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God in our schools...


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#1 Jay Turner

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

We say they kicked God out of our schools the day that they made it illegal to post the Ten Commandments in the classroom. Isn’t God in the hearts of His people? By loving our God and loving our neighbors as ourselves, are we not being Christ in the world in which we live? If God is not in our schools, in our places of business and in our government, then it is because we are not letting our love shine. Personally, I agree with the separation of Church and State. Our faith in God should be a guiding force as we participate in Government, education, business and the likes, but religion should never be forced on people or used as a means to subjugate the populations “In the name of God”.
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#2 Candice

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:44 PM

Jay,
I see what you're saying very well. It is what I personally believe. I have asked people "do you really want open prayer in the schools for anyone?" YES, of course they say. Well, do you want a Muslim on a prayer rug? "NOOOO" But, we can't have it both ways. It would be that way. God loves all people but, as we know, Christ is the only way.

Separation of church and state falls into line with the Founding Fathers and the belief that they were all abiding Christians. I'm not in favor of the over-glorification of the Founding Fathers. Many were freemasons and owned slaves, had children via adultery with slaves, etc. John Adams referred to the evil of freemasonry, and George Washington, among others were all part of this group. This seems to be overlooked by many who go on and on about these men as if they were perfect. They were sinners just as we all are and as current politicians. I will submit that I think what goes on now is worse but, from the beginning of time, there's been sin.

This can be a touchy subject. I believe in the freedom to pray, but that is never taken from anyone because it is between one and God. It doesn't need to be for show. You're right, our love is what matters.

#3 Travis Richey

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:47 PM

Amen Jay. I've often wondered what it would be like to suddenly have the gov't say, "Well folks, we've reconsidered our position and have decided that prayer should be a part of every school day, so beginning next week, representatives from the Jehovah's Witnesses will be at every school to lead the morning prayers." Or to word it another way, be careful what you wish for, it may come true. Seperation of church and state is noty only constitutional, but also biblical...Jesus said to render to the gov't that which is the gov't, and to God, that which is God's...a clear separation of duties and responsibilities.
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#4 chipped china

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:09 AM

I think that schools should teach creation along with evolution. Creation science makes very valid points to me and I feel kinda jippt that I missed out on that choice.

#5 Julie Daube

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:37 AM

I don't think it should be up to the government to take prayer out of schools or to put prayer in schools. It should be up to the students. If students want to pray on school property, as an extracurricular activity, they have every right to do so; students don't give up their first-amendment right to freedom of religion if they happen to be on school grounds. I see no problem with allowing students (of any religion) to gather voluntarily for prayer meetings, etc., after school or before school starts, as long as no one is forced to participate. I've been a teacher (in both public and private schools), and I am a big supporter of student-initiated, voluntary school prayer. I also think students should be free to offer an invocation or to say "God bless you" during gradution ceremonies.

There is a huge amount of misunderstanding concerning the concept of separation of church and state. Based on their writings, our founders never intended to ban prayer or any mention of God from our nation's public life. In fact, this nation was birthed in prayer, and the process of ratifying the U.S. Constitution was bathed in prayer. The term "separation of church and state" is found nowhere in the Constitution or in any of our founding documents. It comes from a letter by Thomas Jefferson in which he stated his support for freedom of religion and conscience, saying that there is "a wall of separation between church and state" but that this wall "exists to protect the church from the government and not the other way around." Since then, secularists and the ACLU have twisted Jefferson's words to justify the removal of all references to God from public life.

Don't get me wrong. I totally agree with Jay's statement "If God is not in our schools, in our places of business and in our government, then it is because we are not letting our love shine" and many of the other comments here. But I think it's wrong (not to mention unconstitutional) to deny students the right to pray on school property or to mention God or Jesus in valedictorian speeches.
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#6 Jay Turner

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

I really don't know any of the legalities behind it, but in some of the elementary schools, here in Sioux Falls, there are after-school prayer/bible study groups. My guess is that as long as it is voluntary and the only people involved in the activity are those who knowingly choose to be part of the group, then it is probably legal. It is when it comes to the larger group functions like games, graduations and other events, where prayer isn't an expected and accepted part of the event, that is where it starts crossing legal boundaries.

