The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (3)

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Mat.28:19-20).

From the days of the early church, Christians have recognised that the Great Commission didn’t commence with their government or neighbours, but with themselves and their children, at home.

Furthermore, the Great Commission doesn’t begin and end with the New Testament. How do we know this?  Because Jesus told the Jews, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (Jn.8:58), and “I and My Father are one” (Jn.10:30). Paul also reminds us that “Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction…” (Ro.15:4).

Thus Christian must go back to Genesis to begin to appreciate all of the commands of Jesus, and familiarise themselves with all of scripture as it applies to education. Hezekiah for instance, tells us that “…a father tells his sons about Your faithfulness” (Isa.38:19).

Consider Abraham in relation to the subject of education and discipleship. God said of him,

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.18:19).

This means that education is a parental responsibility. Aspects of it may be delegated, but if we delegate, we must ensure that those entrusted with this responsibility will hold the same attitudes and philosophy that we do. Otherwise we are merely giving our children over to the godless, and the Bible tells us that “…bad company corrupts good morals” (I Cor.15:33).

Over 100 years ago, Dabney commented,

It is the teaching of the Bible and of sound Political ethics that the education of children belongs to the sphere of the family and is the duty of parents. The theory that the children of the Commonwealth are the charge of the Commonwealth is a pagan one, derived from heathen Sparta and Plato’s heathen republic, and connected by regular, logical sequence with legalized prostitution and the dissolution of the conjugal tie.[1]

All State or Public education, and even education under the authority of an Education Department falls into this category. It is good for a Christian school to employ Christian teachers, but that’s only one aspect of education. What if those that ultimately oversee the curriculum have no time for God and His Word? The integrity of the educational process will quickly be trashed.

Luther observed this nearly 500 years ago. He wrote that

I am very much afraid that the universities and schools will prove to be the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the holy scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the scriptures do not reign paramount …every institution in which men are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.

But we in the modern Church haven’t taken a lot of notice of this of late. Our eyes have been on social acceptance, the money and the potential careers for ourselves, and this has led to no end of compromise.

Perhaps because we were educated at Department registered schools, we’ve said to ourselves for a hundred years, “Education means school.” But Departmentally registered schools merely perpetuate a worldly system with no relationship to scripture, so that children continue to be chronically separated from their parents whilst being educated, when parents were the ones charged by God with educational responsibility from the beginning.

The American Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machan recognised this. He wrote in 1926:

I think that when it comes to the training of human beings, you have to be a great deal more careful than you do in other spheres about preservation of the right of individual liberty and the principle of individual responsibility; and I think we ought to be plain about this — that unless we preserve the principles of liberty in this department [of Education] there is no use in trying to preserve them anywhere else. If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.

Moses did not say to the children of Israel after they had left Egypt, “Get those kids back through the Red Sea each day. That way, they’ll get educated.” No, concerning education, Moses passed on to them the commands of God (see Deut.6 & 11). That meant direct parental responsibility: no monopolising Department with power over other people’s children, no bureaucracy, no schools, and no onerous taxes for education: presently some $15,000 for each state schooled child, annually.

Education by parents, using the law of God, should have been the foundation for Israel’s future godliness, liberty and prosperity. Isn’t it about time we in the Church took our marching orders seriously, threw out the world’s pagan influences, and followed suit?

Now, that would be exciting!

 

 

[1] Robert Dabney, “Discussions,” 4:194 quoted in Gary Demar, “God and Government,” Vol.3, p.272.

The Challenge for Every Christian Parent (2)

They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood (Ps.106:34-38).

Humanism is a religion which deifies mankind. Of course, it all began in the Garden, when Satan promised Adam and Eve, “you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen.3:5).

The most obvious manifestation of humanism of our era, is Public Education. Leftist politicians generally are humanists, and great believers in Public Education. Public education is a means of indoctrinating the population with values which suit the political rulers of the nation.

Anything intrinsically wrong with that? Think of it this way: all education involves indoctrination. The question is, indoctrination in what? And this is what Christians have been most reluctant to face up to, for four generations. We’ve habitually said to ourselves, “education involves learning how to read and write, and how to relate to others in society. So, the children will go to the State School. We’ll teach them spiritual values at home.”

In the early years of the 20th century, the Fabian Society of England came out strongly in favor of state aid to independent Christian schools. When a board member resigned in protest, George Bernard Shaw rebuked him strongly. Nothing, Shaw held, would more quickly destroy these schools than state aid; their freedom and independence would soon be compromised, and, before long, their faith. Events soon proved Shaw to be right.[1]

How foolish and disobedient we have been to God’s Word. The Psalmist in the above text (recorded around 1,000 BC) offers a Holy Spirit inspired historical commentary on what the children of Israel had been doing 500 years earlier.

And what has the modern Church done? We have essentially followed the same practices. In sending our children to the public school, we have “mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them.” They were disobedient then, in 1,500 BC. Today, we repeat the process.

Now there would be some who will quickly be saying,

That’s not fair Andrew. We send our children to the Christian school, where the education is so much better.

My response is, “Who is controlling the Christian school?” If you threaten the supply of tax-monies from the Education Department to that school, that school’s leadership will cross flooded streams and crawl over broken glass to make sure their funding supply is secure. The school’s attitude is, “No funding-no school.” (In some “Christian” schools, government funding accounts for 90% of all of the school’s budget). Everything else is up for negotiation, including the curriculum.

And if the Department (dominated by humanistic bureaucrats) asks hard questions about the school’s 6-day Creation Science course, or school policies about anti-discrimination for homosexual teachers or a host of other things, which way will the school jump? Anyone can pretty well predict. The school will follow whatever path is necessary, to ensure the supply of funding continues.

Even if a school doesn’t come under direct pressure from the Department of Education, there is the implicit kind. Think of it this way. If the school gets all 125 boxes ticked for complete Departmental approval for the next 3 years, everything is hunky-dory. And if you have gone to a great deal of effort to do all the work, and committed the time and resources of the school to that project, what then do you have left, if you want to implement a Christian curriculum?

Chances are, you’ll have had enough. Chances are, you’ll say,

We’re over the line now for the registration and funding. Happy days! Do we really want to be bothered going the extra mile to press for that curriculum improvement? That would mean going back to the Department for a whole new registration process. The School Board doesn’t care. Most of the parents don’t care. The teachers are happy. What’s the problem?

