by Dick Buckingham
“You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” These are familiar quotes from the gospels usually attributed to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. Many of us have been motivated by these statements of Jesus to be active in our jobs, neighborhoods, even the world to let our “light shine before men so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” It is one of the marks of a disciple, that we are willing to step into the world to represent Jesus and all that He teaches. It is common then, that a parent, desirous of teaching and training a child to be a disciple, would think that a perfect place for their child to be salt and light is on the campus of the local public school. After all, if we pull all of our children out of the public school to put them in Christian schools, who is going to be left to witness to the masses in our schools? It is a question truly motivated by a love for the lost and it may almost seem uncaring to counter it. Yet it deserves a carefully reasoned response. There are some assumptions that are being overlooked to conclude that God would have us place our children in the public schools to be “salt and light.”
of adults who have developed more fully in their thinking. Instead of being teachers, children are to be taught. Certainly parents play a major role in this training and our local churches assist. But when you consider the sheer number of hours that our children are under the teaching and training of their teachers at the public school, there are not enough hours in the day for us to begin to counter what may be taught as truth but is not. When most parents ask their children what they learned in school, the answer is “nothing.” The students themselves are unable to communicate what is being learned that might be dangerous to them in terms of their thinking and worldview. How is a parent ever able to make sure truth is weighed in with the false ideas presented? Many times, we find out after we see the fruit of this false knowledge worked out in the life of our child. Then, many times, it is too late.