Confusion is from Satan, go away.
This was said to me today in an online discussion. A friend of my wife’s, a nice lady with some strong religious convictions, had posted a link purporting that school children in California were being indoctrinated into Islam. The link in question was about a mother who found a homework assignment on world religion offensive. Apparently knowing a few things about a religion that 1/7 of the world believes in is a Bad Thing. Before I go further, it is only fair that I say that I have disagreed with her posts in the past, too, so we do have a bit of a history of disagreement, and her frustration with me stems, in part, from that history.
The lady was posting the link so that others would be edified in what schools are teaching their children, that they might stand up for the Truth. She posted two supporting links, here and here, but I don’t think she read them. Being who I am, my first response to her post was that I had similar lessons when I was in school. I thought it was a good thing. She didn’t care for that response. Her reply to me where those two links as well as a reference to 2nd Peter regarding false prophets.
I could not rebut the 2nd Peter reference, as the moment you unilaterally declare something to be the work of the Devil based on your interpretation of Scripture, the discussion on that point is done. I did note regarding her two links that the students were not made to “pray”, as the act of reciting a written verse is not prayer without the element of faith. More so, I learned those same things in world studies. It isn’t indoctrination to learn the basic tenets of a population’s belief system. The nice lady said these kids were being forced to learn religion(I suspect she meant Islamic religion), which shouldn’t be allowed and was certainly not allowed when we went to school. I kindly pointed out that I was required to sing songs of praise and worship from Kindergarten through 12th grade, attendance mandatory. I even got to play a religious figure or two in school plays. I was one of the three wise men in first or second grade.
The end result of this discussion was that she admonished me for not standing up for the Truth and then basically said I was the Devil. Her only intent, she said, was that she share this news so that parents know what is being taught in the classroom and can then stand up for the Truth. Yes, she capitalized Truth.
I was frustrated, but I dropped the argument at that point. My intent wasn’t to antagonize her, merely to stand up for the truth, as it were. My take on the situation was that the children were not being indoctrinated. Nor were they being lead by a false prophet. Knowledge and understanding are good things, especially from a Biblical perspective. What frustrated me about her posts, the issue that I have, is in her well meaning attempt to showcase another apparent attack on Christianity in America, she perpetrated a series of lies. That these lies might strengthen some people’s convictions in Christ are beside the point, as I firmly believe that one cannot defend any truth by lying about it. By perpetuating these false outrages, we make Christians of all denominations look like fools. If we are commanded to go forth and make disciples of all peoples, how can we expect to do that if we continually build walls of lies between us and the rest of the world? Faith in God does not require a lie in order to prove that you believe in Him, we shouldn’t need a lie to defend our faith in Him, either.