I would think that, at least in theory, it would also be alright to have a class like scientific creationism, in the public school system, as long as it was a non-required elective. Some of the problems that would arise would be that they would have to have teachers that were qualifies and willing to teach the class. Also once the school allowed a class like that, then they would also have to allow related classes in subjects like Intro to atheism, and classes that deal in other religions. The problem is that once you open the door, you would have to allow the rest. Though legally a school may possibly be able to get away with it, I doubt that many would want to deal with the hassle.
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#7 Charles Miles

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

I have a few thoughts about this subject, and like you said in another thread Jay, I am not afraid to wade right in there when I feel a subject needs a bit of discussion. My children were taught certain things at home, in an atmosphere of open discussion where questions were welcome and no one was made to feel "put upon" or "stupid" because they asked. I also find no "separation of church and state" in the US constitution, but do understand where Jefferson was coming from with his letter. Here is my feeling on the subject....Unless the teacher has a personal relationship with the Father, I would just as soon they not discuss topics dealing with spiritual matters with my children. I`ll do that and save the school system the time, expense, and trouble. BUT, I also don`t want the school system telling my children that they are stupid and ignorant because they have faith in God and know who Jesus is and what He has done. I see that you agree that atheism is also a religion, as is Islam, Janism, Hinduism, etc, etc. Let`s back away from all that also. Teachers that espouse atheism as truth, well they need a new profession. Having had a teacher tell me that he doesn`t speak of God because He doesn`t exist, and then teach that in the classroom.....well, he is simply teaching his form of religion as the truth. That is just wrong. If we can`t have a prayer time for christian children, let`s not have prayer rugs and prayer time for muslims either.

I find more and more as I observe the public school system, that many administrators seem to use the "separation of church and state" application only in christian matters, and then use "preserving the culture" to allow other religions to practice prayer time and "quiet" time.

For any parents here who haven`t been to your child`s scholl lately, it`s time to show up and observe some classes. Most schools are great, but there are a few oddities out there that are, well, simply disturbing.

"Love one another even as I have loved you",

Charlie
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#8 Julie Daube

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

Well said, Charlie! I don't think many Christians are aware of how overtly hostile the public schools have become to Christianity. Many teachers attack and villify Christian students (and even give them failing grades if they identify themselves as Christians), all the while promoting New Age beliefs and spiritism, to the point of forcing children to become involved in occult activities (in some classes, children are required to choose New Age "spirit guides" and engage in Eastern meditation). I find it hard to believe that there are Christians who think it's okay to take prayer and Bible reading out of the schools but have no problem with the anti-Christian, atheistic worldviews promoted in our public schools. That's completely backwards.

#9 chipped china

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:28 PM

I agree with the points you have all made, still feel jipped. Creation and evolution are both theories and should be taught as such, my humble opinion of course.

#10 Travis Richey

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

"By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible." Hebrews 11:2

That is not theory, that is Truth.
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#11 Jay Turner

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 06:53 PM

Trying to bring about change is always a tough thing to do, especially when those involved are not ready or willing for that change to happen. When it comes to our government and our educational system, it is important to keep some things in mind. The United States, at its very foundation, is a melting pot of people from a variety of different nationalities, religions and backgrounds. Because of this, they have to look at what is best for all the people. They cannot place certain nationalities or certain religions above others. Yet that is what they are continually being asked and expected to do.

It seems that there are a couple different options as to how we can bring about change. The first is that we can fight for it. The US was founded on Christian principles, so we may feel we have the right to demand that we go back to those principles. In many ways it sounds good, but in the process, we are asking for preferential treatment over the those of other religions.

