“O say, can you see?” These familiar words are most heard prior to the start of athletic contests. In fact, one little boy when asked to identify the last two words of the national anthem replied, “Play Ball!”
Francis Scott Key penned these words as he strained to see if the flag was still flying over Ft. McKinley during the War of 1812. His heart longed to see a visible sign that the American forces had not surrendered. He peered through the breaking dawn with the eyes of a patriot, longing for victory. His world view was shaped by his commitment to the cause of freedom for the young United States of America.
A cadre of lens crafters
The phrase, “biblical worldview” is frequently expressed around LCS. Our worldview provides the lens through which we see and interpret life. It is shaped by our commitments about truth, knowledge, reality, ethics, value, and purpose. One of the primary roles of the Christian school faculty is to shape the world view of the students. We are attempting to craft the lens by which they view all of life.
Remember your last eye exam? You peer though the eye piece while the examiner continually asks you which lens allows you to see most clearly. “This one…or this one?” The process is repeated over and over again in an attempt to move from indistinguishable to recognizable to clarity. Eventually the exam reveals the degree of correction needed and the prescription is provided so that the appropriate lens can be crafted.
But what if those lenses were crafted by several technicians all of whom were following different prescriptions? What if there was no agreed upon standard of what clear vision really looks like? What if the right eye and left eye lenses did not operate in concert but in dissonance instead? What kind of confusion would you experience in trying to navigate even the most basic life tasks?
Lens crafting confusion
This week I have been reflecting on my responsibility as a Christian school educator to craft the world view lenses of our students. I quickly realized that we are not the only ones involved in this endeavor. Certainly the home has the most profound influence and hopefully, the church is playing a key role as well. However, we must realize that our students’ lenses are also being “ground” by a variety of influences in our culture. The continual rub of non-biblical values and affections that come at students through entertainment, advertising, media, and interpersonal relationships all have an effect. This is further complicated by the fact that this generation of students is more profoundly affected by relationships than by propositional truth (which is a topic for another day!). It takes discretion to interpret this wide range of “grinding” influences properly and maintain clarity of focus.
Compare and contrast
As a student, I loved essay exams. Those that afforded the opportunity to compare and contrast leaders, historical movements, or ideas were especially stimulating. One way we can encourage proper world view formation in our students is to continually ask them to engage in this format of analysis. Whether discussing a movie, article, song, current event, or social issue, we can continually ask them to compare and contrast the perspectives at hand with the truth of scripture. These are not always neat and clean discussions and the issues of our day are often complex. However, we must seize the opportunity to engage in sometimes messy discussions to craft the world view lenses of our students. A biblical view of life does not just happen. It must be cultivated with intentionality to equip our students for life today as well as in the future.
Continual, not bi-annual
Unlike our physical eye exam every year or two, the process of lens crafting is a continual one. Christian parents and teachers must constantly be involved in monitoring our own world view formation as well as our students’. Intentional self evaluation, reflection and discussion are essential components in developing and maintaining clarity of vision informed by biblical Truth.
So the next time you stand for the national anthem, be reminded of your responsibility as a lens crafter! Let’s do all we can to be sure our students can indeed see, and do so though a biblical lens!
Dr. Mike Sligh, Headmaster, has served at LCS for more than 40 years. To contact Dr. Sligh, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.