Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

British Education: Keeping The Faith

By Editorial Staff
Published April 6, 2008

By Garry J. Moes

LONDON (CR) – Of all the remarkable achievements marking Britain’s conservative shift, few are more stunning than a recent act of Parliament requiring state education in the United Kingdom to be distinctly Christian in character.

The new law went into effect September 5th, following several months of negotiation over wording designed to guarantee respect for other faiths. The legislation, contained in amendments to Britain’s long-standing Education Reform Bill, was spearheaded by the Conservative Family Campaign, a Christian action group headquartered in Surrey.

Specifically, it requires that compulsory religious education in state schools be “in the main Christian” and that the daily act of worship in state schools likewise be Christian in character. The legislation includes “provisions and caveats” for students from non-Christian faiths, according to Graham Webster-Gardiner, chairman of the Conservative Family Campaign.

Nearly as noteworthy as the legislation itself was the alignment of forces for and against the pro-Christian amendments, officially sponsored in the House of Lords by Baroness Caroline Cox. Not so surprising was the opposition of Britain’s socialist Labor Party and a variety of liberal church interests who saw the legislation as a threat to religious pluralism. What was truly remarkable was the support given by key leaders of non-Christian faiths whose interests allegedly would be jeopardized by the new law.

Among such supporters was Lord Jakobovits, chief rabbi of the House of Lords, who underscored the sweeping significance of the legislation during floor debate in the upper house. “If we consider religious faith and precept as the spiritual lifeblood of the nation and all its citizens … indiscriminate mixing of blood can prove dangerous and so can the mixing of faiths in education,” Lord Jakobovits said.

He offered as an example of how that principle applies to Jews the testimony of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, principal of Jews’ College. In a radio meditation, Rabbi Sacks described how he was raised at a primary school which was devoutly Church of England and where Jewish boys had their separate Jewish assemblies.

Rabbi Sacks related: “The effect of this schooling on our Jewish identity was curious. It made us, of course, acutely aware that we were different. But because those around us were taking their religion seriously, it made us consider our Judaism seriously, too … So it isn’t strange that all this produced a rabbi. From living with those who valued their traditions, I learned to cherish my own.”

Lord Jakobovits noted that two Newcastle teachers had complained in a report called “Crisis in Religious Education” that today’s school children have been losing the chance to grow as practicing Christians. “They might, I think, have gone further still; for if Christianity suffers, so, in a curious way, does every other faith as well,” Rabbi Jakobovits observed.

Graham Webster-Gardiner said the opposition of liberal churchmen showed “how riddled the Body of Christ is with secular humanism not only in the apostate Church but seemingly reliable organizations. It just emphasizes the necessity for Conservative Family Campaign to exist and how vital it is for us to continue to speak out for Christian values and standards in society.”

Baroness Cox, in promoting the measure, said, “Many parents and teachers had been expressing grave concern over what has been happening in many schools, where religious education and worship have either become secularized and politicized, or been transformed into a confusing multifaith mixture which does justice to no faith and may destroy all faith.”

During debate, Lord Home said claims by some members of Parliament and certain church leaders that Britain is no longer a Christian country were “too facile a judgment.” Noting that Britain has an established church headed by the queen and that Parliament itself begins its daily proceedings with the prayer “Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings …” Lord Home concluded: “All that is not a sham. It is real, and our young people ought to know the story of Christianity and the commitment of their predecessors to its values. Far too many of them do not know about that today.”

While the United States has from its beginning vigorously avoided an “established” church, Lord Home’s conclusion is clearly applicable to the American situation as well. For without a doubt, the United States was founded and built upon the same Christian commitment and values, vital roots which have been totally severed from the public educational nourishment of American schoolchildren.

Lord Charteris of Amisfield (Independent) told his peers that there is grave danger in a “multifaith approach” to education.

“I think it is a mistake and dangerously wishy-washy,” he said. “It is absolutely right that children should learn about faiths other than their own and learn to respect them. But, unless they really know one, they will not really know anything worth knowing about any. I believe we have a great opportunity to redeem the past. If we fail to grasp it, future generations will not easily forgive us.”

Viscount Buckmaster, claiming to speak for Britain’s Moslems, said adherents of Islam also supported Lady Cox’s amendments because “Moslems feel very strongly that Christian education in our schools should be given a more positive image.”

Lord Thorneycroft, a Conservative Party member, said the floor speech given by the chief rabbi highlighted the fact that the legislation does not require “Jews to become Christians, but … Christians to become Christians. With the West Indians clamoring for it, with the Moslems praying for it, and with the Jews urging it in this House, what case is there for not having Christian education in the schools?

“What is the alternative? I ask that deep thought be given to this matter. The amendment [offered] by Lady Cox goes to the root of the alternative, which is some kind of multifaith education. The Chief Rabbi called it a ‘kind of religious cocktail.’ The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of London said that he is nervous of compulsion. So am I. I would be most nervous of compelling people to have a multifaith education.”

Christian education advocates in America, Australia, France, Scandinavia and other highly secularized or pagan lands may consider the adoption of legislation similar to the British amendments a virtual impossibility. But those with such despairing views should consider the spiritual climate in Great Britain a few years ago, and even today. If such a step can be accomplished in a nation whose population has been regarded as overwhelmingly apathetic or hostile to true faith for many decades, it can surely be accomplished in countries, such as the United States, where vast majorities still claim a Christian faith and millions actively pursue it for the reconstruction of their society.

Excerpted from an article by Garry Moes, in Chalcedon Report, P.O. Box l58, Vallecito, CA 95251. Used with permission.


Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Education

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

$49.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)

Running Time: 145 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats