WEST MONROE, LA — Students of all ages are urged to take their Bibles to school on October 4. Sadie Robertson, an actress who became known to American television viewers on “Duck Dynasty,” is serving as the honorary chair for “Bring Your Bible to School Day.”
Sadie, an avowed Christian, has inspired and encouraged students in recent years through her New York Times best-selling books and Live Original Tour. She testifies, “The Bible has gotten me through everything in my life.” As the Honorary Chair, the 21-year-old reality show star, is inviting students to live out their religious freedom by bringing their Bibles to school on October 4. When you sign up for this year’s event, you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a free trip to meet Sadie in person.
The Bring Your Bible to School Day event, sponsored by Focus on the Family, is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ. Participation is voluntary and student-directed – meaning it is entirely up to students.
You might ask the question, “Am I permitted to carry a Bible to school? I thought the Bible had been banned from our public-school system.”
Yes, you can carry your Bible to school. It is true that on June 25, 1962, the United States Supreme Court decided in the Engel v. Vitale case that a prayer approved by the New York Board of Regents for use in schools violated the First Amendment by constituting an establishment of religion. The next year, in Abington School District v. Schempp, the Court disallowed Bible readings in public schools for similar reasons.
However, any student in a public school in America has First Amendment rights to engage in voluntary, free speech conversations in a way that does not interfere with or substantially disrupt classroom time and academic instruction. According to the Focus on the Family website, “[students] can voluntarily express [their] personal and religious beliefs to [their] classmates through verbal or written expressions, as long as school policy is followed and as long as these activities are not enacted during classroom or instruction time.”
If Georgia Baptist students from kindergarten age to college graduate students would take their Bibles to their schools on October 4 it would be a powerful witness to the school administrators, faculty, and other students. This is one way for our youth to impact their own generation for the cause of Christ. The presence of the Bible on our school campuses would provoke healthy conversations and very likely provide opportunities for sharing the Gospel. And, after all, our emphasis is on #ReachingNextGen is it not?
It might even be a good idea for Georgia Baptists who are employed in the businesses,factories, and corporations of the state to take their Bibles to work. It would be a subtle and indirect witness that could produce a bold and intentional witness for Christ. It is certainly worth trying.