A little rant…

In general, ranting annoys me, but this is something that’s been bugging me ever since I started grading English papers. You see, I’ve noticed a fault in Christian education.

I am a product of Christian high school education. Many of my students are products of Christian high school educations. And so, when we write about the big moral subjects that everybody has an opinion on (abortion, drugs, euthanasia, etc…), invariably, half of the papers I get the pleasure of looking at wind up something like this: “This subject is wrong because God says it’s wrong. And here are several examples of God saying it’s wrong. I’m a Christian, therefore I believe it’s wrong, too.”


And here in lies the (a?) fault in Christian education. Because the Christian teacher doesn’t want to discourage the Christian student from thinking Christian thoughts, the overtly Christian answer gets a perfect score every time. Not because it’s logical, but because the Christian teacher has the same thoughts I do, “Even though this isn’t the answer that I was looking for, the student isn’t wrong. And the student’s response is Biblical, so I can’t mark off for that.” You see, I feel really guilty putting a low score on a paper that is a perfect Gospel presentation. But the assignment wasn’t to give a Gospel presentation, but to think through and answer a moral question for an audience that is probably not Christian.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to answer a moral question Biblically. But usually, the point of the exercise isn’t to give a pat Bible answer to the problem. The point is to find an answer that even a non-Christian can agree with, because non-Christians won’t accept God as a moral standard. It’s a lot harder to think that way (without God as a moral standard) because the answers are often laid out clearly for us in the Bible. But non-Christians have to think that way (without God as a moral) all the time, so we should be able to do it too.

Ok, I’m done ranting now. Just, you know, go about your business, and all.


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