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The Education of Our Children

Education of Our Children

There is a phrase in Francis Schaeffer’s book, The Great Evangelical Disaster, that I believe succinctly addresses the heart of the matter of which I am about to write: “Truth carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation: loving confrontation, but confrontation nonetheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of truth involved, there is something wrong.”[1]

I am often hesitant in my everyday conversations to delve into the real reasons my husband and I have chosen to forgo public schooling and educate our children at home. The conversation generally goes like this:

“How are your children doing in school?”

“Good. We home school.”

“How’s that going?”

“Good.”

I then nod politely as the other person tells me that their children attend public school and are doing this or that and soon we move on to another topic. By my nondescript response it would not appear that my convictions on the matter of education were of any consequence. However my lukewarm engagements stand contrary to the beliefs saturated within every fiber of my being and inwardly I struggle to reconcile the disconnect between my faith and actions.

That being said I have come to the point where I know for certain that neutrality is a myth and I can no longer stand on the wayside feigning indifference. The words of Proverbs 24:11-12 apply as much to this situation as to any other regarding obedience to God’s Word:

Rescue those being led away to death;
hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

If you say, “But we knew nothing of this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?

With this in mind I would like to specifically address those of the Christian faith who have placed the responsibility of the education of their children with the State. I am not here to personally insult or degrade any of you and by no means do I purport to be any more righteous merely because I home educate my children. I come to you, instead, pleading for you to remove your children from the public school system.

Voddie Baucham, in his message, The Children of Caesar: He Who Controls the Schools Controls the World, lays out a strong case for Christian education. An astonishing ninety percent of professing born-again Christians sends their children to public schools. What, then, is especially alarming is the number of those who have shed their religious beliefs by the end of their freshman year of college. That number lies between seventy and eighty-eight percent. Dr. Bachaum reiterates, “If we continue to send our children to Caesar for their education we need to stop being surprised when they come home as Romans.” The truth is harsh.

Luke 6:40 tells us that “a student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” A teacher is a discipler. There is no separating education and discipling. Dr. Baucham makes this clear in his talk. From kindergarten through twelfth grade a student will be discipled by the State for 14,000 seat hours. [2] 14,000!

Bradley Heath, in his book, Millstones and Stumbling Blocks writes, “Education is both taught and caught; it is both content and context.” [3] What, then, is the context purported by America’s public schools? God is irrelevant.

Is the Bible true? My science, health, and literature teachers said no. Is God providential in the affairs of men and nations? My history, social studies, and economics teachers said no. Is there design and purpose evident in creation? My biology, chemistry, and math teachers said no. Are there absolutes? My sex-education teacher said no and my friends said “cool.” Is God relevant to any subject taught in the public school? All of my teachers and all of my books said no. Consequently, every day for twelve years the content and context of my public schooling said there is no God, and even if there is, He does not matter. [4]

No, your school is not different. Talking things through with your child is not the equivalent of a complete Christian education and worldview. 14,000 seat hours! Yes, there may be a few outstanding Christian teachers in the public school system but due to the fact that the government and teachers unions are in control of the curriculum, a Christian teacher here and there does nothing to absolve the fact that public schools are inherently humanistic in nature. There is no such thing as neutrality. Education is not administered in a vacuum. Your children are not yet equipped to be sent into the camp of the enemy to be “salt and light.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 commands us as parents:

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

What is this passage telling us? We are responsible for the education of our children ALL THE TIME. We must do what the Bible commands. The Scriptures are replete with passages warning against conforming ourselves to the world. That our children are a gift and blessing from God should be enough for us to take care to nurture them and grow them in the ways of the Lord. How can we possibly do this if we send them to be trained by the enemy for 14,000 hours of their lives? Do we really think that a few hours a day is enough to wash them of the filth and mediocrity that is public education? I grieve to accept that this is what we have been conditioned to believe. Everything we have been taught about public education is wrong. For more information on this topic I wholeheartedly recommend the book The Underground History of American Public Education by John Taylor Gatto.

There are many reasons to be skeptical about public education and I could write article upon article on them and perhaps in the future I will. What I want to drive home right now is that God has entrusted us to disciple our children and we must not abdicate our responsibilities. Consider these quotes:

Non-Christian education puts the child in a vacuum. The result is that child dies. Christian education alone really nurtures personality, because it alone gives the child air and food. Modern educational philosophy gruesomely insults our God and our Christ. How, then, do you expect to build anything positively Christian or theistic upon a foundation which is the negation of Christianity and Theism? No teaching of any sort is possible except in Christian schools. (Cornelius Van Til)

This whole process of education is to be religious, and not only religious, but Christian. And as Christianity is the only true religion, and God in Christ, the only true God, the only possible means of profitable education is the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Charles Hodge)

No academic skepticism, no secularist authors, no blatant materialism can so undermine the spiritual life of the country like the completely secularized training of a child under the authority of the State. Bible-based education is mandatory for Christian parents. If we think we can keep our children in a secular school system and escape the dumb down, amoral, and immoral results of secular humanism in schools, we are sorely mistaken. (David Alan Black)

I ask you to heartfully reconsider your decision to send your child to public school. Taking on the monumental responsibility of educating your child is no easy thing especially for parents who are on limited income or are going it alone. I understand the difficulty some of you have in which there are circumstances beyond your control which have drastic implications. However, you are not alone in this. There are many parents in similar circumstances who have made the choice to find an alternate choice to public schools. If you are convicted to make a change I guarantee you God will make a way. In this I call upon other families and churches to step up and provide support for those leaving the government system, as it should be. I, too, am available for support if you have questions or are looking for a way to make Christian education work. I realize many will be angry with my words and it is to those I would like to reassure you that I come not in judgment but rather with loving concern for our children, our heritage. God bless you all in your endeavors and may we all strive to unite under the banner of God.

This is the sanctification of your studies: when they are devoted to God and when He is the end, the object, and the life of them all. (Richard Baxter)

Endnotes

[1] Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1984), 64.
[2] Children of Caesar: He Who Controls the Schools Controls the World, perf. Voddie Baucham, DVD, The American Vision, 2007.
[3] Bradley Heath, Millstones and Stumbling Blocks (Tucson, AZ: Fenestra Books, 2006), 16.
[4] Bradley Heath, Millstones and Stumbling Blocks (Tucson, AZ: Fenestra Books, 2006), 17.

Originally posted September 13, 2009.
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Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cheryl L. Stansberry
Cheryl L. Stansberry is a Reformed Christian (OPC) writer with a desire to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of the people.

2 Responses to “The Education of Our Children”

  • Valeria says:

    Absolutely LOVE this post. I need to be so brave as to speak it without worry or fear of offending. I worry so much for these children.
    Valeria recently posted…A Soap Box SaturdayMy Profile

    • Cheryl L. Stansberry says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post. I, too, am learning to assert myself in speaking up. (It is so easy to do so behind the computer)It is necessary. I pray God grants both of us boldness in speaking His truth!


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My chief desire in all my writings, is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of people; and to promote the increase of repentance, faith, and holiness upon earth." ~ J.C. Ryle

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