So, the average “Christian” school plays the middle of the road game. The Department is kept happy, along with parents (who were never taught about this from the pulpit), and teachers.

Is this God’s way? If so, show me the scriptural validity of governments ever being involved in the education process. It’s not in the Bible, but parental responsibility is, both in the Old and New Testaments (see Deut.6; Prov.22:6; Eph.6:4).

The notion of taxes being collected for the purpose of educating children, assisting to press the national tax rates over 30-40%, only means two things. Firstly, we are a nation under judgment, and secondly, God’s way for education has been rejected.

This is what God said of Israel in Samuel’s day (see I Sam.8): God said, “…they have rejected Me from being king over them” (v.7), when the tax rate got to 10%.

Rushdoony was right, again:

Children are a God-given inheritance for our conquest of the world for Christ. They are a means of subduing the earth and exercising dominion under the Lord. If we give our children to state or private schools which are not systematically Christian in their curriculum, we are then giving the future to God’s enemies, and He will hold us accountable for laying waste our heritage.[2]

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                        The body of Christ has a lot of searching of heart to do, today. We will have to apply ourselves in faithfulness to Christ, to our children’s education. This will require some major changes in how we do things in the future, if we really want to please the Lord of heaven and earth.

Refusing to commit our children to godless institutions and people for their education will be the first step.

Is that what you’re ready for?

 

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.446.

[2] Rousas Rushdoony, “In His Service,” 2009, p.20.

The First Church Of Christian Gnosticism

By Gary DeMar, Dec 31, 2019

Many Christians believe and teach a form of factual neutrality where some subjects, for example, science, geography, politics, mathematics, can and should be taught without any regard to religion since “facts speak for themselves.” This is most evident in education where a self-conscious sacred-secular divide is maintained and supported by Christians. Ninety percent of Christian parents send their children to government schools. Since these parents believe that math is math and history is history, the religious stuff can be made up at church.

One hour of Sunday school and an hour at Youth Meeting each week and maybe a mission trip in the summer can’t make up for five days a week, six hours each day, 10 months of the year, 12+ years of a government-developed curriculum that is humanistic to the core. The humanists understand the importance of education in creating worldview shifts and control, so why don’t Christians? Charles Francis Potter, who founded the First Humanist Society of New York in 1929 and signed the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933, made no secret of the purpose of the American public schools:

Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American 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 teaching?1

  1. J. Rushdoony pointed out the Humanist design for education in his books Intellectual Schizophrenia(1961) and The Messianic Character of American Education(1963). According to Rushdoony, modern government education “is erosive and destructive of all culture except the monolithic state, which is then the ostensible creator and patron of culture. When it speaks of the whole child, it speaks of a passive creature who is to be moulded by the statist education for the concept of the good life radically divorced from God and from transcendental standards.”2 Rushdoony was not the first to understand the goal of statist education. Robert L. Dabney (1820–1898) saw it more than 100 years ago:

[T]he Jeffersonian doctrine of the absolute severance and independence of church and state, of the entire secularity of the State, and the absolutely equal rights, before the law, of religious truth and error, of paganism, atheism, and Christianity, has also established itself in all the States; and still the politicians, for electioneering ends, propagate this State education everywhere. By this curious circuit “Christian America” has gotten herself upon this thoroughly pagan ground; forcing the education of responsible, moral, and immortal beings, of which religion must ever be the essence, into the hands of a gigantic human agency, which resolves that it cannot and will not be religious at all. Surely, some great religious body will arise in America to lift its Christian protest against this monstrous result!3

What would America be like today if the Church of Jesus Christ had heeded Dabney’s warnings and some “great religious body” had arisen to make the break from an educational system that was designed to be the indoctrination center for the State and its messianic motives? The usual Christian response is to reform the public schools, to get more parents involved, sue to get a moment of silence, prayers at sporting events and commencement exercises, release programs, and legislation to teach the Bible as literature as they’ve done in some states.4 There will be pressure groups in some cities to teach the Koran. Then there’s the question of how the Bible will be taught. Will the Old Testament be taught as myth? For example, NBC News anchor Chuck Todd has said that “Trump voters ‘want to be lied to’ since they believe in ‘fairy tales’ — like Noah’s Ark.”

Will someone teaching on the Olivet Discourse point out that Jesus was mistaken about His coming?

Some years ago, I received an email from a woman who asked me if I could direct her to some information that refutes Gnosticism. She wrote that a friend of hers “claims to be on an extraordinarily intense spiritual ‘pilgrimage’ of ‘really pressing in to know God intimately’—but this guy has in effect divorced himself from the material world and from all relationships (including his wife and 10 children) which he views as a hindrance to his spiritual growth.”

Gnostics claim to have special knowledge (gnosis is the Greek word for “knowledge”) on how to live the Christian life that is not revealed to “ordinary Christians.” God’s revelation in Scripture is not good enough or sufficient to give direction on how to live the Christian life. Of course, this refutes what the Bible says when it states that Scripture is “adequate” and equips the Christian “for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). She went on to say that this friend, a farmer, “was putting up hay recently and needed to get it in as they were expecting rain. Before he finished, he remembered that he had scheduled a Bible study, so he left his hay in order to keep the ‘spiritual’ duty. The rain came and the hay was lost, but he felt justified that he had chosen the higher calling.”

Another feature of Gnosticism is the belief that there are two separate realms—“one spiritual, the other material. The spiritual realm, created by God, [is] all good; the material realm, created by the demiurge, all evil. Man [needs] to be saved, not from Original Sin, but from enslavement to matter.”5

A further expression of Gnosticism was expressed by someone who “doesn’t believe in voting because that is a ‘worldly affair,’ and he wants only to be engaged in truly spiritual activities.” For the Gnostic, the material world is on a lower plane. Only “spiritual things” are useful and profitable. A Gnostic-like belief might forbid marriage while advocating “abstaining from foods” even though “God has created these things “to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:3). Godliness for the Gnostic is defined as a retreat from the world and despising the things of the world.

