LISTEN NOW! These are very interesting time that we are in, that we are facing. As the Church it is important that we take the time to talk about the issues and events that are happening in our generation. Coaches are being threatened because of praying on school grounds; students are being punished for wearing t-shirts with patriotic emblems. This is just the surface. How do we, as the Church, respond in these moments? The classrooms within America have a tremendous impact on our culture. It is a beautiful moment to be able to sit down with those who work in this area. This is exactly what took place in a discussion with Escambia County School District Superintendent, Malcolm Thomas.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, Thomas brings an insightful perspective to what is taking place within these very classrooms. On any one given day, he oversees the operations of more than 7,000 employees and over 42,000 students. According to Thomas, ‘this is the best job you can ever have; you can touch the future; what you do changes their lives and future’.
When a Georgia High School assistant football coach, Joe Kennedy, continued to pray after each of his football games on the 50 yard line, a myriad of responses, from support to criticism came his way. Responding to what has taken place, Thomas expresses from his position that he is not to promote any religion, but that does not remove his ability to pray. Thomas reminds us that those who can pray are the students and the parents. Thomas continues by sharing, ‘they(students) will do so only if the Church has taught that’. John 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
According to George Barna, “81% of self-professing Christians do not read their Bible”. If we begin to learn the ways of Jesus, then we can teach these principles to our young people and empower them to be bold witnesses, wherever they are, in whatever situation they find themselves. Thomas says, “The problem in this country is we don’t pray in our homes.” This reality is not getting any better. The exposure that kids are facing on a daily basis, on multiple media platforms, causes parents to remain vigilant to what is taking place in their homes. In other school districts, the teachings of Christianity are being lessened, while the teachings of Islam are being increasingly promulgated.
Blame appears be an accepted response in our culture. Whether someone in education asks ‘what is being taught in the home’, or someone asks, ‘what is being taught in the schools’, the problem has always been and always will be the existence of sin. If the problem lies solely upon the shoulders of the parents, does that mean that God was a bad Father when His children sinned?
Regardless, parents are finding themselves in an increasingly difficult paradigm when they desire to simply do the right thing to raise up children the best way they know how. Parents are finding themselves on the receiving end of blame and accusation by authorities when they were simply disciplining their kids. When parents decide not to discipline their children, the child is then handcuffed by authorities because of refusal to follow directions, then the discipline and punishment results in far worse repercussions than the parent originally intended. What can a parent do? There is no doubt; parents face a challenging reality today. A recent State Department poll released that “80% of persecution in the World is against Christians.”
There is a sense of doubt that is coming over prayer, coming over our relationships with God and coming over the allegiance to our nation. Bottom line; it is OK to be loyal to Jesus Christ; it is OK to be loyal to your country. Thomas expresses the sobering truth, “The spirit that is sweeping our country is not going to get better.” These are the moments when we can stand up to be the greatest in our generation. The question is: will we? Be empowered and informed about some of the realities that are taking place, and so much more. Also shared in this segment: football game prayer, persecution, Islam, education, bus drivers, food service personnel, family, values, American flag t-shirts, and wisdom. Greg and Malcom Thomas shared in this segment.
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