Beginning with Home Schooling (2)

God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us-Selah. That your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth. Selah. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him (Ps.67).

Over the years, I’ve witnessed hundreds of Christian families pull their children out of different schools, and decide to home school them. I rejoice in their choice, and I believe they are doing something that will be of great importance for their children in the long-term, and indirectly, the church.

I’ve also witnessed many families who commence the education of their children, through home schooling. They’ve concluded that there is no institution like their family, that can accomplish the task of education, as well.

This is a confident move, and it doesn’t automatically denote arrogance. More commonly, it’s a sign of a desire to follow the example of many families in scripture and in Christian history who have chosen this mode of education. And in this, I think they should be commended and encouraged in church.

It could tread on toes for churches to encourage families to home school. But that’s what elders are responsible to do. When it comes to the downsides of Public Education, you simply have to call a spade a spade, explaining its impact on the family and church.

Elders should identify the origins, the reasons, and the desired outcomes of Public Education, and then explain why it has been a total disaster for the church and the family, over a century and a half.  Advocating for home schooling may upset some compromising families, but what are faithful elders to do?

What’s more, when the church really embraces home schooling, it’s embracing something that could be the catalyst for true Christian social reform. The example of godly families in  the church in this regard is of great importance. They are saying there is a limit to the role of the State, advocating that the State doesn’t have a role in the education of children, which is to be a family responsibility, only. The implications of this are profound.

If we step forward on the matter of education, what else could we step forward to, also? What about Public Health and Public Welfare, which are plainly, two other inefficient monstrosities that are a huge drain on taxpayers’ wealth.

And that’s just the start. We could keep really start wielding the knife. What if Defence, instead of being centralised in a bureaucratic government department was entirely localised? What if all those lucrative government contracts got torn up, and the defence of the nation became a local responsibility, as it generally was in Israel’s time? We’d no longer need expensive aircraft and airfields, fancy ships and submarines to go rushing about in, or lots of other military hardware, all of which is a massive drain on the taxpayer, not to speak of all the highly paid officers, employed in peacetime to do nothing. There would still be a need for defence, but on a budget of about 3% what it is today. And the efficiency would be far greater, and a militia, a greater deterrent to an invader. This is more like what the Swiss have, and it works.

Who invades them? Even though the Swiss shared a border with Germany, Hitler didn’t invade Switzerland. His generals talked him out of it, because the Swiss, with only a militia, knew how to make invaders pay dearly, and they were prepared for it.

Thus we could very well see over time, some big dominoes which have been pillars of humanism and socialism in the West, collapsing before our eyes.

Exciting and profound as this is, none of this can happen without a major shift: an increase in Christian responsibility. If families understand that an acceptance of much greater scriptural responsibility directed them to home educate their children, it will be a greater sense of Christian responsibility that permits these other idols of destruction to be brought down, too.

Economic realities may not leave us much time for reflection or consideration on these matters, for the inabilities of the modern socialist State when it comes to financial management and its ability to service its debts aren’t going away, but will actually worsen. As the patient riddled with incurable cancer finally succumbs, so the West’s socialist States will inevitably get overtaken by their debts; they are in the process of this, now.

And what will be the socialist’s reluctant commentary then? “It all came tumbling down?” It will have to be, at least if they are honest.

This means only one thing for the Christian family, and the church: we are going to have a lot of work coming our way, because social reconstruction should really begin with us. It will, if we are faithful to scripture.

Conclusion:

As my mentor likes to say, “Power flows to those who takes responsibility.” If you want to get involved in those projects that are gospel related, that the church has ignored for a long time but should have participated in, it’s hard to predict how many will want to join you, right where you are. But that’s a matter for God to have to deal with, not us.

We can only volunteer, pray, and leave the rest with God. He will send the people when He wants to. When Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he found some willing workers. And we can be confident that

Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; in holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to you as the dew (Ps.110:3).

Are you ready for work?

Beginning with Home Schooling (1)

My wife Sue and I started home schooling our children in 1990, but my interest in Christian education began in 1977. This was when the church we were in built a school and opened it, using the ACE curriculum, firstly for the children of the church, and secondly for others.

That was a big step to take, at the time. But an even bigger step, and probably a more Biblical one, is to home school your children. That way, if anything goes wrong, it’s your fault. You won’t be able to blame a teacher or a Principal.

Sue and I began with the ACE curriculum, too, and if I was starting out in 2019, I’d probably do it again. If you are an evangelical believer, the ACE curriculum will give you at least 80% of what you want. It will give you what you need to teach a child to read, and much more. Then in 2011 I purchased a contract with the Australian importer of ACE curriculum to Australia, so families with us at Hebron Home schoolers can access ACE curriculum at a discount price, compared to retail.

