Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
April 9, 1998
Last Updated :
March 2, 2012
An Exposé On The Devil's Breeding Ground, American Traditions Such As Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny And Christmas Trees, And A Discussion On School Prayer
Aside from the Creation and Evolution debate, another thorny religious issue confronting our modern public school system is that of school prayer. In the book of Psalms, King David wrote:
"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up."
Psalms 5:3, KJV
In decades past, school prayer was not as major of an issue as it is today because America was, or at least supposedly claimed to be, much more Christian back then. Exactly how much truth is in this statement is a matter of personal opinion. In my view, any nation which can indiscriminately drop nuclear bombs or napalm on defenseless men, women and children, or which can impose trade embargoes or sanctions on poorer nations of the world until they bow to some pre-determined demand, doesn't appear to be very Christian to me. At any rate, it is only as the United States has become richer, more powerful, and more materialistic, that she has lost her first love for the Lord. When it came time for her to make a choice, sadly, she made the wrong one:
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Matthew 6:24, KJV
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
James 4:4, KJV
Not only has modern America forsaken her God, although she self-righteously still goes through the motions of claiming to believe in Him, but she has also defiled the heritage the Lord gave her. As in earlier verses I quoted, there is a very interesting parallel in the book of Jeremiah where ancient Israel became guilty of the very same thing:
"And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination."
Jeremiah 2:7, KJV
Another factor which has served to pollute the heritage of "Christian" America is the subtle agenda which was disguised by such words as "the land of the free and the home of the brave" which beckoned the weak, the tired, the poor, and the downtrodden to come to her shores. Mother America asked the Old World to send her their sons; and send them they did, not realizing that the vast majority would become cheap labor for the rich who would subjugate them under discriminatory labor laws and tax laws; thus ensuring that they would remain the weak, the tired, the poor and the downtrodden. Nothing had really changed except the master's name. Thus America was, and continues to be built upon the blood, sweat and tears of the poor of the world, both at home and abroad.
A side-effect of this massive immigration is that America has become an international melting pot with a hodgepodge of belief systems and religious practices. Whether or not this complication was anticipated or not, I cannot really say; however, it has definitely affected the moral and spiritual fiber of America. Ancient Israel was polluted in a similar manner when the Hebrew children disobeyed the Laws of Moses by not destroying their heathen enemies the Canaanites. Instead, they compromised their faith by adopting the pagan Canaanite gods, and by intermarrying with Canaanite women. This topic is discussed more fully in the series entitled "The Fruits of Disobedience". Because of America's current spiritual condition, it is thus a bit ludicrous to refer to it as a "Christian" nation. In fact, according to a report I read some time ago, Islam is not only the fastest growing religion in America, but around the world as well! If you are interested in my views on that faith, please refer to my article "Holy Qur'an and Islam: A Doctrine of Devils?".
Because of this spiritual pollution, it has become impossible for American laws to remain partial to Christianity. The laws which apply to one religious faith, must apply to all of them. What is permitted for one, must be permitted for all; and vice versa, without partiality or discrimination. For example, to allow open Christian prayer, Bible reading, or worship in the public school system, would require that the same rules apply to other religions as well. This would quickly result in places of public education being converted into centers of confusion and conflict. The only way to totally avoid this problematic situation is to keep religion out of all government owned or operated entities. Thus, again we see that past and current compromises have led to not only a neutralization, but also to a decline in the Christian faith. As Karl Marx said, religion is the opiate of the people. I am not referring to True Christianity, but rather to the controlled religion we see in America today which allows people to feel like they are worshipping and serving the True God, while ensuring that they still remain enslaved to the system they serve. This is the result of compromise; for as the Apostle Paul said in his epistle to the Romans:
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?"
Romans 6:16, KJV
If it were remotely possible to re-introduce prayer into the public school system, exactly how could it be accomplished without causing problems? After giving it a bit of thought, I think the easiest and fairest way to approach the issue would be in the following manner:
First, make it voluntary. Perhaps the teacher or instructor could make such a statement as "Okay kids, we are going to take a few minutes for those of you who would like to start the school day with a word of prayer". Such a statement would not be overly offensive to anyone as it does not specifically recognize any one religion or god. Second, instead of the teacher leading in a vocal prayer, it could be done in silence. This will allow the children to invoke or not to invoke their god in the language and manner of their choice. Being a silent prayer, the problem with accommodating all religions would be solved. While I strongly believe in preaching the Gospel of Salvation, I have to concede that perhaps the classroom is not the place for doing it. The compromise has already been made; and there really is not much that we can do about it except to live with it. Additionally, children are supposed to be there in order to learn the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic; although current curriculums go way beyond this; and some teachers take upon themselves responsibilities which should be left to the parents. This all goes back to earlier statements I made regarding our children becoming properties of the State.
