Children Don’t Need School (3)

Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth shall be blessed? For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him (Gen.18:17-19).

God spoke these words about Abraham and his family, a year before Isaac was born (Gen.21:1-3). He really had received amazing promises from God, which all have great relevance to us, in the New Testament era (see Ro.4).

Abraham had received grand promises from God, and been remarkably visited by Him. Abraham now (like us), was wholly dependent on God’s promises coming about. He still had a lot of living to do, and he (like any other godly person) longed to see God’s promises to him, fulfilled.

As North writes,

Children were important to Abram, not merely because of the cultural standards of the Canaanite tribes that surrounded him, but because of several distinctly theological reasons. First, the gift of children was important for the preservation of the covenant line prophesied by God to Eve (Gen.3:15). It seems quite probable that Abram knew about this prophecy to Eve (Jn.8:56). Second, the task of cultural dominion was (and is) intimately linked with the expansion of human numbers (Gen. 1:28; 9:1). Third, a man’s heirs-intellectual, spiritual, and biological- are part of his concern for linear history…

The faith of the Old Testament saints was to be in linear, irreversible historical development, controlled by God. Men and women were to play an important role, in time and on earth, as parents. This work had meaning because of God’s covenants and requirements.[1]

Clearly, the education of Abraham’s children (and Isaac was still unborn), would be firstly theological in nature. They would need to be taught the Word of the Lord.

We know that Abraham had access to this, because many years after he died, God appeared to Isaac. As we might expect in these Genesis visitations by God to the patriarchs, God made promises to him, and linked these to the fact that

…Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws (Gen.26:5).

Let’s be frank. We’ve not really begun to educate our children, until such time as they understand the basics of covenant theology: that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself (II Cor.5:19), and that as believers in Jesus, there is great hope and promise for our children.

Is there more?

Of course, but that will get them off the mark. Now, they simply need the implications of this shown to them, firstly from scripture, and secondly, in the lives of their parents, and others.

Paul spoke about this to Timothy. He said he was

…mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well (II Tim.1:5).

So, no school, eh? Correct.

Education? Yes, but not school.

Schools commonly harm children. Every year, my work brings me into contact with children that were harmed at school: lots of them. That could be the peer-group, the curriculum, or the teachers. But parents shouldn’t wait for that to happen, before home schooling them. Lot’s daughters were schooled in Sodom, and how did they work out? (See Gen.19).

Does that mean that in the home, we can eliminate errors and pain? No. Abraham couldn’t, as we can observe through his experience with Ishmael. How could we?

But God tells us that

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate (Ps.127:3-5).

Conclusion:

We parents pass from this life, leaving others behind. We are responsible for how they are prepared for life, which means that God holds us to account. And by His great grace, we can do this. In fact, we are commanded to do so.

Is that what you’re preparing for?


[1] Gary North, “The Dominion Covenant,”1987, p.163, 164.

Children Don’t Need School (2)

Genesis 15-17 provide us with a chronological continuation of Abram’s life, and his family. These chapters provide us with further details of God’s promises to Abram, along with God’s covenant with him, requiring the circumcision of him and all the males of his  household. Chapter 16 gives us an interlude: how Ishmael arrived on the scene.

Abraham’s relationship with his men and their families, illustrates the diversification of labour, and the interdependence of individuals in a free, capitalist economy. Abraham built wells (Gen.21:30; 26:18) for he understood the asset value of water in a dry land. He had flocks and herds, and the welfare of hundreds and possibly thousands of people to consider. He shows us, that

Physical natural resources, notably fertile soil or rich minerals, are not the only or even major determinants of material progress, though differences in the bounty of nature may well account for differences in levels and ease of living in different parts of the underdeveloped world. It has always been known that physical resources are useless without capital and skills to develop them, or without access to markets.[1]

He built up assets in gold, silver and livestock (Gen.13:2; 24:22) through commercial activities which are not stipulated in scripture. His livestock had a number of uses. Not only can sheep, cattle and camels be consumed, and thus sold for profit. Cattle produce leather and other goods, they can be used for pulling wagons (Gen.48:27) and ploughs for cultivation.

If Abram had the best bull in the locality, he could hire him out for breeding service at 3 shekels per calf: easy! If they were considered of good quality, his stock would be in demand, either for consumption, or breeding.

People have always wanted to travel, and camels are useful for people travelling long distances in dry country (Gen.24:10-30, 57-61), and carrying loads.

They all need skilled people to care for and work with them, along with slaughtering, and preparing them to eat and then preserving them. In Job’s case (who may have been a compatriot of Abraham), he had

7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east (Job 1:3).

“500 yoke of oxen?” Could that mean that Job ran a business called “Eastern Ploughs?” He could have had hundreds of men employed who worked the oxen for ploughing or other agricultural tasks, either for him, or for those in his vicinity, or actually, anywhere. They could have worked as slaughtermen, carpenters, blacksmiths and farriers.

They may well have produced leather goods, such as saddles, bridles, and other attachments for working animals. They also would have been able to produce and supply equipment for cultivation, along with weaponry, for defence purposes (Gen.14:14-16; I Sam.13:19-22) which could be vital, along with carts and wagons, for transport.

