Education and “Missing the Point”

When you say something or write something, do you realize that people often “miss the point?” If so, you know how frustrating that can be. Further, after you hear a speech (or the news) or listen to a pod-cast, or even read a book, are you sure that you really “got the point?”

The following was suggested all the way back in 2012 by Dr. Doug Groothuis and Sarah Geis of Denver Seminary. However, it seems even more relevant today in a social culture saturated with information, “misinformation,” opinions, theories and judgments.

Here are some fragmentary thoughts on how we can “miss the point” (of anything!):

1. Do not listen; then respond to what you did not hear.

2. Do not read; then respond to what you did not read.

3. Be sloppy with analogies.

4. Use your own limited anecdotal experience to make universal judgments.

5. Use “red herrings” (something that is intended to be misleading or distracting).

6. Listen to your untutored emotions more than evidence and reason.

7. Be “offended” and then use that to say anything you want as if it were not justified.

8. Do not study history.

9. Do not learn logic and basic philosophical reasoning.

10. Be ignorant of the Bible.

11. Stay distracted and multitask the art of knowing. It cannot be done.

I think these are wise words. Our culture is too judgmental, easily offended and it simply disregards truth as it reacts emotionally and irrationally. By nature, lies are easy to believe and easier to promote because too often we want to believe them. We do not take time to investigate, to evaluate and to analyze. I am astounded at what some people swallow as truth, especially young people who have no knowledge of nor interest in history and critical thinking.

So, my concern today is the education of young people. I was a teacher for many years, and I am still excited and privileged to be a teacher. I cannot imagine why the current “critical race theories” are being promoted and taught. They are hateful opinions and theories being taught as facts to vulnerable children and teenagers. They are disseminating disparaging ideas far more “racist” than the “racism” they are supposed to be defaming.

The point of this blog is that I believe we are currently “missing the point” of education. Big government is being the “big brother,” deciding what should and should not be taught in our schools. This is, of course, a strategic part of the Marxism agenda (read Karl Marx before you ignore this), and increasing government control is damaging. Locally, school boards that may be composed of non-educators assume they know more than the parents and teachers. Some of the national organizations that are attempting to sabotage our education systems are guilty of all 11 of the above “thoughts.” My heart is broken for those children who have barely survived the pandemic lock-down, but are still facing needless required “masking” this coming school year. Only “Batman” can endure as a masked 5-year-old. I have empathy for struggling teachers who really care about their students but who are faced with rules and regulations that encroach upon their curriculum and their careers.

One my favorite authors, C. S. Lewis, had a lot to say about education:

“None can give to another what he [she] does not possess himself [herself]. No generation can bequeath to its successor what it has not got….If we are skeptical we shall teach only skepticism to our pupils, if fools, only folly, if vulgar only vulgarity…it is equally certain that a man [person] whose mind was formed in a period of cynicism and disillusion, cannot teach hope or fortitude.”  

That is, those who are filled with hatred cannot teach love; those who are bitter and angry cannot teach calm and reconciliation. Those who are irrational cannot teach rational thinking. We cannot teach unity and equality through egotism and violence.

Again, Lewis wrote,

“All the teaching must still be done by concrete human individuals. The State has to use the men [people] who exist. Nay, as long as we remain a democracy, it is men [people] who give the State its powers. And over these men [people], until all freedom is extinguished, the free winds of opinion blow. Their [students’] minds are formed by influences which government cannot control. And as they come to be, so will they teach.”

Author: Judy

Christian educator, writer, specializing in the New Testament

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