Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christian Education Within the Walls of the Church

It would be completely nonsensical to talk about how Christians should respond to Education without mentioning the education within the Church. Right education begins by pointing people to the right source, which is the study of God’s Holy Word the Bible. A distorted view of scripture will inevitably lead to a completely diminished faith.
In numerous places throughout Psalms and Proverbs we find it said that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. How should we become wise? We should meditate on the words of the Lord day and night allowing them to transform our thinking as well as our hearts. Psalm 119 gives a well-constructed and in-depth reflection on God’s word, mentioning it countless times as the foundation of precepts of which we should set our feet upon. No verse more beautifully depicts the view we should have of God’s word than Psalm 119:105,“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
The Bible is the centerpiece and masterpiece of our growth in relationship with the creator God through the knowledge of Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Savior. It speaks to any and all situations providing us with the answers we need along the path of life. It forms our most basic theology as we channel our thoughts towards the person, character, and nature of God. Yet in today’s culture, many are so afraid to use the word “theology.” It’s a word that strikes fear in the hearts of many. While there are minor theological issues that should not be focused upon- there are major theological issues of which we must have agreement.
Yet, more than a few Christians if quizzed on the basic tenets of theology without studying in advance would not even come close to passing. Such a reality awakens us to the fact that the church is not answering its calling to be radically set apart with an attitude that confronts and demolishes the thought patterns that exalt themselves against the knowledge of Christ.
This is part two of the series on “How Christians should feel about education.” Again I want this to be a discussion that we can share our thoughts on and grow together sharpening one another in faith. The question to consider in this series of posts is “How can we as Christians inject truth back into a culture that has been so infiltrated with much deception and falsehood.” When the church does not answer its calling to inject truth back into the culture, it becomes infiltrated by the culture and the deception that goes along with it which brings only disease. In the words of the apostle Paul, that disease spreads like gangrene.
Listed below is my plan of navigation for the next two parts of this series which is on my heart to pursue over the next couple of months. I will try to post on this weekly. I invite and encourage all to participate in this discussion.
Part 3: The lack of Christian education within the walls of the church
Part 4: Bewitched by the mentality of the Medieval Catholic Church

Sunday, November 16, 2008

How Should Christians feel about Education?

In the late 1980's, early 1990's there was a famous pop song entitled "We don't Need No Education." The most ironic thing about that song as I think about it is the fact that the group that sang it was not in touch with their education lead them to say the exact opposite of what they were intending. Thus, it is true that We don't need no education. Rather we need all the education we can get- so that we can be equipped to grow in our understanding of life and our understanding of where we fit into the picture of God's plan for each of our lives.

Unfortunately, many Christians have developed this anti-educational and anti-intellectual attitude. Much of that attitude is in response to the fact that many thought processes that set themselves up against the knowledge of Christ have infiltrated our education- thus making us not want to learn more because quite frankly we are afraid that what we learn may very well destroy any truth that there is in what we believe. But if any of what we perceive to be as truth can be destroyed, then would we really want to continue holding on to those bankrupt processes of thought?

The saddest thing about this trend in which Christians have turned away from knowledge and education is the fact that it wasn't too long ago that the church was the leader in every aspect of education whether it be the Arts and Music, History, Science, Mathematics etc. This trend of being anti-knowledge and anti-intellectual has without a doubt produced one of the most confused and dumbfounded times within the history of Christendom.

Now, a tsunami of postmodern thought has swept not only through society- but even into the very doors of "the church." We live in a culture where we are afraid to refer to anything as being false. There is no longer any absolute right or wrong. Rather,every situation and decision is relative to the person, the time, and the place so that it is intolerant to refer to any wrongdoing as such.

The reason we as Christians find ourselves in such a position is because we have responding by competing with these deceptive and hollow philosophies instead of aiming to completely destroy them. In the past half century, when knolwedge and false information that masquerades around as knowledge have been thrust into our culture we have responded by such pathetic ideas as giving people Christertainment. The very nature of our church services have been designed to entertain the crowds and to draw more in using a philosophy of having great entertainment on the inside to draw in the crowds from the outside.

A more Biblical approach would be to directly confront the patterns of thought that exalt themselves against the knowledge of Christ. As the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:5 "We DEMOLISH arguments and every pretension that sets itself against the knowledge of God." To demolish something means to completely destroy it. Rather than completely destroying these false and destructive ideologies- Christians have completely ignored them- thus allowing them to get fatter to the point that they are constantly infiltrating the church- and our ignorance has us so desensitized that we no longer distinguish that which is true from that which is false.

In 2 Kings 22, we read the story of how the Book of the Law was found during the reign of King Josiah. When Josiah read it he tore his robes because he realized that for several generations his ancestors had not obeyed God's commands as stated in the Book of the Law to the extent that the art of true service to God was completely lost and foreign to the people. We live in a time quite similar in our own culture- where true faith has been replaced by cheap imitations that we have not recognized because of the ignorance which has led us to turn away from the education that equips as to recognize such deceptive and hollow philosophies.

This is part one of a series of posts on "How should Christians feel about Education? Throughout the course of this series I will deal with many aspects of different false ideologies that have infiltrated society and crept their way into the "church." As we journey through this together, I ask you to consider the question "How can we as Christians inject truth back into a culture that is so indoctrinated with great deception?" I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts on this matter as we journey together through this topic of discussion.

Right Into You!

Most of the time we like to think we are right,
the thought of being wrong not even in sight,
so we hold our head high while walking in stride,
as in ourselves we often take great pride,
and those who try to correct are seen as the enemy,
for how dare they question the mind that lives inside of we,
it is such thinking that ultimately leads to our decline,
which is why we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind,
accepting the correction of others not as an attack as we so often say,
but rather as words of truth spoken in love to help us grow each day,
for though we don't like to concede that we are wrong,
it is such confession and repentance that helps us become strong,
So we should allow others to speak into us and take their words in love,
for often what they are saying is straight from the Father above,
The fact that iron sharpens iron is a proverb that holds true,
When your siblings in faith pour words of truth spoken in love right into you.