And who’d have 3,000 camels, except to eat, or work them for some purpose, such as transporting goods and people?

Why own Qantas, when you can go places by camel, instead? Why go to an airport, when Mr Job’s people can come to your tent’s door! And they’d know all the right places to stop at, for the right price, of course!

Abram was a long-term planner, and these assets would be important in years to come (Gen.23:14-20; 24:22, 52-53; 49:29-32). He made the best of his abilities to understand markets, and to manage men, money and livestock in his era. Abraham it seems, believed in the Biblical virtue of diligence; that “the hand of the diligent makes rich”(Prov.10:4).

       Furthermore, Abraham illustrates, that

social progress comes about with the accumulation and development of wealth. Wealth comes, in a free economy, as a product of work and thrift-in short, of character. Capital is often accumulated by inheritance, a God-given right which is strongly stressed in the Bible. According to Proverbs 13:22, ‘a good man leaves an inheritance to his childrens’ children, and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.’ Inheritance makes possible the accumulation not only of wealth within a family but of social power. [2]

Clearly, Abraham shows us, that“prosperity in the long-run is the blessing of God to those who are faithful to His laws.”[3]

This was the life that Isaac was born into, this was his education, and when Abraham died, he carried on the traditions of his father. You’d even think Abraham had been privy to Solomon’s later advice, to

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov.22:6).

Abraham had livestock, numbers of servants, and dealt in silver and gold. And the Bible says of Isaac, that he

…sowed in the land and reaped in the same year a hundred-fold. And the Lord blessed him,  and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him (Gen.26:12-14).

Abraham dug wells; so did Isaac (Gen.26:18-25). Anyone would think Isaac had read what Paul wrote to the Philippians:

The things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Phil. 4:9).

Isaac didn’t have a school-teacher. He had his parents. They educated him, successfully.

Conclusion:
Isaac’s upbringing shows us many things, but this part stands out: children need a good education, but they don’t need school. Where do Genesis, and other places in scripture show us that this should take place? The godly family.

Are you following the Biblical example?


 [1] P. T. Bauer, quoted in Gary North, “The Dominion Covenant,” 1987, p.159.

[2] Rousas Rushdoony, “The Politics of Guilt and Pity,” 1995, p.236-237.

[3] North, ibid., p.158-9.

Children Don’t Need School (1)

The meaning of the family is thus not to be sought in procreation but in a God-centred authority and responsibility in terms of man’s calling to subdue the earth and to exercise dominion over it.[1]

The proponents of public education emphasise the importance of a good education. I agree with them. Education for a child’s important, for a multitude of reasons. Where I separate from public educators, is in how education should be given to a child, and who should provide it.

Genesis 12-14 provides us with the initial glimpses of Abram’s family life, over many years. In this period, we see Abram when aged 75 (ch.12:4) moving his family (with Lot) to the land of Canaan, under God’s direction and promise, experiencing famine there and going to Egypt, being delivered by God from Pharoah with material blessing, and returning to Canaan, receiving further promises from God (ch.13:14-17), then going to fight for and deliver Lot, his nephew (ch.14:11-16).

Thus we have a number of important events in Abram’s family, but Abram (as he was called then) hadn’t had any children, for Sarai was barren. She wouldn’t bear Isaac till Abraham was 100 (ch.21:1-8).

While he had no children, Abram was developing as a servant of the Lord, as a husband, as a leader of men, and a man who would later, be inheriting much. He was “…very rich in livestock, in silver and gold” (ch.13:2), and had received great promises from God (ch. 12:1-3; 7;13:14-17).

What does this mean for the believer today?

Firstly, just as Abram had promises from God, we have them, too. Peter tells us that

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust (II Pet.1:2-4).

Husbands generally have children, and leaders are obligated to be responsible for those they lead. And in Abram’s case, this matter of leadership was no mean feat.

Genesis 14 records how he heard from a fugitive how his cousin Lot had been taken captive in battle, and how he set off (probably within hours) with 318 of his “trained men” (v.14).

Nothing suggests these men were mercenaries. They were essentially men of Abram’s community. They worked for or with him and were loyal to him, and may have represented a group of individuals numbering over a thousand people, if we assume most of them were married, with children.

Abram divided his forces by night, and defeated Lot’s captors and rescued him and his family. Furthermore, he “…brought back all the goods, his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people” (Gen.14:16). Not bad for a man about 80 years old.

Abram was not warlike, but neither was he a pacifist. He and his men had clearly trained for such an eventuality, and they knew there could be danger from outsiders.

Kidnapping would later be classified in the law of Moses as a capital offence (Ex.21:16), and when the fugitive turned up and told him of Lot’s disaster, Abram acted vigorously and decisively. He went with his men, pursued the party who had kidnapped Lot, and dealt firmly with them.

The New Testament tells us that Melchizedek met Abraham as he was returning from the “slaughter of the kings…” (Heb.7:1). Clearly, godless men had died that day, but Abram’s rescue attempt of his nephew was successful.

