By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/11/2013 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Evangelicals deserve a lot of credit for spearheading the fight to keep religious freedom in schools. Whether fighting to keep God in the pledge, or to preserve a student's right to pray at a school function, Evangelicals have contributed much. However, as secularism continues to erode the rights of Christians in our public institutions, evangelical Christians are taking a new approach.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Secular and atheistic influences have become so dominant in public education that any mention of the word of God by either a student or teacher, in some places, results in a frenzy of media attention and lawsuits. Organizations such as the ACLU and the "Freedom from Religion Foundation" have represented students who claim they were offended by Christian displays and prayers at their schools and brought embarrassment to their communities.
Strapped for cash, school districts simply don't have the finances to fight these repetitive legal battles. As a consequence, God has been shown the door to many a schoolhouse.
It's easy to conclude that God isn't allowed in school anymore, but one would be mistaken. Some Evangelical Christians have come up with a new approach that brings God into school without attracting fire from the godless.
Nicole Baker Fulgham, an evangelical author, has written a new book "Educating All God's Children." In her book, Fulgham suggests that instead of leading the crusade to reintroduce faith to the school environment, perhaps students who would be better served with help on their schoolwork.
Traditionally, Evangelicals have spent their time fighting with officials over school prayer, evolution, the Big Bang theory, and so on, that they've gotten a bad rap. Now, a new approach has Evangelicals visiting schools simply to help teach children. There's nothing overt to do with religion per se, instead they're simply showing up to help and teach children the basics.
"There are so many places where Christians can make a positive impact without explicitly sharing the Gospel -- and public schools are one of them," Fulgham says. "Part of our work on this planet, I believe, is to bring equity and justice to broken systems."
So instead of approaching the schools with the crusade mentality, evangelical Christians are now approaching schools with a mind to help. Whether it's helping kids study, or beautifying school grounds, evangelical congregations are doing their part to serve their schools.
These days of service, and efforts to help make a difference in the daily lives of children, without explicitly sharing the Gospel, actually do much to deliver the love of Christ to others.
Although Christ spent much of his time preaching, he also spent a good measure of its doing. He performed many miracles in good works and did much to feed and help others. By doing the same, a Christian has no need to speak the name of Christ because Christ is evident in their deed.
The clever new approach is working. Even the most secular schools will not turn down free, qualified and well-intentioned help from others, including Christians. The schools and the kids, and the communities notice. Now, instead of being listed in the papers for suing the school district over a controversial science textbook, or over an individual's right to pray, they are now making the news on the merits of these new good deeds.
One cannot help but to think that Christ Himself is well pleased.
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