[The Gnostics] devised a dualistic cosmology to set against the teachings of the early Christian Church, which, they claimed, were only common deceptions, unsuited for the wise. The truth was esoteric. Only the properly initiated could appreciate it. It belonged to a secret tradition which had come down through certain mystery schools. The truth was, God could never become man. The Gnostic secret is that the spirit is trapped in matter, and to free it, the world must be rejected.6

For the Gnostic, life “must be escaped at any cost.”7 But if there can be no immediate material escape, then a spiritual escape is a good enough substitute. The Gnostic escapes from the responsibilities of history. But for the Christian, history is the realm of decision making, and, therefore, is anti-Gnostic. If we are not responsible for history, then we are not responsible for decision making. Even a casual reading of the Bible will show that our faith is to be lived out in the world so that “fruit”– good works — is manifested for the world to see and for Christians to judge (Matt. 7:15–23). No restrictions are placed on where this fruit is to mature.

One of the central issues that divided gnostics and orthodox Christians in the early Church was their understanding of the relationship between religion and politics. The Church Fathers accepted the political worldliness of the Jewish faith, contending that religion and politics are interconnected and inseparable. The early Puritans and even Jonathan Edwards, following classical Calvinism, would have been clearly orthodox in this regard. The world of politics, of human institutions, was for them an essential locus of God’s redemptive work.8

What is contemporary Gnosticism like? While it might not manifest itself in ascetic practices like pole-sitting, it does reveal itself in an institutional escape. Institutional escape is not in the Protestant tradition, however. Our nation’s earliest Christian citizens did not view escape, eschatologically, ascetically, or institutionally, as being biblical. Education, publishing, law, science, medicine, and politics, to take just some worldview areas, were to be governed by the Word of God as were ecclesiastical affairs. Modern-day Gnosticism thrives in a climate of escapism which means a retreat from this world and responsibility to do anything to change any part of it. If this world means nothing, then I am not responsible for its evils.

  1. Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion(New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128. Quoted in David A. Noebel, J.F. Baldwin, and Kevin Bywater, Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), vi. []
  2. J. Rushdoony, Intellectual Schizophrenia: Culture, Crisis and Education (Vellecito, CA: Ross House Books, [1961] 1998), 10. []
  3. Robert L. Dabney, Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney: Secular, C. R. Vaughan, 4 vols. (Harrisonburg, Virginia, Sprinkle Publications,1994), 4:548. []
  4. David Van Biema, “The Case for teaching the Bible,” Time(March 22, 2007). []
  5. Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult(New York: Dorset Press, [1977] 1989), 140–141. []
  6. Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, 147. []
  7. [1]Philip Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics(New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 122. []
  8. Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics, 123–124. []

Absent Without Leave: Fathers and the Education of Their Sons

Gary North (www.garynorth.com), March 06, 2018
What if fathers in homeschooling families agreed to accept all of the responsibility associated with educating their children starting in the sixth grade? Would their wives resist?
This would mean that the fathers would have to teach chemistry, calculus, physics, business, personal finance, and everything associated with earning a living in a technological world.
Are most fathers prepared to do this? No. They are not academically prepared. Until the advent of the Khan Academy, fathers also were not prepared in terms of the time that it would require for them to do this and also earn a living.
This has been the #1 social problem of Western civilization since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, which was approximately in 1800. Fathers began to go into factories, where they would spend 12 hours a day, not counting the time it took them to get to and from work. At that point, throughout the West, there was a new principle of education. Throughout the history of mankind, fathers had taught their sons how to earn a living, and mothers had taught their daughters how to run a household. But in English-speaking North America and the British Isles, this tradition was abandoned, family by family. Industrialization led to an historic increase of per capita wealth. It changed all of society. But the price of this transformation was that husbands abandoned the training of their sons to women.
In the second half of the 19th century in the United States, the public school system began to take children out of homes. They turned these children over to unmarried young women who had minimal educations. These young women taught in what we like to think of as the little red schoolhouse. They taught everything from first grade through high school.
Not that many young men went to high school. They went back to their families’ farms, where the rural fathers finally regained some control over their education. Others went into factories. But after World War I, that tradition also ended. Compulsory education laws forced children to stay in high school, where there were sometimes male teachers. There were no male teachers before high school.
In Western civilization since at least World War I, education has been based on females’ control over the education of boys prior to high school. In high school, there have been male and female teachers, with males dominating the natural sciences. Higher education has always been dominated by males, especially in the natural sciences. The forced hiring of women — the EEOC’s quota system — has led to the political correctness of the modern university, with safe spaces and all the rest of it. Higher education is being increasingly feminized. The educational system from kindergarten through graduate school will soon be in the hands of women and men who act on behalf of women. The main exceptions will be physics, chemistry, engineering, and the rigorous natural sciences.
Here is the economic bottom line: for classroom-based education, women are cheaper than men to hire, and therefore price competition will always favor women in the classrooms.
The reconstruction of Western society has to begin with the willingness of fathers to reclaim control over the education of their sons. Anything less than this will simply accelerate the feminization of the West.
THE INTERNET
Internet-based education is the one area in which men can reclaim their lost authority over the education of their sons. That is because price competition is so fierce that it drives down the cost of education to such an extent that men can regain control over their sons’ education by assigning courses at the high school level and even the middle school level as digital courses produced by men.
The question is this: will the male heads of households insist that they are responsible before God and other men for the education of their sons, and therefore make the decisions regarding what is taught to their sons and by whom? If they have access to online curriculum materials that are taught by men above grade 6, they can safely defer the education of their sons to male-based curriculum programs. But to do this, they have to reassert their authority in their households. They have to insist that they are in charge, and their wives are not in charge.
That is the problem. They are not in charge. They have deferred responsibility to their wives over education of their sons, as their fathers did, and their grandfathers did, and their great-grandfathers did. The only exceptions to this are the two Tyler brothers, whose grandfather was John Tyler, who was born in 1790. Their father was the president of William and Mary College. But with the exception of these two men, the legacy of education in the United States has been one of feminization.
We hear a lot about a subculture of men who are reasserting their authority. I regard this as posturing. We will not see men reasserting authority until they reassert control over the education of their sons. Spare me the burning pyre celebrations every year in the desert. I want to see homeschooling that has mostly masculine instructors above the sixth grade. In the long run, it would be better to have male instructors from kindergarten through high school, but that will be a task for a future generation.
I have no objection to women teaching girls. They have taught their daughters from the beginning of time. But the moment we say that there is equality of educational opportunity, men should take over the educational system for the sake of the sons, and the daughters will be allowed to tag along. If there were completely feminine-based curriculum materials online, and these were assigned by fathers to their daughters, that would be fine with me. I am opposed to the idea of equality in education generally, because I think the genders are different. But to the extent that we want to train our daughters to serve as men in business, government, and even the military, then we have to accept the fact that the daughters ought to be trained by men or highly successful women.
CONCLUSION
My problem as the marketer for the Ron Paul Curriculum is that mothers make the curriculum decisions, not fathers. I think they would be willing to surrender control over the education of their sons if their husbands demanded it and took over. But the husbands don’t demand it. They are absent without leave. Mothers have been forced for the last two centuries to intervene in the formal education of their sons. That was why the public schools gained such tremendous support after 1840. Mothers found a way to remove this obligation from their lives, and their husbands voted for politicians who recommended the creation of tax-funded educational programs. After women got the vote, men and women voted for the modern public school system.

