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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vouchers are an invitation to government meddling

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:30 AM

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. - Matthew 6:24

In the fall of 1984, I enrolled in Grace Baptist Academy in my hometown. I graduated in 1992. Even when I was in high school, there was talk about vouchers to allow tax monies to follow a student to whatever school his parents chose, to encourage competition and allow students to get the best education possible. I am opposed to vouchers precisely because of my experience at GBA.

It is not because I did not get a good education. I am thankful to God that He allowed me the opportunity to be educated in a Christian environment, from a Christian perspective. I am thankful for the Bible classes, the chapel services and the fact that faith was woven thought everything I was taught - including (and especially) our basketball team. I do not want anyone to have that opportunity to be taken away.

In the short term, vouchers would be a benefit to families seeking a Christian education and for the schools themselves. But what happens when someone with an ACLU mentality is elected and has authority over how the voucher monies are distributed? "Well, you see, we believe in separation of church and state. Therefore, we cannot have public monies going to religious education. Students who have their tuition paid for by vouchers cannot attend chapel services or take Bible classes. Their science textbooks must be secular."

That is just the tip of the iceberg. What if the government decides that the school may not discriminate in hiring practices, and must allow equal opportunity to homosexuals, atheists or Muslims? What if the government mandates a sex education curriculum devised by the predators at Planned Parenthood? What of the government decides every school should distribute condoms? At what point does the compromise become too much to bear?

So now the Christian school faces a quandary. What if they hired teachers or made other investments based on the increased enrollment? Can they now do without the vouchers, or will they instead justify compromising their principles by pointing to all of the good they can do with that money? Do not assume they will make the right decision. How many churches would refrain from disciplining a notorious adulterer because of all the good they can do with the money he donates? Remember, ruling elders are sinful men just like everyone else.

We do not need to entangle Christian schools with government money and the strings that come with that money. We cannot assume that the hand that feeds us today will never become a fist that punches us. We need to have faith that God will provide what we need, rather than turning to a government that is more often than not hostile to our faith.

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