In a surprising turn of events, students in over 300 public schools across the United States will now have the opportunity to learn the bible during regular school hours. Here’s the whole story.
Providing Biblical Education to the Next Generation
Joel Penton, the CEO and founder of LifeWise, a Christian nonprofit ministry, envisions a future where Christian parents can regain hope in providing biblical education to the next generation, all within the bounds of the law.
The journey of bible education in public schools has been difficult, shaped by landmark Supreme Court decisions.
In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court banned state-endorsed prayer in public schools, sparking a cultural divide over the role of faith-based content in education.
Bible Studies During School Hours
However, a lesser-known 1952 Supreme Court case, Zorach v. Clauson, laid the groundwork for released time for religious instruction.
This ruling allowed public schools to release students during school hours, with parental consent, to attend religious classes.
LifeWise Academy has transformed this legal framework into a replicable model that parents and educators can use to introduce biblical education in their communities.
The process begins with establishing a local Steering Committee coordinating program details with school officials.
“You Have Lost Hope in the Ability To Pass the Word of God, the Bible”
A program director and board are appointed to lead the released time initiative, with support and resources provided by the LifeWise Support Center.
Once the school approves the program, LifeWise leaders recruit qualified and vetted teachers and volunteers to chaperone students to and from Bible classes.
Starting in 2019 with just two programs, the ministry has expanded its reach to 325 public schools across 12 states in just four years.
“Our message to the American people is that if you have lost hope in the ability to pass the word of God, the Bible, on to the next generation. If you thought that everything was just going in the direction of the bible being out of the public school day, you don’t need to lose hope,” Penton said.
The Significance of Jesus
Participation in LifeWise programs is entirely voluntary, requiring parental consent.
Joel Penton describes the curriculum as having a three-fold focus: head, heart, and hands.
The “head” aspect delves into the informational content of the bible, exploring the stories and teachings.
The “heart” aspect connects these lessons to the larger Gospel message and the significance of each story in pointing to Jesus.
Transformed Families’ Relationships With Faith
The “hands” aspect focuses on character transformation, emphasizing how biblical understanding can shape students’ moral character.
While LifeWise has encountered some opposition, it has been less intense than anticipated.
The overwhelming majority of parents were supportive, with stories abound of how the program has transformed families’ relationships with faith and their local communities.
Enrollment in LifeWise Bible programs has surged to over 35,000 students for the 2023-2024 school year.
“We Are a Nation of All Religions, Not Just Christian!!”
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “If that’s the case, they should also read from the Torah and Quran. It should be religious studies teaching, not indoctrination.”
Another User wrote, “Reading the bible is a good idea, although the constitution says “you can practice any religion or not practice one “. Wait, republicans have not read the Constitution. Sorry friends.”
A third user added, “Religion should not be in public schools. We are a nation of ALL religions, not just Christian!!”
The post Lessons from Above – Bible Studies Introduced into 300+ Public Schools Across the U.S first appeared on The Net Worth Of.
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Source: Fox News