Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A needed reform in many Christain schools

"At school Marjorie had been taught what I may best describe as Muffled Christianity - a temperate and discreet system designed primarily not to irritate parents, in which the painful symbol of the crucifixion and the riddle of what Salvation was to save her from, and indeed, the coarser aspects of religion generally, were entirely subordinate to images of amiable perambulations, and a rich mist of finer feelings. She had been shielded, not only from arguments against her religion, but from arguments for it - the two things go together - and I do not think it was particularly her fault if she was now growing up like the great majority of respectable English people, with her religious faculty, as it were, artificially faded, and an acquired disposition to regard any speculation of why she was, and whence and whither, as rather foolish, not very important, and in the very worst possible taste."

-H.G. Wells, Marriage

I wish I could say differently of my Christian school education. Thank God for the few great teachers who rose above this description. Thank God for teachers (such as my brother) who push young adults in their thoughts and provide them with a rock to stand on as they prepare to meet the real world.

*Post note: I am indeed grateful for the education I received, and not in the least putting Christian schools at the bottom of the educational list. Each system of education requires the diligence of the parent to oversee and guide that education. There are certainly dangers and flaws wherever our children are educated...including the home, private school or public school.
That said, I did identify with this quote. It is a battle to fight and not ignore; but worth fighting...and I believe it can be changed.


alpidarkomama said...


This sounds VERY much like the difference between reform Judaism and orthodox Judaism. :)


Mainely Me said...

Good thoughts. When it comes to educating our children, I say "choose your battle". Whether it's muffled Christianity (in the home, church, and school), anti-Christianity, or isolated/insulated Christianity, there will be battles to be fought. I praise and worship the God of Scripture for the truth He has revealed in such places as Rev. 7:9-10, John 10:27-29, and Deut. 6. He is forever faithful.

Blog Snob said...
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The Six of Us said...
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Janine the Bean said...
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Coraly said...

I have pondered this quote all morning and still am unsure exactly how I feel... I just wanted to say yes I, too, feel a little jaded and skeptical of "christian schooling" but I am so grateful for ours as it brought me the worlds greatest friend.
Yes, you could debate whether more harm happens to the name of Jesus..you could debate on all different points of educational views, world views and Christian views but that is not my point... I am just grateful for my locker partner with whom I shared many laughs, tears and moldy sandwhiches.
I am grateful that she choose to rise up above the norm, be the person whom God created her to be: to love her friends in there unloveable states and yet speak truth even if the truth hurt... so yes I am grateful for Santiam,not for the stellar education, or the deep theology they attempted to teach, but for the friend that I made during my my time there!

Just had to give my 2 cents

Blog Snob said...

Suck Up!!! ;)

JPB said...

Three comments deleted????

Now I really don't want to say anything.

You know, you can delete those permanently?

I know one thing. Though I share your concerns with Christian education (we try to avoid the term at Trinity), I am eternally grateful for my schooling -- grateful to my parents, my teachers and my friends. This is despite my concerns -- or, rather, even in light of them.

The Six of Us said...

Apparently this was one of those posts which should have had a lot more exception and explanation clauses. I too am very grateful for the education I had. I would say that overall my experience there was a good one. Looking back from this point of view, there is just so much MORE they could be doing, and I know there are those on the "inside" who are attempting great reforms. It struck me reading this and realizing, "wow, this is a universal problem and not one confined to my small world."

Cor, I too had a great locker partner who made all the difference :)

JPB said...

Oh, don't get me wrong, that description from Wells is, I think, a spot on description of the kind of Christianity most Christian schools are fostering. But it's also the kind of Christianity that Veggie Tales, youth groups and Christian young adult groups are fostering.

Mainely Me said...

And a lot of churches.

Sandee said...

I think, as a couple other comments have said, that muffled Christianity can happen everywhere. Churches, homes.....even in my own heart at times.

What I do love about Christian schools, is the freedom my children have to opening talk about God and not be ridiculed. Whether it is the sharp edges of what are faith is about, or just a simple prayer of God help my friend who just fell and got hurt, my children opening talk, and walk in their faith at school and it is supported.

No where is the perfect Christian theology taught or practiced....even in my own heart. That is why we are all on a journey and in need of a daily Savior....and our daily relationship....

I think your post brings to light some interesting thoughts that parents need to realize. Do not let a christian school substitute for the real discussions that are needed between parent and child on faith and life.

Ana said...

I went to public school. Tyler went to a Christian private school. The only thing I wish Henley would have had was a Biblical Studies class. That, from my point of view, was the only upper hand Tyler got from Triad.

I'm biased-my teachers at Henley prepared me more for college than what I see Triad teachers doing. I was allowed to write Christian based papers and argue creation versus evolution in biology class from the Christian perspective. The only restraint they put on me was providing sufficient research and quotes to back up my statements. I don't think it's the school's job to instill Christianity--that's for parents, and I thank God for my parents who gave me such a firm foundation in Christ.

I'm not going to say that I wasn't singled out because of my faith in school. It happened senior year by my government teacher. However, through that, I learned how important it is to stand up for my relationship with Christ.

Tyler and I are talking more and more about schools and faith now that Isaac is getting older. We want him to be a well rounded person, but at the same time, we do want to shelter him and give him a strong base to work off of, at least at the beginning of his schooling.

I like what Sandee wrote in the last sentence of her last paragraph. It's true. If you provide your child with a good base, with God they can face anything the devil throws at them-be it muffled Christianity or pursecution in school.

The Singlers said...

As a former teacher at a Christian school - it was hard not to practice muffled Christianity there.

I hope that my children will be pushed and pulled and know their faith as their own.