What's Good...or What's Right - MetroFamily Magazine
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What's Good…or What's Right

by Kaye Wilson

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

As usual, summer has gone by far too quickly. Teachers everywhere are finishing their plans for the year and decorating their classrooms in anticipation of that all-important first day of school. As we head into another academic year, let’s remember that what we are about, both as teachers and as parents, is the shaping of future adults.

While the academic objectives of a given year must be met, the most important thing that will occur in the coming months is the training of the affections of our students, for good or ill. Will we teach them to love the good and the beautiful? Or will we be more concerned that our children believe what is “right”? Don’t get me wrong–children must be taught right from wrong, and as a Christian, I hold firmly to the truth and practice of historical, orthodox Christianity. However, Christianity isn’t a list of rules for moral living, nor is it the correct position on a set of political issues or even doctrinal questions; parents, churches, and schools teaching this version of Christianity are, at best, providing an incomplete picture.

I would imagine that the young man who recently killed nearly one hundred people in Norway was brought up to believe what is “right”; he has the “correct” view of politics, economics, and moral issues. He considers himself to be a politically conservative Christian. He believes very strongly that immigration laws should be more stringent. Chances are we would agree with him in many areas, maybe even most. He seems to be well-educated and articulate. In short, before the events of last week, we might have considered him to be very similar in many ways to those of us who live in Oklahoma, go to conservative churches, send our kids to private Christian schools, and do our best to be good, patriotic Americans.

Before I go any further I need to make it very clear that I am not suggesting that being a conservative Christian leads to violence. What I am suggesting is that a focus on being “right,” whether doctrinally, politically, or in moral issues, is irrelevant if we are not also good. Ditto for being well-educated.

Those of us involved with Christian education must be very wary of promoting a political agenda, and while it is important to teach our American history and government, accurately and with pride and affection, we must be diligent to make sure our students understand that the American Dream, liberty, and patriotism are NOT the gospel. Neither are capitalism, membership in a particular political party, or a pro-life stance. Our enemy is not environmentalism, socialism, a different political party, or Islam; our mission is not to convert people to our view of immigration reform, nor is it to achieve a balanced budget.

Parents and teachers (and being a parent places you in the role of teacher), have the most important job on the planet, and the one which carries the greatest responsibility. We’ve been very clearly told in Scripture that to lead “one of these little ones who believes in me to sin” carries a massive penalty. Leading them to falsely trust in the correctness of their religious or political beliefs—to think that being “right” is their salvation– is a grievous sin for which we will be held accountable.

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