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Go Marry a Canaanite

Andrea G. Schwartz
  • Andrea G. Schwartz,
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You would think that by now the heavily flawed “missionary” argument for sending Christian children to the state-run public schools would have died. After all, even most evangelical pastors admit that college usually delivers the fatal blow to many Christian young persons who enter the university calling themselves Christians and leave having abandoned the faith. In spite of this evidence, we still hear the pietistic argument that if our kindergartens, grammar schools, and high schools are not filled with Christian children, souls will be lost and we will have failed in carrying out the Great Commission. These “missionary-minded” proponents fail to make the connection between the twelve years of state-sponsored, humanistic education and the realigning of loyalties that finally manifests itself in the college years.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting
(Galatians 6:7-8).

In the midst of this travesty, we have intense emphasis on "missions" from numerous pulpits and Christian conferences striving to develop a "heart for missions" in the people of God, while remaining blind to the enormous mission field that exists in many homes in our own backyards. I guess it is easier to travel thousands of miles to far away places in order to share the gospel, than to teach God’s law-word across all the academic disciplines and then confront the culture with a cogent and whole-hearted application of the commandments of God.

Recently, a friend and I were discussing the silence of most churches on the subject of Christian education when he offered the tongue-in-cheek comment, “Just go marry a Canaanite.” Isn’t that what is really being communicated, as those “missionaries” from Christian homes are sent to secular, God-hating places to receive their education?

Jesus told us in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares that a time would come when people would act on the outside, just as they thought on the inside. In theological terms, that is called being epistemologically self-conscious. More and more, I find I have little tolerance for conversations with professing believers who want to defend their tareness and claim that those who espouse Christian education should just calm down. After all, can’t we wheat and tares just get along!