WCIC-FM, 91.5 in Peoria, is recruiting 150 volunteers to staff Peoria School District 150’s registration process.
I have no doubt that the intentions of WCIC and the volunteers are good. But I still believe that to do this is to aid and abet an enemy of the Church — or, at the very least, an impediment to the Gospel.
Dave Brooks, station manager at WCIC, told me that:
As a station we’re committed to challenging and encouraging the Christian community to put faith into action. We want to do what we can to make the Peoria area a better place to live, work and raise our families. We want to engage with the love of Christ in the marketplace of ideas.
And while Dave has said he believes the volunteers will be “expressing the heart of Christ” to the schools and children by helping out, offering a “cup of cold water to them,” WCIC is also in essence agreeing to muzzle itself from offering the Gospel: A District 150 rep told me that no volunteers will be free to share their religious beliefs and/or minister to the children or parents.
That’s fine and good, since it’s 150’s turf, but it doesn’t do much for “expressing the heart of Christ.” Agreeing to get involved in a volunteer effort for a biblical reason and, at the same time, agreeing not to mention anything biblical seems a bit contradictory. You could make the argument, I suppose, that they’re showing and acting out the Gospel rather than just talking about it. I don’t think it quite flies, though. A different argument that would hold more cold water, though, would be that registering kids for school isn’t the time or place for offering the Gospel — although is there really a time or place when the Gospel shouldn’t be offered? Should we ever agree to that?
The point, though, is that they shouldn’t be there at all. In my opinion, they are helping an organization that doesn’t exactly have the best interests of the Church at heart.
(Then again, what do we do about the Bible-believing, committed disciples of Christ who are employed by public school districts? I don’t think they should be working in them, but I also know that it’s between them and the Lord. That’s my feeling about the individual volunteers in this situation as well.)
Please understand I’m not saying we should ignore the public school system. Helping the children who attend the government schools in Peoria or other communities directly is one thing. Peoria Dream Center, for instance, has a laudable program which provides poor students of any school with school supplies. Local churches participate in Bear Buddy programs, forming direct relationships with children to encourage them in their studies and in life. Organizations like the Women’s Pregnancy Center are allowed to conduct abstinence workshops. Good News Clubs are allowed to meet on school property afterhours. South Side Mission caters to public school students by tutoring them after school is over.
All are good examples of ministries being able to step into children’s lives and show them that the Body of Christ cares.
WCIC’s effort to provide volunteers for District 150 registration, however, only shows the government school bureaucracy that the Body of Christ is ready to help it in its efforts to harm the Church’s efforts to spread the Gospel and a holy way of life.
It is no secret that public school systems these days are hostile to the Bible, or at least living in a court-ordered neutrality. Teaching of Scripture is forbidden in them; prayer is significantly curtailed. This perhaps was an inevitable turn of events as the nation became more pluralistic and as humanism gained a foothold in more facets of American society, especially the government’s educational system. It’s the way it is and doesn’t look likely to change.
However, public schools also actively oppose Bible-believing Christianity. Evolution, for example, is taught as fact. Tolerance of lifestyles described in Scripture as abominations is encouraged. In addition, public schools also are stages for sexual immorality, drug use, gang activity and indulgence in the darker aspects of our culture — inevitable outcomes of a godless institution.
I feel that to aid in this process is an embarrassment to the Body of Christ. It sends the message that the government school system, with all of its hostilities to biblical ways of life, is perfectly acceptable to the Body of Christ in the Peoria area. As I noted above, there are other ways to help children; helping the bureaucracy that rules them academically and culturally is not one of them.
Dave Brooks, of course, disagrees. I’ll let him have the last word:
I feel I understand the reason you raised concerns. If by our effort to help with District 150’s back to school registration 91.5 WCIC is implicitly condoning everything being promulgated in classrooms of public schools across the listening area I would share your concerns. Hopefully most listeners will not draw that conclusion.
I look forward to your comments. I also ask you to take poll below: