I was browsing through the job section of the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, checking out the Education section….no I’m not having 2nd thoughts about staying on at college…I was just, you know, surveying the field.
But what I came across unsettled me. A surprisingly large amount of independent Christian schools who were advertising positions with the following proviso’s.
“Applicants must have a personal commitment to Christ based upon a reformed evangelical understanding of the Bible”
“Commitment to a local church and the ethos of Christian education is essential”
and my favourite;
“The applicant must be a committed Christian who regularly attends a protestant church and is able to obtain written references from their church minister” (there was no reference to any ability to be able to teach or show expertise in educational practices…..but you needed a permission slip from your minster)
I sat their reading the paper thinking; what are we doing? Are we deliberately creating ghetto’s?
Is anyone else worried about this?
Now, I’m all for ministry within schools, in fact I am currently looking to move into School Chaplaincy when I finish college.
But reading these job advertisements there seems to be a culture of fear regarding ‘outsiders’ – anyone who is not an evangelical Christian. And I’m sure that isn’t just coming from the school, I bet a whole bunch of parents are championing this Christian ghetto as well. God forbid their children may end up in a school where there is a teacher who doesn’t believe in the total authority of the scriptures, or who questions Calvinism, or who…wait for it…..isn’t a Christian!?!?
I wonder what we think will happen if our children are taught year 8 mathematics by an agnostic?
Are we afraid that their faith will crumble?
Are we afraid they will be ‘brainwashed’?
May I make a suggestion?
My suggestion is that we have created for ourselves a very small view of the Gospel and a very powerless view of the Holy Spirit.
Truth is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a ruggard and long tested truth. It has shone through the hypocrisy of the institutionalised Middle Ages, it has fuelled the abolition of slavery and driven the pursuit of equality amongst races. It has stood up against a Nazi regime and continues in the modern day despite being labelled out-of-date, fundamentalist and irrelevant.
The Spirit of God is very, very powerful. He works in His way, in His time to transform us to be more like our king Jesus Christ. This doesn’t mean we become perfect, it means we come to know God better and we come to face more and more suffering – because that is what it is like to be like Jesus.
If the Gospel is bigger than any one culture, time or fashion and the Spirit is more powerful than we can ever imagine why are we afraid that our kids may come in contact with a non Christian teacher at their high school?
Why do we think that somehow an agnostic yr 8 maths teacher could derail God’s plan for our son/daughters life?
When I was completing my education degree I was prac teaching at French’s Forest High School. My ‘master teacher’ hated Christianity and every week would put another argument forward to disprove or discredit my faith. And I tell you what, it rattled me and challenged me and put me on the back foot. I did question my faith, I did question the whole strange concept that someone rose from the dead, I did question whether the church was just an organisation of control.
And you know what? God never let me go. The mighty Spirit of God – my inheritance, my seal of eternal life and my counsellor used every week of that torture to make me more like Christ. I praise God for my non-Christian teacher.
Sure it feels good to be a gangster in a Christian ghetto, but have we really thought through why we are doing what we are doing?