|Spiritual Junk Food: The Dumbing Down of America's Youth|
Cathy Mickels, Audrey McKeever
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"Spiritual Junk Food . . . is an eye-opening book - one that should be required reading for Christian parents and educators everywhere. It provides a great service by detailing how a watered-down, psychologized version of Christianity is being presented to students in place of the real thing. The yellow brick road of pop Christianity is paved with good intentions, but as Mickels and McKeever point out so convincingly, it leads in the wrong direction." -- William K. Kilpatrick, Ph.D
Our story began approximately fifteen years ago when our paths met as we came face to face with the cultural war, each in our own respective school districts. We plunged tirelessly forward in the battle on the local, state, and national fronts, immersing ourselves in writings that revealed the philosophies and goals of secular humanist writers impacting the education of millions of children in this nation.
It quickly became apparent to us that the public education system had become a vehicle to promote ideas contrary to traditional thought and behavior. Children had become a captive audience for experimentation and indoctrination. They were being programmed for politically correct thinking through non-academic social programs, such as sex education, drug abuse courses, death education, and self-esteem programs-all of which were taking valuable time away from instruction in reading, writing, math, history, and science.
We experienced firsthand the radical transformation taking place in the American education system and discovered that the systematic change in education philosophy had more to do with the evaluation and manipulation of children’s values and behavior than it had to do with teaching children to read, write, and compute. What has been referred to as the “old basics”-reading, writing, and arithmetic-were being replaced with the new basics-self-esteem, teamwork, group learning, and tolerance. The new basics dealt with assessing feelings and attitudes instead of acquiring knowledge. Grou encounters, sensitivity, values clarification, decision making, critical thinking, role-playing, and peer teaching became buzzwords in public school classrooms across the nation.
|      This cultural battle in the public schools has been about ideas that have helped contribute to the moral and spiritual decline of our nation-ideas and values that secular humanists have been promoting with great fervency. Their adamant goal to proselytize others to humanism and their open contempt for the Christian faith is evident in the following quote taken from Humanist magazine (Jan./Feb. 1983), in an article titled, “A Religion for a New Age.”|
I am convinced that the battle for human-kind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith…
These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subjects they teach,, regardless of the education level-preschool day care or large state university.
The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new-the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of “love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved.
In order to accomplish their aggressive humanistic goals, teaching methods and techniques were put in place in our nation’s schools to capture the hearts and minds of children. Parents who have been battling in the public schools discovered firsthand the zeal with which many teachers and administrators embraced these humanistic philosophies and teaching methods. In times past, Christian parents could send their children to school knowing that their children would be taught to respect and obey their parents. Today, however, children are being subjected to new educational practices that, in far too many cases, challenge the morals, beliefs, and values of their parents.
|      There have been many books written on the influences of secular humanism on public education and the subsequent decline of American education. It is not the scope of this book to elaborate upon the crisis in the public school, but rather to show how humanistic philosophies and the teaching methods responsible for this crisis in education have found their way into the church. The writers of the anti-Christian Humanist Manifesto acknowledged that, in order to deceive Christians into secular-humanist though, “the distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.” In other words, the particular features that mark the difference between Christianity and humanism must be destroyed.|
Tragically, however, not many in the church are talking about this perverse invasion of the secular into the sacred. In fact, once we exposed the harmful philosophies and teaching techniques being foisted upon unsuspecting children, we discovered that the same response given to us by parents, teachers, and administrators in the public schools was given by many Christians in the church. The response was one of denial. We were told: “That may be happening somewhere else, but not in my school, not in my church!”
We fervently hope that this invasion is not happening in your church, but we have personally seen it in our mainstream churches. Even if this subversive aggression is not happening in your church, when other churches fall victim to deception, the entire Body of Christ is affected. Using leaven as a symbol of impurity, Scripture warns, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.”(Gal. 5:9)
We must pay attention and be on guard! We must dilligently protect what God has entrusted to us, for these are urgent, critical times. It is crucial that we get back to the basics of our faith as found in the infallible, inerrant Word of God. We do not pretend to have all the answers. We do, however, recognize the pressing need to raise questions and to initiate the discussion addressing the concerns that are identified in this book.
|      This is a wake-up call to the Christian church to protect Christian children from the assault on their faith. Christians today must be like the Bereans, Christians of the early church, who scrutinized everything the apostle Paul taught by dilligently examining the Scriptures (see Acts 17:11). Our desire should be the same as David’s, the Psalmist, who said, “Lead me in Thy Truth and teach me” (Ps.25:5). After determining the truth, church leaders and all who are followers of Jesus Christ must be bold and willing to take tough stands in order to stop this infiltration of the world’s foolishiness into the church.|
The late Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920), a Dutch theologian, is often quoted when a defense of the Christian faith requires a stand. “When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin; you must, at the price of dearest peace, lay our convictions bare before friend and enemy, with all the fire of your faith.” A distinguished biblical expositor, the late Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, talks about how we are to take our stand. His words eloquently expressed our prayer for all Christians during these often confusing and turbulent times.
May He enable us together to stand as a rock in the raging seas all around us. We must, of course, never pride ourselves on our stand, or become self-righteous or small-minded persons. But in humility and obedience, let us follow the apostolic exhortations, always coming to know more deeply our glorious God, remembering that He has redeemed us, and aware of what a glorious God, remembering that He has redeemed us, and aware of what a glorious faith it is to which He has called us to bear witness. Here let us take our stand.