LEAven Blog


Punch Line

I am afraid for Lutheran schools.

People who know me probably expect a jab of humor about now. But I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for some other occasion. I truly fear for Lutheran schools.

The gates of hell are wide open.

It’s easy to enter and access secular education and even easier to leave, having learned to stomp, slap, and slug Christian teaching and living. That’s the punch line. That’s why I truly fear for Lutheran schools.

Lutheran schools—indeed most all Christian schools—are now the victims of a long and getting longer punch line. There are two different kinds of punch lines. One is composed of those normally considered or expected to be friends—or at least allies. The other is a passel of pagans. Both have a potential for muting, maiming, or even murdering Christian values and scriptural teachings.

Consider the so-called friendlies. They were willing to tolerate Christian education but don’t seriously align with Lutheran doctrine. Among Christian educators, this fracture amounts to coddling sinners with lies and half-truths to keep their seats filled. Sometimes the punch is more like resisting teaching according to a biblical Christian worldview. For others, it’s a sucker punch that deflates the Gospel of its breath. You could name more. They are dangerous because they don’t appear that way. They will kill authentic Lutheran Christian education—or just let it die from neglect.

Most likely, Lutheran schools will be punch line victims of culture, governmental legislation and litigation, and total defiance and denouncement of God and His loving authority over people. Lawsuits and languishing morals will continue and grow. They will erode authentic Lutheran Christian education, and we will have little opportunity to punch back. I fear for Lutheran schools.

Except for One thing.

Through the centuries of persecution that the Church has faced, through surviving the uppercuts, left-crosses, and right hooks of many enemies, God kept the Church alive. That doesn’t mean it escaped persecution; it persisted despite it. And we will do the same and likely suffer while doing it. In the end, we might look different doing it. We might have to make some serious adjustments, but Christians blessed by God have always found new ways for Gospel proclamation. So even if the punch lines win the day, even if authentic Christian schools cease to function, God’s servants will find new and effective ways to maintain and sustain Christian education. We’ve got each other. We will address the threats and meet the challenges. Together.

And for those of us who would like to take a swing of our own, there is this: For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low (Isaiah 12:2 ESV).

Okay, shame on me. This would be better: But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven (Matt. 5:44 ESV).

You know, maybe I’m not afraid after all.

Ed Grube is LEA’s Director of Communications, having served 27 years as a Lutheran school principal and 23 years in national Lutheran ministries.

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