Abram’s actions then, do not legitimise the actions of vigilantes, today. In his era, there were no national armies, or local police. Local people had to be responsible for themselves, and do what was necessary to protect life and limb from evildoers. Furthermore, they needed to know their neighbours, and what they could expect of their neighbours in a crisis.

Clearly, Abram had already rehearsed this, for his neighbours were “allies” (Gen.14:13). We  are not to take the law into our own hands, but we can and must act to protect ourselves and our families, if danger threatens. Firearms are legitimate tools for any family, for in a crisis,

A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

One of God’s promises to Abram, was

To your descendants I will give this land (Gen.12:7).

And even though Abram was childless, God was speaking to him of his children. There was no doubt in God’s mind that Abram would have children (he would actually had eight).

Conclusion:

Thus we can see that:

a) Abram had received great promises from God, which pertained to his children.

b) Those promises required his “faith and patience” (Heb.6:15).

c) He faced opposition, even hostility in the land God had promised him.

d) He was part of a godly, growing community, numbering a large number of people, with a multitude of skills.

Could this have relevance to you?


 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” 1973, p.164.

What I Said to Those Attending the Fight Laugh Feast Conference

Oct 5, 2020 by Gary DeMar

How did you get here? I don’t mean “did you fly or drive?” How did you come to believe and act upon the beliefs you now embrace? We need to remember that there has been a long history of quietism and pietism among Christians. Not only weren’t Christians on offense but they were hardly playing defense.

For years we heard things like,

  • Jesus didn’t get mixed up in politics.
  • Politics is dirty.
  • We should just preach the gospel.
  • There’s a separation between church and state.
  • We can’t impose our morality on other people.
  • We should remain neutral.
  • There’s a sacred-secular divide.
  • Our citizenship is in heaven.
  • We’re just pilgrims passing through.
  • We must render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s without ever asking the question of how we determine what belongs to Caesar so we let Caesar tell us what belongs to Caesar.
  • Satan is the god of this world.
  • All the signs point to the “rapture” or the Second Coming, so why bother polishing the brass on a sinking ship or rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths

Gary DeMar confronts the many arguments Christians use to keep from engaging the culture, everything from “The World is Evil to “Jesus’ Kingdom is Not of This World.” Due to these mistaken interpretations and applications of popular Bible texts to contemporary issues, the Christian faith is being thrown out and trampled under foot by men (Matt. 5:13). Buy Now


Some claimed that Christians should not get involved in the rough and tumble of applicational Christianity because it would spoil our witness.

Others argued that they believed in a Christian worldview that applied to every area of life, but few ever explained what that might look like.

Francis Schaeffer was great at pointing out the destructive nature of competing worldviews, but he offered little in the way of particulars on how to overcome the onslaught in the particulars. His analysis was needed, but it did not go far enough.

And when someone came along and explained how the Bible might apply to every area of life in the particulars, the critics would come out of their ivory towers and denounce those who were calling for more than a theoretical approach to worldview thinking.

The worldview plane was always in the hangar for maintenance work. Anyone who submitted a flight plan would be grounded, and if he continued to question the system, he would have his license revoked, especially if he taught at the flight school where impressionable young men wanted to learn how to fly the worldview plane.

In time, the worldview pilots would be barred from the airports and left to find other ways to take to the skies. They were relegated to near obscurity laboring to get the message out to people who did not know that worldview planes should and did fly.


Against All Opposition

Against All Opposition

A comprehensive study of the defense of the Christian faith by one of the great Christian apologists of the 20th century. Against All Opposition lays out the definitive apologetic model to help believers understand the biblical method of defending the Christian faith. A great book for high school and college students. Buy Now


This remnant started Christian schools, developed curricula, wrote and published newsletters, wrote books — lots of books — that found their way into the hands of Christians around the world.

Most of you are too young to know about this history. (I’ve barely scratched the surface. Watch “Freestyling with Gary DeMar”: Part 1Part 2Part 3) Some of you may be asking, “What’s this guy talking about?”

The thing of it is, many (most?) of you don’t know what I’m talking about, and that’s what makes this event so special. You are here because of people who built the worldview planes and explained how they could fly. They wrote about apologetic methodology and application, history, economics, law, government, and so much more. They saw what would happen if Christians didn’t wake up to the challenge. They took on the secular ideologies of the day while at the same time having to contend with critics from inside the camp.

There are many people I could mention, but I only have time to mention one — Greg L. Bahnsen. I suspect that we would not be here if it weren’t for the work of Dr. Bahnsen. Jeff Durbin’s talk was the embodiment of his work. I know I wouldn’t be here. The folks at Cross Politic would not be doing what they are excelling at if it had not been for Dr. Bahnsen’s work. When Doug Wilson debated Christopher Hitchens in the film Collision (a Darren Doane Production), it was Bahnsen at work disguised as a Teddy Bear.


Collision: Is Christianity Good for the World?

COLLISION carves a new path in documentary film-making as it pits leading atheist, political journalist and bestselling author Christopher Hitchens against fellow author, satirist and evangelical theologian Douglas Wilson, as they go on the road to exchange blows over the question: “Is Christianity Good for the World?” The two contrarians laugh, confide and argue, in public and in private, as they journey through three cities. And the film captures it all. The result is a magnetic conflict, a character-driven narrative that sparkles cinematically with a perfect match of arresting personalities and intellectual rivalry. Buy Now


The thing of it is, Greg would not have taken credit for any of it. He was just doing what God had called and gifted him to do. He acknowledged his mentors. He knew that he stood on the shoulders of others.

When I got that phone call on a cold day in December that Greg had died, I was in shock. How could he be replaced? In one sense he has not been replaced. I’ve never met anyone who was the whole package like Greg was. You will find this out quickly by reading his articles, books, and listening to his many talks and debates. The debate he had with Gordon Stein is a classic. It’s no surprise that it has been dubbed “The Great Debate.”

But in another sense, Greg has been replaced by those who carry on his work and pay it forward. You are the fruit of the work of Greg Bahnsen and many others whether you know it or not. It’s been a long time coming, but I am optimistic. We may be in for some rough times, but God has given us all we need to accomplish what He has called us to do. God has equipped us “for every good work,” and you can thank those who have put on this Conference for helping to equip you. It’s your turn to pay it forward as someone paid it forward for you.

The Messianic and Destructive Character of American Education

Nov 2, 2020 by Gary DeMar

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor of Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. Recently, he wrote a comprehensive review of Rousas J. Rushdoony’s little book Law and Liberty. DeYoung describes what is commendable about the book and what he considerers “Bridges Too Far.”

DeYoung is correct when he writes the following:

Throughout 32 chapters, Rushdoony makes a principled case for a limited government of just laws, what he calls on occasion Christian Libertarianism. He defends capital punishment (9–14). He emphasizes the importance of private property as a bulwark against tyranny (83). He denounces all utopian schemes, dreamed up by Marxists and Communists, which envision political machinations ushering in a world free from disease, poverty, crime, war, prejudice, and ignorance (5). He laments the growing expectation found in the American people that government will be our savior (77). He fears we are trading our God-given liberties for promises of security (78).

What he gets wrong is that he refuses to acknowledge how our nation has gotten to this place in history. He fails to identify the source of why many people today embrace the worldview that has split our nation in half.

The Children of Caesar

Dr. Voddie Baucham persuasively argues that Christian parents need to take the initiative in their children’s education and stop turning them over to the anti-God environment of the government school system. Using Scripture, statistics, and sound reasoning, Dr. Baucham powerfully makes the case that whoever controls the schools does indeed control the world.Buy Now

In my estimation, what DeYoung mostly objects to are the things that make Law and Liberty essential reading for Christians, especially on the topic of public education. Keep in mind that Law and Liberty was never designed to be a scholarly analysis of what ails our nation. Rushdoony draws from his vast and diverse readings over decades.

I found this comment by DeYoung off base:

Rushdoony presents his arguments with an air of great learning and erudition, but, at least in this volume, there’s little sense that he has read serious and relevant academic work in the areas he’s addressing. He makes almost no effort, for example, to support his historical claims. 

DeYoung writes this after stating that the short chapters were “originally delivered as a series of radio addresses in 1966 and 1967.” Anyone familiar with Rushdoony’s works knows that he read widely. Scripts written for radio generally are not filled with relevant footnotes and scholarly arguments requiring detailed analysis. Take a look at J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism where there are few footnotes and C.S. Lewis’ The Case for Christianity that were originally “broadcast talks.” These and other essays by Lewis were compiled and became Mere Christianity. There is not a single footnote.

Rushdoony showed his scholarly erudition in his massive The Institutes of Biblical Law, The Messianic Character of American Education (1963) describing the educational philosophies in the United States beginning with Horace Mann, The One and the Many, and Politics of Guilt and Pity.

Horace Mann | National Portrait Gallery
Horace Mann (1796–1859)

For several years Rushdoony was often called as an expert witness in homeschooling court cases. In 1987, he testified in the Leeper v. Arlington case in Texas. “The plaintiffs were homeschooling families; the defendant, the public school establishment of Texas. The attorney who pled the case for the homeschoolers was Shelby Sharpe.” Here’s what Sharpe said about Rushdoony’s testimony:

His testimony was way beyond anything I’d hoped for. It was one of the few times in my career that I ever saw a witness destroy the attorney who was trying to examine him. (Source)

You can read the Rushdoony Leeper v. Arlington transcript of the Texas homeschool trial here.

Dr. Gary North had this to say about Rushdoony’s Messianic Character of American Education:

The philosophy of the statists who designed America’s public schools was messianic. R. J. Rushdoony’s 1963 book, The Messianic Character of American Education, goes through the primary sources of three dozen of these social experimenters. The footnotes are detailed. These men were open about what they were attempting to do: reform the American people and American society through tax-funded education. They disagreed with each other on the proper pedagogical methods, but they were unified in their agreement that the state, not parents, should be in charge of the education of all children. The state would then become the redeeming agent of society. It would replace churches and families as agents of redemption.

This brings me back to Keven DeYoung’s review of Rushdoony’s Law and Liberty. It seems that DeYoung’s review is most critical of Rushdoony’s views on public education. He claims that Rushdoony “has failed to describe his opponents in ways they would recognize. Rushdoony fails that test when it comes to describing public education.”

