What Does it Mean, to ‘Train up a Child?’(2) – Children and Education

By Gary North (www.garynorth.com), 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.

Homeschooling and Government (1)

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isa.9:6).

It has been said that the Biblical doctrine of a subject is all that the Bible says about that subject. The Bible says a lot about civil government, and the Christian person is obliged to examine the scriptures to determine what God requires of this institution.

The future for man when he thinks the State is his saviour, is slavery. This is what most of the world began to discover in the twentieth century, but it hasn’t led to everyone wanting to throw off their chains. Just as the children of Israel under Moses had an almost perennial tendency to want to return to Egypt when their circumstances displeased them, sinful man has perennially turned to the State for his problems. Even when the memory of Egypt had faded by the time of Samuel, they still wanted a king.

Samuel’s warnings about what this king would be like, had no effect. Why? Because the children of Israel had a problem; their own hearts. So, God gave them the king they wanted, and they faced the consequences of their foolish choice, for forty years.

Samuel described what this new form of government would be like, in I Samuel 8.

a) The king would raise an army for his purpose in opposition to the law (Deut.17:16). War would become a way of life in Israel (v.5), and the king would use this army for personal profit (v.12).

b) The young women of Israel would be subject to the whims and fancies of the king (v.13).   

c) Private property would no longer be safe, but would be used to pay for the king’s political favours (v.14).

d) This king would require a tenth in taxation. This was a sign of tyranny, for only God could demand a tenth (v.15).

Israel had turned from their God as their Saviour, Lord and Provider, who had brought them out of Egypt. They no longer wanted to physically return to Egypt, but they were turning to the false security offered to them by a civil government that would subject them to slavery in the name of security.

This scenario has been played out in history, innumerable times; the twentieth century showed this happening almost everywhere, both in totalitarian and democratic countries. It is evident that

Socialism has demonstrated its ability to destroy, but not to create. Being itself immoral, it creates immoral people, or rather, it is first created by an immoral people who are then confirmed and increased in their immorality by the socialist state.

What is the Role of the State?

The Bible teaches that the State is “a minister of God to you for good” (Ro.13:4). Biblically, the State does have the powers of coercion: “…it does not bear the sword for nothing.”

a) Civil Justice: Civil government should operate judicial systems on the local state and federal level. The law of God, as outlined in scripture, is to be the standard of justice. This clearly includes capital punishment. An accused person should be able to appeal to a higher court, if he feels that justice has not been done.

b) Weights and measures: Just weights and measures must be maintained; even owning false weights is prohibited in scripture (Deut.25:13-16). This includes false and misleading advertising, and extends to such things as debasing a currency. “Your silver has become dross, your drink diluted with water” (Isa.1:22).

c) Defending Christianity from public attack: the State cannot be neutral towards the Christian faith. Any obstacle that would jeopardise the preaching of the Word of God and carrying out the Great Commission must be removed by civil government. Paul expected even the Roman civil government to protect him from those who threatened the Christian religion. No government is religiously neutral; if it were, it would enact no laws, for all laws are religious.

d) National defence: Government is responsible to defend the nation against aggressors. In wartime, this would include the marshalling and organisation of troops. It doesn’t mean the state is responsible to ensure there are professional, standing armed forces. The concept of a civilian militia force able to be called upon for defence or police activities, prohibits the use of soldiers for international aggressive activities, and means that soldiers cannot be used by their government against their own citizens.

e) Quarantine: The power to quarantine is the power to protect innocent life. Any community needs to be protected against infectious diseases. Thus the State must have legislative powers to deal with these things, protecting the healthy.

f) Defending private property: Private property means an opportunity for liberty, dominion, security, and the passing on of an inheritance, and is to be protected. Ahab’s plot to murder Naboth with a view to confiscating his vineyard, brought he and Jezebel under God’s judgment for murder and theft (I Kings 21; II Kings 9:29-37). Confiscation by State power is never legitimate.

Individuals must be prepared to assist in apprehending criminals, even to the point of killing a person if necessary, who threatens life (Ex.22:2-3).

God has not seen fit to legislate exactly what should go for the financing of the state. He has seen fit, however, to demand a tithe for the financing of the Church. In those times of history when the tithe is given properly and the Church does her work with integrity, the state will greatly shrink in size and will require only a minimum in taxation. On the other hand, in those seasons of history, like our own, when the people refuse to tithe, and the Church is not faithfully proclaiming and educating in the Word of God, then the state will grow to massive size, and will exact a terrible tribute. The reformation of the state, then, awaits the reformation of the Church and the proper use of the tithe.

