Biblical Support for Both Sides of our 2019 Public Forum Debate?

Through Classical Christian education, ECA students are enabled to know the truth, reason in truth, persuade in truth, and thus are to be found walking in the truth. This is our hope and prayer for each of our students as they progress toward graduation. 

It is my privilege to teach Rhetoric (the art of persuasion) to over 20 of our Juniors and Seniors. Each fall, our students engage in a Public Forum Debate – in teams of two or three students. This year, our resolution is: 

“The United States federal government should prioritize reducing the federal debt over promoting economic growth.” Our students must be prepared, at the flip of a coin, to represent either side of this debate; 

and this resolution is packed with nuances that will challenge our students to grow in their understanding of many significant factors which will impact our nation and their very own lives. 

I always consider it a challenge to bring our Christian tenets to bear on the thinking processes of our students. Our class devotions often stimulate us to consider rudimentary concepts that may impact the debate. With that in mind, I’d like to share a key passage from Proverbs that has my students thinking deeply about the biblical support for both sides of this debate: 

Proverbs 22, verse: 

1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold. 

2 The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the Maker of them all. 

3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. 

4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life. 

5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. 

6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. 

7 The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. 

8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail. 

9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. 

Periodically, a few parents and students have pled for practical courses which will help them prepare for the realities of life. While we could certainly jump to the pragmatic, let me ask you to consider this passage as the very springboard we have found to understand the concepts of managing one’s own finances. In order for our students to debate about the lofty implications of managing a federal budget, we start with the simple definitions of debt and deficits; and I believe they have already made the connection between personal and government finance. What a blessing that we can examine Scripture for such practical truth! 

On November 8 we will conduct this Public Forum Debate at our Secondary campus, and you are welcome to come and observe. The day of debate culminates with the championship round which will be held at 1:00pm. If you have seen these students grow, I feel you will be especially blessed to see the fruit of their maturation. 

I am especially curious to see which side will win this debate. Will it be the side that desires to prioritize federal debt reduction (verse 7b), or the one that promotes economic growth (verse 9)? Please join me in prayer, regardless of which side wins, that the lives of our students will be enhanced – both practically and spiritually! 

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