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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Christless Reformation is Futile

As I have begun working again teaching in a public middle school, I have seen the great behavior problems it has and how effortless and powerless is attempting to change it. Everyday it is a battle. Teachers are frustrated because they can't teach unruly children. They demand something to be done. All they can do is send them to the office in an attempt for something to be done. Those in charge of discipline, struggle trying to implement new ways to deal with behavior issues but it seems that nothing is working, at least not fast enough. Parents are contacted, meetings are arranged and yet the next day children are back to their old ways.

As a Christian, especially one with pastoral training, I see it from the spiritual dimension. The problem is simple, it deals with sin. At this junction of their lives, these children lack the spiritual and moral instruction from their parents. The children's actions are merely the sprouting of their own sinfulness. The solution is found in the Gospel and not in reformation. Though I believe, as other believers do as well, morality is good and can bring about change, but it is limited in scope. Much of our society functions in such a way. There are rules to follow and those that don't face the consequence of being corrected by law enforcement. Punishment is a determent. This was also God's design as well (see C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man). But in a public school (and in society), where teachers and adults continue to lose the power of correction, led by politically correct views, not much can be done (with this I'm not saying all schools are this way nor that good morality can't be implemented).

But there is hope in the Gospel. Only Christ can change a heart inclined to sin. He can redeem it and change it. We need more Christians to proclaim it in public schools as well, even though practically it is very difficult.

I just finished Parents Groans Over Ungodly Children written a long time ago by a pastor. The obvious focus of the book is how even godly parents can have ungodly children. It offers great advice. What called my attention is the focus on the spiritual problem of the child's heart and how we as parents need to focus on that and not on other trivial matters. Here I post some of my highlights. I wasn't able to copy and paste so they are in picture form. I hope this is an encouragement to you Christian parents and those who are interested in spiritual matters.

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