God And Caesar -- By: Richard C. Halverson

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 37:1 (Mar 1994)
Article: God And Caesar
Author: Richard C. Halverson

God And Caesar

Richard C. Halverson*

This morning I met with an attorney I had never met before. He has founded a new organization called the National Educational Consortium. He is profoundly concerned about education in America. What he said was almost overwhelming. He sees details as only a lawyer can see them. He sees modern education moving farther and farther away from the family and from the local school board. He sees curricula that try to develop social behavior having virtually nothing to do with morals, ethics or values. When you look at the statistics of some of the things that are being planned for modern education, it is frightening indeed.

The interview brought to mind an experience I had a few years ago. I was asked to address the National Association of Christian Educators at a breakfast held in Washington, D.C. I agreed to do so. In preparing myself for that address I tried to find out how many Christian teachers there are in public-school education in America. I came up with the figure 350,000. When I got to the breakfast, I was taken to the table where the president of the association was sitting. I gave him the results of my statistical research. He said, “Well, your numbers are conservative. We estimate that there are 500,000 Christian teachers in public-school education in America.”

So when I got up to speak I began with those statistics. Then I asked this question: What do you think 500,000 card-carrying Communists or Marxists would do if they were in the public-school system like you are? What would they do?” I did not expect anyone to respond, of course. But I waited a moment, and then I said, “Let me tell you what they would not do. They would not wear little lapel buttons saying they were Communists or Marxists. They would not openly carry Marxist literature around wherever they went. They would not display slogans on their desks or tables. They would do everything in their power to hide the fact that they were Communists or Marxists. They would do everything they could to conceal their true identity. They would do this because their job would be to infiltrate and subvert the system.” Then I said this: “To really understand the work of Christ in history in the world is to understand that basically and fundamentally it is benevolent subversion.”

I was ordained in 1942. I have been a pastor now for over forty years. I have been in two pastorates on the west coast, one assistant pastorate in

* Richard Halverson, Chaplain of the United States Senate, delivered this address on November 19, 1993, during the forty-fifth annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in Washington, D.C.

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