When you think about it, Jesus had the right to demand so much, while He was here on earth. He was God incarnate, yet He never demanded that anyone bow down to His wishes. He spoke to those who would listen. He spoke against the church of His day, when they demanded it. They were supposed to represent God to the world, but instead of being good stewards of that responsibility, they abused the power associated with it. But from my recollection, He never once spoke out against the government.

One thing that I have learned is that a frontal attack isn’t always the way to go. Sometimes it is better to “fly under the radar” and work towards bringing change from within. This seems to be more the type of tactic that Jesus would have used. He focused on changing people's hearts. Where someones heart is, their actions will soon follow. Jesus went to where the people were. He would gain their trust by meeting their needs and speaking to them where they were at, not expecting them to meet Him where He was at. He would help them to see the possibilities, where they could only see from the perspective of their circumstances. He would also work within the law of the land, while helping them to strip away the “excess baggage” within that law, to get to the essence and the truth behind that law. Working in this way, He wasn’t forcing His ways upon the people, but instead was working to purify the standards that they had set to come into line with what was right and just in God’s eyes. Basically, He took them by the hand, helped them to see the value in change, while guiding them along the path to making that change.

Due to the separation of church and state, there are limitations as to what we can say and do when it comes to government and education. Though we can try to force our beliefs on people, it is typically not the best way to go. Instead, what we can do is to bring Godly wisdom and leadership into the picture, as a stepping stone. By doing this, we are being part of the process of breaking down walls and making it easier for change to happen, even though we may not be able to bring God directly into the picture.

This also gives us the opportunity to work with peoples of different faiths where we can live out our relationship with God in front of them. By giving them the the chance where they can observe from a distance, from a place of safety, it allows them to question more on their own terms, where a more frontal attack would be more apt to scare people off. Winning people over by love is always the best approach.

#12 elizabethcog

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

We I hope as believers are equipping our children to have a personal relationship with Jesus who is with us always,even at school He is with us,so I teach my grandaughter to pray in her heart and mind all day for anything and He hears you,she knows she is praying to God and it is between her and her Father. She shares stories about kids that don't know Jesus and she tells me well we just have to pray for them mawmaw and hope they will hear Jesus, no man can prohibit our relationship. I pray God will give me and my grandaughter discernment and mercy along with a heapin' dose of humility,actually I pray this for all of us
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#13 elizabethcog

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

My grandaughter's science teacher was teaching class (third grade) he was teaching evolution and in the film and he himself said science can find no evidence as to the existance of God,my sweet little gdaughter shouted out,not even bothering to raise her hand which she usually does,"well where have they been lookin?look around you God's everywhere" some of the other kids then voiced agreement...a little child shall lead them(=
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#14 Julie Daube

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:58 AM

Due to the separation of church and state, there are limitations as to what we can say and do when it comes to government and education. Though we can try to force our beliefs on people, it is typically not the best way to go. Instead, what we can do is to bring Godly wisdom and leadership into the picture, as a stepping stone. By doing this, we are being part of the process of breaking down walls and making it easier for change to happen, even though we may not be able to bring God directly into the picture.

This also gives us the opportunity to work with peoples of different faiths where we can live out our relationship with God in front of them. By giving them the the chance where they can observe from a distance, from a place of safety, it allows them to question more on their own terms, where a more frontal attack would be more apt to scare people off. Winning people over by love is always the best approach.

