bus comes to pick them up, take time to teach them. On our way to school and from school each day, I take time to teach my child about who God is.

EXAMPLE: This week on the way to school Aric and I talked about subjects like this: What should you do if another child asks you to do something wrong? How long ago did Dinosaurs live? Who created the World? Who created Dinosaurs? Did we come from Monkeys? and a few other subjects.

On the way home from school I take time to ask what our child is learning. Renee takes time to look at his behavior for the day. I take time to ask him if anyone tried to get him to do wrong, and if so what he did when they tried. I take time to talk about his behavior, even if he had a “perfect” day. Why do we do all this, because we want him to do right, not because mommy and daddy ask him to do right, but because we want him to learn to love God. We teach our children this saying:

Us: Boy’s how often should you do right?

Boys: All the time.

Us: And why should we do right all the time?

Boys: Because that’s the right thing to do.

3. Teaching my Children to love God when we settle for the night  (when thou liest down)

We take time every night to have Bible time with our children. Renee and I take turns reading a devotion portion with our children. We don’t simple just read and send the kids to bed. We take time to explain words and explain why the “story” is important. We don’t stop at having a devotion with our children either, we take time to pray with each other. From the time our children had learned to talk, we have been having them take a turn at praying. We ask each person what they would like to pray for, for the night and then either Renee or I or one of the boys prays.

4. Teaching my Children to love God when we get up in the morning (when thou risest up)

This is probably one of the areas I struggle with the most as a father. I am not a morning person, I don’t like to get up early in the morning, but since Aric has started school, I have had to start getting up earlier than I am used to. One of the ways that I am learning to help my children learn to love God when we rise up, is to let them see their Daddy reading his Bible in the morning, before Aric goes to school. A child won’t care how much you say you love God, until they see how much you love God. If they see me reading my Bible and praying before they ever leave the house, then I truly believe that they will learn to have that same good habit in their lives.

What ways do you find helpful in teaching your children to have a true love for God?

An Honest Review of the Movie: IndoctriNation

Indoctrination-DVD-3DI have been asked by many of my friends who oppose the Public Education System to watch a movie entitled, “IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America”, and I can honestly say that I have watch the film in its entirety. There were a number of observations that I will make about the film to give an honest review from a youth pastor, public school parent, a substitute teacher, and most importantly a Christian.

1. The difficulty of sharing the Gospel as a teacher.

The movie did do a good job showing that there is difficulty sharing the Gospel as a teacher, but they pushed it so far as to make it seem like a Christian teacher or Principle can have little to no impact on the students in a public school. They make it seem like every public school is going to fire you for speaking about the Lord, grant it there are some areas where this might be true, but the truth be told there are ways to talk about God in the classroom while abiding by the rules of the schools. Some would say that there shouldn’t be rules against talking about God in the first place. But I can tell you that most work places, government or not, do not want you to talk about God when you are supposed to be working. So to separate from public schools for this one reason is hypocritical and unreasonable.

When I worked at McDonald’s during my years at college, I was told from the very beginning, that while I was on the clock I was not to bring up the subject of religion or God. Why? Because I was hired to work not talk about the Lord. Now my co-workers certainly knew that I was a Christian and knew that any time I was not on the clock that they were free to talk to me about Christ.

I can now also speak with authority on the subject of speaking of the Bible and of the Lord in the Public Schools. I am a regular substitute teacher in the Public School Sector. Whenever I enter the class room, I immediately distinguish myself as someone who the students can feel free to talk to about the Bible and about the Lord. I tell them my name is “Aaron McBride, I am a Youth Pastor at a local church and I also do freelance graphic design work”. Pupils know that they can talk to me about the Bible. The only rule given to me as a teacher is this, “you may not initiate a conversation about anything religious, however if a student asks you something about your beliefs or the Bible, you may engage in conversation as long as the student wants to continue the conversation.” I can tell you that I have had entire classrooms interested in my worldview as a Youth Pastor, and have had complete freedom to share Christ in the classroom.

2. The Percentage of “Christians” in the Public Schools

After watching this movie and reading several other sites that speak out against children being educated in something other than a Christian/Home School setting, they have done a good job of making up a statistic. They say that 90% of Christian parents will send their child to public schools, however if you try to find an actual research done to get that percentage it is not to be found. In fact here is what the producer himself said when he was interviewed by The New America.

TNA: You claim that 90 percent of Christian children are enrolled in public schools. How did you arrive at that statistic?

GUNN: It’s hard to pinpoint a precise number. We’ve seen various statistics anywhere from 80 to 90 percent, but the important point is that the vast majority of Christian parents are sending their children there.

