This morning I began putting together a new study for Ty in school; we are going to learn more fully each one of Jesus' parables that He gave at the The Sermon of the Mount. I can see these lessons will be just as much for me as they are for him!
The parable of the mustard seed: Matthew 13:31, He put another parable before them, saying,"The kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it is grown up it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air make nests in it's branches." There are so many ways to look at this parable; there is the apparent insignifigance of the gospel message and yet look at what a great change and growth it works in peoples hearts. There is the birds that nest in the branches. We will look at every part of the parables to learn more about what our Lord was fully trying to say. I thought this parable tied into what I was thinking about yesterday as we wrapped up this weeks Sunday School lesson. I was thinking about how silly and upside down it is what the public schools will allow in the classroom, and what they won't. Over the years,I have seen a lot of things that have sat with me oddly coming from various classrooms~ at first my own son's classrooms when he was in public school himself, and then in all kinds of classrooms as I served in the PTA and was sent to many different teachers to work,and today since our church meets in a public school building and the classrooms serve as out CM rooms on Sunday mornings. I am grateful that our church is able to rent the use of these classrooms and the caf,and the rooms are always kept very nicely for us and we are treated respectfully. I do not mean to step on any toes, and I hope I don't, when I say that it is just what it allowed into the schools - and what is purposefully kept out- that distrurbs me greatly. In the case that anyone should happen to read this who might have cause to be offended,please know that I am only taking umbridge with the rules in the public schools, not any one individual person or entity. :).
That being said,in public school they will not allow kids to bring in Bibles or prayer cards, religious posters,stickers,t-shirts,etc. and yet the defmation of Christ is tolerable, in the forms that I have seen of Creationism being rejected by the school system,children being teased for identifying themselves as Christians and even being told that they cannot identify themselves as believers in school,while Pagans are allowed to express their beliefs fully and without consequence or bebuttal,and the personal effects that students and teachers are allowed to have at their desks and on their persons that are anti-God,while God-glorifying effects are rejected and shunned: the following are a few examples of the latter that I have seen...
- cardstock cut-out proclaiming "Who cares about God? He doesn't care about you!" perched on the blackboard lip next to the library cart full of books for the kids to choose from,in an 8th grade public school classroom. I gaurantee a placard that said "Care about God! He cares about you!" would not have been tolerated.
- students that wear t-shirts that say Wiccan Earth princess to school and are not told to take them off, whereas my son and other children that we know have worn t-shirts proclaiming Christ and have been made to take them off and been teased by the other children for wearing them(teasing that was made known to various teachers and the principal, and was not controlled, but allowed to go on- this is over 3 different public schools in the PA area.)
- two different teachers that I have witnessed who keep personal effects proclaiming thier Pagan/Wiccan status for all to see (including students)and are allowed to post such things publicly, whereas several believing teachers were told to cease from displaying crosses on or around their desks and even on one mans briefcase(it was embossed on the leather.) Such personal effects of Pagansism and Wiccan beliefs have been in the form of a huge "The witch is in" placard on a teachers desk that has been there year-round; she also has several notecards,charms and figurines that proclaim her Pagan/Wiccan status on the bulletin board behind her desk and all over her desk, another teacher that has an encsribed stone tablet that says
"Question Religion" on it on his desk, another female teacher that has big wodden picture frame on her desk with a picture of her family in it that has "A Mystic lives here" enscribed on it for all to see; she also has various wizardry images (hats, a wand, several Harry Potter memorabilias and all the books, and crystals) all over her desk. And all of THIS is tolerable, but not the gospel of Christ: No, THAT is INTOLERABLE.
Is there any question in our hearts why the public school syetem is corruption for a young believers heart?
And these are just examples that I and my friends have seen. There are several more of kids being sent home for refusing to take off religious bookcovers and there was the boy who wanted to be excused to pray before each of his tests(he knew he would not be allowed to do this in class,and he was used to praying aloud,) and he was not allowed to do this though kids are routinely allowed to leave class to take Ritalin and to go to the guidance counselo to learn about self-esteem and other wordly values. I like how this article I found relates all of this going on as a society to this parable:
"How visibly this has been demonstrated in our day when from the pulpits and the spokesmen of the church has come a flood of stupid, crazy, mixed-up ideas -- evil concepts which have blasted and blighted and ruined the hearts and minds of people, just as our Lord said. It was only a comparatively short time ago that the great denominations of our day, though they represented unnatural and abnormal development, still were basically true to the faith and stood solidly on the authority of the Bible and proclaimed a true gospel. But then along came German rationalization and higher critical theories and socialistic philosophies. The Bible was overthrown and another gospel was substituted and supernatural faith was denied, and the birds of prey moved right into the pulpits in many places. One by one men of true faith were driven out. And it is still happening today. No wonder that when the youth of today look at the part of the church which is like that they say, "It is strictly for the birds!"
But what a comfort it is that our Lord had no delusions about this age! How clearly he foresaw all that has happened. How precisely he unfolds it to us here, that we might not be deluded either. How shall we apply this to our lives? Well, obviously it is important that we retain the nature of the mustard seed, that we be fiery and active and pungent and burning, without doing anything to abet the unnatural growth of this mustard tree. We are to seek to be low-profile wherever we work, not calling attention to ourselves, not seeking to publicize and aggrandize ourselves but to open our hearts unto God and let him take care of the rest.
Thank God that He knows,cares and is In Control. Thanks to Him homeschool laws have protected us parents who want to protect our kids. And this is at the top of the list for the things I am greateful about! Aren't you?? <3 Stacey