Jay, I don't think anyone in this forum is advocating that we force our beliefs on others, so I'm not quite sure why you brought that up. If anything, public school administrators and teachers are forcing their secular, New Age, humanist beliefs on our nation's children, and that's just wrong. I have heard of numerous cases where students who mentioned Jesus in their essays received failing grades (and these were essays that required the students to state their personal beliefs). Put simply, Christian students are being penalized for their personal beliefs about God. This is something that all people, regardless of their religious beliefs, should be opposed to. And the example Elizabeth cited of her granddaughter's teacher telling her that there is no evidence for the existence of God is simply outrageous. This is not teaching; it is propaganda. When we see this happening, we should complain to the school administration and/or the school board. This is not forcing our beliefs on others but speaking out against injustice, something the Bible commands us to do. It is also part of our civic duty in holding those in leadership (including school administrators) accountable when they abuse their power.
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#15 Candice

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:59 AM

We I hope as believers are equipping our children to have a personal relationship with Jesus who is with us always,even at school He is with us,


I heartily agree with all said here. This is where all teaching will, ultimately, settle the matter - at home. However, the matter is really only settled between the LORD and the individual child/teen/young adult/adult. I have seen my son very much question God's very existence. Then, when we talk openly about it, he seems to find no fault with the error taught in schools. In Wyoming, we haven't yet been deluged with evolution for the most part. It's more hands-off, at least where we are. However, my son's criticisms tend to lie in the hypocrisy in the church, i.e. youth groups, unfriendly members, etc. This is where the stumbling block has been and I just keep telling him that people are people - God is God. It is tough. Kids are leaving the church in droves, even those from Christian, homeschooled backgrounds because of the lack of love in the church body.

#16 Candice

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:10 AM

When we see this happening, we should complain to the school administration and/or the school board. This is not forcing our beliefs on others but speaking out against injustice, something the Bible commands us to do. It is also part of our civic duty in holding those in leadership (including school administrators) accountable when they abuse their power.

I see what you're saying Julie but, in my experience and that of other Christian parents, when these types of things happen, the administrators, maybe atheists themselves, just won't take action (at least not here). There's such a political agenda that runs deep. We are grateful that we've experienced little evolutionary teaching. There are several Christians in the High School and Junior high here. My so's third grade teacher taught evolution. I asked her why she taught evolution and she claimed to believe in it, yet attend a "Christian" church. She did not present the creation theory at all She is a presbytarian, and many presbytaries have exempted creationism, the trinity and have even gone on to embrace Christlam! Not all, but some.

One good thing, like Charlie said, is that there's opportunity for open questions and discussions with kids. It's a teaching opportunity and a reteaching time. They will hear about evolution one way or another eventually. There's just no getting out of it. But, I agree, it is being forced in many schools nationwide, and it is wrong.

I believe going under the radar, not being demanding, as Jay says, is the peacable way. Sadly in the end, it is really just about what we can do for our own kids. Parents must take a stand for their kids and form groups to counter the effects of such teaching. A friend and I started a Moms in Touch group to pray for our schools, teachers, parents and kids for protection in all ways. This is where the power is (IMO) - God's Spirit.
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#17 Charles Miles

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 08:11 AM

I love the child`s response about God. Jesus asked if when He returned, would hE find faith on the earth. Certain things just require faith and some things just require stupidity. I will not judge which is which, but very learned scientists will use mathmatics and physics to show how things work and explain what these things are, but then refuse to even look at mathmatical probabilities of random association of molecular makeup of DNA to discuss evolution and its absurdity(defined as any probability of less than 10 to the -50). I guess what I am trying to say is...OK, don`t teach my children about Jesus, God, and Holy Spirit, but at the same time please don`t teach them theory of evolution, which has been discredited by so many contradictory scientific facts as to render it an impossibility. And yes, evolution is a religion. "I don`t see any evidence of God"?? Can we say.."cop out"?

No more discussion of religion in schools for me because it won`t help at this point. Also, I am not a religious person, religion being man`s attempt to reach God...has never worked anyway...can`t. I believe in a personal relationship with the Father, knowing that He reached down here and did all the contacting. This will always work.....if we accept it. Let`s call it "faith".