The State is not called on to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. It is not our Father. State welfare is not in the Bible. It must stop interfering in the operations of the free market, with minimum wage laws and awards, compulsory, tax-payer funded education, by phasing out Social Security, and reducing taxation at all levels. All of these measures pre-suppose the active involvement of the Christian community in initiating care in the community, along Biblical lines, because you can’t replace something with nothing.

Towards the future:                                                                                   

Civilisations come and go, but the kingdom of God goes on forever. Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan.2) showed that kingdoms built on the shaky foundation of the sovereignty of man cannot last. The history books show that every empire-building civilisation collapses in time. Christians in understanding this, must begin to prepare for the future, even if they do not see the fulfillment of what they are commencing in their lifetime. God tells His people that their earthly efforts have meaning in time and eternity.

Socialism is finished: it is destroying itself, and although the worst lies ahead, the certainty of socialism’s collapse is nonetheless inescapable, and it must be a basic premise of all thinking concerning the future. The central concern even now must be reconstruction, the creation of new institutions dedicated to liberty, education to that end, and the assurance that the fresh air of liberty is ahead, past the days of chaos.

Conclusion:                                                                                                      Christians must believe and preach the whole counsel of God concerning government. We need a full-orbed gospel that offers comprehensive salvation. We need healing-not just spiritual and physical, but cultural healing. We need the doctrine of the resurrection-the resurrection, restoration and reconstruction of every area of life, to the glory of God. We need to subdue the earth (Gen.1:26-28) to the glory of God. We need to fulfill the Great Commission: the discipling of the nations.

Homeschooling and Economics

For you were called to freedom, brethren… (Gal.5:13).

The gospel has application to all of life, and that most certainly includes education, but also economics.

How do we know that? Two of the Ten Commandments deal directly with economics: the prohibitions on stealing (the Eighth), and covetousness (the Tenth). The confiscation by Ahab of Naboth’s vineyard, and Ahab’s subsequent murder of Naboth through Jezebel, led to Elijah confronting Ahab, and pronouncing God’s curse and judgment on his family (I Kings 21).

It’s logical that ungodly governments always despise Biblical economics. At the crucifixion, government agents even stole Jesus’ clothes.

And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves, by casting lots (Mat.27:35).

The Bible has a lot to teach us about employer/employee relationships, going back to Jacob and Laban in Genesis. God setting His people free from Egypt’s slavery was firstly a religious issue, but also an economic phenomenon. Thus religion and economics are inextricably linked.

The case laws of Exodus (Ex.21-23) refer to employment both directly and indirectly, such as “You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute” (Ex.23:2-3). God even gives specific instructions about the payment of wage-earners, commanding that “You shall not oppress your neighbour, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning” (Lev.19:13).

John the Baptist gave directions about employment (Luke 3:10-14), as did Paul (Eph.6:5-9), while some commentators claim that a third of our Lord’s words were about money.

The issue of the inheritance is a vital Biblical theme, and an important aspect of economics. Proverbs tells us that “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Prov.13:22). The Psalmist testified that God “…chooses our inheritance for us” (Ps.47:4), and that “You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name” (Ps.61:5). The theme of the inheritance continues all the way till Revelation: “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Rev.21:7).

The issue of the inheritance was at the centre of one of Jesus’ last controversies with the Pharisees. At the conclusion of His Parable of the Vineyard, Jesus plainly identified the chief priests and the Pharisees as those who would say of the son of the landowner, “…This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance” (Mat.21:38).

From cover to cover, the Bible is really a radical free-market document, but we don’t have true economic freedom in Australia. Partly out of the Church’s ignorance and laxity, we’ve grown to tolerate a lot of things that have no place in a free society. A large proportion of Australian employees cannot negotiate aspects of their employment with their employers, without either the threat of the forced intervention of a government appointed bureaucracy called Fair Work Australia, or a union that employees may not have wished to join in the first place, but were compelled to, in order to secure employment.

That happened to me in 1990. And you thought this was a free country?

This means that penalty rates, public holidays, weekend work, hours of work, superannuation and other conditions of employment which can be critical issues affecting business profitability, can become untouchable subjects: beyond negotiation. And if an employer is struggling to compete internationally because his labour costs are simply too high, he may have to just close his doors. These have been contributing aspects leading to the recent closure of all of Australia’s motor vehicle plants, along with other manufacturers.

I like going to supermarkets from time to time. Why?

Because of the choices and the prices, and because there’s hardly any government interference there. There is a price-war at the moment between Coles and Woolworths, and the beneficiaries are consumers (and possibly shareholders). These two companies are going toe-to-toe in their respective bids to outdo one another. That’s capitalism at work; one of the outcomes of Biblical influence in our community.

