Pastor's Corner

24 Apr
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Mid-Week Challenge

"Suggestion" is the psychological process by which one person guides the thoughts, feelings, or behavior of another person.  If you have children in school you might be aware of this.  Parents have used this technique for years in efforts to get their children to do things they didn't want to do or introduce something new into their thought pattern.  Not only do parents take advantage of this practice, advertisers are masters at it as well.  Product placement in a movie or commercial during their favorite show will have your child begging for the latest trend item.  Picking up on this cue, educators in Austin Texas are using the power of suggestion to plant thoughts into children grades 3 to 11. A survey given to all Austin Independent School District students in grades 3-11 this spring told children “Sex is what a person is born. Gender is how a person feels.” It then asked students to select whether they feel they are a “girl/woman,” “boy/man,” or “identify in some other way.” That was followed by a blank box for students to “describe how you identify.” 

Student Climate Surveys have been administered every year to students in grades 3-11 since the 2003-04 school year in Austin.  The purpose is to assess student feelings so administrators feel that they are justified in asking any number of personal questions. The survey includes other response statements and questions such as “At my school, some students are treated unfairly because of who they are,” “At my school, there is respect for different cultures,” and “Do you ever feel unwelcome at school?” The district claims that these answers are used “to examine factors contributing to student success beyond test scores.”

Do you remember how you "felt" when you were in grades 3-11? Would you consider yourself to be an authority on the classroom climate at that mature age?  How about that teacher that made you feel uncomfortable because she insisted you be on time and prepared for class? Would she make teacher of the year in your book? How about your attraction to the opposite sex at grade 5? When was the last time you have been to a middle school dance? It is the most awkward thing you can imagine; and it is supposed to be!  It is at these stages that we begin to figure out how the world works and we lean heavily on our parents and teachers to help guide us in the right direction, not plant ideas in our heads and then let us figure it out the cruel world on our own.  Unfortunately that is exactly what these "Climate Surveys" are doing.  In the "everyone gets a medal" generation we are validating immature feelings and placing doubt in the minds of developing brains.  We are causing children to ask questions earlier than their developmental ability can process.  In allowing this we are producing much less stable children who are in no way prepared for the world we are sending them into.  They are confused, ill-informed and lost then on top of this their mentors tell them that the way they feel is normal.  

 Feelings have become so central to personal identity across our culture, even in religion, that to suggest the Bible, God, the Church, or any other authority has a right to question those feelings is tantamount to heresy.  Parents, teachers and church leaders have a responsibility to train children in the ways of this world not trust your feelings and let that alone be your guide.  One of our biggest responsibilities is to help them, at age appropriate times, to navigate the changes that they experience.  (Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6) The command falls upon the home, not left to the state. But if we don't do it the state will.  

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right". And then the passage continues, "And you fathers provoke not your children to wrath, but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:1-4 

Serving the Savior 

Bro. Jonathan

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