May 27, 2015
The term “secular” is most often used as a contrast to that which is spiritual, so that the world is divided into those two parts. That is actually a liberal concept. Believers often divide the work of the local church into those two parts, too. The problem is that, in the believer's life, there is no such thing as secular or “non-spiritual”. The truth is that, for us, everything is a spiritual responsibility, right down to our very thoughts.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)
In the local church, we have made a false dichotomy because that allows us the freedom to do it our own way. This is exactly what has been done in our personal lives as well. Where did this human-based idea come from? This dangerous insertion is the way of the world. It is rebellious man wanting to live his life without spiritual intervention, to feel that he is in charge of his world, the “captain” of his soul. Human government has used this to strangle spiritual influence, and it is everywhere in the world around us.
Why did this false idea spread so rapidly? One of the major reasons is that it has been a centerpiece of our education systems, allowing man to answer the major questions of life rather than following the plain, clear teaching of God’s Word. From such areas as the source of life, to life after death, man has forced his definitions on us. The most tragic issue is that so-called Christian education has followed this concept blindly so that it would appear to be intellectual.
THE RECORD IS CLEAR
There is no question that many of our great educational institutions began with worthy spiritual goals. It’s not that they were perfect or had the same beginning; they moved from preparing preachers to creating scholars who despise the concept of a sovereign God with absolutes. The sad thing is that many current Christian institutions are neck- deep in this journey of the secularization of Christian education. This is a difficult thing for us to admit, but our very beliefs and the way we approach the Scripture is tainted by the concept that we have a better idea than God.
The question is why and how did this happen? It is as simple as reviewing the history of Israel. They determined that God as their king was not enough; they wanted to be like the other nations around them with a king they could see and touch. (I Samuel 8) So God gave them Saul, who was the epitome of “independent man,” who could live life the way he determined and yet have one foot in the religious world. This is clearly demonstrated in I Samuel 15. Saul, the secular/religious man, was actually the judgment of God on a nation who wanted to have it both ways. This is exactly what Paul describes with the “religious sinner” in Romans 2:17-29. You can’t have it both ways and still have it God’s way.
HUMANISTIC EDUCATION AT ITS WORST
In all honesty, state or federal schools are not public. They do not represent the general public; they reflect the view of the elite, who continue to experiment on unsuspecting people. Humanistic education will claim that it is free-thinking and intellectual, but the truth is that state schools function by “indoctrination”. That is exactly why, since the 1030’s, socialism has blossomed into the entitlement society we live in today.
Please don’t use the old lame excuse of there still being some good Christian teachers and administration in the system. Looking at the whole, their number is so small they barely appear on the charts. Talk about believers bailing out of the educational system is also poorly thought through. When schools were local and community-oriented, our presence was effective; but today the ACLU has more influence on the schools than all of us put together!
THE TRAGIC INFLUENCE ON US
Christian education has been unduly influenced by the humanist agenda. We were taught to think like they do. This liberal mindset is neck-deep in our own schools. We copied so many of their errors in an effort to be intellectual that now we not only think like the world, but also act like the world. A couple of illustrations from the pool of thousands will suffice. We were the people of absolutes and truth, with God and His Word as a standard; now we think that all views are right, and you cannot say that other people are wrong. People do have a right to their own views, but there is only one truth. We need to be kind and polite, but that doesn’t extend to our giving credence to error. All of this has affected our theology, too. There is only one right interpretation of a Bible text, but we act like we are not really sure, and they just may be right. Instead of being a matter of black and white, truth has turned gray.
We wanted to be approved by them, and in doing so we became like them. The demise of the Bible college movement is a result of this terrible compromise. What do the intellectual heathen know about what God wants our academic standard to be? Herein is the great failure. In Christian education, we have divided life into secular and spiritual. That is our excuse for allowing men and women who hate our God and us to tell us how education is best accomplished. Of course, most every one of us reading this was trained to think with a liberal mindset, and that is why Christian education has become secularized. We act, think, talk, and smell like our culture rather than having the sweet smell of truth and holiness.
Shepherd’s Staff is prepared by Clay Nuttall, D. Min