Welcome to my blog! I hope to be a resource to help you in your walk with God. Now more than ever we need to get back to the basic fundamentals of moral living and take a stand for what is right and truthful with God as our ultimate authority. His Word is reliable and preserved and can be trusted, so that is the basis for my advice and teaching. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or topics you would like me to cover. I look forward to sharing what God has placed on my heart. See my website at http://www.dawnfoss.tateauthor.com and http://www.dawnfoss.com/ for books and music I have written that will enrich your life!

Ezekiel 22:30: "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." Let's stand in the gap together!

Friday, September 19, 2014

If we allow Christianity to flourish, then should Satanism do likewise?

There was a comment on my last post that challenged religious freedom in schools. What was posted was a coloring book that promoted Satanism that is being proselytized in public schools in Florida as a response to Christian proselytization. After all, if one religion is allowed, then shouldn't every religion be allowed? If we don't welcome one particular religion, then shouldn't we prohibit them all, in order to be fair?

First of all, humans have free will to decide whether they are going to do right, or whether they are going to do wrong. We are wired to know basic right from wrong.  We are also taught social norms and culture, but God gave each of us a conscience and a knowledge of God's existence. He also gave us the Bible so we can learn more about Him, and how to live. This transcends all religion. We have placed labels on various faith sets, and have put them in convenient little boxes called denominations. These are man-made. Our standard of truth is in the Word of God, and applies to all mankind everywhere for all time, regardless of ethnicity, race, culture, social norms, traditions, country of origin, or man-made assigned religion. There is one God, and whether someone wants to believe that or not is their choice, but it does not change the truth, or the fact that they will stand before God one day to give account for their life. Evidence is all around us, and while it takes faith to believe God exists, He has made Himself so clear and plain that to deny it is to reject truth and common sense.

World views determine how we see the world, and is the foundation upon which our opinions, preferences and convictions stand. A Christian world view puts God in the center of the universe, whereas a secular worldview puts man in the center. Put another way, Christianity and Humanism have conflicting centers of worship (God vs. man). A Christian worldview sees God as Creator, and everything we study in school revolves around the idea that God gave us this wonderful world to enjoy and explore, made everything with order and logic and intelligence. A Secular worldview sees the creation as the object of adoration, that everything we have is because the universe, including man, has made it happen without the influence of an outside source (God). It makes no logical sense because something cannot create itself, because it wouldn't have been here to create itself until it was created. Yet still this worldview teaches that God is a crutch, not something that is real or required to make the world go round.

Public schools used to have a Christian worldview, and it was assumed that God existed, the things in the Bible were true, and basic character and honesty were reflections of a faith in an all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful God whom we will give account to one day for our actions. People would strive to do what was right even when no one was looking, knowing that God sees all. Crime was much less because most people had a moral standard based on the Word of God because it was taught in school, and many went to Sunday School for additional training. Even the common criminal respected two things: his mother and the church.

Today doubts are put into the minds of children, and are taught that truth is relative. People can be justified in doing what is right in their own eyes, and judgments should not be imposed on others. We make laws and rules, but they can be disputed easily because it's one man putting a leash on another man, rather than God our Father setting guidelines for us to live by to give us the safest, most organized, and best life we can have: abundant life!

That notion is rejected in the name of tolerance. The secular idea is that we should be tolerant of everyone's world view, because everyone is right. However, that is a logical impossibility, because two opposites cannot be the same, and various world views and religions conflict with each other. What actually happens in the modern view of tolerance is some are forced to abandon their convictions. It creates people who are actually very intolerant, because rather than engaging in an intelligent discussion to find truth, everyone has to lie down their principles and the loudest, strongest force wins, and everyone has to be "tolerant" so that one worldview or one set of values dominates. The classic view of tolerance is you respect all people of all views, but you do not have to agree with them. Engage in intelligent conversation, but if you cannot come to agreement, agree to disagree and be civil to one another.

When it comes to laws, legislation has to be based on something, and hopefully it is truth. In our country, we vote for people whom we hope represent our values. These legislators should have a good handle on truth so they can create good laws. Truth can be found, and must be found. If you think truth is relative, think about this: we all demand truth everyday. Think about your bank account balance, a speeding ticket, your spouse's or child's testimony, etc. You demand truth!

In the public square, all religions are welcome, but there are rules of the land in order to keep things civil. Breach of peace is not allowed. We are not allowed to harm others or others' property (like a manger scene or a cross or a temple, statue, etc.). In other words, it is not OK to murder someone in the name of religion. We must respect each other's lives and livelihood. A religion that requires human sacrifices is not lawful and should be punished as a crime if this occurs, for example. Satanism is such a religion that causes harm to others, and should not be looked upon in the same light and respect as Christianity, for example, which teaches to love one another, protect and care for one another.

Going back to our original scenario in Florida, should religion be taught in the public school system, and if so, which religion, or should all religions be able to hand out materials?  I believe that "religion" should not be taught in public schools unless the students are attending a religion class, one that is teaching about the various religions. There is a difference between theology and religion. As correlated above about world views, theology is God centered (teaching about the world based on a view of God as ultimate authority) and religion is man centered (teaching about the world based on a view of man as ultimate authority). Teaching religion is a sort of history class, giving facts about the various religious practices, traditions and beliefs. There may be various books that are read or encouraged to read that teach about these various doctrines and beliefs, and in a religious class in a public school, all should be respected and presented in a historical way, and each student can learn and draw their own conclusions. It is incorrect to say they are all right, because that's impossible.

I believe a Christian worldview should dominate because it has proven to be the most logical and best worldview, is the foundation for our country, and has worked well for many years. The public school system has to make a choice which worldview to teach; it can't be neutral, and it is not neutral. It has chosen a secular world view, and as a result the value of a human life has degraded, many children have lower standards for character, and we have become a very selfish, materialistic culture. It is clearly not the best as evidenced by its results.

Handing out materials on public school property by strangers is a whole other situation. Can people enter onto school property uninvited while school is in session to hand things out to students? In my experience working at a public school, that would not be OK. For the safety of the children, no one should be approaching children and giving them anything without permission of the school staff. What religion children adopt is up to the parents, not the school or strangers entering school property.

World view is different; that is a society norm, and society has to make a choice. Religion, however, is everyone's freedom and should not be pushed onto children without the consent of the parents. Adolescents and college-aged students could have information available to them to take if they want, set up at tables perhaps, but should not be bullied or pressured into accepting materials. They could have an event in which materials are available, but this is not required and should not be expected of a public school. However, state and federal holidays should be celebrated in a public school setting, including religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter. It is a proud heritage of our country that those coming in from other countries and cultures can learn about and respect. If an American attends a foreign school, it should be expected that they will be exposed to traditional holidays that the citizens hold dear, and those should be respected, even if they do not agree with or like them.

So no, I do not think, in my own humble opinion, that religious materials should be handed out at random to unsuspecting students, but a Christian worldview should be what the entire educational system in America is based on. This promotes a moral and consistent culture, and the fruit is seen in responsible, moral, intelligent citizens who stand for truth and are able to defend it.

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