I fear American Christians have surrendered their communities to the enemy. As Coach Dave Daubenmire, president of Pass the Salt Ministries, writes, “We have failed to realize that the Spiritual War and the Cultural War (are) one and the same. . . . Content to focus on the ‘saving of souls’ we have neglected Jesus’ admonition to ‘occupy until He comes.’ As evil (has) flourished, the Church (has) retreated. . . . We have yielded the earth and submitted to evil.”
These are strong words. Yet, as I’ve joined with other parents advocating for a return to traditional values in our public school, I can’t help but think Coach Daubenmire is right. As one parent mused at our last school board meeting, “How did we get here? At one time, parents and educators partnered together in the common best interests of their students. . . . Parents’ input was welcome at the discussion table . . . Not so . . . anymore. You see, we (parents) suspect that our views will be welcome only if they are free of moral values, absolute truth, and personal accountability. . . ”
I suspect I know how we got here. Parents dropped out. We got busy at church, busy at work, busy at home – and those with more zeal filled the spaces we vacated. The activists, many with agendas opposed to Christianity, simply took over.
I’m ashamed to admit the first school board meeting I’ve ever attended was three months ago. Articles in the student newspaper describing hooking up among co-eds at our school shocked me – and a number of other parents – into action. Then, we discovered the required reading at the school actually promotes casual sex. It also includes graphic sexual descriptions, incredibly mature themes, and profanity. We learned Judeo-Christian values are assaulted in class. A parent disclosed her son was called an idiot for believing in creation. So now, we are engaged. But, we’re wondering – what took us so long? Why were we sitting on our hands while our kids were being fed to the lions?
I confess I don’t have a good answer to that question. But, I do have some suggestions for those of you who may now feel compelled to engage with your school.
First, don’t engage alone. Administrators are notorious for dismissing complaints with the assertion that you’re the only one who’s ever complained about the perceived problem. Second, as much as possible, engage positively. Many teachers, administrators, and school board members – even those who are very liberal – care about kids and are open to reasoned arguments. Third, fight battles you can win. For example, don’t ask for the removal of teaching contraception in health class. That probably won’t fly. Rather, ask for the inclusion of information on the benefits of reserving sex for marriage and on the devastation caused by casual sex. And last, commit to the process for the long haul and engage years before your child arrives at a school. Change takes time. And, I suspect we often lose because those who oppose our influence simply outlast us.
By all means, though, let’s engage. Let’s take back some of the ground we’ve lost. We may not be able to save the world. But, we can use whatever sphere of influence God’s given us to bring some light.