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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Christian Schools and Legalism

Is it really that bad?

A series over at Sharper Iron by Mike Durning is discussing the issue of Legalism and the Christian School Movement. Part 1; Part 2; Part 3

Those who commented made some great points like-

Joel Tetreau who said, "When conservative, fundamental and traditional leaders in churches and schools take man-made rules and equate them with Scripture....and hold young people accountable as if it was the same is wicked and idolatrous. When that happens you have pharisaism, legalism and eventually a false gospel.”

and Susan R who said about the, “Christian School Handbook-I have no objections whatsoever to rules and policies that schools put in place to keep order on campus. But when that rulebook dictates to the family where they can go, what they can wear, and how they are to spend their time, then Houston, I think we have a problem. What happens, in my experience, is that most parents don't believe that a school should be dictating their off-campus conduct, but they do want their child to have a 'Christian education'. So they sign off on the handbook, agree to the school's policies, write a check for the tuition, and then encourage their child to obey the rules while at school- but once they are home, all bets are off.”

and T Howard said, “Discussions like this one center on what we believe is more important when raising our children: moralism or true spirituality. Moralism views proper behavior as the ultimate goal; true spiritually views proper belief as the ultimate goal.Christian schools whose focus is heavy on behavior and light on belief, or who confuse the two, are teaching moralism instead of true spirituality.”

and Durning added this in the comments, “As for myself, I had no problem with the rules at any of my schools or colleges. The meaning given to the rules by some of my fellow students sickened me. And the value still given to the rules by some staff members terrifies me.”

These and many other comments expressed what I was thinking, of course much better than I could.

I was also reminded of this article by Al Molher on his website-Why Moralism is not the gospel and why so many Christians think it is

What do you think?

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