This coming Thursday, October 3, is designated as “Bring Your Bible to School Day.” It is sponsored by Focus on the Family, a Christian ministry helping families to thrive in their cultures.
The annual nationwide event led by students “will celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends,” according to Focus on the Family. Students are encouraged to use that day to express their “beliefs in the truth of God’s Word” and “in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.”
Focus on the Family has gone all out to promote the day—broadcast media (TV, radio) print media (posters, conversation cards, invitation flyers) and, of course, social media (Facebook, Instagram, You Tube, Twitter). In the process, students are being signed up to participate through Churches, Christian bookstores, Christian clubs and youth groups.
Participants will be involved in special activities— or, “fun things”—during the event. They are encouraged to wear stickers and T-shirts featuring the logo, “Bring It, Share It , Live It” with a Bible verse printed on them. They will distribute “conversation cards” (but not during class time), host a “Bible-read-aloud” (during lunch or other free time), take part in “pass-the-verse-forward” contest (similar to “pay-it-forward”), and a number of other ways to share God’s Word with others, including personal testimonies to other students. In addition, participating students are encouraged to continue in their aim to share God’s Word all throughout the year.
While we commend Focus on the Family for sponsoring the event, you probably wouldn’t be too surprised to learn there are some who are against it. Just recently NFL quarterback, Drew Brees, drew a lot of heat from left-leaning activists opposing his promotion of the event. Brees was criticized for supporting the activity of an organization opponents consider as a “hate” group for advocating traditional Biblical views on marriage and family.
This is most puzzling to Christians who see “Bring Your Bible to School Day” as a time to simply shine the light of God’s Word (Matthew 5:16) and his love (John 3:16) for everyone. In fact, in the 22-second video, Brees quotes 2 Corinthians 5:7 (“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”) and says to kids, “I want to encourage you to live out your faith on ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day ‘ and share God’s love with friends. You’re not alone.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be protests going on the day it is held. I pray it doesn’t happen. But, if it does, let’s hope it doesn’t get out of control for everyone’s safety.
I might add that students taking part in the activities are instructed to be respectful toward others. Focus on the Family says that students are expected to share the truth of God’s Word in “a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.”
Nonetheless, Focus on the Family is prepared should any opponents of the event attempt to prevent students from their activities presumably under legal restrictions. Students are informed of their First Amendment right of freedom of speech and religion. In addition, Focus on the Family is backed by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), “a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith.”
In fact, Focus on the Family states in bold type, “ADF offers pro bono legal assistance as deemed appropriate for Bring Your Bible to School Day students who encounter unconstitutional roadblocks to their free speech rights.”
As I think about “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” I can’t help but reflect upon my own days when I was in school—in the 60’s and 70’s. I know I’m dating myself. But even though I grew up during a time of protests and social upheaval (Hippie mania! “Make love, not war!” “Peace, man!”), I felt free to take my Bible to school anytime I wanted. And I did, regularly!
Sure, friends would tease me sometimes when they saw me reading my Bible during Study Hall period. Or, they might make some kind of wise crack when I expressed disapproval of their swearing or refused to listen to their dirty jokes. And if I shared my view of a scripture they questioned, then I would usually hear something like, “That’s just YOUR opinion!”
But there was never the kind of criticism or threats I might get today just for bringing my Bible to school, let alone sharing my views with others. There wasn’t all this concern about needing legal assistance like there is nowadays. I’m thankful I didn’t have to worry about getting into trouble by school authorities just because I had my Bible with me and talked to others about it. I had the freedom to share my faith without activists labeling me as part of a “hate group.”
In those days I was in school, I found that most students did sincerely show respect for someone like me who brought his Bible to school. In fact, now and then I did spot someone else with his or her Bible, too, and that was encouraging. But, in the long run, I’m glad I did bring my Bible to school for it gave me an opportunity to share the Good News of Christ and the Kingdom. Not only that, it provided an excellent way to sharpen my knowledge in the Lord’s Word and serve him out of love for him and for my fellow students.
I have to say that I would be no different today if I was a student. Yes, maybe I’d get into trouble for bringing my Bible to school, sharing God’s Word, and giving my personal testimony of faith to fellow students. But it wouldn’t matter. I’d still do it. NOT out of defiance. NOT out of spite. Not even out of hate. On the contrary. It would be out of humility, obedience, and love for God and his truth, and with a sincere desire to show his love to others according to his Word.
What was it that the Apostle Peter said about being ready to give any answer? Ah, yes…
”But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15, New International Version).
Good News to YOU!
P.S. Here’s Lester Lewis who won the Jamaican Gospel Festival in 1988 for singing this song, “Everytime I read My Bible,” https://youtu.be/AwdhimkaTgQ