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Research paper topic: Borrowed Ethics - 2999 words
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.. God. Biblical response: Agree SA Public Schools 35.3%, Christian Schools 67.4% TA Public Schools 29.8%, Christian Schools 15.4% Total Public Schools 65.1%, Christian Schools 82.8%, Difference 17.7% Q89 Federal and state governments should provide price support programs to industries providing essential services (e.g.: agriculture, housing, and medical care). Biblical response: Disagree SD Public Schools 5.1%, Christian Schools 35.3% TD Public Schools 25.2%, Christian Schools 23.5% Total Public Schools 30.3%, Christian Schools 58.8%, Difference 28.5% Q96 A primary function of civil government is to enact educational and social programs designed to prevent over-population of its land. Biblical response: Disagree SD Public Schools 14.9%, Christian Schools 57.2% TD Public Schools 39.4%, Christian Schools 20.4% Total Public Schools 54.3%, Christian Schools 77.6%, Difference 23.3% Test Summary Average response for Strongly Agree or Strongly Disagree: Public School 16.1%, Christian School 54.9% Notes: 1- The above results for Strong responses show students from Christian homes in Christian schools standing firm on over 50% of the issues addressed.
On the contrary, students from Christian homes in public schools were only standing firm less than 1 out of 6 times on the same issues. 2- This gives evidence of why so many youth from Christian homes stop attending church after leaving home, and in many cases, give up the Christian faith. With little conviction of biblical truth, the church becomes irrelevant. In all ten items, as with many others on the PEERS Test, there is a substantial difference in response between public school students and private school students. It is important to note here that students in both school environments represented the same denominational makeup. Students were primarily from evangelical churches- Baptist, Methodist, Christian Church, Assemblies of God, Nazarene, Presbyterian, Reformed, etc. Smaller percentages were from Lutheran and Catholic churches.
Also, the majority of public schools involved were considered to be the best in their area. All of these test items address important matters in society. Of particular concern to us, are items Q32, Q71 and Q26. Q32 reads, Society, not the individual, is chiefly responsible for social evils. Isn't this the problem with our courts today? Johnny is in trouble today, not because of personal sin, but because 'we let him down.' But notice the difference in response by government-run school students and private school students.
Over 70% of private school students said Strongly Disagree, while less than 20% of students in public schools (from Christian homes!) said the same. Q71 reads, Because human nature is constantly changing, values and ethics will also change. Therefore, each generation should be free to adopt moral standards appropriate to their preferences. Isn't this attitude the reason for so many young couples living together before marriage today? Times have changed, they say, don't make us live by the rules of previous generations. However, nearly 75% of private school students said Strongly Disagree, to this immorality but their peers in public school could only say the same 15% of the time.
Then there is item Q26 which reads, The ideal government guarantees the citizens a minimum income, social security, unemployment compensation, health insurance and housing. This item, textbook socialism, had the highest overall difference in percent response between the two school groups, 37.6%. The philosophy or worldview supporting the statement characterizes the type of government desired and therefore the type of political leaders to be sought. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed, All people are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that of life, liberty, and whatever else a person needs in order to pursue happiness. In other words, a decent livelihood.
None of the other inalienable rights can be exercised without a person's enjoying a decent livelihood, a notion that must include a decent subsistence, a healthy living and working environment, access to medical care as well as to education, aesthetic development and leisure. The problem with this philosophy is, of course, that for a state to guarantee this to all citizens, it has to ensure that no one has more than his neighbor because the value of 'social benefits' is always seen in relation to what others have. Socialism reduces the 'haves and have nots' to 'all have nots.' Almost 60% of students in Christian schools scored 'Strongly Disagree' with Q26 but only 20% of their Christian counterparts in public schools expressed the same view. Nearly three-fourths of all students tested in Christian schools could see the fallacy in the statement (those choosing strongly disagree (SD) or tend to disagree (TD)), but only one-third of Christian students in public schools scored the same. A full 45% of Christian students in public schools agreed that this is the kind of government America should be seeking! What do you think this percentage will be after four additional years of 'higher learning' from our postmodern institutions? Further support of this left-leaning view of students came from PEERS Testing we provided earlier this year to a worldview camp in Minnesota. At least 90% of the students (approximately 200) were from Christian homes and attending public schools.
