Bowing in Babylon, aka: Liar, Liar-Pants on Fire?
To Bow or not to bow? That is the question.
Bowing. How far can one bend, and technically not be “bowing?”
As Christians surface from their burrows to realize the landscape of Babylon USA, they are confronted with realities that will test their faith identities, their principles, and their definitions of Truth.
Christians today, like our Jewish brethren, are facing some very real choices that will ultimately determine our future and the future of our heirs, here and for eternity.
In 605 B.C., Daniel and other Israelite teens from the royal family and nobility were taken, presumably as hostages, to Babylon. In Babylon they were confronted with a culture steeped in practices that were in direct opposition to their Jewish faith and identity.
Daniel and these young men “without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand and qualified to serve,” were to be indoctrinated into the practices of Babylon and to serve the King.
Only one problem; These Babylonian practices were ones that God had clearly prohibited them, as Jews to participate in, to conform to, or to condone in others.
These young men were Jews first and trained by their parents to be leaders as well.
These young men knew, without at doubt, their Identity as God’s people and the cost involved in being true to this Identity. “No compromise” was their ethos.
The Jewish young men would not eat the food sacrificed to idols and they would not bow to the statue of gold. No matter the cost, their first and foremost obedience was to God and the statutes He had clearly set forth.
Obviously these young men had experienced effective intergenerational transmission of values from their parents, mentors, “synagogue of faith”, and their culture. These young men had a God given conscience and a profound respect for God.
Christian parents today are facing a dire circumstance in how to equip their children to navigate in Babylon USA. While parents may have mentored their children on Veggie Tales, the Ten Commandments, regular church participation, and made the introduced their children to Christ, there are some realities of how their faith plays out when the rubber meets the road, and the GPS is recalculating a course.
We will review a shocking national survey done last year of 40,000 students in both private religious and public government schools across America. This survey reveals the pressure students and parents are experiencing to “make the grade.”
This survey reveals the pressure students and parents feel for their sons and daughters to perform well on tests for college acceptance such as the SAT, PSAT, or ACT .
The amount of scholarship dollars offered to students is often based upon their SAT, ACT etc. performance score. Teaching to the test continues its devastation and its control far beyond the elementary and secondary classrooms.
This survey also reveals much more about the character and values being emphasized in the nation as well.
40% of students in government schools responded that a person has to lie or cheat in order to succeed (34% for religious school students.)
42% admitted to lying to save money, (38% for religious schools.)
54 % said they lied to a parent about something significant two or more times (55% for religious schools.)
Over 25% of students confessed that they lied on at least one or two of the survey questions, “which is typically an attempt to conceal misconduct.”
But most shocking is that 92% of students were satisfied with their personal ethics and character. “They lie and cheat….and are satisfied with their ethics and character?!” (www.gtbe.org)
The real evidence is that unethical teens grow up to become unethical employees. The Josephson Institute of Ethics found that regardless of current age, people who cheated on exams in high school two or more times are considerably more likely to be dishonest later in life. Compared to those who never cheated, when high school cheaters become adults, they are:
~Three (3) times more likely to lie to a customer or inflate and insurance claim and more than twice as likely to inflate a business expense claim.
~ Twice as likely to lie to or deceive their boss or lie about their address to get a child into a better school and more likely to lie to a spouse or cheat on taxes.
A majority of students (59%) admitted cheating on a test during the last year, with 34 % cheating more than two times.
These same students become voting citizens, leaders in their homes, businesses, community, local, state and national governments.
This precipitates a caveat that must be recognized. Many parents today are teaching their children to just play the testing game, give the school what they say in the textbook, alter your essays to fit the desired mold, and even providing courses for their heirs to be able to “score” well on the SAT, ACT’s etc.
So with their parents’ “encouragement”, these students do not even consider these “permitted” compromises to come under the definition of “lying, cheating or stealing.”
What ever happened to the Guardians of Orthodoxy like Daniel and friends; The GOO that hold a culture to its moorings of faith; the right flank that keeps the consensus from falling to hedonism entirely?
As the college entrance exams SAT, ACT, PSAT, GED, and other mass ranked norm referenced tests, once of achievement, now align with the psychological assessment bent of Common Core assessment test, Christian parents and students are finding themselves at a very real crossroads of faith.
Do they prep their children to score well on these tests, teach them to answer the essay questions as if they were of liberal progressive stock, or do they, like Daniel and friends hold their ground, stand tall and refuse to bow in Babylon?
It is shocking to consider that parents who have invested in teaching their children to not lie, would now encourage Junior or Betsy to go ahead and “give them what they want” for dollars for scholars. Or even worse, that religious schools and homeschooling families would consider bowing by going ahead and teaching Common Core curriculums, so that the lies can continue seamlessly.
Hello? Is anyone home?
Who is in control here?
Are parents so willing to compromise the very character of their children out of fear that they will not get scholarship money, or be able to attend a college who will also be seamlessly aligned with Common Core?
Is this they type of education you honestly choose for you child?
If the common core arch-testers have their way, education in aligned institutions will be as worthless as it is in many nationalized institutions around the globe. Thus the very reason, most of these globetrotters have traditionally chosen to send their children to the US for “education.” But atlas…”traditionally” as in the “past” is a most important adjective.
Why bother with homeschooling or a private school at all, if you are just going to play the “Teach to the Test” ; “What answer do they want me to say?” game?
Don’t be so willing to go the path of least resistance.
There is a growing body of over 850 4-year colleges and universities that do not require the SAT/ACT scores for admitting a substantial number of students into their degreed programs.
If parents and students of Daniel type character would stand firm in their faith, many other colleges of principled ethos would likely be persuaded to follow suit.
If folks committed to developing minds and hearts of future citizens, capable of self-government, would put their faith in action, then perhaps, just perhaps, our children could once again enjoy our nation as One nation under God, securing the Liberties that God has granted of Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness for their children as well.
Nebuchadnezzar:“….if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace…”
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship (bow) the image of gold you have set up.”
Daniel 3: 15-18
“If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…” Ephesians 6:14
The first piece of armor we apply is the Belt of Truth. All the other weapons hang on this belt….”Thou shalt not lie.”
If those of Biblical worldview do not stand firm, refusing to bend or bow, then who will?
Folks may be rationalizing in a pragmatic theme convincing themselves that this is the “shrewd as a serpents” mode of survival. Yet all the while they omit the foundational premise of remaining “innocent as doves.”
These same folks wonder why their adult children have “left the faith”, why divorce is as high in the church as outside the church, why the “church looks like the world” and why the “world” labels the church as “hypocrites”.
When the “Right” bends and bows in submission to play the games of the “Left”…there is nothing left, but a common corps compromised, conformed, and controlled. (Romans 12:2)
To Stand or not to Stand?
That is the question we each must answer before the Only One to Whom we must ultimately bow.