Credit and Blame...

On some issues I can be justifiably classified as "very open." On other issues I am proudly labeled as "very decided."

Also, as a single man, I don't have the wisdom and perspective that alot of my married friends may have on the "social issues" that continually bombard us in contemporary American society.

The reason I mention all of this is because I'm concerned about how Christ-followers are so quick to "point fingers" and place all the "blame" on everyone for every social ill possible...except where it really belongs. And most of the time, we can't accurately pinpoint where "the blame" belongs, not to mention credit for the good things.

A case in point:

Last Sunday morning, my pastor [Dr Erwin W Lutzer, The Moody Church] was preaching a powerful message on "When Loyals Collide: God and State" from Matthew 22. The main points were what we, as believers, owe to "Caesar" (the government) and what we owe to God. It was a great, great message.

However, I was a bit disturbed when Pastor Lutzer started talking about the "public schools" and how children are "brainwashed" and "deceived" by some of the things taught in the public school system. (I am not defending the public school system, and particularly not the Chicago Public School system). What really bothered me was the fact that many parents are ready to "blame the school system" for not "raising their children."

The school system should not be charged with the responsibility of "raising" anyone's children. Those children were given to an act of God's love and benevolence. Those children were not ever given to the public (or private) school system to be raised.

Teachers have more than they can do already. No schoolteacher should have to "raise" someone else's children. I'm very thankful that most all my schoolteachers were loving, gracious and caring people who had my best interests at heart. But my education began at home...and my 4th Grade-educated Grandmother Hoover did everything in her power to raise me "right."

After the morning service, I had a brief opportunity to speak with my pastor. I always feel as though it's a privilege when I get a chance to speak with him...he's a very busy man, with lots of people wanting to talk to him. I mentioned to him that parents should be held responsible for raising their children--not the public school system. It does take a village--but the parents are the "chiefs" in their own personal villages. When parents insist that "others" raise their children, then they have no right to complain when they start "reaping the whirlwind."

My parents abandoned me when I was a baby. And I can look back now and thank God that many, many people loved and cared about me. Schoolteacher were (and still are) very, very important in my life. But God never commanded them to raise me.

So, let's give credit where credit is due. But be careful when blaming the school system/teachers, or anyone else when we "pass off" our responsibility to another entity.

Those "other entities" can always be helpful, and most of the time, they are indeed beneficial and helpful. But, let's not blame them for "botching" up something they should have not attempted in the first place:

Raising our children.


Tony Myles said...

I agree, Phil... yet I also know how teachers do put their slants into things. One of the reasons my wife is home schooling is because she was a teacher in the public school system and knows the slants teachers intentionally put into things. As a Christian, she put hers in... what was interesting was how the non-Christian teachers did the same.

Again, though, the responsibility is on the parents to raise the child. However, at times it seems like any system - public school or otherwise - that a child is in during an impressionable stage can be more of a enemy than a friend at times.

Carolanne said...

You're right, Phil. Parents do have to raise their children. It is their responsibility. Unfortunately too many parents prefer to give that responsibility to teachers and expect the teachers to teach them as they should/would. Teachers come from so many backgrounds and perspectives, schools have policies and governments have an influence.
Parents need to know what their children are being taught.
In the Christian school I teach at, we are to be an 'extention of the home' and endorse what is (should) be valued at home.

Benjie said...

Good post. I had a chance to hear a bit of Erwin's outline today as he was interviewed on a lunchtime radio broadcast.

Bravo for you that you understand the necessity of parents taking the initiative in the parental responsibility. I don't necessarily agree with the HRC quote that it "takes a village to raise a child." That philosophy has always bothered me. I believe that it takes a family to raise a child. When we leave it up to the village the result is just what your post is all about.