Bob Crittenden
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October 2, 2023

The issue of parental rights has been elevated across our country, and we are seeing parents who are appealing to educational authorities and taking hold of their God-given responsibility to do what they see is best for their children.

That responsibility involves parents ascertaining that those whom they choose to educate their children are acting in a manner consistent with their principles they are learning at home. Some Christian parents have even taken an extra step and run for school board, so that they can have a greater say in the policies and curriculum of their local school systems, taking seriously their call to be salt and light in that way.

Intercessors for America ran an article on its website, which related a series of events in Tulsa, Oklahoma:

In 2020, a group of believers started attending the school board meetings — praying before and during the meetings. E’Lena Ashley belonged to that prayer group. She decided to run for a vacant school board seat in 2022. She won.

The article goes on to say:
E’Lena has transformed the TPS school board. She invited experienced intercessors to pray over all the chairs in the room prior to school board meetings. She wisely refused to rubber-stamp the TPS superintendent’s yearly budget. As a result, a $343,000 embezzlement was discovered.

Sonja Shaw is the President of the Chino Valley Unified School District in California, one of several districts that have taken steps recently to uphold the rights of parents to know important information about their students’ sexuality; the school district passed a strong parental notification bill, which has received vocal opposition and a legal challenge.

Shaw is reliant on the Lord during this challenging time. She is quoted at The Christian Post: “It’s no secret I’m a Christ follower.” The article states:

Shaw, a Chino native who is a wife and mother of two, is also a small business owner and leads a local Bible study.

She says her decision to run for the school board began during the COVID-19 lockdowns as California enacted some of the most stringent public health restrictions in the country.

“When the shutdown happened a few years ago is when so many of us parents got involved and things were revealed about the elected officials and they began exposing their intentions and focus,” Shaw said. “As more and more parents united, we knew they had no desire to listen to us.”

The Christian Post article included further statements from Shaw about the role of her Christian faith in her position:

“People from all over the nation have called, emailed and continue to write letters of support and saying this gave them hope,” she explained. “A few years ago, when I joined this journey, God kept showing me hope [in] Jeremiah 29:11.

“I have drawn closer and closer to God during this time and look to Him for direction and protection.”

E’lena Ashley, Sonja Shaw, and other school board members throughout the country who are devoted to upholding Christian principles have begun to make a difference. There are also bold educators, like Bremerton, Washington, football coach Joe Kennedy, who returned to coach a game at the high school from which he had been fired for praying at midfield after games; the U.S. Supreme Court upheld his right to act according to his faith in Christ.

We should never write off any city, county, state, or our nation just because ungodly principles have been embraced or implemented. God was extremely graceful when He told Abraham that he would not pour his wrath on Sodom if he could find only 10 people who served God. Only 10 – there are far more in our American cities in decline, way more than that in our nation. There is a remnant, a Church who has been placed here by God to act in accordance with His Kingdom principles. One could make the accusation: well, that’s just Christian nationalism. I believe that it’s Biblical Christianity – to be desirous to make the glory of God known in every single aspect of life and culture. Perhaps God is sparing the judgment we deserve in our nation because of the presence of His Church.

From time to time, as I address the issue of civic engagement, I will challenge listeners to consider running for office themselves. It’s certainly a challenge to put yourself up for elective office, to run a campaign, and then to serve in that capacity if you are elected. But, we need Christians in places of influence – many in our government have strayed from the values rooted in Judeo-Christian principles upon which our nation is founded. One person, directed by and empowered by the Spirit of God, can have a dramatic impact in whatever sphere to which he or she is called.

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Bob Crittenden
Since 2004 Bob has been the host of Faith Radio's “The Meeting House,” a program of music and conversation heard weekday afternoons from 4 until 6.

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