Whoever Controls the Schools Rules the World

“One of the most useful tools in the quest for power is the educational system.” It’s been said that “the philosophy of the classroom in this generation will be the philosophy of life in the next generation.” Whoever Controls the Schools Rules the World shows how government controlled education is being used as a vehicle for social change. Our worldview opponents understand that education is where the war of ideas is fought. If Christians are serious about securing the future for our children, they must understand the nature of the war we are fighting. Buy Now

If DeYoung had read Messianic Character of American Education, he would have known that Rushdoony described his opponents accurately since he, as Gary North writes, “went through the primary source documents relating to the two dozen founders of American progressive education,” and this was before the internet. “The Messianic Character of American Education was the first academic treatise to provide a detailed look at the theology of America’s only established church. No subsequent treatise has matched it for both conciseness and its comprehensiveness. To understand the confessional war we are in, begin here.”

DeYoung references four examples from Law and Liberty on the topic of education that he takes issue with:

  • “Instead of rebirth by Jesus Christ, they offer rebirth by means of a statist, progressivist curriculum. The public schools are the creatures of the state, and therefore they teach and exalt the authority of the democratic state” (43).
  • “State controlled schools have replaced religion with magic, and the goal of education today is the same as that of ancient magicians, the total control of all reality by man” (72).
  • Education today is not concerned with knowledge, but with techniques of power (167).
  • “State supported education is totalitarian education. The essence of totalitarianism is simply this, that it maintains that the state has all the answers to life, and virtually every sphere of human activity should be governed by the state…. Common to all forms of totalitarianism is a belief in the state control of education” (178).

These comments are part of Law and Liberty’s strength. They are spot on. Although written in the 1960s, they describe exactly what has taken place with public (government) education. Of course, not all teachers who are teaching in government schools would agree with Rushdoony’s assessment that they are teaching a thoroughly secular curriculum, but those who design the course material and outline public education’s ultimate goals would.

Some would even admit it, as atheist and secular humanist John Dunphy did:

I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of an­other sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey hu­manist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict be­tween the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never‑realized Christian ideal of “love thy neighbor” will be fi­nally achieved…. It will undoubtedly be a long, arduous, painful struggle replete with much sorrow and many tears, but humanism will emerge triumphant. It must if the family of humankind is to survive. [1]

Starve a fire of fuel and oxygen, and the fire will go out. Starve cancer cells of what they need to grow, and you will eliminate the cancer.

The State feeds on people. It needs people to function, to survive. The money the State spends to propagandize children comes from the people the State ultimately wants to control. Judges, teachers, politicians, and journalists have mostly been educated by the State. Why are we surprised when they support the State?

Whoever controls the schools rules the world.

There’s more in DeYoung’s article to respond to, but I’ll save that for another time.

  1. A Religion For A New Age,” The Humanist 43:1 (January-February 1983), 23, 26.[]

ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING

By Andrew McColl (B.A. Dip.Ed. M. Ed), 2nd November, 2020

The concept of families homeschooling their children has been an exciting development within the Christian community over the last 30 years or so. It is exciting because it means families are reclaiming a responsibility which God originally entrusted to them, way back when He gave the law to Moses (see Deut.6:1-7). This will be a major step, with implications for future generations of believers.

Parents who were homeschooled themselves have now begun educating their children at home. Furthermore, the availability of good curriculum (whether by hard-copy or via the internet), has made it both easily available and cheap for families.

Sue and I began homeschooling our three sons in 1990. They have all appreciated the experience. Homeschooling doesn’t guarantee godly children, but it does have the capacity to accomplish a number of things.

Firstly, it means that children are not subjected to the subtle notions of political correctness and social conformity endemic in public education, which are supposed to be taught now in all schools. These are frequently various forms of humanism, and include (but are not limited to) atheism, Darwinism, socialism, feminism and environmentalism. The scripture instructs us to

see to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men… (Col.2:8).

It is significant in relation to education, that Satan came to Eve with an intellectual proposition, and she was deceived. Godly education means that parents engage in spiritual warfare, so that they are

…destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (II Cor.10:5).

Secondly, it means that children are removed from an age-segregated peer-group. Age segregation is convenient for teachers when they are dealing with large groups of children, but education which utilises age segregation removes a child from their parents, and from the presence of older, wiser siblings. There is nothing wrong with peers as such, but if a childs’ peers are applying immature, unwise or downright evil pressure, that child’s attitudes and behaviour will probably deteriorate.

How do we know that? The Bible teaches us that

He that walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm (Prov.13:20),

and

…bad company corrupts good morals (I Cor.15:33).

When Solomon’s son Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the elders who had served his father, and took counsel from

…the young men who grew up with him,

he quickly forfeited most of his kingdom (I Kings 12:1-15). Rehoboam’s peers proved to be a disastrous influence on him. The influence from the surrounding culture of Sodom on Lot’s daughters (see Gen.19), was no better.