The government agency, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC), claims on its website that

We monitor fuel prices to prevent any misleading or anti-competitive conduct that may harm consumers.

But it isn’t really an institution that protects the free-market at all. It has intervened to stop Coles and Woolworths using fuel vouchers how they’d like to: to get more business.

Why? Because the ACCC doesn’t want “predatory pricing.” It doesn’t like the fact that big companies can use their advantages of scale to take business from the smaller companies. What’s wrong with that, when the consumer benefits? In taking this action to protect smaller petrol retailers, the ACCC violates what God had commanded in Exodus: “…nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.”

Capitalism wins hands down every time, over socialism, or any other “ism.” Take items like yoghurt, shampoo, fruit-juice, ice cream or coffee. The variety of these items available in the big supermarket chains is enormous, because the big companies want to give you every opportunity to spend money in their shop.

Why is this important for you? Because it’s an aspect of the Christian world-view you can be diligently explaining to your children.

Is capitalism perfect? No, because people are never perfect; there are sinful, evil capitalists. But as an economic system, capitalism has won by a country mile over all its competitors, historically.

It’s not just the economics of employee/employer relationships that are regularly violated in Australia. Consider what happened in 2011, when the Federal government overnight, shut down the live cattle export market to Indonesia, from northern Australia. This scandalous act to appease the animal welfare/green lobby at the expense of cattle producers, was initiated with the broadcast of one government –funded TV program.

Now (thankfully), that industry is re-building and growing quickly, but the government’s unethical intervention threw their industry into confusion and cost farmers millions, whilst Australia’s international reputation as a reputable supplier was trashed. Under the guise of “animal welfare,” the government’s actions were no less immoral than Ahab’s confiscation of Naboth’s vineyard.

Does the Bible speak of animal welfare?

Yes, in a number of places. Here’s one: “The righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel” (Prov.12:10). But when Biblical morality is despised and short-term political outcomes are the goal, we can be sure the consequences will be evil and fearful. As Chesterton warned, “There is above all, this supreme stamp of the barbarian; the sacrifice of the permanent to the temporary.”

Rushdoony was right:

The humanistic governments seek a short-cut to learning by means of power. The seizure of power has as its goal to speed up history and growth; in reality, it retards or destroys it because it denies the fact of man’s fall. It substitutes the planning of an elite for the predestination of God, and the result is disaster.[1]

Conclusion:                                                                                                                                 The Chinese have a saying: Every journey starts with a few small steps. The economics of the free-market, derived directly from the Bible, apply across the board. This is why Christians must be at the forefront of healthy community reform, pushing back the tide of government interventionism wherever its present.

And this is a long-term issue that won’t be dealt with overnight. Economic interventionism by government has become endemic in communities throughout the world on our watch, as we Christians have tolerated it, to our shame.

Now, it’s time we changed our tune, taking Biblical commands seriously, beginning with the education of the young, yours and mine. Every nation needs smaller government, less taxation, and more freedom. It’s simply an aspect of thinking and living Biblically, where homeschooling parents can contribute so much to their children, teaching them from the scriptures, “…the law of liberty” (James 2:12).

Are you ready for that?


[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Romans and Galatians,” 1997, p.278-9.

Children Don’t Need School (7)

Leave Your Children with Good Memories

My Aunt Maisie (1916-2000) was the last of her generation to die. Some years before her passing, she told me of an experience with her Dad, my Grandfather Hugh (1875-1948).

As a young, single man, he’d gone from South Australia to Western Australia, looking for gold, with indifferent results. He’d found enough to get by, but that was all.

He married Grandma in 1911, and when the Depression came, he took his youngest daughter Maisie on a train journey from his farm which he’d bought around 1910, where they lived near Cowra, NSW, right across through western NSW, into South Australia. Why?

He’d passed through there in his gold mining years, some thirty years earlier, and had staked some sort of mining claim on a piece of land there, in a little town on the railway line. Now, with times being tough on the farm, he chose to return there with her, to see what could be done about his “claim.”

Well, nothing eventuated from the trip. Whatever he thought he had in terms of a “claim,” it was either no longer valid, or was of no value, and they returned to the farm and family, with no results.

This would have been some trip for her, as a girl of 14-15. Around 3 days each way in a very plain steam train, with very ordinary comforts. I have no idea what they slept in, or on, but after my train experiences going to and from boarding school in Sydney from 1967-1972, it would not have been luxurious!

And as for the food, she didn’t go into the details, and it didn’t occur to me to ask her. But she remembered the journey with him, with fondness.

Why is this important?

You want your children to have good childhood memories. You don’t have to be either a brilliant or a perfect parent for this to take place. Nor should you have to spend a lot of money to achieve this. But you can be an enjoyable person, for your children to be around.

In February 1969, my parents came to Sydney for a few days, where I was at boarding school. I met Dad at Central Station, and he took me to the Test cricket, where Australia was playing Test cricket against the West Indies. The famous West Indian bowlers Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith were bowling, and the two Australian batsmen Bill Lawrie and Doug Walters each made a century and a double century, respectively.

All that changed in 1970. In November of that year, my Dad suddenly died after a heart attack, aged 52. No more going to the cricket with him. Forty years later, when Bill Lawry was still doing TV cricket commentating, it would remind me.

The lesson?

Some may have castles on the banks of the Rhine

Or go to the orchestra each evening at nine.

But richer than them will I always be,

‘Cause I had a Dad who spent time with me.

Make sure you’re one of those dads.

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?

Break up with the Public School

By Elizabeth Cameron (www.lewrockwell.com)

Public schooling in America has become a nightmare.  It is a tax-feeding, compulsory, monopolistic indoctrination tool of the state that has more to do with control than it has to do with education.

Consider this statement by Robert M. Hutchins, former President of the University of Chicago, and Chairman of the Board of Editors of the Encyclopedia Brittanica:

“The countries of the West are committed to universal, free, compulsory education.  The United States first made this commitment and has extended it further than any other.  In this country, 92.5% of the children who are fourteen years old and 71.3% of those between fourteen and seventeen are in school.  It will not be suggested that they are receiving the education that the democratic ideal requires.  The West has not accepted the proposition that the democratic ideal demands liberal education for all.  In the United States, at least, the prevailing opinion seems to be that the demands of that ideal are met by universal schooling, rather than by universal liberal education.  What goes on in school is regarded as of relatively minor importance.  The object appears to be to keep the child off the labor market and to detain him in comparatively sanitary surroundings until we are ready to have him go to work.

The results of universal, free, compulsory education in America can be acceptable only on the theory that the object of the schools is something other than education, that it is, for example, to keep the young from cluttering up homes and factories during a difficult period of their lives, or that it is to bring them together for social or recreational purposes.”

Dr. Hutchins was the Chairman from 1943 until his retirement in 1974.  Those words were published in 1952, in The Great Conversation, Volume I of Brittanica’s Great Books of the Western World.  He was discussing, and pleading for, traditional liberal education, based on a study of the accumulated wisdom of the great thinkers and writers of the ages, as contained in the Great Books.

The school system that Dr. Hutchins was criticizing might look like nirvana if compared with the public school of today.  In those days, they did not have psychotropic drugging or the labeling of school children with mental disorders for demonstrating “inappropriate” behavior.  They did not have the police state mentality that is proliferating today.  They did not have random psych-drug-induced slaughters of children in schools as a tragically familiar event.  They did not indulge in “zero-tolerance” arrests of little children who had the poor taste to commit childish acts.  They did not have the psych-based feel-good system of assessment that undermines academic achievement today.  Yet by Dr. Hutchins’ accounting, they were doing little more than detaining those students, keeping them off the streets and out from under foot until their labor was needed.

Fast forward to 1965, and the enactment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which opened the door to federal funding for all sorts of mental health professionals in the government schools.  This was a watershed in American education.  However bad the schools might have been before this event, the formal establishment of a federally funded psychological paradigm in the schools triggered a long and inexorable march, continuing to this day, toward the dumbing down, medication and indoctrination of its students, as if the goal were specifically to prepare them to add their labor to the economy while snuffing out any individual creative power or any motivations they might harbor toward bucking the system.  Individuals schooled in this way are being victimized by an educational structure that can only be antithetical to their best interests; and skilled teachers, attempting to educate students within this paradigm, are at a terrible disadvantage.  They cannot peel away and construct their own creative programs, but must try to work within a fixed and stifling model based on government decrees from faraway bureaucrats.

When a student has difficulties under this system, as so often happens, the student is generally blamed and is sent to see the school psych, or via the parents, the local psychiatrist or even the family doctor, and the blame is officialized with a diagnosis.  This is followed by the writing of a prescription to make the student more tractable.

As if that were not enough to make the school environment unsuitable as an educational setting, the proliferation of school shootings over the years has added a certain element of physical risk.  This is unnerving for everybody; we are pretty sure it is going to happen again, but nobody knows when or where, so all we can do is hope and pray that it doesn’t happen to our kids, at our school.  And even assuming that we escape this horror, we still have to endure the burgeoning police state that is developing around the schools to try to ward off future attacks.  This makes for an environment that can be uncomfortable if not downright forbidding.