Christianity and the Academy (1)

(Editor’s Note): I completed a series entitled “The Great Christian Revolution” in about 2012, of which “Christianity and the Academy” was a part. I’m dividing this up into a number of weekly installments. A Mc)

By Andrew McColl, 12th November, 2019

  Introduction:

The sovereignty of the self-contained God is the key to every field, in that only the God of Scripture makes all things possible and explicable and is thus the basic premise not only of theology, but of philosophy, science and indeed all knowledge. In that God is the Creator of all things, He is their only valid principle of interpretation, in that they derive both their existence and meaning from His creative act.[1]

All intellectual studies must begin with God; they must have a theological base. If they do not, they will inevitably be based on the shifting sands of human reason. That will never be honouring to God, will not result in us pleasing Him, and will be to our loss. As education is a vital aspect of the Great Commission (Mat.28:18-20), Christian people must apply themselves to this task seriously, as a duty before God.

Education is plainly linked to what one believes about God. If God “made the heavens and the earth” (Gen.1:1), “upholds all things by the Word of His power” (Heb.1:3), and has made man in His image, then God is inescapably the prime fact of life in the universe, with man as the pinnacle of His creation (Ps.8:3-8). Because he has been created by God, man has meaning, purpose and responsibility.

Theology must be applied to education, because “it is impossible to understand the educational process apart from God Himself. The Christian begins with God as the Creator and Source of all true education. He believes that the God Who made us has not left man alone in his pursuit of knowledge, but in His lovingkindness has given to man a revelation of Himself and His plans in the person of Jesus Christ and in the Bible.” [2] The Bible says of God, “who teaches like Him?” (Job 36:22).

Applying theology to education will challenge us, that man was endowed with the ability and duty to find both the meaning of life and his own purpose on earth, within the will of God.[3] Thus man through Christ must begin by submitting to God and seeking first His kingdom (Mat.6:33), be trained and educated (Prov.22:6; Heb.5:14), grow in Christian maturity, be “neither corrupt or negligent…” (Dan.6:4), learn to work diligently “as for the Lord” (Col.3:23), and view all of life as a task of Christian service.

Man will recognise his total depravity outside the redemptive work of Christ, but realise that in Christ, he is “a new creation” (II Cor.5:17), obeying the law of God (Ps.119), accepting the command to be an “ambassador of Christ” (II Cor.5:20), as an “heir of the world” (Ro.4:13), with the task to “fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen.1:28).

Man in subjection to Jesus Christ must understand that our historical problem from the beginning, has been in relation to the source and acquisition of knowledge. This revolt against knowledge should warn us, that if one does not begin with the truth about God, he cannot conclude his argumentation with either God or truth.[4] Apostate man’s claim to total intellectual autonomy, away from the knowledge of God, has driven him to a series of irreconcilable intellectual dilemmas.[5]

Human knowledge must be utterly dependent upon the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man.[6] God alone is an utterly self-explanatory person: “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord (Jer.23:24). If He alone is self-explanatory, then He must be the first and final point in human predication. The Bible as the voice of God must be the central orientating principle around which all knowledge is knowable and understood. When this is done, the teacher makes God the final reference point in all things.[7]

Believers must therefore examine themselves, in our beliefs and acceptance of knowledge, to ensure that we are “in the faith” (II Cor.13:5), and not being carried along in education by forms of secular knowledge with faulty assumptions, constructed upon foundations of epistemological sand.[8]

The Bible says that Christ is the One, “…in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col.2:3). This logically means that God cannot be God, if He is not the absolute sovereign, the governing presupposition and ground of all knowledge.[9] The command that we are to be “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…” (II Cor.10:5), requires the total intellectual submission of the believer to Jesus Christ, not just the giving up of occasional parts, on the basis of convenience or preference.

 Christian education… must renounce once and for all the false separation between secular and sacred truth. It must see that truth in science, and history, in mathematics, art, literature and music belong just as much to God as truth in religion. While it recognises the primacy of the spiritual truth revealed in the Bible and incarnate in Christ, it acknowledges that all truth, wherever it is found, is of God. For Christian education there can be no discontinuity in truth, but every aspect of truth must find its unity in the God of truth. [10]

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “By What Standard?” 1995, Foreward.

[2] A. Kienel (Ed), “The Philosophy of Christian School Education,” 1986, p.7

[3] Gary North (Ed), “The Foundations of Christian Scholarship,” 1979, p.64.

[4] Greg Bahnsen, quoted in North, above, p.217.

[5] North, “Foundations,” p.vii.

[6] Cornelius Van Til, quoted in Rousas Rushdoony, “Salvation and Godly Rule,” 1983, p.177.

[7] Blake, in North, “Foundations,” p.108.

[8] North, “Foundations,” p.vii. Epistemology is the study of how knowledge is acquired.

[9] Rousas Rushdoony, “Revolt against Maturity,” 1987, p.330.

[10] Frank Gaebelein, quoted in Kienel, p.32.

