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By Paul Proctor

November 5, 2004

Agape Press did a story recently on Dan Smithwick, founder and president of the Nehemiah Institute, �a group that provides a biblical worldview testing and training service to Christian educators.� He has a �tool� called the �PEERS� test that �assesses the worldviews of young people.� In the article, Smithwick states what many Christian parents already know; that for years, secular humanists have been using the public school system to surreptitiously teach children unbiblical principles and practices.

What those same parents may NOT know is that, according to the report, ��the majority of public school students from evangelical Christian homes consistently score in the �socialist� category on the test�Smithwick says his program of PEERS testing indicates that Christian students are by no means immune to the secular humanism being taught in public schools, but have in fact been dramatically influenced by it.�

In this eye-opening piece, Smithwick explains the objective of his worldview test:

�Undoing Dewey -- that's the goal of the [PEERS] program, according to Smithwick. He refers to the secular humanist principles of John Dewey (1859-1952), the philosopher and education reformer whose principles have shaped public education in America. Dewey promoted a philosophy of education with the premise that learning by doing (experimentalism) should form the basis of education, and any idea or concept is validated by its practicality (pragmatism). Some Christian educators consider these ideas to be precursors to "values clarification" and other questionable teaching models that advocate moral relativism, but which are commonly taught in teacher education and used in U.S. public schools.� � Agape Press

After reading this, MY question was: Shouldn�t we also be testing the worldviews of children (and their parents, for that matter) in today�s seeker-sensitive, purpose driven churches? After all, are not �experimentalism� and �pragmatism� key components of the church growth movement?

Let�s face it friends, nobody �colors outside the box� like the �felt-needs� folks from Willow Creek and Saddleback. They are all about trashing tradition for �whatever works,� in spite of the fact that Jesus was not pragmatic and never commissioned us to transform His church into a laboratory.

Pastor Rick Warren: �Saddleback is kind of the Research and Development department of the church at large. We�re not afraid to fail. We�ve always tried more things that didn�t work than did. Every once in a while we find � usually by accident � something that works. Then we teach the seminars and pretend like we planned it all along, when really it was just the result of trial and error.� � Christianity Today

You see, many Christians today, having a keen hindsight, now recognize Dewey�s damage to the public school system. How is it they cannot see the same relativistic values and standards at work in their own churches?

Today we take new recruits into our fellowships and hurriedly shuffle them through the system and off to do battle with spiritual forces they can�t begin to comprehend, armed with little more than their wits, only to have them return to us brainwashed by the very enemy we sent them out to defeat.

Taken captive emotionally, intellectually and spiritually by charismatic charlatans at seminaries, seminars, camps and conferences; these poor misguided souls are cleverly conditioned to compromise the church and undermine it from within under such pretexts as �health, relevance and growth.� Some call them �change agents;� I think of them as �Manchurian Christians� because unaware, they carry out the wicked devices of those who programmed them, even though, in reality, it contradicts all they claim to hold dear.

And why do we not recognize them? It is because they are hidden in plain sight behind handshakes and hugs, leading or promoting almost every new and exciting social program and activity their church sponsors, being judged, not by their spiritual fruit, but by their persona, popularity and participation.

You see, we live in a time when people make moral judgments based on names, labels, titles, headlines, gossip, feelings, packaging, presentation, images, advantages and agendas, rather than scriptural knowledge, wisdom and discernment. The church in America has never been more shallow and superficial than it is today. Consequently, those who would deceive us need only offer up warm words and friendly faces to peddle their progressive poison. What used to be called �deceit� is now called �marketing;� shrewdly selling us something we do not need by saying or doing whatever is necessary to make it more desirable to us, like the serpent did with Eve and the forbidden fruit.

So, they're teaching tolerance, diversity, unity, pragmatism, experimentalism, relativism, humanism and socialism in public school, right? �You have your truth and I have mine,� right? �Let�s put aside our differences, search for common ground and just learn how to love each other and get along for the common good,� right?

Think about it; honestly now; is your church really all that different?

�Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.� � Acts 20:28-30

Related article:

Study Shows Secularist Public Schools Indoctrinate Even Christian Kids

� 2004 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved

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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at









You see, many Christians today, having a keen hindsight, now recognize Dewey�s damage to the public school system. How is it they cannot see the same relativistic values and standards at work in their own churches?