Tuesday, October 11, 2005

CONSIDERING THE OTHER SIDE; SOME RETRACTIONS

After I placed the last post, I would like to say that, I still hold much of what I said. However, after seeking more counsel, I have decided to continue my credential for various other reasons. Yet, I still don't think I could teach in a public school, however. Let me explain these above statements.

My main concern about teaching in a public school would be that I would not be able to address the hearts of the children. To be fair, some godly counselors have suggested something to me. They have said that it is somewhat like when a policeman enforces the law. The policeman is not allowed to give the gospel of Christ to the person he arrests. His job is to enforce the law. These godly counselors have suggested to me that this is somewhat like if I were to teach in a public school. My job would be to make sure that discipline in the classroom is being enforced. I would not be able to address the heart of the child, true--but neither can the police officer address the heart of the person.

Well, I am just afraid, honestly, that this would be totally and completely heartbreaking for me. Even in secular encyclopedias we are told that a teacher must also care about people. A teacher must be someone who is able to counsel. To be fair, and for the record, however, let me say the following:

The world is a lot better off for having godly Christian teachers in public schools.

I can't stress that enough. But I'm just not sure if I could do that. Again, I don't even know where to begin or how to teach a subject apart from Christ's Lordship. But my main concern is the fact that I would not be able to address the hearts of the children. This would break my heart. I would be interacting with these children--children from broken homes, children from non-Christian homes, etc.--and I would have the Answer before me--all the while not being able to tell them the answer!

Yesterday, I got a taste of this heartbreak. One of my students in my P.E. class willingly defied me, and that after several warnings in the past. This situation warranted a discussion with the principal of my school. The principal did the right thing. He suspended the child for three days. This child had been shown mercy several times in the past. Apparently in the past this child had even been expelled. This was heartbreaking that I began to weep afterwards.

Yet, with this child, we can tell him the truth: Not only has he defied me; not only has he defied the principal of the school; he has defied the Almighty God. The sovereign Lord Jehovah has set authorities in this child's life and in ours to protect us and watch over us. He has given us His holy Law to protect us as well. When we defy these authorities, we defy His Law. When we defy His Law, we defy Him.

The above is the heart of the matter. This is what a child needs to hear. This is what we all need to hear.

But what can you tell them in a public school? Yes, we can tell them that they need to obey the authorities. But we can't tell them that they have a sin problem and that they need Christ.

But again, to be fair, to hear from the other side, another good argument for teaching in a public school was likened to what it is like to be a missionary in hostile countries. The point was brought up by a godly counselor that if you were to be a missionary to China, you can't just go in there and be open about the faith blatantly, or you will be either jailed or in the next plane home. You go in there instead with a tentmaking skill, and you ask for wisdom and discretion on the way to do it without getting caught, as it were.

Therefore, to be fair, I think we should still thank the Lord for the Christian teachers in public schools. It is an entire mission field for them.

Again, I am just saying that I am not sure if I could do it. It is indeed very hard to do it while making sure that we are careful not to compromise our faith. It takes much wisdom.

The good news is, however, that the Lord is guiding our steps.

All praise to Him.

--Josh Brisby

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