Week: September 16th-20th
This week, Eric discusses religious freedom, Constitution Day, and the Establishment Clause.
9/16/19: Our Rights and Our Mission
It’s Constitution Week and I have a question. Is it biblical for us to assert our rights?
While Jesus gave up his rights to fulfill his mission of dying for our sins Paul asserted his rights and furthered his mission to proclaim the Gospel.
In Acts 16, Paul had just started a church in Philippi. His rights were violated as a Roman citizen when he was beaten and thrown into jail without a trial. He asserted his rights and put the town officials on the defensive. When he was quickly released he went to the house church to encourage them. By asserting his rights, Paul advanced the Gospel.
Students have religious freedom in the public schools to express their faith. Just like Paul, you are helping advance the Gospel when you help students understand those rights and live them out on campus.
9/17/19: Constitution Day 2019
Today is Constitution Day.
On September 17th, 1787, America’s founders signed the Constitution – a ground-breaking document that limited the power of government and protected the rights of its citizens.
On the issue of religion, a lot of people think the phrase, “separation of church and state” is in the Constitution. It isn’t. The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
It is common for public school officials to think they must create a religion-free campus. But that isn’t necessary nor is it legal. Ironically, it violates the First Amendment’s requirement that government not prohibit the free exercise of religion.
You can honor the Constitution in your family by explaining to your children their right to express their faith at school
9/18/19: Discussing the Separation of Church & State
It’s Constitution Week and a lot people mistakenly think the phrase “separation of church and state” is in the Constitution. How should you respond?
It’s common for educators and school officials to claim that, because of the “separation of church and state” they must remove any mention of Jesus at Christmas or stop students from sharing their faith in class. So how should you respond?
First, agree that no one wants a Church of America. But, then ask, “What should happen when a church is on fire? Should it have its own fire trucks because government funded fire fighters cannot provide aid to a church?” And religion is in our curriculum. Should we censor it out? And religion is reflected in our community? Should we censor teaching students about the culture of our own community?
You can help those around you have a better understanding of religious freedom in your schools.
9/19/19: Martin Luther & Religious Freedom
Most Americans have no idea the connection between Martin Luther and religious freedom.
Addressing religious freedom, Martin Luther wrote a paper entitled, Secular Authority: To What Extent it Should be Obeyed. Luther was at the forefront of religious freedom and students should learn how the Reformation brought about liberty.
He quoted Matthew 10:28 when Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Luther then wrote:
“Surely that is clear enough: the soul is taken out of the hands of any human being whatsoever and is placed exclusively under the power of God... It is impossible and futile to command or coerce someone to believe this or that.”
9/20/19: Phi Delta Kappan Poll on Bible Classes
A new poll finds a majority of parents AND teachers say public schools should have Bible classes.
This month, Phi Delta Kappa released its annual poll on education issues and the public. Included in its national survey, was a question about Bible classes in public schools. It found that 68 percent of parents and 58 percent of teachers believe public schools should offer Bible classes for their students.
Think about that! A majority of public school teachers want students to study the Bible as a class in school.
It’s easy to dismiss public schools as godless places that are hostile to Christianity. But that fact is, there are many Christian educators in public schools, and they need your support.
We are so glad that this radio station is committed to helping those of you who teach in public schools or who have children and grandchildren in those schools.
Resource: Phi Delta Kappan 2019 Poll - https://pdkpoll.org/