You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine. Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
- Titus 2:1-15
Okay, some may be throwing bricks at the Scripture above based on outdated concepts of women being subservient and having slaves in the first place. But avoiding the gender roles and the “ownership” concept, all these points are worthy to be taught today.
This post could be a series of posts, but I will try to stick to the basics. First, it is odd that the earliest colleges in the USA were built to prepare ministers in the spreading of the Gospel. On most of those college campuses today, I wonder if God is ever mentioned, except in profanity.
Sunday school, in the traditional sense, seems to be outdated. At the church where I attend, the adults involved in Sunday school, teaching and attending, would equal between 5-10% of the church membership, much closer to the 5%. At the church my son attends in Tennessee, everyone in regular attendance is encouraged to join a small group, essentially not an option to not be involved. These small groups meet in member’s houses for the most part. There are classrooms for the children during the worship service up to a particular age, and youth groups are still a popular idea in many churches for middle and high school children.
But why did I think of this topic? There are two reasons. The tremendous variation in pay scale for teachers in the USA tells a great deal about the value that the USA pays to education, and what the USA teaches the children would surprise most God-fearing older adults.
When my son first started teaching in Mississippi, he was well below the poverty level. He had taken 7.5 years to get a degree that used to take four years to achieve. Other than a counselor guiding him incorrectly on one course, he did not waste any of that time. He amassed a mountain of debt, but the area of the country where he taught was impoverished. There was no tax base to provide money to pay the teachers a decent wage. The student loans people were nice in forgiving some of his debt and providing forbearance on the rest until he could get a pay raise, but with what he was paid there was hardly any money to pay for the rent, car note, gasoline, and food. Today, my son says that he gets ill when he passes the aisle with the Chinese noodles in the grocery store. That had been all he could afford to eat for years.
When my son moved to Tennessee, he got a tremendous increase in pay, but there was an equal increase in living expenses. Now, considered marginal poverty level, one of his children gets a free lunch and the other gets a reduced-price lunch at their school. That’s better than having to pay full price, I guess. But it also points to the fact that he is still in the poverty level.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, when I moved to Pennsylvania, it was the first time that I could have gotten a pay raise if I had taken my experience teaching and applied it to the school system, and still the teachers went on strike for higher wages. Often the strikes did not last long when the local newspapers published how much each teacher was already making. But could I have gotten a pay raise by becoming a teacher, assuming that I had certification? No, you had to know someone who knew someone to get a job. So, in some cases, knowing someone meant that you did a great job while student teaching, but in many cases the best teachers were left without jobs, because the teachers with connections were hired.
The point of this is that teachers get paid as much as the tax base can withstand. No one wants higher taxes. One of the political parties is famous for raising taxes – many times without a penny more spent on education, but voters tend to forget who might raise taxes when they elect them. Yet, the cream of each crop of people coming out of college tend to get better jobs, not teaching jobs.
Why is teaching not a better job? My son’s last elementary school before he left Mississippi had the police arrive each day of the school year to arrest 9, 10, and 11-year-old children for crimes committed in the community or on the school grounds. In another school, the fifth graders established gangs in the classroom and openly ganged up on non-gang members to hold them down and beat them, while class was trying to be taught. Teaching? The teacher’s motivation was to survive and collect a paycheck. Teaching was accidental. Learning only occurred by those wise children with a desire to learn in order to escape.
The Scripture above seems to have been lost in the present world, and not part of any curriculum. It seems an ideal that is impossible, if only we could love one another.
What is Being Taught
David Barton, of Wallbuilders, has a series of videos detailing how the USA was founded on Christian principles and how our freedom of religion in the first amendment has been horribly misinterpreted by the Supreme Court. Yet, our textbooks do not even mention that aspect, mostly because we lack a freedom of religion.
The same thing has been rewritten about the Civil War, which I prefer to call the War of Northern Aggression. Even the name of the war was chosen by the victors, refusing to allow the Southern states the right to secede, thus a Civil War rather than a war between independent countries. That aside, there is only one reason for the conflict of the early 1860s that is taught, slavery. Yet, if you look at any northern newspaper printed within a day or two of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, every newspaper in the north had a front page story of anger toward Lincoln, because if the South got the idea that this war was fought over slavery, it would extend the war even longer. Okay, if slavery was not even a thought for the cause of the conflict before that point, then what was the cause – at the time the conflict was raging? Just asking, and asking how the true cause has been lost in what is now taught.
Of course, there is the famous trial regarding the teaching of evolution in school, which most people would not be able to recite the result of the trial. The ultimate result is that creation is never taught, and our children are fed evolution only. We are all simply evolved monkeys rather than people created in God’s image. And by the way, both require a belief. Evolution, as taught as the origin of life, has never been proven – thus belief is required, but if that is all you are ever taught… There are other unproven myths in the world of science that escape my memory at the moment.
I do not want to even mention common core math, other than… WHY?!?!
Why did this come up? I was having a conversation with a liberal friend a couple of months ago. I mentioned something that to me was a current event when it had happened. This friend, considerably younger, told me that I had all the facts wrong. I knew the facts. I was there!!!! Yet, the liberal agenda had been placed into the history books. This friend had been taught from those books, either that or when this friend’s children went to school, my friend had helped his children with their homework. My friend began to get agitated, almost enraged, that I was lying about what had happened before he was born, but the TRUTH was that my friend had been lied to by the school system. The newsworthy point of discussion now escapes me, and at the time of our near argument although my friend had already started shouting (I backed off and changed the topic), I could not logically think of any reason why history had been reversed. What was the motivation for lying to the public?
I wrote about the Post-Truth Era being upon us earlier this week. It has existed for a long time, because those with a liberal agenda have been publishing the textbooks for nearly a hundred years, changing truth into lies with each new edition of the book. Little changes each time, so that no one notices, and us old retired folks don’t bother reading school texts anymore, do we?
Can we regain truth? I was probably taught some lies. All the generations since have been taught even more lies. Our own children will argue with the truth, for they know not the truth.
And the greatest truth is that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for each of our lives, if we will only accept Him. Read the Scripture above again. If the gender and slave words bother you, use a genderless pronoun and “employee” instead of “slave”. If we really lived like that, the world would be a much better place. We may not be able to fix the education system in the USA. We may not be able to fix the Christian education system within our own churches, but we can change how we learn from the Scriptures within our homes.
We can pray more. We can study the Bible more. And we can love more.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.