Our family lived in Philadelphia in a big, old house. I was in second grade when I got my first hearing aid. It was so big my mother had to sew pockets inside all my t-shirts to hold it. It came with a 3-wire cord that connected the body piece in my pocket with a small earplug in my ear. It whistled a lot, the result of frequent feedback. But I was a proud owner and kids in my class at school all wanted to see it. I felt acceptance as to who I was. It was a time of innocence for schools and children.

I remember being able to walk to school. School in those days were safe places. In those old days there was no need to worry about school violence. Why now? Fences are built around school buildings. Doors are locked, identification is needed. There is armed security and scanners. Our children are rightly scared of going to school. People argue about how to protect the schools and the best way to do so. What’s different about 2018 and the 1950’s and 1960’s when I was in school?

God was kicked out of our schools.

Violence is only one thing of many that our children now face in school which my generation did not have to face before God was kicked out. Frequent bullying, addiction to drugs, all manner of sinful sex,  hate for those who are different, civil disrespect for authority, and lack of parental respect are examples of the “new norm”. This result is not surprising to those of us who know God and love Jesus. It is a reason why home schooling has become more popular.

John 3:19-2019 They are judged by this fact: The light has come into the world. But they did not want light. They wanted darkness, because they were doing evil things. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light. They will not come to the light, because the light will show all the bad things they have done. (ERV)

The effort to remove God from our schools started in my own school days. First thing to happen was we could no longer recite “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag” to start our day. I learned later it was because of the words, “under God”. Then we no longer could have prayer. Then we could not even have a silent moment. Then Bibles were removed from libraries. I was too young to fully understand, and brick by brick, God was removed from school. Today we have a generation of kids grown up without God in school who are now parents to kids who also don’t know God. What’s worse is today’s children don’t even get the benefit from having Jesus believing parents. There’s nothing at home to offset the lack of God in school. This constant attack on God through my college days caused me to reject God and become an atheist. But, because of my parent’s faith in God, and my own life experiences, I finally found God.

The influence of God’s church, of those who believe in Jesus as their personal Savior, has undeniably waned. It is no longer the primary force in the American culture. So what you see now happening is what you get with God taken out of life’s equation.

So, people ask how can we stop all this terrible school violence? The problem is no amount of laws and law enforcement will work. They continue to fail us because in a fallen world, both laws and law enforcement are less than perfect. At best they are band-aid efforts to curb sinful behavior in people. Our children are paying the awful price of a culture that does not honor God. The sinful desire to kill others is a terrible one, and the world hasn’t been able to stop it. Only Jesus can stop it. Those of us who have chosen Jesus must pray and help others to know Jesus as their Lord. Jesus really is the answer. Jesus’ followers must stay the course and continue to show a loving example to a hurting world.

Proverbs 1:7 Knowledge begins with fear and respect for the Lord, but stubborn fools hate wisdom and refuse to learn.” (ERV)‬‬

The famous evangelist, Rev. Billy Graham, recently died at age 99. His life was an exemplary service to God. His crusades were responsible for many people finding Jesus in their lives. He is one of history’s greatest evangelists.  I’m sure God received Billy Graham with open arms and a “job well done”. The rest of us “ordinary believers” must continue evangelizing our culture by bringing back acceptance of Jesus as Lord. As more people, our families, friends and neighbors accept Him, our culture will change and again become more loving and less hateful. Violence will not disappear, but it will be greatly reduced.

Throughout history, the influence of the church has grown and wavered. After the terrible sins of World War II, people saw Jesus as the true answer for a fallen world. There was a revival of the church in the 40’s and 50’s, and it carried into the early 60’s. What we need now is another revival with all believers demonstrating the love of Christ and being ready to share the Gospel, the Good News. Our schools must let God back inside.

Only a growing church filled with joyfully redeemed followers of Jesus will curb the violence. We who know Jesus must work on our evangelization efforts so as to regain national influence over a dead culture, and turn it around so it can focus on worshipping and serving our Loving God. Love, not hate, is the answer, and loving Jesus is the key to doing so. He is the only way, really the only way that works. We who believe and follow Jesus have our work cut out for us.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. (ERV)

But God provides. He will give us wisdom and strength to do His good work for His Kingdom. He will help us restore faith in God to our culture, and to our schools. I pray that you will be encouraged to spread the Good News about Jesus. If you don’t already know Jesus, I encourage you to seek Him out and invite Him into your heart. Our children in schools will thank and love you for it.

Acts 1:8 But the Holy Spirit will come on you and give you power. You will be my witnesses. You will tell people everywhere about me—in Jerusalem, in the rest of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world. (ERV)

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