Monday, November 14, 2022

The death of the Christian school. . .

One of the surest signs that Christian schools have lost their way is the inevitable job description for teachers and administrators.  So often the qualifications that count, those listed at the top, have to do with the alphabet soup of academic degrees and the appropriate buzz words of the moment that have to do with academic theory and practice.  Too often, anything distinctive to the Christian school and the Church comes way down at the bottom and is simply a presumption with the generic words of faith and practice taking the place of doctrine and witness.  Sadly, we seem to want teachers and administrators who have a private and quiet faith more than a vocal one.  Generally we do not even specify that the teacher or administrator attend worship.  

What is so dangerous is that everything else involved in the educational institution (from academic degrees to educational philosophy to state licensure to accreditation) is very detailed and the expectations of the candidate clearly identified.  That means that we are more interested in these than in the faith of the teacher or administrator and, therefore, the faith identity of the school itself.  It also means that we intend to offer the parent and the student a close version of public school education but with a twist.  We stick religion into the school the way somebody throws an olive or a twist into a martini -- as a garnish but not the essential ingredient.

It is as if we expect faith to be diluted and the identity of the school, administrator, faculty, and, therefore, students to be marginal at best.  God knows, nobody wants to sacrifice an education for the sake of faith (but we seem ready, willing, and able to sacrifice the faith for the sake of an education).  Faith is in the private life of the school staff, as we expect it to be in the lives of the students.  We expect it but we do not necessarily expect to see it.  It has become a self-fulfilling prophecy as parents wonder if parochial schools are worth the tuition cost and parishes question whether a school is worth the headache of financing and administering.

We say schools are not ideology zones (well, really, only conservatives say that and they are not only wrong, they are out maneuvered and our gunned).  The reality is that much of what passes for education today is purely ideology masquerading as an academic discipline.  With that ideology, comes outcomes as the minds of our youth are shaped by the world and for the world.  By tying our Christian schools to the educational systems that produce teachers and administrators and by ordering them along the lines of jurisdictions and accreditation agencies, we are also adopting their ideology -- while silencing the voice of our own faith!

If the Christian [Lutheran] school is to survive, we must be distinct and distinctively Christian -- in more than only chapel time.  We need to teach the faith at the same depth and with the same expectation of proficiency as we approach the rest of the curriculum -- and more!  We need to stop pursuing the approval of men and worry more about whether we are being found faithful by the Lord.  We may not want to call Christianity an ideology but our enemies will and all the while they are calling us out, they are effectively and efficiently shaping the hearts and minds and values of our children so that they will come out of this enterprise looking more like their teachers and less like their parents or their pastors.  For that reason, we have a problem.


Carl Vehse said...

"If the Christian [Lutheran] school is to survive, we must be distinct and distinctively Christian"

The problem is that the remaining Concordia universities that train teachers for Lutheran schools have already become woketardian and steeped in anti-Christian Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity ideology.

CTX, which just announced it is seceding from LCMS control, already promotes the D.I.E. ideology, and employs LGBTQIA+ affirming counseling staff.

At CUWAA, a professor is still suspended after nine months for revealing the woketardism at his university.

In 2020, CUNE created a Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (now called an "Acts 2 Commission)."

CSP provides Diversity Equity, and Inclusion indoctrination workshops for its faculty and staff.

CUI has a "Director" and a "Coach" for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity on its staff.

John Joseph Flanagan said...

What you have said is true. The churches want to be “Democratic,” but the Lord wants us to be faithful instead. Perhaps, there will come a time when no American denomination will be faithful, all will just want to be tepid, and inclusive, and if I am still alive, I will have to look hard for a faithful church to attend.