Fake News: How Much Is Too Much?
By Chris DeSanctis
Amid the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it’s fitting that we pause to consider our many blessings. From family and friends to opportunities we’ve enjoyed this past year, all of us can name things for which we are thankful.
Especially during this Christmas season, I’m reminded of the great value of having my children attend a school that integrates Biblical truth into all areas of learning. At Gateway Academy, Biblical truth isn’t found just during Bible class or a chapel service. It’s weaved throughout every academic period of every day—from science, math, and languages to social studies, art, and yes, even physical education.
This was once a reality at many of our prestigious universities. In her book, Total Truth, Dr. Nancy Pearcy explains how this changed:
Universities that were founded as Christian schools, like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, began pushing theology off into separate departments instead of allowing it to permeate the overall curriculum. Religion became an extracurricular activity that students pursued in their private time—like going to chapel or attending a Christian student group.
Dr. Pearcy goes on to write that even today, many Christian teachers have drifted away from instruction based on Biblical truth:
A school superintendent once told me that most educators define “a Christian teacher” strictly in terms of personal behavior: things like setting a good example and showing concern for students. Almost none define it in terms of conveying Biblical truth on the subjects they teach, whether literature, science, social studies, or the arts.
Our world today is bombarded by “fake news”— which includes inaccurate portrayals of what brings happiness, success, fulfillment, or meaning to life.
In this age of “fake news”, do you think truth is important for school children? I’m guessing you do. In fact, as “fake news” becomes more and more prevalent in society, the urgent need to repeatedly emphasize truth to our children is intensifying.
Glen Schultz, in a blog post on fake news, stirringly underscores the importance of truth by referencing another Christian leader, Jeff Keaton of Renewanation:
Jeff Keaton regularly asks parents, church leaders and educators the following question: Falsehood: How Much Is Too Much?
Keaton asks parents if they would keep their children in a school that teaches the following:
- Turtles are faster than cheetahs.
- The Americans were defeated by the Nazis.
- George Washington was the King of England.
- The law of gravity doesn’t exist.
Of course, parents respond that they would not keep their children in a school that teaches these things. Keaton then asks if they would keep them in a school that teaches these things to be true:
- God is irrelevant, even non-existent.
- The Bible cannot be trusted.
- God did not create the world.
- Sex outside of marriage is “expected”.
- Morality is relative. What is wrong for you might not be wrong for me.
Both lists of so-called facts are fake news… …and are “deliberate attempts to spread misinformation.” The sad reality is that very few Christians would keep their children in a school that taught the first group of statements as being true, but many Christians actually keep their children in schools that teach the second group of statements as being true. Is it because we, too, have become victims of “fake news”?
At Gateway Academy, I promise never to allow fake news to permeate our curriculum or school culture. Biblical truth will remain central to the entire academic experience for our students—and this is particularly true at Christmastime, when we celebrate the birth of Christ.
The greatest gift of all time was our Lord Jesus Christ—truth personified—who came unassumingly in the form of an infant because of God’s great love for us. What greater gift can we give our children than to bring them up in the knowledge of God’s love and prepare them to inject truth into a world so easily deceived by falsehoods?
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