By William Andrew Dillard
DISCIPLESHIP: DUMBING DOWN OR WISING UP
A common castigation of educational processes in public schools is that of “Dumbing down,” the students when the challenges of modern times obviously call for wising up. By some accounts, the castigation appears to be true. One illustration of this is widespread inability to function in a real world. For instance, I am a tall individual who is often asked, “How tall are you?’ My reply is “I am three foot, forty.” Almost all of the time I follow up (of necessity); “I am four-foot twenty-eight.” Still getting a blank look, I offer, “Actually, I am five-foot, sixteen.” Youngsters for the most part simply do not get it, and I have had business people to say, “Please stop it. I cannot do the math.” What???? My family is a family of teachers. At least one of them was forthrightly told by her principal, “You will not teach algorithms in this school. Please stop teaching the times-table.” What???? A youngster’s report of a measurement to me was “23 inches and five marks.” What??? Fractions, their names and meaning are unknown!” What??? On and on it goes, ad nauseam.
Obviously, modern days do not the millennium make, but technology has produced fantastic opportunities for Christian Education and sharing. Study and research has never been easier or more accessible, but the benefit of those things remain a reality only for those who are spiritually prepared to appreciate them and to use them. In recent years, because of the abundance of materials available, this writer gave away most of his library, keeping only those rare and treasured works that are mostly irreplaceable. At the same time he expanded his research capability and accessibility many times over online. One would think that all those who take the name of the Lord in any degree of reverence would quickly excel in spiritual knowledge and ability. But such thinking would be wrong. Technology is wonderful, but it is no substitute for a personal relationship, and fellowship, with God.
Most within the umbrella name of Christianity are not wising up. They are dumbing down! Their excitement is in material things that fulfill their social desires, and in the acumen of leaders who frame their homilies psychologically to scratch itching ears. Spiritual blessings are equated to the number of people socially attracted, size of property, and /or financial flow; criteria that would elevate most non-Christian sects to the highest of “spiritual blessings.” “Who caused the walls of Jericho to fall down flat?” asked a Sunday school teacher only to recoil in horror that several in her class disavowed anything to do with it; some offering alibis.
The time remaining until all will meet our maker; every tongue confessing and every knee bowing is extremely short. It is not a time to dumb down, but a time to wise up!