"Wait on the Lord",

Charlie
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#18 elizabethcog

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

How heart warming that a fellow follower of Jesus summed it up as though he plucked it right outta my heart"I am not a religious person,religion being mans's attempt to reach God" How simply true,God is not the lost(= thank you
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#19 Jay Turner

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:42 AM

I work as a custodian for the local school district. Over the Christmas break, a custodian at one of the schools transferred to another school, and I have been covering his area while they get someone into the area full time. The previous custodian had let his area go and was just doing enough to get by. So when I came in, my goal was simply to spend some extra time getting it up to par, so the next custodian doesn’t walk into a total mess. The staff there can visibly see the extra effort and are appreciative of it.

In a small way, I am being a light and helping to bring about change. I have been building relationships and earning the staff’s trust simply by giving them a little extra attention and, sharing my abilities and insight. There are even times where God will open the door and I am able to share His truth and wisdom with individuals. That is able to happen largely because of the time invested and the trust and relationships built.

Part of the process is knowing where the boundaries lay. If I start pushing God or pushing issues that they are not ready for, then I risk damaging the places of safety that has been built. When that happens, then doors begin to close and hearts harden.

It is important to remember that God is not always looking for the quick and easy salvation. He want’s to change hearts and to change lives, and that is quite often a long drawn out process that He has to take people through. As we let Him lead us and allow our lives to be put on display where people can observe from a distance, we are facilitating that process by allowing them to see God working in and through our lives. As they begin to see the value in why we do what we do, they will begin to be drawn to that, and in time start opening up and asking questions.

When it comes to government and education, there are many areas of change that we can facilitate and help bring about, but that is going to take getting involved, building relationships and knowing our boundaries. We cannot blame the removal of prayer and the Ten Commandments for God not being in our schools. We, as believers, are the real vessels that God has chosen to work in and through. If God is not in our schools then it is because we are the ones slacking off, leaving them in the mess that they are in. The question we need to ask is whether we are going to start taking responsibility or if God is going to have to find a cleanup crew to clean up our mess...
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#20 Charles Miles

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

Jay, I applaud you for you efforts and kindness you have shown during your temp duties at the other scool. You are doing the right thing in cleaning up the mess left there and you are doing it for the right reasons. Your love for the people who have to work there shows as you labor to do your own job as well as correct the mess caused by someone else not doing theirs. If you will, please allow me to use your situation as an example of what is happening in our school systems across the nation.

One day as you report to work, you see a pile of trash that needs removal, so you remove it. The next day as you report, there is a bigger pile of trash, you know it is trash, but there is a sign on the pile that says"Do Not Remove", signed by the sup of education. You complain a bit, but the rule stands. Next day, even a bigger pile of trash is noted....on top of the previous day`s pile, with another "Do Not Remove" sign. This continues until you go to the main office and complain that the trash piles are interfering with the education of the students. Next day a huge pile of the same trash is piled on all the other piles and this time has a sign stating that the state condones this trash and will fire you if you mention that it is actually trash again. The students soon accept all this trash as part of their school and its programs. Most of the trash is harmless and useless, but there are some items within those piles that you know are poisonous and deadly. You have been warned not to remove or even discuss the trash, but you know some of it is potentialy deadly. You love the students and teachers in the school and show it every day with your attitude of love and care. You know something about the trash that maybe the dept of education doesn`t know? OR...they actually do know and don`t care.....OR even worse....they know about the danger and leave the trash there for a reason.

Please excuse the very simplistic story(it was probably boring), but I mean no disrespect to you, your job(which you obviously do well), the school, or the students. BUT there are some very smart people out there who do not have the best interest of education in mind. I agree with you that to tackle the piles of trash(poor or incorrect information taught in our schools) head on would be a job loser and probably make very little headway, but our schools are heading down a slippery slope into total dissarray. I do not know the answer, but I do know this....Those piles of trash are very, very big now and in many cases have the force of law protecting them. I do pray every day about the school system and some of the subjects being taught there as fact that simply are not fact at all.

In Christ,

Charlie
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