Principal's Message

Welcome to Gilson College

Is the writing on the wall for Christianity?

Recently I have noticed that there is an insidious attempt to remove all evidences of Christianity from the public domain.  This is taking place in two main areas firstly the Middle East – the birthplace of Christianity.  Here we are seeing ‘religious cleansing’ taking place on a massive scale.  Taking place in a manner that can only be described as barbaric. Taking place largely without any media attention to the religious nature of the conflicts.

The second area under attack, are the western countries where Christianity has for centuries provided the soil from which democracy, free speech and liberty of conscience have flourished and developed to their greatest extent.  This attack is more subtle than the rather ham-fisted middle eastern events.  Often cloaked under the guise of being open-minded, liberal or simply trying to be fair these attacks against Christianity still run the very real risk of destabilising our communities.

Springs Charter Schools in California recently removed a bundle of books from their libraries due to their Christian content – claiming that it violated the First Amendment.  This included the classic piece of literature known as The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  This book is an amazing account of life during the Second World War and it is a masterpiece of writing that beautifully contrasts the themes of brutality and forgiveness.

When questioned various education personnel from the school system offered feeble explanations for this censorship referring to the books as ‘sectarian materials.’  This ensures that their students are now poorer by restricting their access to materials that have a message with positive values and provide hope in an age of hopelessness.

When we simply try to fill the head and empty the heart we do a great disservice to our young people. California has tried this before. In the 1960s the latest fad was ‘value-free education.’  The link between that original experiment and young people engaging in at-risk behaviour is now more widely understood. Regrettably when the same philosophy is dressed up in different clothes some fail to recognise it.

The importance of values and a spiritual basis in education is illustrated by the fact that the system of schools that supplied the students for that original ‘value-free’ environment eventually collapsed.  One of the veteran educators involved more recently reflected on the experiment and stated that he believed he and his colleagues owed the nation’s parents an apology.

So will all traces of Christianity be removed from our western societies?  God has left his footprints in many, many places that the discerning person can still find. You can find evidence in the delicate design of the small flower. You can see incredible majesty in the galaxies above. You will find support in language and literature. You will see the changed lives of people who have recognised that when they acknowledge the Creator they have a mission and purpose.

Oh and by the way, the expression “the writing’s on the wall” – it comes from the Bible in the book of Daniel Chapter 5.  The theme of that book is that there is Someone who ‘changes the times and the seasons; who can remove kings and raise up kings. Someone who can give wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who want understanding.’  When it all looks hopeless on this planet or in your life – there is Someone.

It’s worth a thought.

 

Mark B Vodéll
Principal