While I don't believe that religion should be forced upon children in the immediate classroom, at least not in the public school system where there are many different ethnic and religious backgrounds, I strongly feel that children do and should have the right to speak about whatever topic they wish, including religion, during their free time at recess, during lunchbreak, etc. In other words, any place on campus which is outside of a class in progress should be an acceptable place for children and teenagers to express their freedoms of speech, religion, and expression, as long as it is done in a respectful and non intrusive manner. In other words, if someone approaches you with a question, or if the topic of religion just comes up naturally in a conversation, then children should not be discouraged or prohibited from discussing it.
At the same time, I think it is important to point out that if religion is not to be permitted in the public school system classroom, then this should also include other false beliefs which most people have been conditioned into not normally viewing as religions, but rather as "American traditions". I am referring to such things as Santa Claus, or Satan Claus, and the Easter Bunny. Anything which requires faith and belief is a religion; and Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny certainly fall within this category. In fact, it is these two false idols, or traditions, which are largely responsible for perverting the Truth behind two of the most celebrated events in the Christian faith: the Birth and Resurrection of our Saviour. Again, we find parallels in the history of the ancient Israelites who esteemed their traditions and laws to be more important than believing in and obeying the Word of God. Both Jesus and the Apostle Paul warned us against such things:
"But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"
Matthew 15:3, KJV
"And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."
Mark 7:9, KJV
"Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."
Mark 7:13, KJV
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
Colossians 2:8, KJV
While the discussion of Jesus Christ and our Christian faith is banned from the public school classroom, the false religious idols of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are highly exalted. Every year teachers across America give millions of young school children drawings to color of Santa Claus, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, elves, the Easter Bunny, etc. They encourage and help them to make paper Easter baskets and partake in other such foolishness. These teachers and school administrators don't even bother to consider whether or not such false beliefs and practices might be in opposition to the children's religious upbringing. They callously assume that everyone believes in these false American idols. Classrooms are decorated year after year with these things; and in many schools, "Satan Claus" passes out the presents at the annual school Christmas party. This is a subtle means of indoctrination and brainwashing. The public school system is encouraging faith in these false gods. They are teaching children to be materialistically-minded instead of spiritually-minded, thus erasing the true meanings behind these holidays. Exactly as Jesus said, those who encourage such "American traditions" in our schools are eliminating belief in, and the positive effect of God's Word upon our children's lives; and they will be held responsible by the Lord!:
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
2 Corinthians 5:10, KJV
Shopping malls do the very same thing! Children are encouraged by their parents to line up in order to sit on the lap of the System's false commercial god, "Satan Claus". They are lied to and told that if they will be good, this false god will grant them whatever their wishes might be for that year. Some young children are deathly afraid of Satan Claus. You can see the fear in their eyes and in their faces. If there is one thing we know, it is that God has not given us a spirit of fear:
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7, KJV
Despite this fact, in order to save face and public embarrassment, their parents will put a plastic smile on their faces and keep coaxing their children to "go along with it". Some of the children eventually will, but not because they really want to. Perhaps some of the children have more wisdom and spiritual discernment than their man-pleasing parents who feel they must go along with the status quo and the "Christmas tradition". Again I am reminded of the sins of the ancient Hebrews who offered child sacrifices to the pagan god Molech. The rebellious Israelites adopted the religious rites of the heathen nations around them and passed their infants through the fire and into the bowels of the idol Molech. This was in direct contradiction of the Laws given to Moses:
"And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD."
Leviticus 18:21, KJV
"There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,"
Deuteronomy 18:10, KJV
"But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel."
2 Kings 16:3, KJV
"And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger."
2 Kings 17:17, KJV
"And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger."
