What Does it Mean, to ‘Train up a Child?’(7)

Taken from, “The Significance of the Godly Family,” 2009.

By Andrew McColl, 27th April, 2021

       1.Educational Accreditation:                                                                                                                             

         There was conflict between Rome and the early church. Rome’s policy toward all religions was that no religion had a right to exist unless it was a licit religion, duly licensed by the Empire, and possessing a certificate which that religion or cult was supposed to hang on the wall of its meeting place. A part of the procedure whereby licit status was secured, was to appear before a Roman imperial centre, and there to put a little incense on a brazier before an image of the emperor or a battle insignia, and then to declare briefly ‘Caesar is Lord!’ That was all. It was an acknowledgement of the sovereignty of Caesar over every area of life and thought.[1]

When we say that we believe in God and in Christ, we are saying that we are putting our faith in a higher Being. When a school is accredited, the school is putting its faith in a higher institution, which grants the school legitimacy. When a school is accredited by the state, the school is putting its faith in the state and being accepted by the state. Thus, accreditation is a religious act. This explains why accreditation is one of the means used by humanistic governments to control Christian schools.[2]

State control of education has always been a key component of humanist and socialist ideology; an article of their faith promoted since Aristotle, and espoused by Marx and Hitler. Engels, (Marx’s co-writer and supporter) claimed that,

with the transfer of the means of production into common ownership, [communism] the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society…The care and education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike, whether they are legitimate or not. [3]   

State education has always been hostile to Christianity, and the family. As early as 1864, John Swett, the Superintendent of California state schools, claimed that

the child should be taught to consider his instructor…superior to the parent in point of authority… the vulgar impression that parents have a legal right to dictate to teachers is entirely erroneous…parents have no remedy as against the teacher.[4]

As early as 1930, humanists realised that education and in particular public education, would be a means of alienating students from Christianity. In that year, Charles F. Potter, a signatory of the first Humanist Manifesto,indicated that

education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday School, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teachings?[5]

Rushdoony highlighted the religious claim of public education:

Since a sovereign must have absolute power, the state, where it claims sovereignty, whether a democracy or anything else, moves towards totalitarian powers. Sovereignty with such powers becomes the saving power, and the state becomes man’s god and saviour. It then governs and controls man’s total life.[6]

Christian parents must understand that Departments of Education have a deeply religious reason to maintain an educational monopoly. If departmental individuals are not believers in Jesus Christ, they will be hostile to the faith, for Jesus said that “he who is not with me is against me” (Mat.12:30).They know that Christian faith is communicated primarily within the family. The department may give lip-service to the notion of family influence within the curriculum or a school, but that is all. That is merely the maintenance of a good façade. What counts to them, is the maintenance of departmental power.

Strong family structures are a threat to the humanistic state, as they represent an independent power base, and are difficult to control. This is one reason why socialists have always hated the family. The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, when she was the Federal Minister for Education, indicated in Parliament (25/8/2008) that “parents of school-aged children are obligated to send them to school.” She was utterly indifferent to the wishes of the parents. This reflects a consistent socialist view.

If the child is in a government registered school (be it a state school, private, or “Christian”), the child will spend a large portion of their time away from their parents and family, being progressively instructed in material which has departmental approval, in an age-segregated classroom. Over twelve years, that computes to some 14,400 hours, of departmentally approved, worldview indoctrination.                

There is a second reason why education departments are keen to maintain control. Like the silversmiths of Acts 19:23-27, they want to protect their business monopoly, and their future. If a large proportion of the community was able to successfully educate their children, without any reference at all to an educational bureaucracy, that bureaucracy would clearly be irrelevant. That could mean the loss of hundreds, and ultimately many thousands of tax-payer funded jobs, the total collapse and elimination of seven state or federal departments in Australia, and a massive saving to the taxpayer. I believe that would be a good thing, and a logical outcome of Jesus’ promise, that “every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted”(Mat.15:13).

They cannot afford to let this happen, so they will fight tooth and nail, and coerce families by various means of intimidation (including the threat of prosecution), to try and ensure children are enrolled in a departmentally registered institution. Any other scenario would be absolutely anaethema-unthinkable for them.

Nowhere in the Bible does God delegate the education of children to the state or to the disciples of other religions.[7]  


[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “The ‘Atheism’ of the Early Church,” 1983, p.15-16.

[2] Robert Thoburn, “The Children Trap,”1986, p.96-7.

[3] Marx and Engels, Selected Works, 1976.

[4] Rousas Rushdoony, “The Messianic Character of American Education,” 1995, p.80-81.

[5] Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.54.

[6] Rousas Rushdoony, “Sovereignty,” 2007, p.471.

[7] Shortt, ibid., p.55.

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