Written January 2015
This was the headline of an article in the Daily Mail (29/11/14) in which former BBC presenter, Roger Bolton said ‘In some schools in this country little is taught about the true meaning of Christmas (i.e. the birth of Jesus) because secular staff are unsympathetic or because of the fear of offending those of other faiths.’ This follows an article in the Sunday Times which accused the Department for Education of forcing faith schools to promote gay rights under controversial new schools regulations. The Sunday Times reported that faith schools are being ‘ordered’ to be ‘tolerant of other religions and respect gay, lesbian and transgender relationships’ or face closure.’
There were 40 snap inspections of faith schools by Ofsted, including Christian and Jewish schools. A successful Christian School was warned it could face closure after failing to invite a leader from another religion, such as an imam, to lead assemblies. The school also needed to provide evidence that it ‘actively promoted other faiths.’
What is taking place here is part of a process, which is happening across the western world. Education, the media and governments, backed by international organisations like the UN and the EU, are imposing a world view, which claims to be ‘tolerant’ of minorities, but is also intolerant of any dissent. In his book ‘The New Tolerance’ Josh McDowell describes this way of thinking: ‘The new tolerance teaches that all beliefs, values, lifestyles, and truth claims are equal. It is not enough for you (or your children) to live and let live. It is not enough for you to assert another person’s right to believe or say what he thinks is right. It is not enough to allow another person to disagree with what you believe or do. In order to be truly tolerant you must agree that another person’s position is just as valid as your own. In order to be truly tolerant you must give your approval, your endorsement, your sincere support to their beliefs and behaviours.’
For Bible believing Christians other faiths are not ‘just as valid as our own.’ ‘There is one God and one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus’, 1 Timothy 2.5. We cannot give our support to homosexual or heterosexual life styles that go against God’s commandments. The imam should not be given the opportunity to teach the false Islamic religion to Christian children. Children should not be indoctrinated with homosexual propaganda or the recent government backed guidance on sex education, which includes teaching that it is all right for children to have consensual sex at the age of 13. From the point of view of biblical Christianity these things are wrong, but if you say so publically you may find yourself in trouble with public opinion and even with the government.
Another report says there is no room at the inn for baby Jesus in school nativities. ‘Christianity is being banished from school nativity plays as the annual performance of the Christmas story is replaced with bland ‘winter celebrations’, research among parents suggests. Even in schools which retain religious themes, most now opt for a modernised version of the nativity story, often featuring elaborate twists and children dressed as unlikely additions such as punk fairies, aliens, Elvis, lobsters, spacemen and even recycling bins.
Examples cited in the survey conducted by Netmums, the parenting website, even included a retelling of the story modelled on The Apprentice. Others told of children dressed as ingredients in a Christmas lunch including carrots, sprouts and – confusingly – pumpkins. Meanwhile one in eight had said their children’s school had dropped the Christmas story altogether for a modern alternative without religious references. One in 14 said the school now opts for a fully secular event with neutral titles such as ‘Winter Celebration’ or ‘Seasonal Play’. A handful of those polled also said they had seen pan-religious school Christmas plays incorporating references to the Muslim festival Eid, the Jewish Hanukkah or Hindu Diwali.
Meanwhile a popular Christmas present for children this year was the ouija board. Promoted by an apparently truly dreadful film (sponsored by Hasbro, the toy firm that holds the rights to ouija boards), sales of the £20+ boards have gone through the roof. Simon Osborne wrote in the Independent, ‘What better time to talk to dead people for fun than the festival to celebrate the birth of Jesus?’
The sale of ouija boards as Christmas presents shows just how dark the spiritual condition of the nation has become. Ouija is not a game, it is a way to contact evil spirits who communicate messages to those engaged in it, who then open themselves up to demon possession. Deuteronomy 18:10-12 reads ‘There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or uses witchcraft, or an interpreter of omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, or a spiritualist, or an occultist, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God will drive them out from before you.’.
What if you have one of these boards? Follow the advice of Acts 19:19, which says, ‘Many who practiced magic brought their books together and burned them before everyone.