Beginning with Home Schooling (23)

One Of The First Places To Start To Fix The Nation

The elephant in the room is the public school system. It’s filling our nation with cultural toxicity. Public schools have added same-sex sexuality and transgenderism into the curriculum. Some will say, “but not in our schools.” California is the biggest consumer of textbooks. When textbook manufacturers are told to include these topics in future editions of their textbooks, they will comply. Other states will have to purchase these textbooks out of necessity.

It’s long past time to make a clean break from this idol. For decades Christians have been trying to save the public schools. It isn’t working.

While Christians try to “save” their beloved public schools, another generation of young people is seduced by the anti-Christian worldview of public education. This view is not popular with the majority of Christians. Criticizing public education in America is akin to blaspheming all that is holy and good.

Some Christians want to have the Bible taught in Public Schools hoping this will fix a lot that’s wrong with them. Here’s my opinion on that:

In order to justify the continued support of public education, the following reasons are often given.

Young people need to know about the Bible to “understand the English language, English literature, history, art, music or culture.”

There is truth to this. “For example, there are over 1,200 documented references to the Bible in Shakespeare’s 36 plays. If you don’t know the Bible, you really can’t understand Shakespeare. You can’t get past the first sentence of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick — ‘Call me Ishmael’ — if you don’t understand who Ishmael was in the Bible. Of the allusions that a student needs to know for Advanced Placement in English Composition and Literature, approximately two-thirds are Biblical allusions, according to AP Literature and Composition. If you don’t know the Bible, you won’t do well on this part of the Advanced Placement test.” (Fox News)

As many of you already know, public schools are getting pressure to get away from teaching a Eurocentric-based curriculum. It’s good to teach the impact the Bible has had on our world, but do we really want this done by people who detest the Bible?

Will the Koran be next to teach in public schools?

Opposition for teaching the Bible in public schools has a long history because the nation was relatively Christian, and teaching the Bible was seen as a threat to secularism. The Bible is no longer perceived as a threat as long as the secularists control its message.

We can’t afford to send our children to private schools.

If Christians pulled their children out of public schools, voted down every tax increase having anything to do with education, voted to repeal the education portion of the property tax, and voted for candidates who would cut every dollar from education funding, then most families could afford the costs involved. The money spent on trying to save the public schools would go a long way in establishing scholarship funds for children whose parents cannot afford a private-school education. Yes, it may even take some sacrificing on the part of parents. Of course, home-schooling is always an option. Children can help out by working. When your children get older, have them work to share the financial load.

It’s not the church’s job to educate.

I heard this one recently. Christian school critics balk at turning over the church’s facilities for educational purposes because the tithe is designed to support the church’s work, not the education of children. That’s why we pay taxes. So the church building is vacant six days a week while Christians complain that it’s too expensive to start a Christian school. The Sunday school classrooms are used for forty-five minutes a week! What a waste of God’s money. So we send our children to public schools where they are indoctrinated for thirty hours a week in the latest non-Christian propaganda. To combat secularized education, Christian school critics develop “youth programs” for Wednesday and Sunday evenings and lament the fact that parents don’t take advantage of them. These kids are getting at most two hours of weekly instruction, while a child in a Christian school receives thirty hours of training from a biblical perspective. There’s no comparison. Most of these “youth programs” are weak entertainment times with a “devotional” to give them legitimacy. There are exceptions, but not many.

My child is a witness for Christ in public schools.

He or she may be. But I wonder how much witnessing really takes place in public schools. Most of the time children are sitting behind desks listening to a teacher lecture. From the time I entered public school no one ever presented the gospel to me. It’s the friendships that are developed after school that lead to witnessing opportunities: the neighborhood, playground, ball field. Witnessing can take place anywhere. Jesus met people at work and in their homes. He even went into the temple. If you want to follow Jesus’ example, then go witness to Jews in their local temples.

While there are few opportunities to witness in the public schools, students are captive to an anti-Christian worldview for at least six hours every day. This says nothing of the worldview promoted by a child’s peers from pagan homes.

Our school is different.

Maybe in degree. My guess is that most parents have no idea what’s going on in their child’s school. If they don’t hear any bad news, they assume that all is well. Keep in mind that public school children are not comparing their education with the public school education that was prominent forty years ago. And it wasn’t that great back then. The education students are receiving right now is normal for them. It’s the only standard they know, and it’s not a very good one. Anyway, a school that does not teach from a Christian perspective is at best third-rate.

I want my child to be exposed to the ‘real’ world.

What is the “real world”? The real world is where Christ dwells and where His Word is taught. Christianity is not unreal. If it is, then why not worship with pagans since their domain is the “real world.” Remember, Adam and Eve “fell” from what was normal, that is, from a world where they were in intimate fellowship with their Creator. A world without Christ is an insane and irrational world. A Christian school is a place of re-creation, a redemptive attempt to get back to the original design. Schools that Christians establish should act as magnets for unbelievers to be brought back to the garden. Christians should be setting the agenda for what’s real, honest, and good so as to be a light for those who are in darkness.

Balaam’s Donkey

I believe God has been giving us a very clear message through the modern-day equivalent of Balaam’s donkey: the court system. Balaam was called on by Balak to prophesy against Israel. God had warned Balaam to stay away from Moab. Balaam refused. The Angel of the LORD met Balaam on the road as he was going down to meet Balak, the king of Moab. Balaam’s donkey refused to confront the Angel of the LORD. Balaam struck his donkey three times to force him ahead. Finally, Balaam realized that it was the LORD who was directing him to turn around.

Repeatedly the courts have ruled against Christians and their attempts to bring Christianity back to the classroom. Like Balaam, they refuse to heed the message that God is giving through the Court. God is telling parents to seek a different route.

Prayers at sporting events and around flag poles do not constitute a Christian education. The entire curriculum must be Christ-centered. Saying a prayer at the beginning of the school day does not sanctify the secularization of education that takes place for the next six hours. The prayer ritual only gives unjustified validity to what is inherently corrupt.

Why Education must be Christian 1.

The end of learning is to repair the ruin of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, and to be like him (John Milton).

 Ask people why education is important, and you’ll get lots of reasons. Some of them I would agree with, but many I won’t. Why?

Because educational lies have been with us since the first one in the Garden: “…you will be like God…” (Gen.3:5). We know where lies originate.

