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The Educational Process: A Vision for Christian Teachers by Jeffrey Ludwig, August 14, 2018

The-Educational-Process.jpgFor what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul. Mk 8:36


Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful./ But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.  Ps. 1:1-2


Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  II Tim 2:15


All the processes of education are brought about by a series of consciously developed, step-by-step activities. These steps are ordered through the school years, within each grade, and within each class day-by-day.  This is not saying that the product of grade twelve is more significant than the product of grade one. In terms of being, the seed is just as precious as the tree, but the tree in bloom is more advanced, the outcome of the precious seed. Likewise, learning is process. Education advances, but each stage is treasured. In sum, education is consciously applied process. The interior dynamics of individual growth are integrated with and directed by this conscious process.


In addition to the academics, the formation of character might be considered as another product of educational process. Character formation if viewed in the light of the above passages from Holy Scripture can be classified as follows: (1) retention of and nourishment for the soul; (2) being blessed and remaining blessed; (3) holding to a righteous attitude and perspective; (4) being humble; (5) loving the Lord and His Word; (6) studying; (7) seeking God’s approval; (8) knowing and applying the teachings of Jesus Christ to everything we say, do, think, feel, want, and believe. 


These criteria for character building are really needed in American education today as an alternative to the soul-less, anti-Bible atmosphere and progressive ideology that pervades our public schools.  For those Christian teachers who serve, these eight criteria for Godly teaching should govern their educational purpose for being there every day with those children whether in elementary or secondary education.


Let’s look at each of the above essentials:


Retention of and nourishment for the soul - The educator is obligated not to lead his or her students down a path of lies towards perdition.  The so-called Rainbow Curriculum depicting homosexual sexuality in detail and as a normal function is one example of what a true Christian educator must not teach. The homosexual lifestyle is in no sense the moral equivalent of the traditional family, and children should not be told that it is. 


Also, in social studies, Puritan society and the Temperance Movement deserve respectful, positive presentations.


Being blessed and remaining blessed - In church we sing, “Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless His Holy Name.”  In Deuteronomy, Moses calls down blessings of all those who keep the Lord’s commandments. Now we are recipients of a new command from Christ “to love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12)  Love becomes elevated to the number one modus operandi of life and therefore of education.  We are not ashamed to use the word love in the classroom.  The Holy Spirit uses this word to inspire and lead us in the right direction. Never mind if the word love is misused or has achieved cliché status in worldly settings. This word is transformed into holy bread in the mouths of Christians.


Holding to a righteous attitude and perspective - Students should be encouraged to pray and should pray with their teachers. In this way educators and their charges may take a stand against sin.  The weapons of our warfare against sin and the devil are not carnal. Through prayer we pull down evil strongholds. We lift the shield of faith against the fiery darts of the enemy. No principalities or powers of wickedness or spiritual darkness can stand against a heart of love based on Christ and upon acts of prayer formed in the minds and shaped by the words of His servants. 


Since this crucial ingredient of character growth, goodness, and hope is now disallowed in the USA, and has been disallowed for 56 years, the Christian teacher must be deeply immersed in prayer before the school day begins, throughout the day as he or she has the opportunity, and after the school day ends.  And in addition to praying for the students, for their spiritual health, and their salvation and devotion to Christ, we must NEVER GIVE UP on praying for a restoration of prayer in America’s schools.


Being humble - “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”(Matt.5:5)  Do not get into vain arguments about the morally bankrupt and downright devilish policies of the National Education Association or one of the other atheistic, leftwing unions that drive educational policies in many school districts.  On the other hand, let your light so shine that all can see your love and caring for all.  There are times to be outspoken, but the Lord will show you when and what to say.  Don’t go in as a Don Quixote tilting at windmills to right all the rottenness and moral improprieties of the schools.  But, be assured the Lord will open doors for you to improve the moral tone, and thus the character development of your students.  And He will protect you in the process.


This teacher was assigned, along with all the other high school social studies teachers, to distribute condoms to the students who requested them.  I prayed and prayed about this, and determined not to make a confrontation about it; but on the day of distribution, I would have a non-descript, brown paper bag with me, and put the condoms in the bag, and toss the bag in a trash bin.  However, when the day came, and I arrived bag in hand, the dictum came down that a special condom office had been set up, and the teachers would not distribute the items.  The Lord will give you wisdom, and He will open and close doors.


Loving the Lord and His Word -  The love of the Lord and His Word illuminates all study and all knowledge.  As this love leads you daily in the implementation of the educational process, He will energize your study of the created universe.  To and through the Word of God we know the origin, meaning, and purpose of all creation.  Therefore, there can never be a crisis of meaning or values in the educational process of Christians.  A Christian who loves God’s Word would never say like Wm. Shakespeare’s Macbeth that “life’s a tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” Just look at the teeming historical and literary reality of the Bible!  The Lord’s involvement with the human enterprise is on every page. How forcefully then does the Word of God validate and underscore the importance of nature, society, and the creations of the human mind (though not “vain imaginings”).  Yet, at the same time, through the Word, these may all be kept in their eternal perspective.  We are pilgrims on this earth.  We do hold all the things of this earth – even knowledge – as stewards, and the way we use our knowledge and personalities on this earth will be and is to glorify our Lord and Savior. With these understandings daily present in your mind and heart, you will never experience teacher burnout, discouragement perhaps at times, but not burnout.


Studying - Studying includes; observation, research, memorizing, association, synthesizing, analyzing, speculating, questioning, formulating, hypothesizing, reflecting, describing defining, explaining, and comparing. Study is a condition of mental absorption. Without the application of these and other processes, studies are ineffective and/or dead.


Seeking God’s approval - Studying is a way of showing one is approved by God. Of course, if we study and sin, we may be out of fellowship with Him. Also, let us note that seeking God’s approval in no way challenges the idea of His unconditional love for us. Our love for Him leads us to seek His approval. We want to please Him in all things. It is an intrinsic quality, if you will, of our love for him. To put this point another way, the desire to please God is an intention of our hearts. We are not to act as “men pleasers” but to do all “as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” (Eph. 6:6)


Knowing and applying the teachings of Jesus Christ to everything we say, do, think, feel, want, and believe - This last step is the final goal of CHARACTER BUILDING. Isn’t it wonderful to contemplate the thought of a whole society based on this principle?  What if every man, woman, and child in New York City or San Francisco or Chicago – now places characterized by neglect, perversion, murder, greed, atheism, worldliness, disrespect of parents, covetousness, and sexual immorality – were acting to implement the teachings and the love of Christ?  Is this not something of the “peaceable kingdom” ideal that motivated the Puritans to come to this New World?  The Holy Spirit that led them to Massachusetts also led to the creation of Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Were there not others with a similar vision? For example, William Penn, despite some Quaker misunderstandings about God’s nature, had a great love for God and for humanity.  And many other colonies, though not as strongly focused on faith in Christ brought a commitment to Christ far deeper than what we see in the America of today even among Evangelical Christians.


America was once meant to be a great dwelling place for Christian brotherhood based on love for the Father made known and glorified through His Son.  What happened?  Let us never lose sight of that glorious foundation of our republic, and never stop praying, nay, crying out for that foundation’s restoration.


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