By the Rev. Dr. Joe Renfro
Prayer was basic to the formation and foundation of our nation. We were set up to be “One nation under God,” and prayer was basic to this. However, change is in the wind–the wrong kind of change–to where things are changing towards “Many gods or no god under a Fragmented Nation,” and this is very much evidenced in the world of academia—where prayer especially is under particular attack. Prayer to many of those in the liberal control of education is in conflict to knowledge, even profane or superstitious!
Yes, prayer, not just outwardly spoken prayer, which is classified by some of the progressive thinking as the profanity of prayer in academia or schooling—profane and to be condemned like the other terrible things they wish to classify as most vile such as bigotry, sexism, racism, islamophobia-but prejudicially defined by them. Anti-Christian verbiage is applauded, but prayer and even worse prayer in Jesus name is strongly condemned, as it can be offensive to many progressive thinkers. Somebody might not like it!
The words “Separation of Church and State” do not appear in the U.S. Constitution, but they do appear in the constitution of the former U.S.S.R. Communist State. Our public schools are really not teaching and displaying freedom of religion, but freedom from religion which excludes freedom of religion! Freedom “from” does not allow freedom “of.” If we don’t stand up to defend our religious liberties and Christian values, we are sure to go the way of Russia where any sharing of the Christian faith — even a casual conversation — must have prior authorization from the state. What is happening to “freedom of speech?”
We can observe this hostility toward Christianity all about us, if we will but open our eyes and ears to the situation that has been unfolding particularly in the past few years, as our nation is parading under the flag of inclusivism-to the exclusivism of Christian values and the Christian faith. As a nation, if we don’t oppose the Radical, anti-God Left at every turn, we risk losing our right to pray in public, teach the Bible, lead our families according to Biblical principles, and even profess faith in Jesus Christ.
We who believe in the reverence and efficaciousness of prayer need to be involved and to take stands for what is right in all kinds of ways, including the ballot box.
David Kupelian ( August 21, 2016 WND wrote “ How Not to Betray Your Country this November,” where he observes that tens of millions of American Christians justify being AWOL on Election Day, and their most common rationales are: “1) their particular church denomination tells them they are “citizens of Heaven” or “not part of this world” and therefore don’t need to vote; 2) they’re so upset by government corruption they feel contaminated just reading and hearing about it; 3) they believe God will determine who leads America without their help; 4) they believe church and state should be ‘separate’; 5) they believe their focus should be the gospel, not politics; and finally, underlying all these reasons, 6) they’ve given up hope of any good ever coming out of Washington, regardless of who is elected.”
Open your eyes and ears! A northern Florida school principal and an athletic director faced criminal charges and up to six months in jail over their offer to Baptist deacon to have a mealtime prayer after two students complained to the ACLU that some teachers and administrators were allowing prayers at school events such as graduations, orchestrating separate religiously themed graduation services, and “proselytizing” students during class and after school, and criminal charges. All of this could have carried up to a $5,000 fine and a six-month jail term for the school personnel, just because a deacon from a local Baptist church was asked to offer a mealtime prayer at a lunch held for school employees and booster-club members who had helped with a school field-house project.
In this same Florida district, they agreed to forbid senior class president Mary Allen from speaking at the school’s graduation ceremony on the chance that she, a known Christian, might say something religious. She was the first student body president in thirty-three years not allowed to speak at the ceremony. Would not have it been terrible even profane to the progressive minds, if she had prayed even silently before she spoke? (“School Prayer Charges Stir Protests” – Julia Duin – The Washington Times -August 14, 2009).
A five-year old kindergarten student in Saratoga Springs, New York was forbidden to pray over her lunch and was scolded by a teacher for it, and as well a school official in Saint Louis, Missouri caught an elementary student praying over his lunch, lifted him from his seat reprimanded him in front of the class, and took him to the principal, who order him to stop praying. (The Jefferson LIES, David Barton, 166 & 177).
There are all kinds of other illustrations available about the condemnation and rejection of prayer in academia by the radical left, which is increasingly gaining control of public schools and our government.
Assistant coach Joe Kennedy from Bremerton (Washington) High School was suspended in October, 2015 and terminated in November for refusing orders from school officials to stop his silent post-game prayers. He had prayed before and after games since 2008, and many students on the team joined him, but a visitor from another school complained that players may feel compelled to participate and argued the act equates to the school endorsing religion. He was placed on paid administrative leave and then was declined to have his contract renewed and dismissed as a coach, because of his refusal to comply with a request from district officials to discontinue participating in pre-game locker room prayers and on-field, post-game prayers with players. (“Football coach fired over post game prayers sues district for religious discrimination.” (Victor Skinner — EIG News, August 10, 2016). This is a shame!
Back when prayer and Bible reading were removed from the schools by the Supreme Court the great offense was to have the student pray if they wished a prayer adopted by the New York school system to be said at the start of each day’s classes. This prayer, known as the Regents Prayer, was to help promote good moral character of the students, spiritual training and help combat juvenile delinquency. The regents wrote a prayer for the schools which had to be non-sectarian or non- denominational. It was, “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.” How profane!
But prayer rightly understood is very much part of education. Recall how the disciples asked the Lord Jesus to “Teach us to pray.” This was an educational moment! Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV) says: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”
Prayer is not profane as the Radical-Left or many of the Progressives Liberals suggests, but it is vital in learning, and one of the reasons our public education is in chaos, is the neglect of prayer. We need to get it back!
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