I read recently about a few public schools which had begun religious studies programs as part of their curriculum. Among the classes offered were various titles of classes involving the study of the Bible. Christians who are for the Bible in state run schools should seriously consider if they want religious studies or the Bible specifically, to be part of our public education system.
The only way biblical classes will be available is if studies of other religions and texts are offered as well. It also means, those teaching the classes won’t be required or expected to include their personal beliefs or let them influence their teachings. This wouldn’t be a problem were it possible. Aside from being one of the most complicated and personal subjects in the realm of possible subjects, religion is also the hardest to keep our personal views from impacting our approach to describing them. The best they could hope to do is exactly what was described as the methodology used in including religion and the Bible in public schools. Teaching it as history, and studying it’s social impact.
Christians cheering this sort of inclusion as some sort of victory haven’t looked at what this means in the big picture. The Bible would be studied as a historical book, it’s influence on society, it’s placement in history, it’s poetic value, even it’s genius or folly of authorship and inter connectivity. It would not be taught as The Living Word of God. Entire generations of children would be taught that God, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and the Bible are simply another part of man’s foolish history. No different than the gods of Ancient Greece. This is exactly what those who oppose religion and refuse Christ want to happen. If they didn’t see this as the end game, they would never have accepted it in the first place.
Jesus Christ wasn’t just some guy who lived and was killed a couple thousand years ago, who had this book written about him which ended up causing wars and a lot of innocent people to be killed. But that’s what the average middle school kid is qoing to get from a public school sponsored religious studies class. Christ would be taught to be no different than Mohamed or Buddha or Brahma, the Bible of no more value than The Hobbit, Animal Farm or the great Gatsby.
Just like I don’t want the Church in charge of my government, I don’t want the government teaching religion. The proper separation of church and state was made clear by Christ, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Though this hasn’t been practiced throughout history, and still isn’t in much of the world, it is how the United States was started and should continue.