Is It Wrong To Share Your Faith In School?

Katherine Stewart is concerned that Christian students are being encouraged by adults to share their faith in the public schools they attend. Writing in The Guardian, Ms. Stewart compares a new program called Every Student Every School to adults using kids to smuggle drugs since they are not subject to the same penalties under the legal code.

Every Student Every School is an effort of Campus Alliance–a group of well known Christian groups who share a desire to give students a chance to respond to an thoughtful presentation of the gospel. The problem, according to the article, is that the students are being encouraged and perhaps coached by adults.

These initiatives are “student-led” in the same sense that a pee-wee soccer league is student-led. Yes, it’s the kids kicking the ball, but you have to be pretty detached from reality to imagine that there would be kids on that playing field in the first place without the grown-ups organizing and funding their activities, and cheering them from the sidelines.

But isn’t that true of almost every student activity ranging from sports to theater to the band?

It seems that Ms. Stewart’s real problem is that she’s uncomfortable with Christians having the right to be represented in schools and to talk openly about  their faith. But at least in the United States (I’m not sure about the U.K. where The Guardian originates) religious groups have the same rights as non religious groups in the public schools. If the school allows other non curriculum student groups to meet on school property, then they must allow equal access for religious groups.

It’s hard to imagine that Ms. Stewart would raise the same concerns if the message being shared fit better with her own world view. One might guess that the real problem for her is that she’s offended by the message of Christianity and is therefore hoping to use the legal system to quiet Christians’ voices.

One last thing worth noting is that while Every Student Every School might be a new initiative and include a new web site, talking to others about Jesus isn’t new to Christianity. For centuries the faith has spread primarily via conversations among friends and family. Most of us will not be involved in this new program but we should all be reminded of the importance of being ambassadors for Christ wherever we live.

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