Aug 11, 2014

War On Christian Education About To Get Ugly

By Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

SPRINGFIELD – In a recent article, Michael Zigarelli (of the Christian Post) sounded an alarm that was heard around the Christian world.  The headline read, “The End of Christian Education.”  In this article, Michael shared: 
President Obama recently signed an executive order making it illegal for federal contractors to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. Sounds innocuous enough, but an unintended consequence may be the closing of Christian colleges and schools. 
The order doesn't directly affect private education, but its unprecedented refusal to exempt religious organizations surely will. Without this exemption the President has signaled to regulators that it's open season on faith-based institutions. 
Here's one possible future: The order says if you want federal money you must hire gays. The US Department of Education decides that this applies to federal financial aid as well. Students are then prohibited from using their aid at colleges that do not hire gays. Christian colleges go out of business. 
Here's another future: With the exemption gone, accrediting bodies take the cue and insist that all colleges include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" in their non-discrimination policies, revoking accreditation for those faith-based schools that won't genuflect. Students are prohibited from using their aid at non-accredited colleges. Christian colleges go out of business.  [i] 
What Mr. Zigarelli may not realize is that his revelation identifies one facet of the Elite’s stratagem to end most Christian education in this nation.  The tacit war of the Elite has been going on since the 1940’s.
My Own Background and Perspective on This Tacit War 
Early on in my ministerial preparation, I was fortunate to have a mentor named, Dr. Thomas McLachlan (or Dr. Mac, as we all affectionately called him).  Dr. Mac had completed both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, and he was a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain.  During his long career, he had served on a committee with a regional accrediting association.  Those days on the committee were eye-opening for him.   He discovered that there were many anti-Christian agendas at play within the government and the regional accrediting association system. 
Dr. Mac saw the gifting of God on my life for education.  While others were being trained for the pastorate in seminary, I was being trained to become an educator.  It was during our many discussions that he revealed to me that Department of Education approved accreditation and the Guaranteed Student Loan Program would eventually become instruments in the hands of the ungodly to first contaminate Christian education, and then to eventually close it down. 
His influence on my life and the concepts he taught me about Christian education would forever alter how I developed the educational ministry that God was placing in my heart.  I created an educational system that was not embedded in the Elite’s system of educational control - no governmental accreditation and no participation in the Guaranteed Student Loan Program.   With the choke hold that the Elite maintain on education in America, it seemed like an impossible plan.  Yet, I was determined not to compromise in the vision and its execution for the Kingdom of God.
The Accreditation Pitfalls 
Accreditation in America was originally nongovernmental by design.  Educational expert, Dr. H.R. Kells (from Rutgers University) wrote in his book, Self-Study Processes:  A Guide for Postsecondary and Similar Service-Oriented Institutions and Programs, a definition of accreditation: 
Accreditation is a voluntary process conducted by peers via nongovernmental agencies to accomplish at least two things – to attempt on a periodic basis to hold one another accountable to achieve stated, appropriate institutional or program goals; and to access the extent to which the institution or program meets established standards.[ii] 
At one time, Dr. Kells’ book was required for any postsecondary school seeking accreditation.  It is unfortunate that the American Council on Education did not continue his work after the 3rd edition. 
Originally, the institutions themselves established accrediting associations and sought to keep the long arm of the government out of the process.  Political agendas spread like the tentacles of a cancer into anything that is connected to government.   The Department of Education (USDOE) was established in 1867 to collect information on schools and teaching that would help the States establish effective school systems. [iii]  By 1958, its role had dramatically changed.  After World War II, the USDOE began overseeing the GI Bill.  Then came Title IV funding or the Guaranteed Student Loan Program.  With the millions of dollars that came with these programs, the influence of the USDOE and its approved accrediting system (regional accreditation) began to hold a powerful sway over all educational institutions in the United States.  A system that was perfect for the Elite to begin controlling and using for their own agenda. 
Dr. Kells warns about the misuse of accreditation: 
Some of the uses of accreditation at times may not correspond well with the basic nature of the process.  An example, as explained earlier, is its use to transfer credit.  Some uses have made the realization of accreditation’s basic purposes more difficult.  Some people believe that the requirement that institutions be accredited in order to apply for federal funds, and furthermore the use of accrediting to enforce social policy, are examples of this misuse.  At times the uses may be expressions of raw political leverage unrelated to program quality or reasonable needs in light of circumstances.  That is, accreditation can be erroneously cited to promote or discourage change in a given setting.  [iv] 
This governmental or political leverage is a reality in many postsecondary Christian institutions today.   Many of our leading Christian universities, Bible colleges and seminaries have annual budgets that range from five to one hundred million dollars or more a year.  Meeting those budgets is dependent upon governmental accreditation and the Guaranteed Student Loan Program.  Compromise with the ever-increasing, anti-Christian agenda has become a game of survival for most Christian schools of higher learning.
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