Today, as I read it, certain items of concern stood out to me. I noticed the emphasis by the Soviets of the separation of church and state, and the insistence that children not be taught the gospel. The churches of that day were required to register and also abide by certain rules as set forth in the Legislation Regarding Religious Cults. Some of the rules had to do with children. They were not permitted to attend the churches or be baptized. Unfortunately, many churches compromised, registered, and lost their children. They did not pray in front of them or teach them God's Word.
Those who refused to register were persecuted. Their pastors were taken to labor camps, and sometimes even killed. One of the main charges that was brought against them was that they were, "teaching religion to children." They were charged with violation of Article 142 of the Criminal Law Code, "The breaking of the laws of separation of the church from the state and of the school from the church." The separation of church and state and school and church was cited as reason not to teach children religious faith in churches and homes!!
As I read, I thought of my own country, a country that was founded on religious freedom, and yet now is governed by this same doctrine of separation of church and state. This doctrine is not found in the Constitution. Rather, it was a line from one of Thomas Jefferson's letters, where he expressed his own opinion with which many founding fathers disagreed. This line was brought into American law by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Emerson v. Board of Education (1947) Now this line is used to deny religious freedom all over the country. It has eeked its way into our nation's consciousness with such pervasiveness that even private businessmen wonder whether it's legal to play Christian music in their place of business. Some Christian students erroneously think they can't pray or read their Bible at school, and some teachers wrongfully forbid them from doing so. In many public schools across our country, the Bible is not studied at all, even for historical significance and impact.
Just as the now defunct Soviet Union violated the religious rights and freedoms of its citizens through the "separation of church and state," we Americans are at risk of the same. Our freedoms are already being subtly denied even now, and even worse, the common thought of individuals is being conformed to align with this "separation of church and state mentality."
As case in point, I offer this anonymous comment that was posted on a recent post about homeschooling.
"Homeschooling for the purpose of purely a religious thing is wrong. I'm not against homeschooling, in any, way, shape or form; but not for religious purposes. Children should be exposed to the schools theories also. Imagine the shock they will get in life when they leave home and find out - they will feel lied too and may even feel that they can no longer trust their parents/religion. What they need is to be exposed to these things and in return - talk about them as a family and love them.
Homeschooling, however, should be considered when the school is not working for the betterment of your child - ex: temperment and learning style of your child doesn't match what the school expects, and the school is unwilling to change anything, or if your child needs individual attention that the school is unable to provide. Than, homeschooling is a viable option.
As much as you love your kids, you can't shield them from the world. Better that they learn the evils of the world NOW when you are able to talk with them and guide them than 20 years down the road when they feel they are "free" and no longer trust their parents who never told them about the world they live in."
This sentiment is not unusual. I have actually heard it from Christians and other individuals on numerous occassions. Many believe that it is acceptable to homeschool for academic reasons, or if your child has a learning disability, or if he is gifted. There are numerous acceptable reasons to homeschool, but in the minds of many, religion is not one. It is an oh so subtle indication of the fruit of the doctrine of separation of church and state. Though this commenter was well-intentioned, his comments are fraught with misconceptions and falacies which can be used against us despite their error. We must recognize the subtle danger of such thinking. We must learn from history. We must see the danger of the doctrine of separation of church and state. Let us not be naive and think that the fate of Konshaubi Dzhangetov and Georgi Vins could not some day be our own.
Choose you this day who you will serve...
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Grace and Peace,