08 November 2010

An Outstanding Observation by Dr. Steven Hein

on the topic of our Lutheran schools:

The only competition that exists between your school and the public school system in your area is for the hearts and minds of your baptized children. And if your public schools are good ones, so much greater the competition. The Christian education offered in your school should not be seen as simply the educational answer for your families over against poor or mediocre public schools. It is especially the answer over against the really good public schools. No education is innocent of an attitude toward man and his purposes. All government-run education is required by law to teach all subjects where meaning, purpose, and value are formed by the absence of God and His revelation. It is in the really effective and competent public schools, even those called classical academies, that students effectively learn to understand the world and how to live in it without God. How can we convince our people that the goal of our education for their children is to keep them spiritually alive in the midst of a world and culture that is seeking to re-educate the verities of the faith into which they were baptized out of them, permanently?

9 comments:

Josh Schroeder said...

True as this is, our Lutheran schools need to stop acting like public schools with a religion class tacked on.

William Weedon said...

Yup. It challenges our schools to their true purpose. That's why I thought it so very good. If Lutheran schools operate as public schools with the religion class tacked on instead of the Christian vision and life permeating the institution, they are not WORTH saving.

Pr Mark Henderson said...

"If Lutheran schools act as public schools with the religion class tacked on, they aren't worth saving"
Couldn't agree more, William.
This describes most of our Lutheran secondary colleges here in Australia in my experience. Many, if not all, have non-Lutheran, even non-Christian majoritiies in the student bodies, and many non-Christian teachers. They are by law required to teach the same curriculum as public schools because they are government funded. Accepting goverment funding has enabled our system to expand to be the largest non-Catholic school system inthe country, but at the expense of losing their Lutheran ethos.

Are LC-MS high schools government funded in any way?

scott said...

I agree with all these comments...it is as though we have set our benchmark at a lower level than our minimum (spiritual and educational) goal... and that is an futile formula...

Anonymous said...

Based on this observation we should excommunicate our public school teacher members (i.e. my wife) for participating in the spiritual destruction of children.

I guess you might have to condemn all those who send their children to public schools as well, and not home school them, as unfaithful.

Get a life, guys!

Rev. Tony Bertram

William Weedon said...

Pr. Bertram,

Of course not. I think we need to recognize, though, that our public school teachers are swimming against the tide (they know that) and the near complete brainwashing of our children via the media is one tough enemy to compete against when it is fortified in the schools. Hey, I had a very decent public education - and I'm thankful for it. But it did indeed impart certain assumptions at variance with the faith - and they were most dangerous because they were assumptions that one doesn't question. So it's not "if you send your kids to public school, they're bound for hell" or anything of the sort. It's "if you send your kids to public schools (and sadly, to many Lutheran schools), you have to double your vigilance in trying to counteract the 'story' they are bombarded with, with God's own story!"

Anonymous said...

Pastor Weedon,

Let me explain something about statements like Dr. Hein's (a faithful man who taught me at CCRF in the 80s, whom I hold in highest reguard).

While what you say about the philosophical underpinnings of public education might be true in general, such blanket statements are highly offensive to those faithfully filling their Christian vocations as public school teachers. Lutheran public school educators don't need the church to wage a public ,cultural war against them.

Do you want to know one of our greatest obstacles to getting our own members to attend our school? Those, who want to support our school, trashing the public schools and being very judgemental of parents who choose to send their children there.

The attitude, "the only good education is a Lutheran education" is divisive, and just not true.

Rev. Tony Bertram

scott said...

To all

One... would never consider the exile of a public school teacher from the list of a congragtion based on the fact that they are a public school teacher... One... would never consider a teacher of participating in the spiritual destruction of children... because they were a public school teacher...

scott said...

Pastor Bertram

Thanks for your your comments...sounds like the marketing/mission of the Lutheran School has taken an "UGLY TURN"...I agree with your description... Rule #1... Never bad mouth your competition... It is contrary to scripture...