ARE WE TEACHING CHILDREN TO LIE?
We are so blind. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who can see.
I know that sounds prideful, sort of like I am a know-it-all, but that is not really what I mean. For the life of me I can’t understand how Christians and our leadership have become so blind.
I often wonder if I am what many emailers accuse me of “full of hate,” “close-minded,” or my favorite, “bigoted.” Like I said in an earlier commentary, I call them like I see them.
Suffice it to say that I don’t see things better…but differently. I haven’t figured out whether it is a gift or a curse.
As some of you might be aware I have begun to coach high school football again. I don’t work as a teacher, but I am starting a football team at a local Christian school. I figured rather than complain about the condition of Christianity in America my time might be better spent engaging the next generation of Christian leaders.
I took the plunge, not so much to train football players, but to train young Christians how to be men. Suffice it to say that our churches are producing passive Christian boys whose greatest Christian attribute is “niceness.” Our guys are nice. Too nice. I happen to think Christianity could use an influx of testosterone. “Being nice” is only going to make our submission to the Devil less confrontational. Heaven forbid Christian men would stand and fight. The secularists tell us that things would go so much better in America if the Christians would just be nice.
The Devil’s team plays to win. I happen to think God’s team should as well. Go ahead; throw a flag on me for unsportsmanlike conduct. Christians are supposed to be pushovers. No wonder everyone wants our new team on their schedule. But, once again, I am down a bunny trail….
Do you realize that we are teaching our children to lie? “That’s preposterous, Coach,” you are probably thinking. “We teach our children to be truthful.”
Let me ask you something. What is political correctness? To quote from Wikipedia, “The term "political correctness" is derived from Marxist-Leninist vocabulary, and was used to describe the appropriate "party line,"  commonly referred to as the "correct line."  The term was used in communist countries, and by communist and Trotskyist parties.
Note: (For those of you who think I have gone off of the deep end by quoting from Wikipedia, I would hope you give me more credit. I use Wikipedia because it is the enemy’s dictionary. Using their sources makes it tougher for them to discredit what I say.)
Have you ever said to your child, “Oh Honey, don’t say that. That’s not nice.” Aren’t you in fact asking them to not say what they are thinking?
Now I understand the importance of manners and of having the civility to not say something that might hurt another’s feelings. However, should we be teaching our children to be more concerned about other’s feelings at the risk of sacrificing the truth?
Political correctness teaches that it is not proper to say what you think. Instead, we must teach them how NOT to say what they think. In my way of thinking (I know that is dangerous) we are teaching them to lie. Let me give you an example.
The other night I was on the way home from practice and one of the players on the team was riding with me. Michael Savage came on the radio and this intelligent, alert, very informed 15 year-old riding with me (he had been home-schooled previously) asked me what I thought of Savage.
“How do you mean that?” I asked.
“Well,” he said, “It seems to me that he says such outrageous things sometimes and that causes his message to get lost in the way he says it.”
“You mean he says what he thinks?” I continued.
“Well, not so much that. It’s just that I think some of the things he says would have more impact if he didn’t turn off so many people with the way he says it.”
"Do you mean he would be more effective if he was less truthful about his feelings?" I asked.
He thought deeply before he responded, which is something rare in 15 year olds today. “Not so much that, I guess, but he would be better if he said it differently.”
“But what if that is really how he feels? What is wrong with saying what he believes? I think America would be better if we had a little more truth and a little less deception. Politicians get elected by saying what they don’t really believe and we are surprised when they don’t follow through on it. I think we need more honest talk. Wouldn’t communication be more effective if I really understood your position, how you felt, rather than some sanitized version of what you were really thinking?”
“For instance,” I continued, “wouldn’t it be better to tell me that you hate dating fat girls before I fix you up with one? Wouldn’t it be better for me to understand your thought process so that we could better have a discussion on the issue?” Would it be better if you told me something you didn’t really believe, just because you wanted to be nice?”
John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Truth sometimes can appear to be harsh. No one likes their shortcomings exposed. But as followers of Jesus we are to speak the truth in love. We are teaching our children just the opposite. “Go along to get along” is the modern-day mantra. Didn’t Paul say "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"
What you THINK matters more than what you say. If I love you, I will speak the truth.
Therein is where the battle lies, over truth. We do our children and our Lord a dis-service by teaching them it is wrong to speak it. The sooner we teach them to speak the truth, the more effective they will become in defending it.
I’ll never forget one Saturday morning outside of a local abortion clinic. A young man and woman climbed out of their car and headed into the killing center. I had only a minute to speak the truth about the life-changing decision they were getting ready to make. I prayed for the words to speak.
As they made their way up the steps I cried out with the words that came to me.
“Sir, please, look at how beautiful your girlfriend is. Your daughter is going to look just like her. In a year that pretty little thing’s picture will be hanging on your refrigerator.”
I could have told him that Jesus loved him. I could have told him he was committing murder. I could have told him he was on his way to hell. I could have told him it was their choice. I could have told him Jesus would forgive him.
Ten minutes later the door swung open and the couple walked smiling towards me. Goosebumps ran down my spin.
“Are you keeping your baby?” I screamed.
He nodded yes as he walked and embraced me. "Thanks for being here, man. Thanks for telling me the truth."
A child is alive and a couple is free from guilt because we cared enough to speak the truth.
stop teaching our children to lie. Only the truth can bring freedom.
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© 2007 Dave Daubenmire
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Coach Dave Daubenmire, founder and President of Pass The Salt Ministries www.ptsalt.com and Minutemen United www.minutemenunited.org, is host of the high octane Pass The Salt radio show heard in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1999 Coach Daubenmire was sued by the ACLU for praying with his teams while coaching high school in Ohio. He now spends his energy fighting for Christian principles in the public domain.