Now I’m a firm believer that education is of great assistance to individuals, families, churches and society. But it has to be education in the truth, as defined by scripture. The Psalmist said,

I do not sit with deceitful men, nor will I go with pretenders. I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked (Ps.26:4).

Any society has to be careful what it accepts as true. We Christians especially, had better be very fussy about what we choose to believe and why, because deceit and pretension are works of the wicked.

But there’s more. People without a thorough commitment to the truth are very susceptible to being manipulated. Money, sex and power are not evil of themselves, but history shows a great number of people have been very easily manipulated by them.

Some other issues that have been used to manipulate people are fear and guilt, and no doubt there are others. When Jesus spoke about the truth, and Pilate asked Him “What is truth?” (Jn.18:38), implying it was of little significance to him, he was very soon afterwards politically manipulated by the Jews. They warned him, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar” (Jn.19:12).

Pilate really did want to free Jesus, but he also wanted to preserve his reputation and career. Which was it to be? Four verses later, “…He handed Him over to them to be crucified.”

Since Charles Darwin, the church has got very wobbly about the issue of 6 Day Creation, because it was deeply challenged over Biblical inerrancy. A significant proportion of Church leaders then and now have preferred to hide under the blankets, wishing the issue would go away. It won’t. If Christian leaders have gone AWOL on inerrancy and a 6 Day Creation, is it any wonder that the church’s moral authority has been shredded in the modern era?

I have a friend aged about 30, who attended a large, local “Christian” school for 12 years. In those 14,400 hours of education, was he ever told (either verbally or in print) that the Lord our God made the world in 6 days? He can’t ever remember it. Yes, lots of other things like devotions, worship, prayer with and for the children, but a clear statement of Creationism?

Sorry, we don’t do that kind of thing. As Jesus said in another context, “…these are the things you should have done, without neglecting the others” (Mat.23:23).

When we give up on such fundamental issues, no one can tell what will be the next piece of territory lost. Maurice Newman in “The Australian” recently explained,

When then prime minister Tony Abbott wanted to establish a taskforce to investigate the bureau’s [of Meteorology’s] temperature dataset and other related records, the cabinet, Environment Minister Greg Hunt and his department all came to the bureau’s aid by watering down the proposal and setting up a panel approved by the BoM to “strengthen governance oversight”.

Hunt said: “In doing this, it is important to note that public trust in the bureau’s data and forecasts, particularly as they relate to bushfires and cyclones, is paramount.”[1]

Greg Hunt doesn’t want unpleasant questions being asked about the accuracy of the Bureau of Meteorology’s data. Why would that be, Greg?

Well, it might bring into public focus further questions about “Climate Change,” and what government departments do with taxpayers’ money. So, the Mega-dollar Bureau is asked to monitor itself. Won’t that be a joy? The truth is sacrificed for a bag of bureaucratic sweet talk.

To change the future for the nation, we really have to begin with the children of the nation, beginning with the children of the church. This is why the consistent education of Christian children remains a controversial subject in the Christian community.

You thought that you’d be popular and everyone would like, understand and appreciate you when you decided to home school your children? Not at the moment because of the state of the church, and this may take a long time to change.

The Lord spoke much about education through Moses in books like Deuteronomy, and Moses gives us a wonderful example about how he handled the temptations to compromise. The New Testament says,

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter, choosing to rather endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ better than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen (Heb.11:24-27).

Conclusion:

Your radical decision to home school your children using a Christian curriculum will not be appreciated by all, in the same way that Moses’ decisions weren’t appreciated by all. But in exposing them daily to God’s Word, without the corrupting influences of humanist curriculum, teachers and peer-group, you are preparing them for something: a faithful, uncompromising life, and eternity in the presence of the God of truth.

 

 

[1] Maurice Newman, “Bureau of Meteorology needs to Open Records to Audit,” ‘The Australian,’ 1/2/2016.

Beginning with Home Schooling (5)

God has ordained various institutions in society: the family, the Church and the State. The wise person wants to honour the things God has designed and made, to ensure he’s in harmony with God’s plan for all of creation and His people. As Gamaliel advised (Acts 5:38-39), the wise person doesn’t want to end up fighting against God.

But life gets challenging when institutions refuse to acknowledge the God-ordained limits on their authority. This has been a common thing historically.

Pharoah believed he was a god, and could take innocent lives. He told the Hebrew midwives, “when you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live” (Ex.1:16).

Herod was similar. He was threatened by the news of another king in Israel. His solution? Kill the child (Mat.2:16). Hitler said in 1937,

This new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.[1]

In the context of the Hitler Youth, he also said in 1938,

These boys join our organisation at the age of ten…and they will not be free again for the rest of their lives.[2]

What was he doing? Violating God’s order, by usurping the role of the German family. But as Shortt said,

Nowhere in the Bible does God delegate the education of children to the state or to the disciples of other religions.[3]  

Education Departments are not in the Bible, but parental responsibility most certainly is. The sentiments of Education Departments around Australia are not the same as Hitler’s, but there is a similarity: they treat families as commodities for the Department’s good, and they lord it over them, rather than viewing themselves as being employed by taxpayers to assist families in their childrens’ education. This difference in attitude has important consequences.

What else do Pharoah, Herod, Hitler and Australian Education Departments have in common? They are all humanistic. They all concur with Pharoah. “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?” (Ex.5:2)

From Genesis onwards, God’s people have had to conclude that when governments move out of their God-appointed roles and become abusive and tyrannical, this requires great shrewdness and flexibility on the part of God’s people.

What strategy did Moses’ mother and his elder sister Miriam employ to protect Moses? (See Ex.2:1-10). The Bible tells us that Moses’ parents “…were not afraid of the king’s edict” (Heb.11:23), and you could only call theirs’ a sophisticated strategy of subterfuge. Jochebed even deceived Pharoah’s daughter into believing she was in no way related to the child (v.7-9), and she finished up being paid to breast-feed him.

When the Hebrew mid-wives (see Exodus 1) knew they were dealing with a baby-murderer, they were quite content to utilise deception, and lie to him.                  

Was this right on their part? Yes, because the Bible says that “you shall not murder” (Ex.20:13). It says that seven things are an abomination to God, and one of these is “…the shedding of innocent blood” (Prov.6:16-17).

