For decades now, the debate over the place of Christianity—and specifically the Bible—in public life has raged without any sign of abating. The battles are commonly over prayer in school (and after school), the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, "Christian" Christmas crèches, and the promotion of Islam and Eastern religions at the expense of Christianity. The liberal media and likewise-liberal National Education Association have thrown their full weight into banishing every hint of Christianity from that most formative of environments of the next generation: public school.
It may come as a surprise, then, to hear that a public school district in Texas is going to allow a "Bible class" titled "The Bible and Its Influence" as one of its electives. The New Braunfels ISD school board voted six to one to approve the new class. According to WOAI.com (San Antonio),
"The Bible is a fundamental document," says Rosalyn Bratcher with the New Braunfels ISD. "It has had a great influence in terms of politics, art, music, literature." The district says this course does not violate the First Amendment. "What makes it compliant is that we are teaching the Bible as a textbook and a document," adds Bratcher.
And there is the rub—the Bible is not being taught as true, but as a "document" that has influenced politics, art, music, and literature. It is not the Word of God, studied for instruction about how to live and come to know the Creator, but an "influential book" to be dissected and deconstructed to further the aims of secular humanists everywhere.
The textbook is filled with statements and exercises that encourage the student to become a judge of the Bible, and thus undermines its authority. It may produce students who are familiar with the Bible, but who are not the least inclined to use it as a guide to life. The textbook speaks for itself—notice these statements and assignments (emphasis added throughout):
This sampling demonstrates the goals of the authors and the tactics used: to subvert high school students by causing them to question God, the authenticity of the Bible, and the supremacy of Christianity. "The Bible and Its Influence" is nothing more than a Trojan horse - a gift to placate those who insist on having a biblical worldview taught, but one that will steadily erode any vestige of confidence in the Bible within the next generation. It is no wonder that groups such as People for the American Way and the American Civil Liberties Union applaud this new textbook - it may well accomplish what they have been trying to do all along.
In Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4, Jesus Christ answers Satan's temptation by proclaiming that God's spoken word is foundational to living - and living eternally: "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'" (see Deuteronomy 8:3). As this nation continues to blaspheme God's instructions to mankind, it will continue to pay the price. With the principles of the Bible steadily disappearing from public discourse, our quality of life will only diminish as we become more focused on the material - the bread - rather than the eternal.
- David C. Grabbe
If you would like to subscribe to the C.G.G. Weekly newsletter, please visit our Email Subscriptions page.