“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
Billy Graham said, “Our country’s in great need of a spiritual awakening.” It is my conviction that this is the single most important issue of our time. Jesus Christ can redeem anyone. No matter how bad you’ve lived your life so far, he will change you, if you let him. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
The yammering we hear on TV (euphemistically called a “conversation”) about preventing future school massacres only focuses on what government can do about controlling guns and improving mental health awareness. Neither of these issues go to the heart of what causes a person to commit murder, which Christians know to be the sinfulness of human nature.
But government cannot prevent sinful behavior. It can only respond to it by meting out appropriate consequences for unlawful behavior. Even the most repressive of human governments will never be able to prevent sin, because governments cannot change the human heart. Only Jesus Christ can do that.
In 1962 the Supreme Court ruled that prayer was not to be conducted in public schools. This decision was based on a perversion of the concept of the “separation of church and state”, and it needs to be overturned. Separation of church and state always meant to protect churches from government intrusion, not to insulate government from the influence of the Christian faith. So, for the Federal government to say Christians may not pray or otherwise express their faith in government-funded settings is a perversion of the doctrine of separation of church and state.
The “conversation” about Jesus Christ has been taken out of our schools, replacing faith with godlessness and producing more mass murders on school campuses. According to American Family Radio, who compiled statistics from a variety of sources, including the FBI and CDC, between 1900 and 1960, when prayer and Bible study were common in public schools, there were 62 deaths from school shootings. Between 1960 and 2017 we had 479 gun-related deaths in our schools.
Before God was removed from our schools, the average yearly death toll from shootings was slightly more than one person. From two years before the Supreme Court’s 1962 decision until last year (2017), the average yearly death toll from school shootings shot up to significantly more than eight persons — an incredible 800+% increase. And 2018 has gotten off to an even more tragic start. Isn’t that significant enough to have a “conversation” about? Isn’t it time we talked openly and boldly about Jesus in our schools?
Don’t you think it’s time for an honest “conversation” about the violence we are seeing in our society, especially in our schools? Can we honestly say we care about innocent victims when all we are willing to do is make a political football of this human tragedy? Does it make sense to focus on the symptoms of our broken society, expecting more government control and additional funding to fix it, without getting to the real cause? Do we honestly believe that throwing money at our problems will make them go away? Or shall we have a “conversation” about Jesus?
It’s time to fight for the restoration of prayer and Bible study in our public schools. It’s time to let Jesus back into our schools. It’s time to have a real “conversation” — one that isn’t framed and dictated by those who want to suppress the truth. America was fashioned with a Christian populace in mind. As a nation we can neither succeed nor survive without first teaching all our students the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And as we enter into this “conversation”, there is no need for us to be rancorous. Think about what Billy Graham did. He won people to Christ because he loved them. His love was genuine. He won people to Christ because he was humble and let the Spirit of the Living God work through him. He spoke the truth in love and grew up into him who is the head, into Christ (Ephesians 4:15).
Is this a radical idea? Not really. If you examine our founding documents, this nation was created to foster religious freedom, not restrict it or control it. The very fabric of the structure of our government was designed for a godly, Bible-based electorate to freely assume the responsibility of governing themselves. Christians have every historical, legal and moral right to publicly share our faith.
If you think it’s right to pray for boldness to proclaim the gospel, then let’s begin by returning prayer to our schools. And if you think this is somehow irrelevant to the safety of students, answer this: If nothing is more precious than life, then could anything be more precious than eternal life? Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Let Jesus back into our schools. He died that the whole world may choose life. He loves everyone that much. He doesn’t make demands or force anyone. He wants to set everyone free. There is no good reason for us to allow a few God-haters to shut down real “conversation”.