Which Worldview?

Early last week I stumbled across a news article that spoke of a woman who was forced to resign her position at a Muslim school for not adhering to the Quran-inspired dress code. The dress code would require her to wear a hijab (traditional Muslim head-covering).  The woman, who wished to remain nameless, would not comply with the dress code because she identifies herself as a Christian. Initial reaction to the article may be curiosity as to whether or not refusing to submit to such a strict dress code could or should be grounds for resignation. The reader may also become angry when reading the different ways the teacher was harassed by her co-workers and superiors for not submitting to the dress code.

My initial thoughts were, “why on earth is a Christian woman teaching in a Muslim school?” It seems like a silly question to have to ask. I am no expert in statistics, but I must assume that an overwhelming majority of Christians would be asking the same question. I would guess that that same majority would agree that it is not wise for a Christian person to teach in a Muslim school. Common sense says that it must be difficult for a Christian to thrive in a school dominated by the Muslim culture. The disheartening thing, is that I would also guess that most of those Christians would say they do not have a problem teaching in, or sending their kids to government run public schools.

Just like the Muslim school, the public school promulgates an anti-Christian worldview. The agenda of the government schools is just as anti-Christian as the agenda set forth by a Mohammedan school. In both instances, Christ is not acknowledged as Lord over all. An education that is not firmly resting on the foundation of the existence of the God of the Bible is doomed. The problem is that many Christians believe the public schools are religiously neutral. Because students are not forced to wear black robes and repeat the words of the Satanic Mass, the public school is deemed to be a safe environment for our precious Christian children. They believe that if the students and the teachers leave their respective religions at the door that they can compromise when it comes to education. Dr. Greg Bahnsen comments on this:

No such compromise is even possible. “No man is able to serve two lords” (Matt. 6:24). It should come as no surprise that,in a world where all things have been created by Christ (Col. 1:16) and are carried along by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3) and where all knowledge is therefore deposited in Him who is The Truth (Col. 2:3; John 14:6) and who must be Lord over all thinking (2 Cor. 10:5), neutrality is nothing short of immorality. “Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world makes himself and enemy of God” (James 4:4).[1]

The case needs to be made that education is not neutral, and Christians sending their kids to a Mohammedan school is not enormously different than sending their kids to public schools. They may teach different worldviews, but they have one thing in common: an antithesis with Christianity. Christian parents should want their children to be educated in a Godly way. This simply cannot be done in the public school system. Education that ignores the fact that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ultimate standard of truth is simply satanic. We conclude with more from Dr. Bahnsen:

All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are to be found in Christ; thus if one were to try and arrive at the truth apart from commitment to the epistemic authority of Jesus Christ he would be robbed through vain philosophy and deluded by crafty deceit (see Col. 2:3-8). Consequently, when the Christian approaches scholarship, apologetics, or schooling he must staunchly refuse to acquiesce to the mistaken demands of neutrality in his intellectual life; he must never consent to surrender his distinctive religious beliefs “for the time being,” as though one might thereby arrive at genuine knowledge “impartially.” The beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7).[2]

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Bahnsen, Always Ready, 9
  2. Bahnsen, Always Ready, 7
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2 Responses to Which Worldview?

  1. Daniel Hanselman says:

    As a Christian and a someone who one day hopes to be a teacher and parent, I found your article very interesting. I totally agree with your presuppositional understanding of the impossibility of neutrality and the antithesis between “secularism” (which is often code for: naturalism and/or humanism) and Christianity. I also completely agree with your statement, “Christian parents should want their children to be educated in a Godly way.” But, I am not sure if I agree with your conclusion that Christians should have nothing to do with public schools as teachers or students. Here are a few of my questions/concerns:

    First, if anything that does not recognize the Lordship of Christ is satanic and thus off limits for Christians to engage in, than how do you justify Christians operating in any secular institution–such as politics. Our American government today is clearly secular and clearly not in submission to Christ’s Lordship, thus (to be consistent with the argument you present here with public education) how can Christians be involved in such a satanic institution? And, if you do say Christians should completely pull out of all public institutions (perhaps like the Amish or some other isolationist group), than how do you make sense of all the examples throughout the OT of godly believers engaging in pagan institutions (such as Joseph or Daniel)? How do you make sense of Christ’s command to be salt and light to the world if we are not able to engage with the world around us? Also, what about the example of Christ? Did not Christ leave heaven to come into a fallen messed up pagan world in order to redeem it? Does not Christ reverse the old pattern of the unclean making the clean unclean through his ministry? Does not Christ command us to follow his steps in this and “go” and live “in” the pagan nations around us (including our own) in order to redeem it by God’s grace for His glory? And if you say yes to all this, then why can not Christians as teachers and students engage in secular “pagan” schools for the redemptive cause of being salt and light and sharing the gospel in word and testifying to it in deed? In other words, whereas you seem to see the pagan ideology of public schools as a reason for Christians to not get involved in them, I see it as the reason why we must engage in it.

    Second, from your post I would assume that you believe that Christian parents are responsible for educating their children, regardless of where they send their kids to school (public, private, or home school). In other words, I would hope that you would not advocate that parents fully entrust their precious children even to Christian schools and relinquish all their responsibility to teach their children and make sure they are being raised in the fear and knowledge of God. And, if you agree with me on all this, then why is a parent sending their child to public school necessarily giving their children over to Satan? I believe parents should always be conversing with their children about what they are learning, wherever they go to school, and teaching them how to think and live in a biblical way. I believe this can occur even when your children go to public school, and in fact intentionally doing this may even create many opportunities to highlight the differences between the Christian worldview and all other worldviews represented in the school. In other words, parents can send their kids to public schools to teach them about how to understand and engage with the “pagan” world they live in for the cause of the kingdom of Christ. Parents can send their kids to public schools while they teach them at home how to set apart Christ as Lord in all they think and do, and how to defend and communicate that truth to their peers and teachers in school. I went to public school for most of my life, and I am most thankful for the Christian students there who did this and shared the gospel with me and taught me how to be in but not of the world.

    I do not say all this to bast homeschooling or Christian schools, I love both of these institutions and believe they are essential for the church in our culture. I simply wish to point out that public schools are fertile grounds ready for harvest, but the workers are few.

    • cransford says:

      Thanks for reading and responding Dan! I just wanted to let you know that I am working on a response, but I’ve been sick with this mini-flu this week and haven’t spent much time on the computer. But its coming!

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