Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Whose mission field?

Continuing the discussion on Christian children and teachers being "salt and light" in the public schools; Brian left this comment at Mainstream Baptist in response to another comment by a teacher who considers the public schools one of the "great mission fields available". He responded,

I am little bit concerned that you consider the public schools to be a mission field and that your calling is to be a Christian public school teacher.In my opinion it is completely immoral and unethical for a public school teacher to attempt to influence the religious beliefs of a minor child without the consent of the minors parents (or possibly the consent of the minor if it is clear that he/she is capable of independent thought.)I am not suggesting that you engage in the behavior I describe above, but I am wondering if you could tell me how that it is you can carry out the Great Commission in the public schools while respecting the rights of minors to a secular education and the rights of their parents to be in control of their childrens religious
I'm not sure about where the rights of a child to a secular education come from. But Brian does bring up an interesting dilemma for those who believe we should be "salt and light" in the schools, but also believe that a Christian family's faith and values should be respected in the same schools.

Should Christian teachers respect the rights of an atheist or Muslim parent to direct the religious upbringing of their student? Or are they bound to a higher authority to be "salt and light" and disregard the rights and authority of those parents?

Also, can the parents of Christian children in the public schools have it both ways? Rejoicing when their child has a teacher who supports their faith and values but cries foul when a teacher tromps on their family's beliefs?

It's something to think about.

Notice: The Carnival of Homeschooling is up at the Common Room. Make sure you check it out.

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