Preventing the decay of our First Amendment religious rights is important, but even more important is sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even young Christians who don’t yet have a chance to vote can help with both of these on October 4, 2018.
This Thursday is Bring Your Bible to School Day (BYBTSD), sponsored by Focus on the Family (FOTF). Last year, 500,000 students brought their Bibles to school and using resources, like printable conversation cards, helped spread the Gospel.
While some worry about the potential problems in their school districts the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is partnering with FOTF and BYBTSD to offer free legal representation if their constitutional rights are violated at school when they participate in this event.
“Fortunately, our Founding Fathers foresaw the need to guarantee individuals the ability to express their beliefs,” says Jim Daly, FOTF President, “and that’s exactly what students who participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day every year are celebrating.”
Students have legal rights which fall into two categories according to the FAQ page. The first is their First Amendment rights, and the second is their Equal Access rights.
The FAQ page indicates the First Amendment rights mean, “…you can voluntarily express your personal and religious beliefs to your classmates through verbal or written expression, as long as you follow school policy and do not engage in these activities during classroom or instruction time.”
The Equal Access rights protect both student clubs (including Christian ones) and individuals “…to participate in the same free speech expressions and activities already allowed by the school for other clubs and individuals.”
Additional links and guides are provided if you need more information. The downloadable guides are free and have editions for elementary, teens, and parent/pastors.
Sadie Robertson, who appeared on the show Duck Dynasty, is the honorary chair of the event for 2018. If students register to participate, they may even win a trip for four to meet Robertson.
Time is running out this year, but this isn’t meant to be just for one day.
On the Frequently Asked Questions page, the last question is “What can I do the rest of the year?” There is a link to weekly challenges section to guide students with fourteen suggestions. One is as simple as inviting someone you and your friends don’t know very well to eat with you at lunch. Another includes doing a “prayer walk” around the school with some friends.
Other things parents or students will learn by visiting the FAQ page include:
- Why is it important for me to be involved?
- What is Bring Your Bible to School Day all about?
- Is school authorization required?
- What grade levels can participate?
- Who is Focus on the Family?
- Who is the Alliance Defending Freedom?
- Can I talk about my religious beliefs?
- What are my legal rights for participating in the event?
- What happens if I have trouble being allowed to participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day at my school?
- What do I do if people respond angrily to me?
- Can I alter the materials for Bring Your Bible to School Day?
- How do I get started and get in touch with other Bring Your Bible to School Day Participants?
- What can I do the rest of the year?
- How do I enter for the giveaway and what are the official rules?
According to an article, Bring Your Bible to School day started with just 8,000 participants in 2014 to 356,000 involved in 2016. Last year it grew to 500,000 participants
“Over the years we’ve heard from many kids and teens who want to meaningfully engage in conversations with peers to share their perspective on important issues,” said Daly in one blogpost.
“[This yearly event] celebrates these rights and gives Christian students a chance to share a bit about their faith, which is an important part of who they are,” Daly added.
Where Parents Can Have an Exponential Impact in Their Children’s Lives
One youth pastor and current apologist shares the necessity of helping our youth “defend their faith” because if they share it like with this Bring Your Bible to School Day, eventually they will have to defend it too.
In fact, in today’s attacking world, they will have to defend their faith even if they don’t actively share it. They will have to defend it with themselves. This may be why statistics show a huge drop away from the Christian faith after the age of eighteen.
“The first Christian apologist your kids should ever hear from is you. You need to be the best Christian apologist and Christian case maker you can be,” says J. Warner Wallace. This is not something which should be delegated, especially in today’s age of public education where faith in God is assaulted regularly.
“If you want to have the biggest impact on your students, parents, we have to take on this job. We have to become good case makers for our kids. We’ll have exponential impact. We have to make a change. Scripture tells us we have to be training our kids. We are called to train our kids. It won’t be easy,” says Warner.
While most parents are looking for the easy tips, the Bible doesn’t shy away from work when it comes to diligently raising children. “Love is hard work. It is the hardest work I know of, work from which you are never entitled to take a vacation,” according to Ravi Zacharias.
“The one thing that seems to be missing from the list of tips on how to raise your child in a Christian home is ‘Teach your children why Christianity is evidentially true and help them articulate this to others.’” If you don’t do that, most tips for raising your child as a Christian could be applied to any faith—even if it’s false.
Proverbs 11:30 KJV says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that winneth souls is wise.”
Let’s grow wise together and win souls by sharing and defending our faith in a way that truly glorifies God as we love our neighbors as ourselves.