If our children came home from school, day-after-day, and we asked them “What did you learn?”. . . and they would answer, day-after-day “I learned that two plus two is five”, we would be diligent about correcting them. We’d also be wise to put them in another school.
As the school of life catechizes our kids 24/7 in today’s world, we must be continually seeking to know what they are learning. And where we find that the cultural narrative has mis-educated them, we must offer diligently-dispensed correctives rooted in eternal Truth. This requires that we develop keen skills of discernment that are issued in what may be labeled negatively as “judgements”. And when such labeling occurs, we know that cultural catechization has been successfully taking place.
G.K. Chesterton reminds us of the courage it takes to lead truthfully in today’s world: “It is only the last and wildest kind of courage that can stand on the tower before ten thousand people and tell them that twice two is four.”
My friend Steve Garber has written this: “2+2=4. . . Pretty simple math. The great chemist-become-philosopher Michael Polanyi once said that 2+2= 4 is a moral equation. What he was arguing was that it is a description of reality; it is the way the world really is. The best and worst postmodern fantasy falls on its face here, as we are not able to choose which universe we will live in. ‘Reality does not adapt accordingly,’ to remember the poet Steve Turner again.”
Parents need to muster up the courage to tell the truth to that 14-year-old sitting across the dinner table. Youth workers need to muster up the courage to tell the truth to the dozen or so kids sitting before them at youth group.
The words of Joshua 1:9 ring true for us as we proclaim truth in today’s world: “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”