The longer I am a follower of Christ, the more I am convinced that we must passionately engage God’s purpose and conform our perspective into God’s view of the world, not our own. Left to ourselves without the miraculous discernment only possible with the help of the Holy Spirit, we would never be able to understand the world clearly. This is why those in a Christian school sacrifice so much. They do this in order to ensure that each subject is enlightened with the Gospel so that our students can see the whole truth and shine it on the lies with which our culture seduces them.
This is especially important since we are in the midst or an epic cultural war in America and the Western world. Unmistakably, the Christian is being pushed out of our society and relegated to the margins at best. I just read a quote by George Wegel in First Things, magazine “It’s a Culture War, Stupid…” I was struck with this simple assertion.
Wegel continues to posit that the Church is in the midst of the darkest times that we have seen in millennia and that this dark time is easily seen looming in the short distance. He calls for the Church to don its spiritual armor, provided to the saints, and battle for the souls that are damned to eternity without God. He considers those who persist in denying that the Church is engaged in a culture war are either combatants or victims, whether they choose to accept it or not. He provides several examples.
One example that I have recently read in numerous posts and articles is the lauding of how Iceland has nearly eradicated Down Syndrome from the country. Wow, impressive. The Health Services of Iceland and the American media have praised this accomplishment. Wait! What’s the catch? What is missing from this fascinating “advance” is that this was accomplished by selectively aborting those babies so that society could be cleansed. Seem familiar to the goals of some in the 1930’s and 1940’s? Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood founder, would be proud of their eugenic cleansing. This evil cannot go unchecked by the Church. I cannot help but think of Isaiah’s words, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (ESV)” We are now praising evil as if it is good in our society; furthermore, society condemns and ridicules the Christian for the ridiculous notion that EVERY life is valuable no matter what.
Wegel (2017) says:
Canada’s vulnerability to the culture of death is exacerbated by Canada’s single-payer, i.e. state-funded and state-run, health care system. And the brutal fact is that it’s more “cost-effective” to euthanize patients than to treat secondary conditions that could turn lethal or to provide palliative end-of-life care. Last year, when I asked a leading Canadian Catholic opponent of euthanasia why a rich country like the “True North strong and free” couldn’t provide palliative end-of-life care for all those with terminal illnesses, relieving the fear of agonized and protracted dying that’s one incentive for euthanasia, he told me that only 30 percent of Canadians had access to such care. When I asked why the heck that was the case, he replied that, despite assurances from governments both conservative and liberal that they’d address this shameful situation, the financial calculus had always won out—from a utilitarian point of view, euthanizing [my friend] and others like him was the sounder public policy.
Like in Canada, America is a mature democracy, where that utilitarian calculus among government bureaucrats and bean-counters wouldn’t survive for long if a similar, cold calculus were not at work in the souls of too many citizens. This one reason why the Church must engage the culture war, not only in Canada but in the United States and throughout the West: to warm chilled souls and rebuild a civil society committed to human dignity.
This is why the Christian school, like Salem Christian School in Macungie, PA, must develop students’ minds so that they love God with all their minds, bodies, and souls. We passionately desire to partner with Christian parents so that their children see the world as God would see it.
For example, in our World Studies courses we provide instruction that sees it as a civic responsibility to influence the world with the Gospel. We want to stand with parents, churches, and society in order to win the war for our youths’ souls. The Christian school will stand in the the gaps so that America does not reduce a human being to an object whose value is measured by “utility”. Even a secularist can see that it is to destroy one of the building blocks of the democratic order—the moral truth that the American Declaration of Independence calls the “inalienable” right to “life.” That right is “inalienable”—which means built-in, which means not a gift of the state—because it reflects something even more fundamental: the dignity of the human person. (Wegel, 2017)
When we lose sight of that, we are lost as a human community, and democracy is lost. So the culture war must be fought for the sake of our country and the sake of these souls lost if they do not know Jesus. And a Church that takes social justice seriously must fight it. Please keep your Christian school in prayer. We are on the front line. The Christian educator is there to battle for the hearts and minds of their students. They are there to not only shelter them from the onslaught; but, provide them tools to fight the Good fight wherever God takes them.