Biblical Rationale for a Program of Inclusion

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Even the Least of These: Why Should We? How Can We?

Biblical Rationale for a Program of Inclusion

One might ask why it is incumbent on a Christian school to offer services for students with learning difficulties. Budget demands, lack of trained personnel, and classroom constraints all can prompt us to ask how it can be done. The following points drawn from scripture give us God’s perspective.

1.  The Uniqueness of the Learner

You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I Peter 2:5

  1. God is building with stones not bricks.
  2. Stones are not uniform, do not fit nicely, require different amounts of mortar, and the results are more interesting.

2.  Imago Dei

And God created men in His own image, in the image of God He created Him; male and female He created them…God saw all that He had made and behold it was very good. Genesis 1:27, 31

  1. Every child God makes is very good
  2. In our country we are excluding children who don’t fit a certain mold, frequently because they may lower our scores or we don’t want to allocate the funds.

3.  No Exclusions

…and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him where there is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all. Col.3:10-11

  1. God makes no distinctions.
  2. When we exclude, we exclude a part of the body in whom Christ is found.

4.  Mandate One

           A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly lit wick He will not snuff out. Isaiah 42:3

  1. God cares about those who are weaker.
  2. It is never His plan for harm to come to them.

5.  Mandate Two

We proclaim Him…teaching every man (child) with all wisdom, so that we may present every man (child) complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.  Colossians 1:28-29

  1. Children with special learning needs need what we have.
  2. The works of God may be displayed in them (Jn. 9:1-3)
  1. Christian schools serve Christian families who want Christian education for their children. If those children are struggling learners, hurting, dealing with any number of concerns, do they not need the nurturing environment and skillful instruction of caring Christ-followers even more than children who have no serious problems? Do those parents not need caring professionals to partner with them for the benefit of their children? What would Jesus do?

 Adapted from a seminar given at the NILD 30th Anniversary Celebration Conference, 2/16/12

Dr. Kathy Keafer
Head of School, Johnstown Christian School
Professor, Liberty University