Thirdly, it gives parents the opportunity to teach and utilise a godly curriculum, which encourages the Biblical values and standards they are comfortable with. Fathers are encouraged in scripture to

…bring up [your children] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph.6:4).

Fourth, it gives parents the opportunity to provide a broad range of formal curriculum, mixed with the informal but essential educational experiences that they consider to be important for their children, in terms of their God-given callings, abilities and giftings. The Bible says,

Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov.22:6).

Homeschooling is not a panacea; every person needs to face the fact that they are sinners before God, every human heart needs the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and every young person needs to learn faithfulness to God, themselves.

But homeschooling a child does provide a glorious opportunity for the parent-directed and balanced education of a young person, as they prepare for life in the service of Jesus Christ.

Is that what you want to prepare your children for?

Judges 13 and Christian Education (2)

Historically, the biggest intruder and violator the family, the church and a free society has confronted, has been the State. It was the State under Pharoah that kidnapped the Hebrews and murdered their babies, and sought to kill Moses (see Exodus 1-2). It was the State that murdered Jesus’ forerunner John, that tried to kill Jesus as a baby (see Mat.2), then murdered Him around AD 33. Not content with this, it then attacked His church (Acts 12:1-3; Rev.13:1-7).

It was the State under Henry VIII in England that opposed the Reformation. He had the great translator of the scriptures into English, William Tyndale, hunted down in Europe, then strangled and burnt in 1536, and Henry’s daughter Mary was named “Bloody Mary” for good reason; she put some 300 Protestants to death.

The twentieth century graphically bore out this homicidal tendency of evil governments.[1] Its tyrants didn’t only kill those of other countries in war, they began and continued with their own.[2]  Any Russian, German or Chinese person under the reigns of Stalin, Hitler or Mao, had very good reason to be afraid for their life, at the hands of their own government.

Thus the care and education of children is not committed to government, but to parents, so it was to Samson’s future parents that the angel spoke. He firstly visited Manoah’s wife (v.3-5), then at Manoah’s request (v.8), he appeared again, to his wife (v.9). When she then hurried to find her husband, and he returned and beheld the angel, he asked,

Now when your words come to pass, what shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation? (v.12)

The angel does not answer Manoah’s question directly. He merely gives Manoah a summary of his original direction to Manoah’s wife, and twice (v.13-14) directs her to do what he commanded her, in their first meeting. Why is this relevant?                                                             

Jordan’s comment is helpful:

Why did God appear to the woman rather than to her husband? Is it because Manoah was a bad man, so God had to bypass him? Not at all. It is because the theme, again, is the Seed of the Woman. God appears to the mother, to instruct her how to raise up the Seed. Similarly, God appeared to Rebekah, not to Isaac, to give instruction about the primacy of Jacob over Esau (Gen. 25:22f.).[3]

Whilst both parents have the responsibility to raise their children, it is evident that in this case, along with Rebekah (Gen.25:22-23), it is the mother who received the word of the Lord, and in this case, she is to avoid any wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing. Matthew Henry wrote,                                                                                                          

Observe from Manoah’s enquiry, [1] In general, that, when God is pleased to bestow any mercy upon us, our great care must be how to use it well, and as we ought, because it is then only a mercy indeed when it is rightly managed. God has given us bodies, souls, estates; how shall we order them, that we may answer the intent of the donor, and give a good account of them?

[2] In particular, those to whom God has given children must be very careful how they order them, and what they do unto them, that they may drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts, form their minds and manners well betimes, and train them in the way wherein they should go. Herein pious parents will beg divine assistance…[4]

In this case, the angel gave Manoah no more information than he’d given his wife. He actually summarised what he’d already said, reinforcing to Manoah, “Let the woman pay attention to all that I said” (v.13).

Manoah’s question to the angel related to his future son’s vocation. But a person’s calling is way more important than their career. In the examples of Samson, John the Baptist and Jesus, all of whom were conceived miraculously, they were all destined to die violently, early in life. None of them had a career, that we know of. Manoah’s question to the angel (“What shall be the boy’s mode of life and his vocation?”) was a legitimate one, but the angel gave him no answer to it.

Was it for this reason? Gary North has defined a calling from God as

the most important thing that you can do in which you would be most difficult to replace.

Conclusion:                                                                                                                              The thing that was uppermost in God’s mind in relation to Samson was his calling, explained by the angel to his mother:

…he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines (Judges 13:5).

If parents are to prepare their children for anything, it is for this: their calling. Vocations are fine, but they must be secondary to the call of God.

Now here’s my question: What has God prepared your children for?  Are you doing anything about it? 


[1] One of the consequences of the First World War, was some 900,000 French children being orphaned.

[2] Hitler ordered the execution of the Christian Dietrich Bonhoeffer in 1945, weeks before Hitler committed suicide.

[3] James Jordan, “Judges: God’s War against Humanism,” 1985, p.225-226.

[4] Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary, “Joshua to Esther,” p. 204.

Judges 13 and Christian Education (1)

Introduction:                                                                                                                            

Then Manoah entreated the Lord and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom You have sent come to us again that he may teach us what to do for the boy who is to be born.” God listened to the voice of Manoah… (Judges 13:8).