This kind of arrangement is hard on the kids.  It is hard on the teachers.  It is hard on the parents.  They are trying, most of them, to conduct the very natural and normal business of education with an unnatural, abnormal and coercive “schooling” environment.

I have seen no evidence suggesting that this can be fixed without separating the local school system from federal control and manipulation, and this is not likely to happen.  The system is too deeply entrenched.  It is not open to competition, and it has its own agenda.

The divergence of this agenda from the expectations of most parents was starkly highlighted by a statement made in 1973, in the keynote speech at the Childhood International Education Seminar in Boulder, Colorado, by Harvard psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce:

“Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity.  It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the international child of the future.”

I do not know a single parent who would actually choose this kind of educational framework for his children, if he thought he really had a choice, but the public school system has become such a ubiquitous part of our society that it can be hard to see it for what it is and what it has become.  It can be hard to break away.  We just naturally assume that, because it is here and has been here for so long, and everybody accepts it and is used to it, that it must be okay.

It can help to read the work of somebody who has been deeply immersed on the inside and has stepped back to take a good look at the institution of public schooling.  This has been done, and beautifully, by John Taylor Gatto, former New York State Teacher of the Year, whose tireless research into the historical development of our school system and its unspoken purposes is detailed extensively in his brilliant book, The Underground History of American Education.  This book would be a good place to begin research… that and a long close look at your local public school.

Fortunately as awareness of this problem has grown, an increasing number of parents have decided to take matters into their own hands, and so homeschooling, among other options, has been growing by leaps and bounds.  With the explosion of online resources, the opportunities for these families are expanding like never before: Kahn Academy, Robinson Curriculum, the Ron Paul Curriculum, just to name a few.  Heck, the local public library is a pretty good starting point for developing a curriculum, all by itself.  It is an exciting time for independence in education, and the many successes of homeschoolers across the country have provided solid evidence that we can do better for our kids outside the system.

So study up on it for yourself; and if your own research supports this view, and you can find a way, then take the plunge and break up with the public school: get your kids out, to someplace safer, where they are not at risk of getting assimilated by the Public School Borg, or worse.  This applies to teachers, too.  If you can find a way, bring your talents out into the private market where they can flourish.  We need them!

For every person, every family, who breaks free, we as a culture will come one step closer to getting the compulsory government school system out of our lives and away from the honorable work of helping our children to get a real and independent education

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.

Homeschooling: the Greatest Educational Option

My wife and I homeschooled our children for thirteen years beginning in 1990, and for eight years (1998-2005) I worked as an Academic Consultant at Australian Christian Academy in Brisbane, assisting many hundreds of homeschooling families in that time. This was a very fulfilling experience for me.

From the beginning, we heard a lot of false ideas being perpetrated by critics of homeschooling, which many ignorant and naive people found confusing. Here are some of them:

a)“Homeschooled children won’t get a well-rounded education. Rubbish. If you think that consistent sexual innuendo, perversion, bullying, drug availability, indoctrination in political correctness (including evolution, global warming, socialism, environmentalism and feminism) constitute a well-rounded education, well you go right ahead. For example, in 2004 a mother explained to me that she had withdrawn her teenage daughter from their local NSW State High School, when her back was nearly broken in a school bullying incident.

When schools declare, “we have strong anti-bullying policies,” I say, “A policy is one thing: successfully enforcing it’s another.” Schools may have a policy document that no one could fault, but the classroom, playground or bus behaviour often displays a school’s total failure to enforce that policy. So much for “a well-rounded education.”

  1. b) “Homeschoolers won’t be well socialised.The research[1] indicates that they will be socialised better, at home. Children in a State School spend some twelve years (about 14,400 hours) amongst their peers. The Bible warns us: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fool will suffer harm” (Prov.13:20). Would those State School peers be mostly wise or foolish? If they are foolish, to send Christian children amongst them is an exercise in irresponsibility and disobedience to God.
  2. c) “Homeschooled children can’t get into university. I know plenty of homeschooling children who have gone on to university. Universities want capable, disciplined students who possess the diligence to complete a degree. The SAT and the STAT tests are available for students who want to go to university, and homeschoolers frequently do well at these.

Public schools are utilised for about 18% of  a year’s hours (eight hours a day, five days a week, for forty weeks) but homes are used 24 hours a day! Homeschooled children do not cost the taxpayer $15,000 annually in school fees (which is the cost of educating a child in an Australian State school), nor do they sacrifice precious time travelling to and fro from school, permitting an enormous saving to the taxpayer in bus, train and ferry travel.