The test was administered at the beginning of camp and at the end of camp (to gauge the effectiveness of the worldview training). Even on the post-test, 44% of the students still took the wrong side of Q26! Socialism is a powerful intellectual and emotional force. It must be fought with scriptural truth regularly and comprehensively to steer our youth in the right direction. One might be tempted to ask why students from Christian homes and evangelical churches would not see the obvious socialist, anti-biblical view in this PEERS test statement. But I suggest the better question is, Why shouldn't any student who has learned to depend upon the state for education-whether or not he is from a Christian home-agree with the socialist philosophy expressed in Q26? From K through 12 public-school students have seen the government as the guarantor of the most consuming part of their life- school.
In addition, hardly a week passes whereby they and their parents don't hear a news report on what the government, especially the federal government, should do or will do to make schools better. I suggest that for the young student, who in most cases is not being trained at home or in his church to recognize humanist/socialist views, it would be illogical and unnatural for him to not see the government as the provider/guarantor of post-education social and economic issues. He simply is being consistent in his view of life, his worldview. Frog in the Kettle The move from Christianity to humanism in public schools has been a quiet and slow revolution. This is what traps so many Christian parents into believing that their public school is safe.
The attitude, If public school was good enough for me, it's good enough for my children (or grandchildren), is pervasive among Christians. But after 12-16 years of education in a socialist-styled environment, most students will become functional humanists for life even if they remain in the church. I do want to say here that by God's grace and mercy, and by the work of faithful, dedicated parents and teachers, many students have achieved a good education in some public schools and are faithfully serving the Lord in their calling. This is in spite of their socialist-styled education environment. As a nation however, we are badly missing the mark. Ironically, even the U.S. government issued a report saying so: If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war we have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinkable, unilateral educational disarmament. It is also worth noting that the test items listed in this study, as with nearly all PEERS test items, are issues not directly taught in any subject in school (public or private). Yet results show there appears to be a consistent pattern in thinking about God, self, family and government which is developed from applying the scriptures to academic studies, as occurs in Christian schools.
This pattern becomes confused or reversed when the scriptures are removed from education, as in public/government schools. Applied truth from the scriptures makes the difference. The educational environment of public schools sways students toward humanist and socialist views even though they come from homes and churches where those views are rejected. Given the lack of biblical worldview training in most families and churches, especially in youth groups, I suspect it is not much of a contest. Upon careful study of the results in the sample test items above I believe you will be appalled at the thinking of public school students.
If this study represents the mindset of the majority of youth from Christian homes in America, which I believe it does, it is hard to imagine the amount of spiritual darkness that will exist in our land in the next 20-40 years. What will make them think correctly after high school? No Choice For many parents and pastors reading this article, I believe the response would be We agree, but we have no choice- public school is our only option. I can personally identify with this position. In response to this, a few comments are in order: 1) Even though the education of our children may be formally in the hands of government schools, we are still responsible for their education. We cannot lay the blame for poor education or anti-Christian views or immoral behavior of our children at the feet of others. 2) There are a few excellent training institutes available to Christian families to counter the humanist and socialist philosophies in public education.
Listed below are three organizations providing Christian worldview training to youth: Summit Ministries PO Box 207 Manitou Springs, CO 80829 1-719-685-9103 Strategic Christian Services 2220 Northpoint Park Santa Rosa, CA 95407 1-707-578-7700 Worldview Academy 219 N. Main, Suite 408 Bryan, TX 77803 1-409-822-5045 PEERS Testing in these groups demonstrate that their programs are effective in training students how to reason from the scriptures to right understanding on a wide variety of political, economic and social issues. 3) Self-pace independent study can be done at home by parents and students. We offer a course entitled Developing a Biblical Worldview (DBW) which works well in a home setting. I have used this with two of our children at high school level and saw firsthand how it helped them to spot humanism in their studies and become firm in biblical reasoning. 4) I strongly recommend The Noah Plan from the Foundation for American Christian Education (F.A.C.E.).
This is a comprehensive Christian education program for grades K-12. Although it is a curriculum designed for day schools and home schooling, many of the resources used are excellent for independent home study. See endnote 7 for address of F.A.C.E. 5) Chalcedon Report, PO Box 158, Vallecito, CA 95251, 1-209-736-4365. A regular diet of the writings from contributing scholars appearing in here, as well as their book and tape offerings, will build a mighty fortress against the enemy.
6) Two other excellent resource centers are American Vision, 10 Perimeter Way B-1, Atlanta, GA 30339, 1-770-988-0555 and The Wall Builders, PO Box 397, Aledo, TX, 76008, 1-817-441-6044. Tears and Sorrow Parents and pastors need to realize that their children in public schools are being trained up into another world- a world hostile to the Christian faith. Not only will this produce a culture that will not be blessed by God, but also one that His own faithfulness may require Him to destroy. Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD shall send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you. (Deuteronomy 28:47,48) Such was the plight of Israel over and over.
