By Matthew Monfore, May 15 2021 Photo above courtesy of Mike Snow at mikesnow.org
This is the month of graduation for high schoolers: May 2021. I had a conversation recently with someone about whether to send graduation cards to unbelievers or those we don’t know…
What is “graduation”?
What is high school graduation in the first place? The term that came up is “milestone”- which is just an epithet for graduation. Graduation, specifically, is for students who have “completed” the state/national standards in the areas of english/grammar, history, science, and physical education. Broadly, graduation is supposed to be a time where a community (or family) of people (in America, this is most people in a city), send out their children as adults to 1.) train further in education or 2.) enter the workforce.
Amoral vehicle of education?
Now granted, it seems possible that an honest, moral and upright, Christian could graduate from a public school (which as far as a mode/vehicle of learning goes, may be amoral- that is, not right or wrong- in the sense that it does not HAVE to cause someone to sin, even though the curriculum is amoral, or worse immoral [think tolerance of transgenderism, homosexuality, etc.]).
An Honest Greeting
As someone who attended public school and who has talked to many people, the most honest thing someone may be able to write to someone who is graduating from public schools is: “Got your graduation card in the mail. I don’t really know you. In fact, I have never had more than a passing, casual conversation with you. I don’t know what you learned for sure. Rote memory (cramming) is different than actually understanding a subject, especially trying to see subjects of life from God’ point of view: truth. I know God isn’t allowed in school. Do you know that cheating on assignments is sin? Did you know that without God’s moral standards, you aren’t ready for life? I don’t want to sin against God by flattering you by saying “Congratulations!” when you are not prepared to even answer the basic questions of life: Where did I come from? Why am I here (on earth)? Where am I going? By the way, if you are not right with God, which you probably aren’t (judging by today’s culture); you will go to Hell when you die, whether it be before or after graduating. Whether you decide to be a dentist or a street sweeper, your life if meaningless if you don’t live for Jesus (Mt. 5-7).”
Don’t affirm them in their sin
So, unless you want to be guilty of 1.) flattery by congratulating students on something they probably didn’t earn honestly, and on an education that is very poor (rote memory vs. understanding) and even inaccurate (evolution and no true teaching about Jesus); or 2.) taking part in someones evil deeds by affirming their “accomplishment” and participating in their “graduation” (1 Timothy 5:22; Ephesians 5:11), then write an unbeliever a nice, smiley graduation card and shirk your responsibility to be a light to those brainwashed by public education…just another “clever devil” birthed by our godless schools…and noone even told them.
Rather, if you have the time, write them a gospel message or send them a tract. You could help them come to the Lord.
“For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue” (Ps 5:9, bold mine)
“He that rebukes a man afterwards shall find more favor than he that flatters with the tongue” (Proverbs 28:23).