The essential issue is this:

The illegitimate laws of a civil government may be legitimately skirted when they come into direct conflict with a fundamental Biblical principle.[4]

The Bible makes it very clear that the mid-wives “feared God” (Ex.1:17, 21), and that God subsequently “was good to the mid-wives… [and] established households for them” (v.20, 21). They preferred to lie to a murderous Pharoah (whom God later drowned in the Red Sea-Ex.14-15), than to kill innocent Hebrew babies, and God honoured their obedience and faithfulness to Him in giving them families of their own.[5]

Christians must conclude this fact: when government officials move beyond their God-given tasks and attempt to usurp the role of the family (as they have frequently done since Genesis), we need to know who we are dealing with, and determine how to respond. For a Department to implicitly claim that “We are responsible for the education of your child,” is a usurpation of parental responsibility that requires wisdom, prayer and initiative on our part.

In this, the Bible encourages us. It says that “When the wicked rise, men hide themselves…” (Prov.28:28), and that “a wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust” (Prov.21:22).

What about today?

The New Testament’s position is replacement, not conquest. With this perspective, Christians in the fourth century captured the Roman Empire. Yet that empire had persecuted them for three centuries.[6]


[1] Quoted in William Shirer, “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” 1968, p.343.

[2] Quoted in A. Klonne, “Youth in the Third Reich,” 1982, p.80.

[3] Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.55.

[4] Gary North, “Moses and Pharoah,” 1985, p.67.

[5] See North, “Moses and Pharoah,” ch.4: “Illegitimate State Power.”

[6] Gary North, “Ethics and Dominion,” 2012, p.237.

STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND GET YOUR CHILDREN OUT!

By Gary DeMar, May 3, 2019 

The films Get Out (2017) and Rosemary’s Baby (1968) are disturbing but not as disturbing as today’s government schools. Public schools are corrupting the minds of the next generation of voters and leaders and it seems that a majority of Christians don’t care. They continue to send their children to the schools of their enemies.

Then there’s this:

The state of California is poised to adopt a no-holds-barred K-12 health curriculum that teaches children as young as kindergarten about gender identity issues and talks explicitly with high school students about every imaginable sex act.

The solution? Allow students to opt out. Don’t opt out … Get out.

Others claim a form of factual neutrality where some subjects—science, geography, politics, mathematics—can be taught without any regard to religion since “facts speak for themselves.” This is most evident in education where a self-conscious sacred-secular divide is maintained and supported by Christians. Ninety percent of Christian parents send their children to government schools. Since these parents believe that math is math and history is history, the religious stuff can be made up at church.

But one hour of Sunday school and an hour at Youth Meeting each week and maybe a mission trip in the summer can’t make up for five days a week, six hours each day, 10 months of the year, 12+ years of a government-developed curriculum that is humanistic to the core. The humanists understand the importance of education in creating worldview shifts and control, so why don’t Christians? Charles Francis Potter, who founded the First Humanist Society of New York in 1929 and signed the first Humanist Manifesto in 1933, made no secret of the purpose of the American public schools:

Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American 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 teaching?1

Rousas J. Rushdoony pointed out the Humanist design for education in Intellectual Schizophrenia (1961) and The Messianic Character of American Education (1963). According to Rushdoony, modern government education “is erosive and destructive of all culture except the monolithic state, which is then the ostensible creator and patron of culture. When it speaks of the whole child, it speaks of a passive creature who is to be moulded by the statist education for the concept of the good life radically divorced from God and from transcendental standards.”2 Rushdoony was not the first to understand the goal of statist education. Robert L. Dabney (1820–1898) saw it more than 100 years ago:

[T]he Jeffersonian doctrine of the absolute severance and independence of church and state, of the entire secularity of the State, and the absolutely equal rights, before the law, of religious truth and error, of paganism, atheism, and Christianity, has also established itself in all the States; and still the politicians, for electioneering ends, propagate this State education everywhere. By this curious circuit “Christian America” has gotten herself upon this thoroughly pagan ground; forcing the education of responsible, moral, and immortal beings, of which religion must ever be the essence, into the hands of a gigantic human agency, which resolves that it cannot and will not be religious at all. Surely, some great religious body will arise in America to lift its Christian protest against this monstrous result!3

What would America be like today if the Church of Jesus Christ had heeded Dabney’s warnings and some “great religious body” had arisen to make the break from an educational system that was designed to be the indoctrination center for the State and its messianic motives?

The usual Christian response is to reform the public schools, to get more parents involved, sue to get a moment of silence, prayers at sporting events and commencement exercises, release programs, and pass laws to teach the Bible as literature as they’ve done in Georgia.4 There will be pressure groups in some cities to teach the Koran. Then there’s the question of how the Bible will be taught. Will the Old Testament be taught as myth? Will someone teaching on the Olivet Discourse point out that Jesus was mistaken about His coming? There is the larger issue of funding. Public schools are tax-payer funded. People who have no children are taxed to pay for the education of other children.

The First Church of Christian Gnosticism

Not long ago, I received an email from a woman who asked me if I could direct her to some information that refutes Gnosticism. She wrote that a friend of hers “claims to be on an extraordinarily intense spiritual ‘pilgrimage’ of ‘really pressing in to know God intimately’—but this guy has in effect divorced himself from the material world and from all relationships (including his wife and 10 children) which he views as a hindrance to his spiritual growth.”

Gnostics claim to have special knowledge (gnosis is the Greek word for “knowledge”) on how to live the Christian life that is not revealed to “ordinary Christians.” God’s revelation in Scripture is not good enough or sufficient to give direction on how to live the Christian life. Of course, this refutes what the Bible says when it states that Scripture is “adequate” and equips the Christian “for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). She went on to say that this friend, a farmer, “was putting up hay recently and needed to get it in as they were expecting rain. Before he finished, he remembered that he had scheduled a Bible study, so he left his hay in order to keep the ‘spiritual’ duty. The rain came and the hay was lost, but he felt justified that he had chosen the higher calling.”

