Christian teachers, please do not be offended by this post. I do not believe you are in sin because you are employed by a government school. Rather, I believe God has strategically placed you on the front line of the culture war for a very noble purpose.
You are in your classroom to represent the triune God and teach His truths–truths about His ways, His world and His Word.
This plea is based out of a love for truth and out of a love for children. I trust you love these as well or you would not be in full-time education. You love truth. You love children. Teachers should do no less.
My plea also springs from my experience in public education–grades K5-12. I was educated in government schools in Wisconsin. Throughout my entire primary and secondary education, I was taught many facts. But I was not presented with the whole truth that unifies the facts and provides the necessary rationale for why things have happened and for how and why things happen this very day. For example, I had perhaps ten classes in History and Science in elementary, middle and high school without a single mention of God.
It’s not that my competent, educated, well-meaning teachers ridiculed God. They never mentioned Him. Ever.
My former professor, RC Sproul, comments on the approach taken by our government schools in a book he wrote about worldviews:
“A neutral education is one that is neither pro-religion or anti-religion. It is neither pro-God nor anti-God. It seeks to keep God out of educational issues. The only problem with the solution is that the ideal is impossible. There is no such thing as a neutral education…Every education, every curriculum, has a viewpoint. To teach children about life and the world in which they live without reference to God is to make a statement about God. It screams a statement” (Lifeviews).
And what statement does it scream?
God does not matter. He is inconsequential.
So, how relevant is God to truth?
Every year I pray that I will hear that a Christian teacher in a public school is fired.
Please allow me to explain before you navigate away from this page in anger. I don’t want anyone to lose their job. I know what it is like to be unemployed. I hope none of you experience a lengthy period of job searching, wishing that someone–somewhere–finds your resume attractive.
But I do want to hear of Christian teachers possessing the courage to do three biblically-sanctioned activities, thus my plea: Love Christ, Live Christ & Speak Christ.
Within the last couple of years, I asked a teacher in the government schools here in Tennessee if she had begun decorating her classroom for Christmas. Her response caught me off-guard. “We’re not even allowed to say the word ‘Christmas’ at school.” Honestly, she would probably had been fine had she let the word slip a couple of times. But had she read the account of the birth of Jesus in Luke, chapter two, she would have lost her job.
Even here in Tennessee.
Don’t miss the irony. Had a teacher read a truthful account of the one of the most significant events in the history of the world to a class of children, she would probably have been disciplined by her principal or by the school board. Most likely, she would have found herself filing for unemployment benefits.
But had that been the result, she could have slept well, knowing that–like the apostles so many years ago–she had done “the right thing.”
Act 4:18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Act 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;
Act 4:20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
Teachers–another school year is about to begin. Please do not squander this opportunity. You posses a position of great influence. Impressionable ears and eyes surround you. Love Christ. Live Christ. Speak Christ. You are in your classroom to represent the triune God and teach His truths–truths about His ways, His world and His Word. Let God worry about the results.