Faith

Pastor Claims Teaching Scripture ‘Only’ Way to Avoid Violence, Drugs

A pastor apparently known for focusing on the end times says if we want to prevent gun violence and drugs, we should be teaching scripture in schools.

Alongside science, math and literature, teaching scripture is the “only solution” to solving the nation’s gun violence and drug problem, a pastor says.

The remarks were made by a so-called “end times” pastor on a show hosted by Jim Bakker, according to the website “Right Wing Watch.”

This is similar to the familiar, tired old line about “kicking God out of schools,” which isn’t possible since God is everywhere and mortal man would have no such power. Beyond that, the removal of a corporate prayer doesn’t in any way prevent individuals from praying whenever they wish. Public schools following guidance from the interpretation of “Separation of Church and State” aren’t preventing people from practicing their beliefs in any way.

Churches have been teaching Scripture for centuries. Yet we still have gun violence and drug crimes. We still have sin among churchgoers. No matter how often someone attends a church function, the attendance and exposure to Christian principles does not make that person immune from evil.

If only it did.

This month, we’ll mark the third anniversary since Dylann Roof opened fire inside a Charleston church during a prayer that immediately followed a Bible study. It has been six months since another mass shooting killed 26 people during a church service in Texas.

These are places where scripture actually is taught and was being taught at exactly the times when deadly violence happened.

It’s hard to wrap your mind around the fact that, of all places, a church could be the scene of such horrific acts. But if the primary source of such teaching isn’t immune, how can we honestly expect that teaching scripture is going to make that much of a difference?

The obvious answer is, of course, that if the Bible was taught in school, all students — even ones who don’t attend church — would grow up knowing the value of life and would never commit such a horrific crime.

But even with this line of reasoning, we only have to look at a story from April 2012 for a gut-check. It was then that a lone gunman opened fire at a Christian university, killing seven people and injuring three others. The gunman was identified by police as a former student.

And even if history supported the notion that teaching scripture in schools would completely eliminate guns violence, drugs or any other crime you could think of, there’d still be two major obstacles.

First, who’s going to do that teaching? How are we going to find teachers qualified to teach the Bible the way those who are Christian want it taught and what denomination will they represent?

Second, what about those who happen not to be Christian? They may well consider the idea of teaching some level of ethics, but they may not be interested in curriculm based solely on the Bible itself. The lawsuits that would be filed almost immediately would be enough to keep this idea from ever getting off the ground.

Instead, I wish churches could worry about what they are supposed to be doing and allow schools to focus on their role in society.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 27 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.