Faith Schools – Statement of Faith

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Ms Van de Mortel
Medowie Christian School

Ms Van de Mortel

As a resident of Port Stephens with an interest in the quality and nature of education offered in this area, particularly faith-based schools, I have several questions regarding your school’s particular approach to certain issues. I would appreciate it if you can find the time to respond to my concerns.

As a requirement of all teaching staff at Medowie Christian School is to accept and endorse the school’s statement of faith, I pose the following question; given that all staff therefore agree that Satan exists and that spiritual warfare is a reality, if a student presents with symptoms of depression, anxiety or any other form of mental illness, how is it determined whether they are suffering from a psychiatric disorder treatable with medication or counseling, or is in fact possessed by demons or evil spirits requiring an exorcism?

This may seem a frivolous and provocative question but in fact many churches in Australia use exorcists to rid people of demons and bad spirits, usually ignorant of the fact that there are underlying causes of mental illness that require diagnosis by professional psychiatrists and counsellors.

Secondly I am interested in how your school science department approaches the subject of biological evolution and related fields. Are there any particular texts that are used by the school to deal with this subject and does the school have any policies on the teaching of evolution or creationism?

Finally, as made clear in your statement of faith that the school administration “recognizes the jurisdiction of civil authorities EXCEPT in matters conflicting with the biblical conscience”, if the exemptions from anti-discrimination laws currently enjoyed by faith schools were removed, thus making it illegal to refuse enrollment or employment to a gay person or a non- believer, what course of action would Medowie Christian School take and how would this reflect the schools interpretation of biblical conscience?

These questions are asked by me in good faith and I intend to ask the same of other faith schools in the region.

I would truly appreciate a response to my questions as I intend to raise these issues with the department of education and our local state and federal parliamentarians as well as local newspapers.

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