“Exposing the Myth of Neutrality”

Categories: apologetics, evangelism, evidences

Child-centric parenting has been the rage over the last couple of decades. An article extracted from Alfie Kohn’s book Unconditional Parenting is presented online entitled “Let Our Children Decide for Themselves.” The author says, “Our fundamental position should be to allow children to make decisions about things that affect them.” Kohn ends with: “Give them as many choices as possible.”

Many parents have incorporated this parenting methodology, including when teaching their kids about religion. They want the little children to decide for themselves one day, so they don’t want to tell them what religion to choose. They want to remain neutral in their parenting, they say.

These same parents, presumably, do not remain neutral when their child chooses to go naked to preschool or steal Grandma’s iPhone. But they want to remain neutral on what to believe about eternal salvation or damnation. Makes sense, right?

We have been told we should expect this neutrality from our schools. Miss Frizzle should not hold one moral position or another. She should only teach math, science, history, etc. Just the facts, Ma’am. Leave your moral worldview at home.

Professors at major universities—religious departments included—tell their students they give all sides of arguments equal weight and examination so the brilliant young men and women can make up their own minds. I recall the professor in my moral philosophy class at UAB attempted this. He would present the facts of some moral issue or another but would never say if it was a true or false argument. He tried to present all arguments as potentially having equal weight and value. I did not understand at the time that his worldview was pluralism, the assertion that there is no absolute moral truth but that all moral reasonings can be considered true at the same time. In his attempts to stay neutral with morality, he exposed his worldview of pluralism. He taught us we should (a moral statement) consider all moral reasonings as equally valid. One of my moral reasonings was that his moral reasoning spawned from the depths of hell. Make those compatible, Sir.

What are the problems with neutrality? The most glaring issue is…it’s impossible to remain neutral. Everyone takes a position, and everyone starts from some truth platform. Even the pluralist, who says all moral teachings are true, is making a truth statement. The fact that some take an opposite moral position (asserting all moral positions cannot be true at the same time) invalidates pluralism because it shows there is at least one position which cannot logically coexist with it. Of course, to hold the pluralist’s worldview, one must abandon logic.

Does God Want Us in Neutral?

Should we “fairly” examine all the evidence before we make up our minds? The young man who has never examined his faith gets to college, and his professor says, “You’ve never fairly examined what you believe. You need to act as if you don’t believe it for a while and examine all these other religions to make sure you are believing in the right thing.” This makes sense to the young man, and he abandons his faith for a while…perhaps forever. Was that fair of the professor? No, he was fighting dirty.

This may sound counterintuitive, but I’ll ask anyway: “What does God say about this?” Immediately, someone calls foul: “You can’t ask that question because first you have to figure out if there is a God before you can ask what He would say about things.” Here is the muddle mess. I already believe in God, and I already believe the Bible is His word. I have good reasons for believing this: (1) the Word itself is accurate, internally consistent, powerful in content and (2) by it, my life has been radically changed for the better. I have come to know God through His word. I will go to that word to see how God would have me interact with this world.

Does God tell me to have blind faith? No. Does He tell me to test the spirits? Yes, but I’m to test them to see if they are from God (1 John 4.1). If they are not from Him, I’m to reject them. Does He tell me to test everything? Yes, but I’m to test everything and hold fast to what is good (1 Thes. 5.20-21). That implies a standard by which to measure everything and categorize them as “good” or “bad.” God’s word provides the standard.

I find in Jude 3 that God wants me to “contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” To contend earnestly is to fight with a passion, and Christians are called to fight for the faith. We are not to abandon the faith and try out everything else to see what else might be true. We are to hold fast the faith and fight for it. This includes instilling the faith in our children.

Peter said we should “be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3.15). This includes the schoolteacher or university professor who challenges us to “objectively” step away from our faith and examine it with all the questions and criticisms they hand us. We should be ready to give them a reason for the hope that is in us.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 4 that Christ has given the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers who teach the word of God in such a way that the church will mature, and “we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” God would have us grounded firmly in our faith, absolutely assured of the hope that is within us by the power of Christ and His Holy Spirit.

Our weapons are not fleshly (2 Cor. 10.4-5). We fight against arguments and opinions which are raised against the knowledge of God. We must first bring our own thoughts captive to Christ. Then we fight against the false reasonings around us. We are to love God with heart, soul, strength, and mind.

The Purpose of Education

Education should teach us how to think rightly, how to defend the faith, how to rightly divide the word of truth, how to understand the world, how to fight correctly against the powers of the other side.

But isn’t education about getting a job and making a living and supporting a family? The world would have us believe that is the main purpose, but they know it’s not! The forces we fight against are cunning and crafty—they have taken the mention of God out of our schools and convinced many that it's not a big deal. After all, the schools should remain neutral on religion because we are a pluralistic nation. It wouldn’t be fair to rank any one religion as more valuable or virtuous than another, right? So they say, “We’ll just teach math and history and science and reading – don’t worry, we won’t teach religion.”

But they do. Humanism is religious to its core. Religious thought drives the theory of macro evolution.

Neutrality is a myth. We must expose the wolves who teach it by stripping them of their sheep-wool cloaks. No one can or should remain neutral, and Christians should not fall victim to this false teaching.

God does not want us to study in neutral. He does not want us to parent in neutral (Eph. 6.1-4). He wants us fully engaged with our faith in the spiritual fight. He wants us to take up the whole armor He has prepared for us and for us to use it!

Remember, that armor includes a sword.