Christian Teachers Can Restore The American Vision
"We Teach Even When We Fail
James Russell Lowell was asked
by the French historian Francois Guizot, "How long will
the American republic endure?" He wisely replied, "As
long as the ideas of the men who founded it continue to dominate."
Today, the American vision has been replaced by the American
dream and is rapidly becoming the American nightmare. When
America's news magazines feature headlines, "How Our
American Dream Unravelled," you know there is cause for
concern. How can Christian teachers respond?
Only You Can
Only you and I,
with God's help, can restore vision. Neither our President
nor candidates promising grandiose remedies pandering to our
pet concerns can accomplish the task. In truth, it will require
changes in our lives, in the way we think, in our values,
in the way we teach and raise our children, in the way we
spend our money and time in our hearts.
We must repair and rebuild the foundations of our personal
lives as Americans, in our families, in our schools, our businesses,
our churches, and our government. But vision comes first.
Without vision, we will eventually perish.
How You Can
There are three
basic ways teachers can restore vision in America. Each of
them begins with us as individuals, with our families, and
in our classrooms.
MUST REMEMBER THE AMERICAN VISION
at a moment of deep national crisis, in a civil war that threatened
to destroy the nation, found himself in a very lonely place
in the White House. It is always lonely when leadership is
required and vision is clouded. In drafting his Gettysburg
Address, at that desperate moment in our history, he reached
back to a time when vision was clear as expressed in the lives
of our Founding Fathers and in their writings which endure
as our most precious heritage.
Lincoln distilled from those lives and writings an unmistakable
truth the cornerstone of the American vision. He then
re-declared on the battlefield of Gettysburg that truth that
would restore and hold the vision of America for the century
nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom...."
our nation to be "under God," and acting accordingly,
is the sole prerequisite to restoring the American vision.
New, believable, visionary leadership will then emerge. But
America will never be "under God" unless you and
I are "under God." In order to place ourselves "under
God," we must choose to adopt God's ways, God's plans,
and God's purposes as expressed in the Bible. We must repent
or turn from our own pride, our rebellious ways, and our selfish
ambitions and choose to humble ourselves under God's authority.
That must begin with professing Christians...yes, even Christian
SECOND: I MUST TEACH
THE AMERICAN VISION
a foremost business publication in America since 1917, dedicated
it's seventy-fifth anniversary issue to analyzing and responding
to the grave sense of despair and anger in the land.
It declared, "It isn't the economic system that needs
fixing. It's our value system." Among numerous articles
from America's scholars and writers dedicated to exploring
the nation's demoralized condition are the following quotes
from a single article:
in America knows that we're not doing a very good job of
communicating to our children what America is and has been."
"We do not teach it as
a society and we teach it insufficiently in our schools."
"We teach the culture
of resentment, of grievance, of victimization."
"We are certainly demoralizing
In 1939, "we could tell
we were beginning to lose God banishing Him from
"And it is a terrible
thing when people lose God."
"I don't think it is
unconnected to the [baby] boomers' predicament that as a
country we were losing God just as they were being born."
It has been said
that our children are a message we send to a world we will
never see. What kind of a message are you and I sending through
our own children and the children we teach? What message have
we failed to send?
If America's future depends on the vision for America which
you are instilling in your children, grandchildren and students,
what is America's future? We are writing America's future
with every opportunity we fail to seize to instruct and guide
the young lives entrusted to our care of the utter dependence
of our Founding Fathers on God's personal guidance and direction
both in their personal lives and in the building of the nation.
Yes, we teach even when we fail to teach.
Let's teach our children well. America cannot survive another
THIRD: I MUST LIVE THE
None would deny
that "actions speak louder than words." Yet we all
find ourselves living in ways that are hypocritical. We make
excuses. We conjure up reasons why we should be relieved of
conforming to our professed moral and spiritual standards.
But over time a telling story emerges from our
behavior and attitude. We could call it a "life message."
So what is your "life message"? What message does
our behavior, our attitude, send to our children and grandchildren,
our students? What are we teaching them? What are we teaching
them about what it really means to be an American? Is what
I am really teaching them the same message I want to leave
What is the future of America based upon my example? Do I
want to face such a future? Do I want my own children and
those students entrusted to my care to face such a future?
Most of us have been more concerned about living the American
dream than the American vision, haven't we?
Whether we like it or not, our daily choices, decisions, behavior
and attitudes are defining or re-defining the American vision
for tomorrow. We are in crisis today because of our example
yesterday not just my example, not just the President's
example, or that of the Congress but your example,
the example of America's teachers who stand according to law,
"in loco parentis."
Become an EXAMPLE of the American vision. And may God, through
you, bless the America our children will inherit. "Blessed
is the nation whose God is the Lord."
is the President of SAVE AMERICA Ministries. After 9 years
as a public school teacher, Chuck practiced law for 18 years.
The above article is excerpted from his latest book, Renewing
the Soul of America (2002), endorsed by 38 Christian
SAVE AMERICA Ministries
P.O. Box 70879 Richmond, VA 23255
(804) 754-1822 (804) 754-1823 FAX www.saveus.org