The myth of Godless places

classroomEducation has always been incredibly important to me, but my interest in the intersection of politics and education has increased dramatically since I began working in the education system between preaching the weekends. Working with both the students and faculty has been an absolute blessing dropped into my lap by divine providence, so needless to say I was more than a bit angered to hear the latest education rumblings from Austin.

While Governor Greg Abbott has rather surprisingly embraced the idea of enhancing optional pre-K, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s advisory panel has sent a letter to state legislators decrying pre-K because it, among other perceived evils, keeps children in a “Godless environment.”

Godless environment. It doesn’t matter that I’m a pastor, or even a Christian, or that God led me to where I am as only He can. I, according to these fearmongerers, work to corrupt children in a Godless environment. To the enormous number of my colleagues who unashamedly call upon the name of Christ, in many cases having gone into education as an outpouring of their Christocentric love for others and desire to make a difference, your faith and intentions apparently don’t matter; our halls and classrooms are Godless, a threat to the sanctity of the American family.

But here’s the thing about Godless environments: they don’t exist. At all. Paul wrote to the Christians in Colossae that all things were made through and for Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus is “before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Everything, the stars and solar systems, the beating of our hearts, the intermolecular forces holding together the desks in my classroom, everything is held together by the power, creativity, and love of Jesus the Son of God. When God is holding everything together, it’s pretty much impossible to find a place without Him.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly Christianless places, where we have failed to be the witness we are called to be. There are places where proclaiming God’s love can be harder, and perceiving Him even harder. There are places where humans have done all they can to flee God, marring the image of God impressed on them and their victims. But as God intimately holds the universe together, rather than letting it unwind as the clockmaker who starts the mechanism and steps away, there is nowhere we can go to find a “Godless” place. Even when we go to the most broken places imaginable, we don’t go to bring them God; we go to partner with what God is already doing there and will still be doing long after we’re gone. And there isn’t a border, or law, or weapon, or ideology that can do anything to limit His reach and His promises.

Don’t believe the fearmongerers; they just want your vote and your allegiance. They profit from terror and feed on your fear. It is in their best interest that you bunker down with a Bible, a gun, and a straight party voting ticket. Go boldly out into the world, even into Texas’ allegedly Godless classrooms, knowing that there is nowhere you can outrun God, whose Son commands all power in Heaven and Earth and promises to be with us always. 

The myth of Godless places

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