I almost entitled this article “Transgendered Bathrooms: Straining at Gnats and Swallowing Camels.”
But such a title would be misleading because transgendered bathrooms are a big deal. A serious concern. Its urgency arises from its concreteness: “That’s my daughter’s school!”
Whereas the deeper issue of swallowing public secular schooling en masse by conservative, Christian Americans is less tangible and more abstract.
Why? Consider this line of questioning:
“Cannot children learn piano from an unbeliever?” some ask.
“Don’t homeschoolers use unbelieving coaches too?”
“Then why not us unbelieving teachers in science, English and mathematics?”
Ah, therein is the rub. Such questions are abstract.
In the abstract many things can be claimed that prove wrong or even dangerous when the concrete details become known.
Consider the current state of conservative Christian Americans. It is in a sad state.
Barna and Pew polls have demonstrated this over the years. 57% of self-described Evangelicals deny that Christ is the only way to heaven.
Broad samples (8000+) over a seven year period show serious weakness among Evangelicals, according to Pew. From same-sex marriage and abortion to the relativity of truth and church attendance, the trends from 2007-2014 are not looking good.
Ongoing polls of specific denominations suggest sad trends toward less faithfulness in basic areas of truth and practice as well (here is a sample of the conservative Presbyterian Church in America).
The data were so overwhelming that Barna published unChristian, a compilation of statistical facts of the case. It showed that less than three percent have a nominal Christian worldview among dedicated Evangelicals.
So, when Christians think that instruction by unbelievers is not a problem, they are not examining the issue carefully. If the home life or the church instruction is as sub-par as the polls over the decade have indicated, then instruction by unbelievers can be a serious problem.
But the deeper issue of educating little conservative Christians in secular public schools does not stop there.
The other concrete fact is the amount of instruction: after eight-hours a day, five days a week for nine months out of the year children are going to learn something, whether they want to or not.
And if a significant portion of that instruction is silent about God, children will learn that God is silent about life.
But it is not simply the use of unbelieving teachers, or the poor spiritual instruction of Christians nor the amount of time that makes the whole issue of education troubling, there is also the content.
We rightfully point out that no one is surprised when unbelievers attend secular schools that indoctrinate into unbelieving thoughts and practice, they come out in support of transgendered access to bathrooms.
But are there enough Christians pointing out that if little conservative Christian children attend secular schools that indoctrinate into unbelieving thoughts and practices, then no one should be surprised that they are a little more open to gay unions?
If the fear of the Lord, and the Lord to be feared, are not buried deep in our children’s hearts through a self-conscience Christian education (and not just on Sunday!), can we claim to have taken God’s commands in Deuteronomy 6, Proverbs or Ephesians 6 seriously?
With such a large vacuum of spiritual instruction, we should not be surprised of the large sucking sound of secular thought filling the vacuum of little children’s hearts.
And this short analysis does not include the documented and detailed concerns of the secular instruction in many schools nor the evil practices of others. Nor does it include wider cultural considerations of entertainment, advertisement and news-sources. All of these are clearly dominated by rank hostility to Christianity.
In fact, it is the confluence of a plethora of abstract issues that coalesced into the tangible post-Christian society today that has made the use of public schools for conservative Christian children a serious problem.
Transgendered access to restrooms is a problem. But it is a problem flowing from the stream of generational blindness to the dangers and evil effects of secular public instruction upon our most precious possessions.
May more Christians wake up to this fact. And wake up quickly.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.