A Theology of Weeds

A Theology of Weeds

by Dr. Curt Brannan

Why not just go ahead and send your child to a public school? Does it really make any sense to keep knocking yourself out to send them to GCA? I can think of many reasons why it makes no sense to sacrifice so much. Let me share a few I have heard offered at least once in years past.

It seems obvious that the majority of our school’s parents, maybe all I’m not sure, are the products of a public system somewhere.  As a gentleman said to me years ago, we “didn’t turn out so bad.” Besides, we’re actually paying twice – we pay our taxes for the public schools then we pay again to send our kids to a private school. It would be a lot less expensive to just let them go into the public system. Then, we could give them some of the things we can’t now.

And, when you get right down to it, the public system offers things the private school can’t begin to compete with – things like “enrichment classes” (e.g. photography, wood and metal shops, etc.). Or, consider how much greater the opportunities are for social interaction in a larger student body.  Then there is a chance to be part of the student government.  None of this is available at GCA right now. And of course there are sports! Given our “sports oriented” culture, for many this is a “category-5” problem. Face it, GCA not only can’t compete, the school isn’t even trying!

Our Weed Problem

So the question presented is important.  And if I were to ask, I’m sure our GCA parents would have ready answers.  I know I can think of a dozen, all of which are important. But is there one reason that’s more critical than all the rest?  If no other reason could be given is there one that would be enough? I believe there is.

Have you ever considered the theology of weeds? My lawn is just making a comeback. The green is popping up. Unfortunately most of my lawn was once a pasture. There is grass amidst the green, but mostly the green I see is weeds – some I have fought in the past and some I have never seen before. Some are even kind of pretty – with little purple blooms – but they are choking out the grass. And, I don’t even know where to begin the battle.

Why is this?  Why are things like grass and flowers so delicate and easily choked out, while weeds grow where nothing should grow.  And this phenomenon isn’t limited to grass and flowers. I remember reading several years ago about a lady with a parrot that quoted scripture. To help an acquaintance she put her bird with another that cussed in hopes that the scripture quoting bird would help reform the swearing parrot. You guessed it, the opposite happened.

So again, why is this? Because we live in a fallen world and weeds are part of that fallenness. According to scripture, weeds (along with sickness, toil, death, pain etc.) came with God’s judgment on human rebellion. What was beautiful and well adapted to the pre-fall world, didn’t find the world so hospitable after sin entered the picture. But weeds did! As part of the fallen system they not only grow effortlessly, they are perfectly adapted– they thrive – and where they thrive, Jesus says by analogy, the truth of God, the good and beautiful, is choked out. (Luke 8:7) And the principle seems to be true everywhere we look – lawns, flowers, parrots – as far as I know everything else (e.g. try a good apple in a bag of bad ones).

Reason Enough

Now what has all this to do with the issue of sacrificing to put your children in a Christian school?  Just this!  I can’t imagine a more critical issue for Christian parents than the policies, commitments and views of those to whom they entrust their children.  There is no escaping the world, but that is very different from immersing lives in an environment controlled by philosophical weeds. We would never plant a flowerbed without putting down a barrier to keep the weeds out. If this is true for flowers, how much more important is it for children?  It is a serious thing to entrust children to a system that seems to daily grow more hostile to God’s truth and to give it open access to their lives.

However benign the world’s system may appear, however attractive the blooms seem on the surface, the weeds choke and destroy, God has warned us of this danger. There is a passage of scripture I have often heard used with reference to marriage or business dealings but which I believe is even more important when it comes to our children.  You will probably remember it:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship has light with darkness . . . Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

Why should we avoid submitting our lives to an unbelieving authority? Because weeds choke! We, along with our children, though redeemed, still struggle with our fallen natures and are subject to the choking power of the world’s weeds. Weeds will grow in spite of our best efforts.  Even so, we must never allow the most precious gift entrusted to us, our children, to be choked and overwhelmed because we plant them in a weed patch.