Homeschooling tends to bring families together, rather than splitting them up daily, permitting the parents to teach their children the things they really believe are important. And when the process is over, a 17 year old homeschooling graduate is more likely to be an employee that every boss wants: honest, polite, well-mannered, ready to work hard.

Have you decided how your children will be educated this year? Homeschooling represents an excellent and legitimate opportunity to educate your children, as you extend the kingdom of God in your home. You can start now!

 

[1] Some of the best homeschooling research can be found at: www.nheri.org

 

Homeschooling and Government

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace (Isa.9:6).

It has been said that the Biblical doctrine of a subject is all that the Bible says about that subject. The Bible says a lot about civil government, and the Christian person is obliged to examine the scriptures to determine what God requires of this institution.

The future for man when he thinks the State is his Saviour, is slavery. This is what most of the world began to discover in the twentieth century, but it hasn’t led to everyone wanting to throw off their chains. Just as the children of Israel under Moses had an almost perennial tendency to want to return to Egypt when their circumstances displeased them, sinful man has perennially turned to the State for his problems. Even when the memory of Egypt had faded by the time of Samuel, they still wanted a king.

Samuel’s warnings about what this king would be like, had no effect. Why? Because the children of Israel had a problem; their own hearts. So, God gave them the king they wanted, and they faced the consequences of their foolish choice, for forty years.

Samuel described what this new form of government would be like, in I Samuel 8.

a) The king would raise an army for his purpose in opposition to the law (Deut.17:16). War would become a way of life in Israel (v.5), and the king would use this army for personal profit (v.12).
b) The young women of Israel would be subject to the whims and fancies of the king (v.13).
c) Private property would no longer be safe, but would be used to pay for the king’s political favours (v.14).
d) This king would require a tenth in taxation. This was a sign of tyranny, for only God could demand a tenth (v.15).
Israel had turned from their God as their Saviour, Lord and Provider, who had brought them out of Egypt. They no longer wanted to physically return to Egypt, but they were turning to the false security offered to them by a civil government that would subject them to slavery in the name of security.

This scenario has been played out in history, innumerable times; the twentieth century showed this happening almost everywhere, both in totalitarian and democratic countries. It is evident that

Socialism has demonstrated its ability to destroy, but not to create. Being itself immoral, it creates immoral people, or rather, it is first created by an immoral people who are then confirmed and increased in their immorality by the socialist state.

What is the Role of the State?
The Bible teaches that the State is “a minister of God to you for good” (Ro.13:4). Biblically, the State does have the powers of coercion: “…it does not bear the sword for nothing.”

a) Civil Justice: Civil government should operate judicial systems on the local state and federal level. The law of God, as outlined in scripture, is to be the standard of justice. This clearly includes capital punishment. An accused person should be able to appeal to a higher court, if he feels that justice has not been done.

b) Weights and measures: Just weights and measures must be maintained; even owning false weights is prohibited in scripture (Deut.25:13-16). This includes false and misleading advertising, and extends to such things as debasing a currency. “Your silver has become dross, your drink diluted with water” (Isa.1:22).

c) Defending Christianity from public attack: the State cannot be neutral towards the Christian faith. Any obstacle that would jeopardise the preaching of the Word of God and carrying out the Great Commission must be removed by civil government. Paul expected even the Roman civil government to protect him from those who threatened the Christian religion. No government is religiously neutral; if it were, it would enact no laws, for all laws are religious.

d) National defence: Government is responsible to defend the nation against aggressors. In wartime, this would include the marshalling and organisation of troops. It doesn’t mean the state is responsible to ensure there are professional, standing armed forces. The concept of a civilian militia force able to be called upon for defence or police activities, prohibits the use of soldiers for international aggressive activities, and means that soldiers cannot be used by their government against their own citizens.

e) Quarantine: The power to quarantine is the power to protect innocent life. Any community needs to be protected against infectious diseases. Thus the State must have legislative powers to deal with these things, protecting the healthy.

f) Defending private property: Private property means an opportunity for liberty, dominion, security, and the passing on of an inheritance, and is to be protected. Ahab’s plot to murder Naboth with a view to confiscating his vineyard, brought he and Jezebel under God’s judgment for murder and theft (I Kings 21; II Kings 9:29-37). Confiscation by State power is never legitimate.
Individuals must be prepared to assist in apprehending criminals, even to the point of killing a person if necessary, who threatens life (Ex.22:2-3).

God has not seen fit to legislate exactly what should go for the financing of the state. He has seen fit, however, to demand a tithe for the financing of the Church. In those times of history when the tithe is given properly and the Church does her work with integrity, the state will greatly shrink in size and will require only a minimum in taxation. On the other hand, in those seasons of history, like our own, when the people refuse to tithe, and the Church is not faithfully proclaiming and educating in the Word of God, then the state will grow to massive size, and will exact a terrible tribute. The reformation of the state, then, awaits the reformation of the Church and the proper use of the tithe.

