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10 TIPS for Christian students in secular classrooms
Before making a classroom presentation or paper, become as well-informed as possible about Creationism and the problems involved with Evolutionism. Books such as The Illustrated ORIGINS Answer Book are specially organized to make this study quick and effective.
In many public schools, there is a strong sensitivity against the expression of Christian religious beliefs in the classroom. Students have more latitude than teachers on this point. However, in the classroom, students are usually wise to strictly limit their comments to scientific facts, rather than dealing with biblical information or religious beliefs.
Don't be surprised about not being treated fairly in a public school when discussing the subject of Creationism. Be prepared to handle such treatment with a proper Christian attitude. It is an unfortunate reality that many teachers and administrators are strongly biased and misinformed on this subject. This is quite understandable. In most cases, their entire education (grade school through college) was totally one-sided on this issue.
Remember that students are under the authority of the teacher, even teachers who are antagonistic to Christianity. Christian students have a responsibility to respect their teacher' authority and remain courteous and respectful at all times, even if they don't agree on the subject of Evolution.
For best student/teacher relations, maintain a good humor about situation and stay objective. Stick to the facts. A Christian's attitude should be one of love and sensitivity toward all, including teachers. Do not resort to emotional arguments or verbal assaults. Do not belittle the beliefs of a teacher. Phrase comments and questions in a sensitive way that depersonalizes the issues. It is very unlikely that embarrassing a teacher in front of a class will produce desirable results! Information should be presented with an attitude of good will, good humor, and honest respect. Teachers are more likely to respond favorably to a good, hard-working student who is simply looking for honest answers, than to a student who appears hostile, ill-humored, poorly prepared, or who sounds like a “know it all.”
Lend the teacher a good book on the subject, especially one which maintains scientific objectivity. Also of interest are various books critical of Evolutionism written by Evolutionists. Use of these avoids making the issue look like a religious battle.
Realize that all teachers and classroom situations are not the same. What may work with one teacher or school may not be effective with another.
Remember that the main purpose of a student in school is to learn, not to witness. However, students should remain open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. There are many exciting stories about how students provided the questions and information that eventually produced major changes in teachers' lives.
Prayer is the most important ingredient in any human endeavor. Be sure that classroom efforts are founded upon time spent in prayer. PARENTS: Take advantage of this opportunity to pray with your child concerning their Christian walk, attitudes and faithfulness.
Organizations that offer advice or legal help to students or teachers facing discrimination due to their belief in Creation:
- Christian Legal Society - 4208 Evergreen Lane, #222, Annandale, VA 22003, (703) 642-1070
- Citizens for Excellence in Education (CEE) - P.O. Box 3200, Costa Mesa, CA 92628, (714) 546-5931
- Rutherford Institute - P.O. Box 7482, Charlottesville, VA 22906, (804) 978-3888
- Western Center for Law & Religious Freedom - 3855 E. La Palma, Suite 124, Anaheim, CA 92621
Author: Paul S. Taylor of Films for Christ
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