This article was sent to me by a church friend. It's a bit discouraging.

You know, I've often complained (and argued with a principal or 2) about this very thing. I know in high school, we're so driven to pass TAKS, that we're forgetting that the ultimate goal of ANY educational institution is to produce individuals who can be self-sufficient, active members of their community, not students who can pass a test (be it because they did figure out the system or because they know the material). As far as the reading levels go in this nation, newspapers are written on a 6th grade reading level (hm..maybe 8th grade, but that seems a little high).

But, I've never applied it to what we do in church. I can certainly see how those 3 little words we hear so much in high school can be cross-applied to worship and Bible Study--"It's too hard." It certainly must be a factor in why so many don't attend church, it's simply not accessible to them at their level. And if we’re called to witness to the masses, then we must meet them at their level.

I’m not for dumbing down anything either. I just don’t think the answer to raising the intellect and coping skills of our society is to lower our expectations (that’s a teacher for ya, huh?). But, there are several accommodations we could be making.

I printed the article and used it in my debate class Friday. Granted, that class has the cream of the crop in it and they all are capable of grasping complex language. We talked about the implications of the study, then I asked them how they felt it applied to church. They agreed with what you and I said. Then, one made an interesting point—-all this is connected to Maslow’s hierarchy. The third and forth levels are love/belonging needs, and esteem needs. In a church context, if they don’t feel like they belong and can contribute, then faith and religion seem out of reach and they won’t stay. Faith and religion can be scary enough without us inadvertently excluding someone.

Okay…as I read over this before publishing it, I realize I not only crawled on my soapbox, but, also, maybe on my high-horse. Can you tell I just spent all weekend listening to and taking part in arguments on philosophy?
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1 Response to "Soapbox"

  1. Dru Says:
    Jan 30, 2006, 10:04:00 PM

    So you know the dumbing down of education is what my latest columns didn't turn out as good as i wanted it to because i had to tone it down a bit...but i thought it was interesting that i read this and thats what i wrote about...just btw.

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