Another feature of Gnosticism is the belief that there are two separate realms — “one spiritual, the other material. The spiritual realm, created by God, [is] all good; the material realm, created by the demiurge, all evil. Man [needs] to be saved, not from Original Sin, but from enslavement to matter.”5

A further expression of Gnosticism was expressed by someone who “doesn’t believe in voting because that is a ‘worldly affair,’ and he wants only to be engaged in truly spiritual activities.” For the Gnostic, the material world is on a lower plane. Only “spiritual things” are useful and profitable. A Gnostic-like belief might forbid marriage while advocating “abstaining from foods” even though “God has created these things “to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:3). Godliness for the Gnostic is defined as a retreat from the world and despising the things of the world.

[The Gnostics] devised a dualistic cosmology to set against the teachings of the early Christian Church, which, they claimed, were only common deceptions, unsuited for the wise. The truth was esoteric. Only the properly initiated could appreciate it. It belonged to a secret tradition which had come down through certain mystery schools. The truth was, God could never become man. The Gnostic secret is that the spirit is trapped in matter, and to free it, the world must be rejected.6

For the Gnostic, life “must be escaped at any cost.”7 But if there can be no immediate material escape, then a spiritual escape is a good enough substitute. The Gnostic escapes from the responsibilities of history. But for the Christian, history is the realm of decision making, and, therefore, is anti-Gnostic. If we are not responsible for history, then we are not responsible for decision making. Even a casual reading of the Bible will show that our faith is to be lived out in the world so that “fruit,” good works, are manifested for the world to see and for Christians to judge (Matt. 7:15–23). No restrictions are placed on where this fruit is to mature.

One of the central issues that divided gnostics and orthodox Christians in the early Church was their understanding of the relationship between religion and politics. The Church Fathers accepted the political worldliness of the Jewish faith, contending that religion and politics are interconnected and inseparable. The early Puritans and even Jonathan Edwards, following classical Calvinism, would have been clearly orthodox in this regard. The world of politics, of human institutions, was for them an essential locus of God’s redemptive work.8

What is contemporary Gnosticism like? While it might not manifest itself in ascetic practices like pole sitting, it does reveal itself in an institutional escape. Institutional escape is not in the Protestant tradition, however. Our nation’s earliest Christian citizens did not view escape, eschatologically, ascetically, or institutionally, as being biblical. Education, publishing, law, science, medicine, and politics, to take just some areas, were to be governed by the Word of God as were ecclesiastical affairs. Modern-day Gnosticism thrives in a climate of escapism which means a retreat from this world and responsibility to do anything to change any part of it. If this world means nothing, then I am not responsible for its evils.

  1. Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128. Quoted in David A. Noebel, J.F. Baldwin, and Kevin Bywater, Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), vi.()
  2. R. J. Rushdoony, Intellectual Schizophrenia: Culture, Crisis and Education (Vellecito, CA: Ross House Books, [1961] 1998), 10.()
  3. Robert L. Dabney, Discussions of Robert Lewis Dabney: Secular, ed. C. R. Vaughan, 4 vols. (Harrisonburg, Virginia, Sprinkle Publications, 1994), 4:548.()
  4. David Van Biema, “The Case for teaching the Bible,” Time (March 22, 2007).()
  5. Dusty Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult (New York: Dorset Press, [1977] 1989), 140–141.()
  6. Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult, 147.()
  7. Philip Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 122.()
  8. Lee, Against the Protestant Gnostics, 123–124.()

Beginning with Home Schooling (3a)

When families decide they wish to home school their children, they frequently find some opposition to the idea. Here’s a common one: “Your children won’t be well socialised.”

I respond to this superficial observation with this scripture: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov.13:20).

This text plainly teaches that people really are influenced by those around them, for good or for evil, and the bluntness of the text is a warning: “…the companion of fools will suffer harm.” This prediction is non-negotiable, so we’d better not argue with it, but accept and be warned by it.

The Psalmist wrote that “by them [the judgements of the Lord] Your servant is warned…” (Ps.19:9-11).

Thus the Christian parent is challenged to surround his children with wise people, with wise ideas. He should not let them have fools for their companions, or the results will be painful. Nor should he expose them to foolish educational material. It will harm them.

The Public School is essentially a place of foolish people; therefore it is not to be the place where the godly should be, for the bad company will harm them. This is not rocket science, but the plain teaching of scripture which the godly must obey, or be held accountable by God.

Separation is necessary, and there is nothing new about that. In order to teach and disciple someone, you have to have their full and undivided attention.  This is what God does. At the beginning,

God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness (Gen.1:4).

God separated Noah and his family from the ungodly with a flood, He separated Abraham from his family, then Israel from Egypt at the Exodus. Israel was responsible to have a separated life, unto the Lord.

When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations (Deut.18:9).

The scripture makes it plain that Lot was a godly man (II Pet.2:7-8), but when he went down to Sodom and stayed there, he failed to ensure his family retained a godly separation, with disastrous consequences for his family (Gen.19).

This proved to be a common problem for Israel. Later, the Psalmist commented that

They did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them (Ps.106:34-36).

Many believers in Australia have taken the step of enrolling their children in a Christian school. This is clearly a step forward from the State School, but how much?

Once again, it depends on the morality of the children’s peers, the quality of the teachers, and the curriculum. And in all three cases, nothing should be taken for granted. I have a student whose parents I’m assisting, who was bullied by a teacher in a “Christian” school in 2018, before he was removed. That was not good.

An acquaintance of mine attended a “Christian” school for 12 years, but claims he never heard there, that God made the world in 6 days, some 6,000 years ago.

Twelve years of education, at 30 hours a week for 40 weeks a year, equates to 14,400 hours. This is a long time to influence a child, for good or for bad.

Most parents have some reservations about their ability to educate their children at home. Certainly, excessive self-confidence can get people into a lot of trouble. Parents need to think carefully and prayerfully about how they are going to do this, because this is a significant, long-term task to fulfil competently by both of them. Just like building a house, they have to have a plan.

But like any God given task, parents should embrace this responsibility willingly and confidently, knowing that “…He that began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil.1:6).

Later in this same passage, Paul encourages the Philippians, in a passage that has direct relevance to the education of children:

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Phil.1:9-11).

Conclusion:

For most of us, accepting the responsibility to educate our children was a new thing for our generation. But it’s not a new thing, Biblically. It’s what God’s people have been doing since Adam and Eve had children. Will they do a perfect job? No, but it’s a task that believing parents should accept, as a task given them by God. Will you accept it?