The Christian Teacher's Plight

Public school educators, especially Christians, frequently find themselves scrutinized, ridiculed, and even demonized when they take advantage of opportunities to expand students’ understanding of lessons by referring to or expounding on quotations, passages or references from the Bible. For instance, literary themes, such as “good versus evil” can be connected to many Hebrew Biblical narratives in the Book of Genesis. English teachers have numerous opportunities to further develop students’ understanding and research skills by allowing students to explore Biblical references. In both public and private school settings, students can read the Book of Exodus to relate the narrative of the Israelites in bondage to the Egyptians to discuss the basic principles of treating all humans with dignity and respect, and to value human life- no matter what the ethnicity or circumstance. In other words, while most of my professional career was spent in public high schools, where some of the students had never heard of David and Goliath, I have also taught students in a private high school in which some of the students did not know that for more than two hundred years (right here in America), African Americans had once suffered the atrocities inflicted upon them through the morally repugnant institution of slavery. 

Why are we afraid to teach students truth? Why should we not allow them to examine literary and historical texts that will open their understanding about the differences between right and wrong-good versus evil? Can we not trust in the virtue of truth? Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901) who wrote the influential novel Coming of Age in Samoa avowed: “I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.” Educators must never forget that we are “seekers of truth.” No matter what the cost, we must be instrumental in “adding to the sum of accurate information in the world.” The Hebrew Bible is a reliable source of accurate information.