Working with the School Board of St. Paul's, Troy while we search for a 7/8 grade teacher, I have had an "aha" experience. I guess you can say that it is an epiphany of sorts. What is that epiphany? I came to ask myself how important it is for a teacher to have a strong faith in the Lord. More than that, I ask myself, how important is it for a teacher in a Lutheran school to be a Lutheran?
There are two ways to answer this question. 1) It isn't really important. or 2) It is very important. There will be those that will say that all that really counts is that the teacher should be a Christian. It doesn't matter which denomination the teacher is a part of. This thought lays it out that all that really matters is that faith in Christ is all that is important. The teacher can believe in Christ and can teach the class and not have his personal faith affect how he teaches the class.
And there is truth in that thought. Indeed the faith in Jesus is the final thing of importance for the salvation of a person. As long as the teacher lays that faith before the students, the rest doesn't matter. So it really doesn't matter if the teacher in a Lutheran School is Lutheran or not, as long as he believes.
The other thought is that it is important for the teacher to be Lutheran. Why? Because it is more than the faith in Jesus that is taught in a school. By virtue of the fact that it is a "school" that means that something will be taught. What will be taught in a Lutheran school? Lutheran doctrine, teachings and practice. How can a person who is not a Lutheran, who does not believe the teachings of the Lutheran church, teach those very things to the students in the class? Is it possible? Of course it is possible.
But is it honest? That is the bottom line question. Can a person teach that which he does not believe and teach it as truth? I cannot teach evolution as truth. I believe in creation. I deny evolution. There is no way that I could even begin to teach evolution and teach it in a way that would make it seem as though it was true. Can a person who denies infant baptism teach infant baptism without compromising his personal faith? Can a person who doesn't accept the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar, teach with honesty that the body and blood of Christ is present in the Sacrament?
I guess what I am saying is that it is truly important what a teacher believes and teaches in the classroom. So it is important for a Lutheran school to have teachers who are Lutheran in their classrooms. It is important for the faith of the individual, for the faith of the students and for all those that the teacher comes in contact with.