The problem with the 90% figure is that they assume that just because a person is a church goer it makes them a Christian. But we all know that there is a big difference between a Practicing Christian and a Professing Christian. If you were to break the percentage down between those two categories you would find that the percentage of actual Practicing Christians in the public school is far less that the 90% would indicate. In the US we have about 75% of the population who claim to be Christian ( Christian being as the media defines it not as the Bible. I do not count the 2% of Mormons in this statistic. If we were to also break down the group of Christians into people who teach salvation as the Bible teaches, the percentage of ‘Christian’ children in the public school would be a lot different from this breakdown.), but of that 75% only 40% of these  claim to go to church on a regular basis and only 20% of those go to church on a weekly basis. So out of the estimated 236.5 million proclaimed “Christian” People in the US only 94.6 million go to church on a regular basis and of that statistic 47.3 million go to church on a weekly basis. If we were to break this down into Christian homes (assuming that these are all 2 parent homes, even though the likely hood is that they are not, it will give us a good ideal of how many American families are practicing true Christianity), there are roughly 47.3 million  families that claim to go to church monthly and 23.6 million of those are active weekly.

In the US there is an average of .90 children per house hold, which if we apply that to our statistics, you would have 42.5 million children active in church on a monthly basis and 21.3 million  of those are active on a weekly basis.  Of the 55.2 million enrolled children in the US 11.1 million are enrolled in schools outside the public schools. Let’s just assume that most of those are people coming from our two breakdowns of Christian families. If the 11.1 million in the other schools come from the larger group, than that would mean 25% of monthly active Christian children are enrolled in a private/charter/home school setting. If it comes from the families that are active weekly in church, the “true Practicing Christians”, than 52% of Practicing Christians are enrolled in private/charter/home school setting (obviously there would be some fluctuation there as we know not all people who go to private school or are home schooled are Christians). So the “facts” found in this film are misleading.

3. Laws that forbid you to speak about God in the Public Schools.

 “Freedom is about raising our children to serve the Lord Jesus… they are forbidden by law to publicly state that Jesus Christ is Lord.” ~ R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Again it is true that there are limits to when and with whom you can talk about God in the public schools. There are laws that are set up to guide when it is appropriate to talk about God, but God can indeed be talked about in the Schools. Students actually have the privilage to talk about God and religion freely according to the law, but teachers are employees of the government and must abide by the guidelines of the law. This does not mean that teachers have to be completely silent though. The Christian Law Association, has given you a good guide for what you can and cannot do as a teacher that can be found HERE.

Students have a lot of right though and if parents and churches will take time to train their strong Christian students what their rights are and how to use those right to tell others about Christ, than I believe we can see a huge change in the lives of the lost seeking for a Savior. You can find a good list of Students’ rights HERE.

4. The learning of objectionable materials

Is it true that there is objectionable materials that are taught in public schools? Yes. Can you opt out of sex education classes and classes that talk about homosexuality? Yes. Can you get permission to opt out of reading materials you would not approve of your children reading? Yes. Is it possible that your child we be told about some of these issues by fellow students? Yes, probably so. Does getting information that you wouldn’t approve of only come from the Public Schools? No.

They make a point in the film that your children will learn things that you would otherwise as a parent never want your child to be exposed to, however unless you live in a cave devoid of any outside influence what so ever your children will be exposed to objectionable materials. I grew up going to Christian Schools and being Home Schooled, but I was exposed to things that my parents would disapprove of regardless of the protection of those types of schooling. It wasn’t because my parents threw me into situations to learn of those negative things, but because I lived and functioned in a “REAL” world, not a make-believe world where everyone was perfect because they were saints borne on the wings of angels to this earth. In a Christian School that was full of only kids from our church, I was exposed to pornography by fellow students, there were people who were found to be doing drugs outside of school, and students who were sexually active. As a home schooled child, there were people I went to church with every week that were home schooled and they would curse, drink, and live in complete disregard for God. So to say that this  happens only in the public school is a misconception.

Just because you child goes to a public school doesn’t mean that they will turn out anti-God and will have a skewed worldview and just because your child goes to a Christian school or is home schooled doesn’t mean they will turn out for God.

Conclusion

Was there some good points in “IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America”? Yes there were some good points. But by in large the film is not as honest as it should be. I would rather have a film that teaches our children how they can be a godly witness in the Public Schools, if that is where the Lord has led their parents to send them. A film that teaches parents of public school students how to prepare their children to take a stand. Lastly I would like to see a film that shows Christian parents, that no matter what school their children goes to, that THEY are responsible for teaching their children about who Jesus Christ is and what it means to have a relationship with Him. THEY are responsible for teaching a Biblical worldview. In this film they assume that the decline of Christianity is to be blamed on public schools, but the real issue isn’t what is taught in the school, it is what is not taught in the home.