What the Bible says about training a child… the Case AgAiNsT public school!
When I talk with Christian parents about providing their children with a thoroughly Christ-centered education, one of their main objections is that they believe they should send their children to public school to be “salt and light” in the darkness. In other words, one of the most frequently heard arguments for sending Christian children into the darkness of government schools is that we should try to save the lost in those schools by sending our precious young children there as little evangelists. Does this argument sound familiar?
Here is my reply after an in-depth study of the issue using the Biblical, theological, historical, and educational evidence that is available to anyone who has ears to hear.
The “salt & light” command (and the “Great Commission”) were given by Jesus to His trained and adult disciples, not to young children. This is a common misunderstanding in the church today. As an example of the fallacy of this kind of thinking, you’ll never find a Christian family sending their 8-year-old son off to Africa to be a missionary to evangelize the lost. Missionaries who are sent to foreign lands are mature disciples and adults, who have been trained theologically in ministering the Gospel and fighting spiritual warfare, who have been trained in the foundations of the faith and in apologetics, etc.
Another problem is that when Christian parents send their young children into the humanist religion government schools, what actually happens is that most of them (85%) have their salt removed by the world (via teachers & peers & curriculum indoctrination) and most of them have their light extinguished. This has been documented by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Council on Family Life, by Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis, by George Barna’s Research Group, and by many others. When the church tries to apply the “salt and light” argument to putting their children in government schools, the world ends up converting the Christian children and conforming them to the world, not the other way around. And yet God’s Word says, “Do not be conformed to this world…” It simply does not work and is not only counter-productive but actually destructive to Christian children and their families. Sure, there’s the admirable exception here and there, but the vast majority of these kids actually lose their faith because they are not adequately trained and grounded in their faith before being sent out into the darkness to be light.
Even though we are truly called to be a city set on a hill and a light in the darkness, the city is not a small untrained and unprepared child – it is the “called out ones” of the church who are gathered together as mature disciples of Jesus and who know how to give an answer for the hope that is within them. It is the collection of Christian families that make up the local church.
As parents, our primary purpose is to train up our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord, to teach them the commandments of God (see Deut 6), to teach them our spiritual history and the great wonders of God, to disciple them and educate them for God, AND to protect them from the wiles of the enemy and the world that would seek to destroy them and turn them away from God. We protect them while we disciple them and while they mature in their faith and in holy character. Eventually, we they are grown up and mature, we release them as arrows that shoot into the future and God goes with them and makes them His salt and light. However, it is unwise and unBiblical and contrary to the teaching of Jesus and the apostles to send these precious little ones out into the hostile world prematurely, untrained, immature, and not prepared to overcome it by the blood of Jesus and the word of their testimony and by laying their lives down for their King.
As we raise our kids “in the Lord,” we can model this to our children in the safety of our family and home and church as we reach out to the lost. However, this does not mean we are to send them out into the enemy’s camp as young children by putting them in government schools where their faith will be assaulted for 13 years and where they will be indoctrinated by and into a new religion – the religion of secular humanism. No, that is not God’s purpose or plan for our children.
Nowhere in Scripture does he command parents to do anything so unwise. Instead, everywhere in Scripture He commands parents to teach their own children and train and raise them in the fear of the Lord, at home in the safety of their own families, with assistance from the church. Institutionalizing our children in state education is the most dangerous, unwise, and destructive thing any Christian parent can do, and it plays right into the hands of the humanists and their goal of destroying our children’s faith and their parent’s authority in their lives and replacing it with the new religion of secular humanism, post-modernism, moral relativism, and evolutionary Darwinism, so that they will become good submissive “dumbed down” socialized citizens who will worship the State as their “god” and look to the State to parent them and to provide them with everything they need. This leads to idolatry, Statism, and socialism, and the complete loss of freedom, independence, and educational freedom.
I pray that you would consider the points I have raised as you think through your philosophy on these things. I am sharing what I have learned over the past few years of research into what God calls biblical education and the history of modern education in America. There are many other Christians, including some well-known Christian pastors and leaders, who have done their own research and have come to the same convictions and conclusions. These include: Samuel Blumenfeld, Voddie Baucham, Erwin Lutzer, E. Ray Moore, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Doug Phillips, Herb Titus, Geoff Botkin, Gary North, Kevin Swanson, Stephen McDowell, Bruce Shortt, David d’Escoto, Israel Wayne, Bradley Heath, T.C. Pinkney, R.J. Rushdoony,
For those who have “ears to hear,” there is a vast amount of Biblical, theological, historical, and educational evidence that supports what I have shared. I pray you look into the word of God, the ultimate authority on who is to be training our children and you will find that nowhere does God ever command the training or raising of a child to any institutions much less a humanistic, God hating system.
Many object to homeschooling based on the fact that God has called us to be “salt” and “light” and to evangelize the world. Ironically, this is precisely why we chose homeschooling. The Great Commission states: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I command you” (Matthew 28:19-20, emphasis added). How is this likely apart from Christian education? How can I effectively “make disciples” of my children if I send them off to the government school forty-five to fifty hours per week? The Nehemiah Institute, The National Study of Youth and Religion, and the Barna Report have shown us clearly that our children do not even understand–let alone obey–all that the Lord has commanded. Moreover, how can our children evangelize our government schools if they don’t know what they believe and why they believe it? Not to mention that all of the evidence currently points to the fact that our children are the evangelized, not the evangelists, in our nation’s schools. They are the ones being carried away by every wind of doctrine. . . . The Nehemiah Institute continues to demonstrate year after year that Christian children in government schools who actually retain anything close to a biblical worldview are the rare exception and not the rule. . . . Let me be clear–I applaud men and women whom God has called to teach in government schools. These people are front-line warriors, and they need to be right where they are. However, there is a big difference between sending fully trained disciples into enemy territory and sending recruits [children] to our enemy’s training camp. If we do the latter, we shouldn’t be surprised when they come home wearing the enemy’s uniform and charging the hill of our home waving the enemy flag. – Voddie Baucham
Glen Beck: “We are being indoctrinated from dawn until dusk” so “darn right, we should abolish public schools”
This is a good blog to read, even thought I am not in agreement 100% with every single detail said in this blog.
Case against public school
What’s really wrong with public schools?
Public School, what you’re up against!
Should christian parents send their children to public school?
The Exodous Mandate
Brief history of the public school methodology
What does the bible say about public school…
RC Sproul Jr on Homeschooling
Non-Christian Education is Sin and spiritual child abuse.
Why homeschool? Out of obedience!