2 Chronicles 33:6, KJV
This may seem like an extreme comparison, but while young children today are not literally passed through a physical fire, for some of them it is certainly an emotional fire and conflict when they see that red-suited white-bearded god sitting on his throne at Christmas time beckoning them with his white-gloved hands. This reminds me of yet another sin of the ancient Israelites. Are you the reader aware of the fact that decorating Christmas trees also finds its origin in ancient pagan rites which the Israelites copied from the heathen nations around them? Here again we find some very interesting Scriptures in the book of the young prophet Jeremiah. Is it any wonder that the Jews hated him so?:
"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good."
Jeremiah 10:2-5, KJV
Today, Satan is much more subtle. Instead of fashioning them so that they look like beasts, or a human, or some other form, people simply decorate Christmas trees with gold and silver balls and other ornaments. It is the same old sin wrapped in a brand new package! As many sincere Christians already know, while Christ's Birth and Resurrection are indeed fundamental elements of our Faith, the actual dates of these events are lost to history. Because of this, the holidays many worldwide celebrate today are based upon two ancient pagan festivals which were "Christianized" by the Catholic "church fathers" who compromised with ancient Rome.
The Christmas holiday is based upon a festival of the winter solstice; a worship of the sun, and Easter is based upon a festival of the worship of the ancient goddess Ashtoreth, also known as Astarte or Ishtar, the wife of the pagan god Baal. Again, allow me to refer you to my series entitled "The Fruits of Disobedience" which deals in part with the pagan worship of ancient Israel. You may also wish to read the series called "Our Pagan World: The Easter (Ishtar Goddess) Myth Exposed!". Following are a few verses to prove this point:
"For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites."
1 Kings 11:5, KJV
"Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father."
1 Kings 11:33, KJV
Returning to the issue of school prayer, do I honestly believe that the above system could be implemented in the public schools? At this point in time, quite frankly, I don't. I think there would be a tremendous amount of opposition by some of the very same groups and people I mentioned at the beginning of this article. We need to remember that the right to pray, also includes the right to not pray. Given the disrespectful attitude of many modern Americans, I feel that it would be difficult to convince non-religious students to respect the rights of those who do wish to pray. This would cause those who do wish to pray to feel uncomfortable or inhibited. If the teacher leading the moment of prayer is not supportive of school prayer, this would augment the problem even further as he or she might not enforce the regulation, or might even side with the non-religious students. Additionally, some religions require special dress such as head scarves or caps during times of prayer. Another danger in re-introducing school prayer is that it might be seen by some as a "green light" to fight for even more religious rights in the public schools. This would undoubtedly lead to even greater problems and unrest.
A final point to consider is this: Why is school prayer even necessary? If one feels the need to pray to the Lord to seek His blessing, protection and guidance for the day, why wait until he or she arrives at school? After all, the day begins at home when we first wake up. In the Gospels we are told that on occasions, Jesus would arise prior to daybreak in order to pray before the bustle of activities would interrupt the quiet of the morning:
"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."
Mark 1:35, KJV
If one truly feels the need to pray, he or she can do it then, or before leaving the home, or even on the way to school. Personally I talk to the Lord whenever I feel the need to regardless of where I am. Of course, sometimes I need to be discrete about it. The point is, our relationship with God should be an ongoing thing, and not just some repetitive ritual we do at some specific hour of the day or in some specific place. As Jesus said:
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."
Matthew 6:7, KJV
Again, real prayer is meant to be a heart to heart relationship with the Lord. While there are times for prayer in a group setting, I feel that most benefits are obtained in our private sessions with Him. This is why Jesus said:
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Matthew 6:5-6, KJV
As far as morning school preparation is concerned, in our home, we have the practice of putting on a Bible Scripture tape to help us to connect with the Lord's Spirit; and to help us to keep our minds stayed on Him during the day. The main point I am trying to emphasize in this article is that it is up to us as parents to instruct our children in their Christian heritage at home, so that they will have a strong foundation in the Word, and not be swayed by the many lies and distortions of the Truth which they will encounter at school. We should not depend upon, or even expect, the public school system to meet our children's spiritual needs, because they won't. Given sufficient time, they will rob our children of their faith in God. Between peer pressure and an ungodly curriculum, it is a sure thing; unless we take it upon ourselves at home to strengthen our children's faith. The Lord gave our children to us, and not to the school teacher. Therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that they receive the religious training that they need. If we as Christian parents fail to do this, we are not only failing them, but we are failing the Lord as well. I pray that this article has been a help and a blessing to many.