The State is not called on to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. It is not our Father. State welfare is not in the Bible. It must stop interfering in the operations of the free market, with minimum wage laws and awards, compulsory, tax-payer funded education, by phasing out Social Security, and reducing taxation at all levels. All of these measures pre-suppose the active involvement of the Christian community in initiating care in the community, along Biblical lines, because you can’t replace something with nothing.

Towards the future:      Civilisations come and go, but the kingdom of God goes on forever. Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan.2) showed that kingdoms built on the shaky foundation of the sovereignty of man cannot last. The history books show that every empire-building civilisation collapses in time. Christians in understanding this, must begin to prepare for the future, even if they do not see the fulfillment of what they are commencing in their lifetime. God tells His people that their earthly efforts have meaning in time and eternity.

Socialism is finished: it is destroying itself, and although the worst lies ahead, the certainty of socialism’s collapse is nonetheless inescapable, and it must be a basic premise of all thinking concerning the future. The central concern even now must be reconstruction, the creation of new institutions dedicated to liberty, education to that end, and the assurance that the fresh air of liberty is ahead, past the days of chaos.

Conclusion:

Christians must believe and preach the whole counsel of God concerning government. We need a full-orbed gospel that offers comprehensive salvation. We need healing-not just spiritual and physical, but cultural healing. We need the doctrine of the resurrection-the resurrection, restoration and reconstruction of every area of life, to the glory of God. We need to subdue the earth (Gen.1:26-28) to the glory of God. We need to fulfill the Great Commission: the discipling of the nations.

Politics is simply the organized activity of those who are exercising legal and economic power as citizens of the nations. Since the Lord has given us the task of holding ‘dominion . . . over all the earth” (Genesis 1:26), we are not taking up our assisted role as stewards if we refuse to become involved in the activities of governing. I further point out: How can we disciple the earth if we are not involved in running it?

Unbelief and its first cousin, pessimism, have always robbed the church of its vitality, since the days that the ten spies viewed the giants in the promised land (Nu.13:25-33). As the inhabitants of the land were clearly afraid and could be defeated, so they can and will be defeated in history. But this requires capital in the broadest sense to be built up.

God requires us to work confidently for the victory He wishes to give us, which has already been won on the cross. Every Christian must apply themselves to the long-term task at hand, “not despising the day of small things” (Zech.4:10), knowing that “…your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor.15:58). Psalm 110 clearly teaches us that Jesus will stay at the right hand of His Father until all His enemies are made His footstool, and that is the task of His people, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We believers are the inheritors: what have we been waiting for?

Homeschooling and Economics

For you were called to freedom, brethren… (Gal.5:13).

The gospel has application to all of life, and that most certainly includes education, but also economics.

How do we know that? Two of the Ten Commandments deal directly with economics: the prohibitions on stealing (the Eighth), and covetousness (the Tenth). The confiscation by Ahab of Naboth’s vineyard, and Ahab’s subsequent murder of Naboth through Jezebel, led to Elijah confronting Ahab, and pronouncing God’s curse and judgment on his family (I Kings 21).

It’s logical that ungodly governments always despise Biblical economics. At the crucifixion, government agents even stole Jesus’ clothes. “And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves, by casting lots” (Mat.27:35).

The Bible has a lot to teach us about employer/employee relationships, going back to Jacob and Laban in Genesis. God setting His people free from Egypt’s slavery was firstly a religious issue, but also an economic phenomenon. Thus religion and economics are inextricably linked.

The case laws of Exodus (Ex.21-23) refer to employment both directly and indirectly, such as “You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute” (Ex.23:2-3). God even gives specific instructions about the payment of wage-earners, commanding that “You shall not oppress your neighbour, nor rob him. The wages of a hired man are not to remain with you all night until morning” (Lev.19:13).

John the Baptist gave directions about employment (Luke 3:10-14), as did Paul (Eph.6:5-9), while some commentators claim that a third of our Lord’s words were about money.

The issue of the inheritance is a vital Biblical theme, and an important aspect of economics. Proverbs tells us that “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Prov.13:22). The Psalmist testified that God “…chooses our inheritance for us” (Ps.47:4), and that “You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name” (Ps.61:5). The theme of the inheritance continues all the way till Revelation: “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son” (Rev.21:7).

