By John Van Der Brink
For many generations, this sense of God was taught in our nation’s schools. Even in public schools, children were taught to pray and to pay regard to God’s Word. In the 1950’s that began to change. Bible reading and prayer was removed from the school day, religious instruction faded, and many banned God from public institutions.
Without the Bible as the standard of authority, things changed very rapidly. Science changed from the study of God’s world to the study of an evolutionary world. History lessons changed from support for our national values to criticism of them. The moral standards that controlled student reading selections were discarded in favor of permissiveness, exploration, and carnality. Health classes began to include sex education that condoned homosexuality, contraceptives, abortion, and distortions about sexual identity. We could go through just about every major academic discipline and trace the changes of instruction that occurred due to the removal of God and the Bible from the classroom. All this has contributed to the demise of Christian education in America.
Is it really any wonder that society is in such mess as it is today? Many children and young people were never taught a Christian Worldview and are now grown up and becoming the leaders in our society. They promote laws and policies which are far away from the principles of God’s Word, and that is why we have what is so totally strange today.
Children in Christian schools are still being taught a Christian worldview. Daily at home church and school they are taught that they live under the authority of God’s Word. They are taught Christian moral values. That does not mean they are all Christians or that they will even follow Christian morals in the future. But they will have a Christian conscience, a sense of Biblical right and wrong, and that will more or less stay with them their entire lives. When they make decisions or enter the voting booth, that conscience will go with them. And we may hope it to sometimes influence them and guide them in their line of thinking.
It is important that our children not only develop a Christian worldview themselves but that they also understand why a Christian worldview is fading in our society today. This will enable them to converse with others intelligibly. They should ask for grace to be a salting influence in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. They should know why things are the way they are today and point their fellow man to the solution that can be found in Christian principles.
Finally, it is important that our children are taught a Christ “self-view”. Just as the Bible provides a proper view of the world around us and how we are expected to live in society, it also teaches us who we are before God. Like the world around us, the heart of man is also a disaster. Everything is out of place. Self is on the throne, enmity against God shows itself in so many ways, lusts for the things of time and sense fills every heart by nature. What we need is a complete renewal, a rebirth, new laws and new desires wrought by God’s holy Spirit. The wonder is that that renewal is possible because God has devised a way for hopelessly lost ones to be restored into favor and fellowship with Him.
What can we say to all these things? We live in troubling times. Our nation is crumbling under the weight of its own immorality. That is what we need to see, and our children need to learn. May the Lord yet raise up a seed and give us leaders that desire to lead us according to the principles of His Word. May He also work in the hearts of boys and girls, young people and adults so that there may also be a complete inner renewal. A Christian Worldview and a Christian Self-view is what is needed today. May the Lord bless the instruction given in home church and school to the glory of His Name and the salvation of many souls.
John Van Der Brink is director of the Netherlands Reformed Christian School in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, and a member of the Board of Directors of Christian Council International (CCI), based in Washington DC, sister organization of Transatlantic Christian Council (TCC), based in the Netherlands.