In church after church one finds horror stories of how children from good Christian families have gone astray. We are personally aware of several situations where parents had faithfully served their church, kept their children in Sunday school and made sure they were active in youth groups. And yet, upon graduating from public schools, the children would leave home and turn against church/family values. Often times the children were living in a manner bringing much shame and hurt to their parents. We have prayed and cried with close friends finding themselves in this situation.
The question asked is, Where did we go wrong? It sounds cruel, but the real answer is that we have allowed pagans to be substantially involved with the training up of our children. With 2-3 hours per week of Christian training at home and church, it is simply no match against 35 hours per week of humanism found in most courses in public school. Yet we are not without hope. God has always been in the business of making something out of nothing. The Lord is a master at redemption and restoration. If we will cooperate and pick up our responsibility as parents, and as the Church of Jesus Christ, education will be redeemed.
But we are going to have to make some hard decisions and walk away from some bad situations. If your family is actively involved in a Christian church and your children are in public schools, I encourage you to utilize PEERS Testing to begin the process of evaluating where your children rank in worldview understanding (see endnote for ordering information). Testing should then be followed with home or church-based training using some of the materials listed above. Pastors- A Call to Action Our family has moved several times in our 31 years of marriage. This has resulted in being members of several churches and having close relationships with many pastors. One common denominator I've found with all pastors we have had- none of them were looking for more work! I recently read a report that said the average pastor works six nine-hour days per week. So it is difficult for me to say to pastors that more work must be done. But I have to.
Maybe not more work, but at minimum redirecting priorities of time and financial resources. Martin Luther once said, If we are correct and right in our Christian life at every point, but refuse to stand for the truth at a particular point where the battle rages-then we are traitors to Christ. I believe PEERS testing is uncovering a 'particular point' for our age. Our youth are being taken captive, especially at the junior high and senior high grade levels in government schools, and the church is being robbed of her future. Pastor, this is a battle in which you must enter! I am well aware that speaking against public schools from the pulpit is difficult, if not 'political suicide.' But it can and must be done.
One of our dearest pastor friends is senior pastor of a large Southern Baptist Church in Kentucky. There are many public school teachers in his church and his wife teaches in a public school. Yet I've heard him speak often about the battle that is raging in schools. A few years ago this church opened their doors to a large Christian school and now the transition from public to private education is under way. Pastors need to educate their flock about humanism and socialism, and about the church's responsibility to confront error wherever it is found.
Parents and grandparents must be told that 'their school' (the public school that didn't hurt them?) doesn't exist any longer. They must also be told that it was 'their school' which produced the seed that now has blossomed into a humanist fruit-bearing tree. The history of what happened to education in America must be taught and now the war must be fought. Conclusion Government-run education is bankrupt. It has exhausted whatever spiritual/moral capital it once had.
Government-run education is living (and dying!) proof of Jesus' claim- But He answered and said, It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God'. Matthew 4:4 No Word, no life. Teachers, curriculum and control of education make all the difference in the world- they make a worldview. Every student is going to come out of school with some worldview. It appears that a primary goal of the government school (perhaps even from the beginning) has been to make sure that it wasn't a Biblical worldview. I will add here that results of PEERS testing over the past decade shows that a wide difference in Biblical worldview understanding exists even among Christian schools. For a host of reasons, the humanist worldview has found its way into Christian education.
We can't just move our students to a different school setting, add prayer and a chapel service, and expect the problem of humanism to disappear. The issues of teacher training and curriculum development are still major problem areas for most Christian schools. Even the issue of control is a problem in Christian schools. Frequently parents simply switched the control of the education of their children from one school board to another and left the responsibility for education of their children to others. Furthermore, test results from a few Christian schools have even fallen below the average of public school students. Much work remains to be done in Christian education but overall results show the effort is well worth the cost in time and money.
Nevertheless, time is of the essence. Each new kindergarten class that enters into the government, humanist system of education is being trained to go against the Christian faith. If they stay through high school, most of them will live their lives as trained. They will side with relativism and shun absolutes. The bible will be gone. If at all possible, Christian families and Christian pastors must make the decision to walk away from government-run schools and place their children in an environment of instruction in the Word of God by the people of God. Only this will train them up in the way they should go.
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