The notion perpetrated by some, that the Old Testament is somehow an outdated document and of little use today, has brought immeasurable harm to the church. Furthermore, it is an idea that has no Biblical validity, and thus is a foolish notion that should be rejected out of hand. The scripture plainly tells us that

…whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Ro.15:4).

After His resurrection, when Jesus met up with two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, He reproved them for their unbelief (Luke 24:25). Then

He explained to them the things concerning Him in all the scriptures (v.27).

Later, Paul gave the Corinthians a somewhat lengthy historical lesson on Israel’s history (I Cor.10:1-10), explaining that

…these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come (v.11).

Quite simply, the Christian educator must be prepared for instruction from any passage of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation,

…for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (II Tim.3:16-17).

Firstly, we see in this passage from Judges that “the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, so that the Lord gave them into the hands of the Philistines forty years” (v.1).

This is the seventh time that the scripture records a phrase like this in Judges. (See 2:14; 3:8; 3:12-13; 4:2; 6:1; 10:7). It was nothing new for Israel since coming out of Egypt, led by Moses. Once again, their idolatry led to servitude at the hands of their enemies. The scripture then informs us (v.2) that Manoah’s wife was barren. A nation in idolatry and servitude, and a barren wife! Not such a good start for any husband.

But Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life…” (Jn.11:25). For the repentant individual, family, church or nation, despite a multitude of past failures, there is always hope in the Lord.

And in this bleak family and national situation, God sends an angel, who visited Manoah’s wife, saying,

…Behold now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and give birth to a son… (v.3).

God had visited barren women before (Sarah-Gen.21:1-2; Rebekah-Gen.25:20-22 and Rachel-Gen.30:22-24), and there would be a number more before the closing of the canon, Hannah (I Sam.1:19-20) and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-7, 57) being only two. In the case of Rebekah, God had spoken to her while the twins were in her womb (Gen.25:21-23), giving her advance knowledge of the nature of the boys, and by inference, a specific obligation towards them (see Ro.9:10-13). Now He spoke to Manoah’s wife in relation to her duties and obligations concerning this promised son, even while in her womb.

What does this mean?

Parents have serious responsibilities towards God in relation to their children, to prepare them in and for their calling before Him. Manoah’s wife was directed by the angel to take certain steps for Samson, even before she had conceived.

Does the scripture give us an earlier direction in this regard, from even before the patriarchs? Yes, it does.

Then God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth…” God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen.1:26, 28).

Some theologians have called this passage the Dominion Mandate. Children are the responsibility of their parents, and in emergencies, their families. When Esther was left orphaned, she was adopted by her Uncle Mordecai, who “…took her as his own daughter” (Esther 2:7). Churches also, have a responsibility to care for their own, and to protect the church and family from the intrusions of evildoers.

What may be a surprise for some, would be that the angel visited the woman, not her husband. But in the totality of scripture, this was not so unusual. Probably the most famous case of this, was Mary’s angelic visitation from Gabriel, with the news that she would bear a son (Luke 1:26-38). As “…a helper suitable…” (Gen.2:18) and “as a fellow heir of the grace of life…” (I Pet.3:7), husbands should rejoice in this visitation, and if the word of God should come to a family by this means, we should be glad.

(To be continued)

Why the Lockdowns Are Vital to America’s Future: Closed Public Schools

Gary North – July 18, 2020

Across the nation, school districts are closing the public schools. We have never seen anything like this before. It is magnificent.

The most sacred church of America is being closed in city after city.

The public school system has been the established church of the United States for well over a century. To see the priests of the church confined to their living rooms by means of Zoom and Skype is a delight.

Nothing that any conservative group has ever planned will have the disruptive effects of the closure of the public schools. It is going to force the teachers to use online education. This is going to make it much easier for online schools that are not run by the government to find users.

President Trump has threatened to withhold federal money from any district that does not reopen. I do not think he has the power to do this. If he does, I hope he does it. We would then have closed districts with no federal money. They would really be in crisis mode.

The great thing about all this is that it is not necessary to closing the schools. School-aged children are virtually immune to the coronavirus. So, being virtually immune, they are now going to be virtually educated. This is the best of both possible worlds. The shutdowns are unnecessary from the point of view of epidemiology, yet they are taking place.

I wish this could be attributed to a conspiracy by the conservatives. What a great thing it would be if conservatives had enough coordination, long-term planning, and courage to find a way to bamboozle the school boards of America to lock the doors. But there is no conspiracy here. There is simply the coronavirus.

In any case, conservatives are great supporters of the public school system. They think it’s a bad thing that the public schools are being closed.

Most school districts at this point are ready to reopen. So, this is not a total victory. But it is a great symbolic victory. The school districts that are not going to reopen are proving, day by day, that it is not necessary for students to be hauled by school buses into distant buildings, to be confined there for eight hours a day.

We are also seeing that it is not necessary for teachers to spend time dealing with disciplinary problems. Disciplinary problems are the parents’ responsibility, not the teacher’s responsibility. Thugs, bullies, and classroom troublemakers are being kept at home, where they belong. Teachers can then devote their time to teaching. What a concept!

