Greetings from Australia! As many western societies that live far too comfortably, we too are dealing with a rising tide of secularism where Jesus is deemed to be no longer relevant and this malaise is having particular impact on our young, especially those in their early years of schooling.
I do not know how aware people are of the mission in Australia, but there has been considerable effort expended by some local organisations, such as Access Ministries and Scripture Union Queensland, to gain access to our school system to introduce the word of Jesus to the unfortunate children being denied by the secular education system – there are the usual nuisance constitional issues, not to mention teachers’ union troubles. Of course, their great successes and inroads made thus far are beginning to generate substantial resistance from organised secularists and atheists outside of the education system as well. It is reaching the point where we are actually facing some dangers via a High Court Challenge as well as a few parliamentary enquiries into the religious education and chaplaincy programs.
I guess my real question is how have people in other parts of the world dealt with such assaults on christian education? At every turn we are being accused of being liars and thieves from the public purse, and that we are knowingly breaching agreements that were signed in order to be able to do our work in the schools – and many far more hurtful accusations.
At the core of all of our troubles is a strict prohibition on seeking to bring children across to our faith – the secularists insist on labeling this as “proselytising” and “conversion”, highly charged terms that do cast us in the light as breaking agreements made with the various education departments. But how is it possible to do this work without seeking to save those children who have been denied Jesus? It is our very reason for existence. As many in the movement say, our work will never be done until the nets are full and all the children brought into the fold.
I am at a loss as to what to do. The organisations involved are being slowly backed into a corner and thus far have not been able to respond effectively to these threats. So how does one successfully minister to these children who otherwise risk never being saved in such an environment of hostility? Any advice or thoughts would graciously be appreciated.