The issue of the inheritance was at the centre of one of Jesus’ last controversies with the Pharisees. At the conclusion of His Parable of the Vineyard, Jesus plainly identified the chief priests and the Pharisees as those who would say of the son of the landowner, “…This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance” (Mat.21:38).

From cover to cover, the Bible is really a radical free-market document, but we don’t have true economic freedom in Australia. Partly out of the Church’s ignorance and laxity, we’ve grown to tolerate a lot of things that have no place in a free society. A large proportion of Australian employees cannot negotiate aspects of their employment with their employers, without either the threat of the forced intervention of a government appointed bureaucracy called Fair Work Australia, or a union that employees may not have wished to join in the first place, but were compelled to, in order to secure employment.

That happened to me in 1990. And you thought this was a free country?

This means that penalty rates, public holidays, weekend work, hours of work, superannuation and other conditions of employment which can be critical issues affecting business profitability, can become untouchable subjects: beyond negotiation. And if an employer is struggling to compete internationally because his labour costs are simply too high, he may have to just close his doors. These have been contributing aspects leading to the impending closure of all of Australia’s motor vehicle plants, along with other manufacturers.

I like going to supermarkets from time to time. Why?

Because of the choices and the prices, and because there’s hardly any government interference there. There is a price-war at the moment between Coles and Woolworths, and the beneficiaries are consumers (and possibly shareholders). These two companies are going toe-to-toe in their respective bids to outdo one another. That’s capitalism at work; one of the outcomes of Biblical influence in our community.

The government agency, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (the ACCC), claims on its website that

We monitor fuel prices to prevent any misleading or anti-competitive conduct that may harm consumers.

But it isn’t really an institution that protects the free-market at all. It has intervened to stop Coles and Woolworths using fuel vouchers how they’d like to: to get more business.

Why? Because the ACCC doesn’t want “predatory pricing.” It doesn’t like the fact that big companies can use their advantages of scale to take business from the smaller companies. What’s wrong with that, when the consumer benefits? In taking this action to protect smaller petrol retailers, the ACCC violates what God had commanded in Exodus: “…nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute.”

Capitalism wins hands down every time, over socialism, or any other “ism.” Take items like yoghurt, shampoo, fruit-juice, ice cream or coffee. The variety of these items available in the big supermarket chains is enormous, because the big companies want to give you every opportunity to spend money in their shop.

Why is this important for you? Because it’s an aspect of the Christian world-view you can be diligently explaining to your children.

Is capitalism perfect? No, because people are never perfect; there are sinful, evil capitalists. But as an economic system, capitalism has won by a country mile over all its competitors, historically.

It’s not just the economics of employee/employer relationships that are regularly violated in Australia. Consider what happened years ago when the Federal government shut down the live cattle export market to Indonesia, from northern Australia. This scandalous act to appease the animal welfare/green lobby at the expense of cattle producers, was initiated with the broadcast of one government –funded TV program.

Now (thankfully), that industry is re-building and growing quickly, but the government’s unethical intervention threw their industry into confusion and cost farmers millions, whilst Australia’s international reputation as a reputable supplier was trashed. Under the guise of “animal welfare,” the government’s actions were no less immoral than Ahab’s confiscation of Naboth’s vineyard.

Does the Bible speak of animal welfare?

Yes, in a number of places. Here’s one: “The righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, but even the compassion of the wicked is cruel” (Prov.12:10). But when Biblical morality is despised and short-term political outcomes are the goal, we can be sure the consequences will be evil and fearful. As Chesterton warned, “There is above all, this supreme stamp of the barbarian; the sacrifice of the permanent to the temporary.”

Rushdoony was right:

The humanistic governments seek a short-cut to learning by means of power. The seizure of power has as its goal to speed up history and growth; in reality, it retards or destroys it because it denies the fact of man’s fall. It substitutes the planning of an elite for the predestination of God, and the result is disaster.[1]                                                                                                                              

Conclusion:

The Chinese have a saying: Every journey starts with a few small steps.

The economics of the free-market, derived directly from the Bible, apply across the board. This is why Christians must be at the forefront of healthy community reform, pushing back the tide of government interventionism wherever its present.

And this is a long-term issue that won’t be dealt with overnight. Economic interventionism by government has become endemic in communities throughout the world on our watch, as we Christians have tolerated it, to our shame.

Now, it’s time we changed our tune, taking Biblical commands seriously, beginning with the education of the young, both yours and mine. Every nation needs smaller government, less taxation, and more freedom. It’s simply an aspect of thinking and living Biblically, where homeschooling parents can contribute so much to their children, teaching them from the scriptures, “…the law of liberty” (James 2:12).

Are you ready for that?

 

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Romans and Galatians,” 1997, p.278-9.