Commentary: Is Education the Answer? (Part 2)
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 11-May-13; 10 minutes
In Daniel 12:4, an angel announced to Daniel,
Daniel 12:4 "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Two weeks ago I gave a commentary I titled, "Is Education the Answer?" Well, the answer to that question is, "of course." But another very important and logical question must follow, and that is, "An education in what?"
By and large, the culture that we live in is well-educated in multitudes of scientific disciplines. At least we have a large fund of knowledge about scientific things. I really do not know how well we are actually using all of that information for practical and truly beneficial uses. It can easily be argued, using the huge numbers of inventions that mankind has brought into existence, that it has made our lives better. But are our lives truly any more meaningful, and our character any better, than the people experienced in the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
There is no doubt that this explosion of knowledge has made life somewhat less stressful regarding the daily routines of living. It is convenient to have running water under pressure right into one's home, electricity, natural gas, and so forth. But does more convenience equal better living?
If easier is better, then why has suicide moved into first place in the list of violent deaths in America? More Americans committed suicide in 2011 then died in the wars America is involved in. If more convenience is better, why is suicide the choice of escape from the stresses of life?
Virtually every town in all of the Israelitish nations spread throughout this Western world supports a school, and yet the quality of life is very definitely deteriorating. Simply being able to read and write and to do a low level of mathematics and to have a bit of historical and geographic knowledge has not helped.
I find it interesting that when God gave that "knowledge shall increase" prophecy to Daniel, He did not specify what kind or quality of knowledge would increase. We all understand and agree that what is needed is an increase of the knowledge of God.
I find it very interesting that in the very next book in the Bible after Daniel, that is, in Hosea 4:1, it says,
Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel, for the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land."
Hosea 4:6-7 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. [Then He adds in the very next verse:] “The more they increased, the more they sinned against Me; . . . "
The richer we become and the more able we are to make use of the benefits of our explosion of scientific knowledge, the more sins we commit. I cannot grasp how the quality of life today, with cars, airplanes and TV, is truly better than that lived by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
There is a segment of this nation that has been identified by sociologists and others who deal with this aspect of community, religious and political life in America. This group has been titled as the "Nones." These are not the nuns of the Catholic Church, but the Nones. The title was attached to them because these are people who, when asked on surveys about their religious affiliation, they check, "none."
They represent a large number of Americans. In 1950, the Nones were 3% off the population of the United States. Today, they occupy 20% of the American population. Do you realize that is 60 million people? They have a larger segment of the population than either Latinos or Blacks—in fact, larger then both of them combined. They are mostly Boomers and Gen Xers and mostly white. They also tend to be considered well-educated, at least with a bachelor's degree. These people are largely those most would consider as part of the elite of the nation.
The author of a recent article published by Hillsdale College said of them that they are a higher educated sector of the nation within colleges and universities. They are the teachers and the administrators and they dominate important cultural institutions: the media and Hollywood. As a group, they are conscious of their power and feel the momentum of the growth in their numbers. They are very influential. In addition, the Nones are considered—listen to this—the single most ideologically committed cohort of Americans. They are rivaled only by the evangelical Protestants. They overwhelmingly support abortion and gay marriage and are significantly humanist. Most do not believe in God. They believe in themselves and in science.
Seventy-five percent of them voted for Barack Obama in the 2012 election, thus playing a major role in his victory, while at the same time in the same election, four million fewer Republicans voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election than voted for John McCain in the 2008 election. When one sees these figures, it is not difficult to determine why our religious liberties are sliding away.
These determined, committed, highly educated and mostly white ideologues are leading the way to wiping away Christian beliefs given by the very Creator—beliefs that they believe are unfair, narrow-minded, archaic, discriminatory, and relics of an uneducated period of time. They believe that they know better than the teachings of those that they consider to be ignorant sod busters. And so, being in the positions of power they are, they move with zeal to wipe the wisdom of the past from the books so American citizens can then be free, free at last, from the shackles of faith.
They look upon people of faith in much the same way that the Muslims look upon non-Muslims, and thus, they are imposing a soft dhimmitude on people of the Christian faith. They want to force people through law changes and social pressures to join in agreement with them. And from the looks of the way things are going, they are winning the majority of the battles.