Dear Rev. Sandlin,
Thank you for teaching on the issue of Christian education: you are one of the Elijahs mentioned in the letter to Dr. Dobson below. Praise God for leaders who are courageous enough to teach truth about the education of our children. I worry that I do not always express an adequate measure of Christian charity or humility but this is an issue in the church today that totally breaks my heart.
August 8, 1999
Dr. James C. Dobson
Focus on the Family
Colorado Springs, CO 80995
Dear Mr. Dobson:
Please remove us from your mailing list for the Focus on the Family Magazine. We have been receiving your magazine for a number of years, but after receiving the last issue with the article, "Rebuilding Hope for Public Schools," we have concluded that we no longer desire to have this kind of "milktoast" Christianity coming into our home. The article on charter schools was equally offensive to the informed. You have done a disservice to all by holding out to your readers a false sense of hope that public schools can be "rebuilt."
Mr. Dobson, when is the church in America going to wake up and realize that we are sending our children off to a pagan institution which is steeped in humanism and espouses a total worldview which is the very antithesis of Christianity? We are so far removed from a Christian understanding of education that we justify this public school "choice" as simply a matter of Christian liberty, as if education could ever be considered neutral territory. Whatever happened to "he who is not for me is against me," "do all to the glory of God," and "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ"?
The church dares to preach to the world about the state of our ungodly culture. Christianity today seems blind to the fact that we participate in building that ungodly culture by justifying participation in its main indoctrination center. We contribute our most precious possessions to the ungodly (in this case, the State, to which God never gave the duty nor the authority to educate. This is not the civil magistrate's job).
We need more Elijahs today, those who are courageous enough to call God's people back to Him. "How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." In the area of education, the church has indulged in syncretism at best; we have followed after other gods thinking we could mix it up with the true God. And, we are reaping the consequences the true God has always promised for such behavior.
The Littleton tragedy seldom prompted the question, "What are they teaching our children?" As Christians we ought to know what it is that they are not teaching our children, we ought to know, as the founders of Harvard did, that Christ is to be laid at the foundation of all knowledge and wisdom; all else dishonors Him. We cannot claim to follow Him and then go chasing after our own false gods.
With the advent of education reform and the continued bankruptcy of government education, I have patiently waited to see if you would take a stand. You have not. Enough is enough; we want more from our Christian publications, especially those whose focus is the family. Thankfully there are more and more Christian publications that are once again teaching and espousing doctrine and an application of God's Word to all of life and living, including education. The Lord is raising up Christian leaders who are refusing to compromise; a few Elijahs. Amen.
Dave & Roxanne Sitler
P.S. I have invested over six years in researching the government school system, Goals 2000, STW etc., and have been very politically active in the local level and the state legislature; written legislation and reports; done public awareness through radio, seminars, lectures, published articles etc. Public education is bankrupt; rebuilding (?) is a wrong-headed idea; please encourage Christians to protect their children by getting them out encourage the Christian community to develop a truly Biblical philosophy of education! R.S.
- P. Andrew Sandlin
P. Andrew Sandlin is a Christian minister, theologian, and author. He is the founder and president of the Center for Cultural Leadership in Coulterville, California. He was formerly president of the National Reform Association and executive vice president of the Chalcedon Foundation. He is a minister in the Fellowship of Mere Christianity.. He was formerly a pastor at Church of the Word in Painesville, Ohio (1984-1995) and Cornerstone Bible Church in Scotts Valley, California (2004-2014).