By Erick Streelman – Head of School, Saddleback Valley Christian School
It’s not just a public school problem — it’s a societal problem. We
can blame the First Amendment, Western ideology, or American individualism, but there is a false narrative that is being advanced in our public schools and our world today: “We are the solution to all of our own problems.” And because of this, we tell stories of heroes, but we skip the motivation behind these stories.
The lesson we take from the story of Martin Luther King, Jr. is that man can overcome persecution and all situations can be thwarted when we stand together. at’s a good lesson, but that only takes us part way. e truth is that MLK believed and lived the words of Christ.
He loved his enemies. He prayed for his persecutors. He knew that this world was only temporary and something greater was coming. Oh my goodness! at is the message that our youth needs to hear. at is a message of hope and life and truth. at is a message that gets you through cancer and divorce and poverty and disappointment and all of the other trials that are waiting.
Copernicus is a scienti c hero celebrated in every public school classroom in America. But no one mentions the fact
that Copernicus’ work led him to a greater faith in God as he proved mathematically that the universe was far bigger and more complex than man could ever comprehend. We can’t tell that story in American classrooms because it might lead students to the conclusion that science can actually increase faith and awe in our Creator.
is is why Christian education is so essential. We have to teach the next generation that there are things beyond their
control and that reliance upon God is not a criticism of their human strength or will. I am reminded of 2 Corinthians
12:10, where Paul says, “ at is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight
in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in di culties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Talk about
a countercultural and anti-21st century American statement. When I am weak, I am strong…not exactly a Super Bowl-quality ad campaign.
But as followers of Christ, we know that when we humble ourselves and learn to rely on Him — when we actually give it
all to God and trust His will and His purpose — we nd peace and joy and strength that is outside of explanation. at is the transformational message that the next generation needs to hear.
Christian education is about more than just memorizing Scripture. It’s about more than dogma and doctrine. It’s about more than school prayer or singing “Silent Night” at the Christmas program. Our teachers are instilling a worldview. ey are teaching a way of life and a way of being. ey are shaping the mindset of the next generation of leaders and instilling this amazing truth: the only way we can ultimately survive is if we stop looking inward and learn to look up.