Beit Gamaliel

The confluence of knowledge and faith

Like the Other Nations of the issues that caused much consternation and possibly the ultimate downfall of the Israelite nation was their insistence on being like the other nations (I Sam. 8). Despite Gods declaration that the Jews would stand apart from all other nations, it was the incessant cry of the people to be like everyone else. The underlying problem exists within their flawed perception that they could not win a battle or subsequently grow as a nation unless they had a human king. God knew the issue and He recognized that this would be the top of a very slippery slope that would tragically end in the nation of Israel adopting the culture, customs, and false gods of the nations around them. And despite the reformations of righteous kings like Josiah, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah, a godly leader and government reformation alone cannot cultivate revival or a change in the hearts of sinners.

I was a little anxious to discover that the religious school to which I send my children held a homecoming dance. It has not set well with me. I did not choose this specific school because it had a great academic reputation. In fact their is another, MUCH larger religious school in the community that has a sterling reputation for academics, but its reputation for spiritual issues is lacking, even though they have NEVER allowed dancing.

For over twenty years I served as Headmaster of a large religious high school. Our school mission and vision both started with this phrase: “To honor God…”. For twenty years I have heard student government leaders inquire, “Why can’t we have a dance?” To this I always asked, “Why do you want a dance?” You can imagine, I have heard dozens of reasons. However, not once did a child dare to assert, “To honor God.” It was easy for me to determine that a dance would not advance the mission and vision of our school-to honor God.

Despite our attempts to raise our three children in a somewhat guarded environment, I am saddened to report that all the ills of the world–alcohol, smoking, dancing, profanity and pornography–were all introduced to them in Christian homes, and sadly, often times the homes of teachers from Christian schools.

Maybe a significant factor for the moral bankruptcy within Christian and other religious leadership is because we have long abandoned trying to make our children like Jesus and have simply conceded to our children’s’ desires to making them like the other nations.

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