For many years in the United States, Christian families and public education seemed to go hand in hand. The vast majority of American families happily identified themselves as “Christian,” and they gladly sent their children to public schools to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic. In the 1800s and the early 1900s, many US students also learned as much (or more) about the Bible in school as they did at home. The Creator was unashamedly recognized. The Word of God was frequently quoted. Jesus was identified as man’s Savior. The six days of Creation were taught as fact. The Ten Commandments were read. Immorality was rebuked. Disrespectfulness was swiftly punished. Public education was not perfect, but, overall, it was many times more wholesome and Christian-family friendly than what we see in much of the country today.1
Please understand, I am no enemy of public education. I am partly a product of 13 years of quality public education in the great state of Oklahoma. While I was in school, my mother worked for the local public school system. Prior to starting a family, my wife taught public school in Tennessee for three years. I have countless Christian friends who work tirelessly in public school systems around the country as teachers, coaches, and administrators. They are fantastic role models for today’s youth, and I am thankful for the differences that they are making in the lives of many young people.
Sadly, however, the overall 13-year experience that millions of youth receive in many public schools today is a far cry from the far-more Christian-friendly encounter that students once had. Christian parents who enroll their students in public school should be as informed as possible about what is occurring in schools locally and around the country.
SCHOOLS MERELY REFLECT OUR INCREASINGLY IMMORAL SOCIETY
Rather than acknowledge sexual immorality and impurity as evil (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10), most Americans embrace sexual sins of various kinds as normal, fun, or harmless. (I work every day in Montgomery, Alabama, which in 2015 was declared to be “the most sexually diseased city in the nation.”)2 Ungodly entertainment is more prolific and easily accessible than ever before in our country’s history. A few years ago, the number one downloaded song on iTunes was Brittany Spears’ hit titled simply “3.” The song is about “gettin’ down with 3P” (that is, three people having sexual relations together at the same time). This former number one song glamorizes sin from beginning to end. Twice in the song Spears specifically mocks sexual sin, saying, “Livin’ in sin is the new thing (yeah).” She then adds, “What we do is innocent, just for fun and nothing meant.”
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