If there is a resurgence of the coronavirus in the fall, schools across the nation will be closed again. I don’t know if the school districts are afraid of the coronavirus, but they are certainly afraid of lawyers and class-action suits against the districts for keeping schools open when juries will decide that they should have been closed.

Every school district that refuses to reopen is affirming the legitimacy of online education. That is a tremendous benefit to me as a seller of online education. But it’s also a great benefit to parents. They are finding out just how bad the public school teachers are at conveying information to their children. Some parents don’t like online education. But the problem is not online education. The problem is the inefficiency of the public school system and the poor quality of the teachers. Any teacher should be able to do a great job with online education. I speak from experience. The teachers I hired for the Ron Paul Curriculum did a great job. They are doing great jobs daily, except they aren’t there. They did their work years ago, and their work remains online.

With new online platforms, it’s possible for teachers to interact with students, give consultation, and benefit the educational progress of their students. This is all cheap. It is effective. It doesn’t take a school building.

The parents are upset because they want free babysitting. I understand this. People like to have free services supplied by the government. Babysitting is a big one. But it’s only good for eight months of the year. In the other four months, the parents have to do something with the children. That’s why we have latchkey children.

With online teaching, parents could legally hire retired couples to set up half a dozen desks and inexpensive Chromebook computers. The couples can monitor the children. The children can be educated effectively in their homes. The retired couples could charge $500 a month per child and thereby gain an extra $36,000 a year, but parents would have to pay for this. They don’t want to pay for it.

Parents in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Atlanta are now learning about the responsibilities of parenthood. This is a good thing.

I hope other school districts will panic in August and September and refuse to reopen. This is the greatest news for the conservative movement in my lifetime. The public schools are being undermined, day by day. Faith in the public schools is being undermined, day by day.

Children and Education

By Gary North, from Unconditional Surrender, 1994, p.181-184.

Children are a tool of dominion. They are to be sacrificed for in their youth. They are to be instructed carefully and continually in the law of God.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deut.6: 6-7). 

The time spent in training children in God’s law is time well spent, for it is a capital investment. It does produce the next generation of godly, dominion-minded families. The Bible says, “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).

This leads us to an extremely significant conclusion: education is the moral responsibility of parents.  They are the ones who must determine whether or not their children are being taught the truth. They are responsible before God for the rearing of their children. They are held responsible even for the content of their children’s education. This is why it is a great responsibility to bring children into the world.

The modern State has asserted its responsibility to educate children. This is the means by which the modern State has arrogated to itself the position of the established god on earth. The government schools have become the established religion of every nation on earth. Humanism, which is the worship of man and his works, rests on this crucial institutional foundation:  the tax-supported, State-regulated, hypothetically  neutral,  deeply  religious  humanist school system.

There can be no neutrality, yet the government schools have almost completely stamped out Christianity and the law of God by means of the neutrality myth. The State forces Christians to finance schools that teach a rival religion, the religion of humanism. The State has also attempted to regulate Christian and independently financed schools. At every point, the State has substituted tenured bureaucrats who are virtually impossible for parents to remove from authority, while it has removed parents from the seats of power in setting curricula or any other standards.

The modern State, which is a messianic, supposedly man-saving institution, has used the tax-supported, compulsory schools as the primary means of stealing children from God, by removing them from parental control. Christians complain about taxation, but they have tithed their children to the State. They have abdicated their financial responsibilities – “Let the State finance my children’s educations”– and in our day, they have abandoned almost all other aspects of their instructional responsibilities.

They have turned the production of citizens over to tax-financed, State- directed schools. The priests of the religion of humanism have been able to enlist the support of many generations of Christian parents, who have decided that it is easier to transfer the responsibility for educating their children to bureaucrats hired by the State. Naturally, parents have to delegate responsibility to someone. Few parents have the time or skills to educate their children at home. But the fundamental principle of education is the tutor or the apprentice director.

Parents hire specialists to teach their children along lines established by parents. The private school is simply an extension of this principle, with several parents hiring a tutor, thereby sharing the costs. But the parents, not the tutors, are institutionally sovereign.  Since someone must bear the costs, education should be parent-funded.  Anything else is a transfer of authority over education to an imitation family.

Children are to honour their parents (Ex. 20:12). It is the first promise which is attached to a commandment: “… that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee” (Ex.20:12b). So the parents owe their children education, food, shelter, and care, but the children owe their parents honour. This means financial support. There are mutual obligations based on personal bonds. No one in the transaction is to become an endless giver, and no one is to become a perpetual recipient.

The modern messianic State has intervened here, too. The State promises to uphold men

from womb to tomb. The State promises to become the new father. The impersonal, bureaucratic State has substituted its rule for the father’s rule, and its children– perpetual children– are to remain obedient to it all the days of their lives.

The Bible tells us that children grow up and begin new families. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen.1:24). There should be no perpetual one-way obligations. Parents are to train their children to be obedient, but also independent. They are to foster maturity in their children. The State wants perpetual children, complete obedience. The State is a sad imitation of a family. It is a pseudo-family which threatens human freedom.