But before you consider curriculums for your children, you have to address more fundamental questions of education. You ought to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Getting the “Why” part right, is more fundamental than the “How?”

If you sort out “Why?” The “How” will fairly logically fall into place, and that leads us straight to scripture. God said concerning Abraham,

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).

If God has chosen you, and Jesus made this plain, when He said that “… I chose you…” (Jn.15:16), what permits us to do anything other than accept and put into place, what God expected of Abraham?

This means that the Christian child should understand there are such things as “God’s commands,” and though God gives us lots of choices to make, we need to have it straight in our minds that:

  1. This is God’s world, made by Him miraculously in six days, some 6,000 years ago.
  2. Jesus Christ died to save sinners, just like us, and rose again.
  3. Each of us will have a day of accountability, before Him.
  4. Christian parents are obligated to give their children a Biblical, Christian education.

Sending a child to a public school is not consistent with a Christian education; it’s the very opposite. Sending a child to a school that doesn’t teach a six day creation 6,000 years ago, is not giving them a Christian education, because education has to be consistently Christian, if it’s going to be faithful to God.

So, that means we avoid some forms of “education” with our children, if we want to be faithful to God. We have to think of “…what is pleasing to the Lord” (Eph.5:10), so we take steps with them that are Biblically directed and thus worthwhile, with a view to preparing them for a life of service and dominion, in this world.

When I was fourteen, my farmer father heard from a neighbour that he’d arranged with a veterinarian to perform a Caesarian operation on a cow, one winter’s morning, and my father and I attended. The calf had died inside the cow and was rotting. If left, the cow would soon die. So, the cow had to be opened up, and the pieces of calf removed, one piece at a time. One could say, there was some odour.

It was pretty earthy, but not awful. It was a good, positive experience. The vet disinfected the insides of the cow, sewed up her up, and she lived.

Was I glad I attended this? Yes.

A year later, my father suddenly died. No more life lessons from him.

Twenty one years after that Caesarian observation, married now and with three children, I needed a job, and got one in the best unskilled opportunity around: a sheep abattoir. The prospect of working with freshly slaughtered sheep did not really bother me, though it bothers many. I worked there for seven years, while I completed training to become a teacher.

The lesson?

Be careful how you define “education,” because it’s a broad subject. It includes life experiences that God permits us to have.

The Necessity for Independent Education

“Like Hitler, Vladimir Lenin saw the value in monopolizing education and bringing it under the exclusive control of the State. The process for change had to begin with the children. The sooner they could be taken from their parents and broken from their links to the past, the sooner the reprogramming could take place.[1]

In his Principles of Communism of 1847, Engels had advocated the ‘education of all children, as soon as they are old enough to dispense with maternal care, in national institutions and at the charge of the nation.’[2]All facets of society must conform to the new ideology:

We are bringing the women into the social economy, into legislation and government. . . . We are establishing communal kitchens . . . infant asylums . . . educational institutions of all kinds. In short, we are seriously carrying out the demand of our program for the transference of the economic and educational function of the separate household to society. . . . The children are brought up under more favourable conditions than at home.[3]

Getting foundations right is never easy. Why?

Because you have to persevere with a lot of planning and digging, before you seem to get anywhere. Not only that, you have to sift through a lot of other people’s ideas, before you can settle on what you really want to use.

The Bible speaks to us repeatedly about foundations. It says that “if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps.11:3), and that “…no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Christ Jesus” (I Cor.3:11).

But this has not been the focus of education in the modern era, even in the church. We’ve gotten side-tracked with a lot of priorities that have nothing to do with the Bible, and this has hurt us badly. It will continue to hurt us, until we come around to a more sound and scriptural pattern, and begin to act accordingly.

The first thing we have to establish in education, is that it’s a parental responsibility. If it’s a parental responsibility, that means that governments should have nothing to do with it. No oversight, no registration, no funding.

Over 90% of the church today would reject this idea, largely because the notion of parental responsibility is something that’s largely foreign to us. We’ve hardly heard of it as an ideal, let alone seen it happen. Our life experience has been with another model all together, so that’s what we think must be normal, and therefore good enough.

When Saul knew that David was willing to fight Goliath, he dressed him up in his own armour. But Saul’s armour was utterly unsuitable for David; in the fights that David had engaged in previously with a lion and a bear, he’d been light, quick and nimble-footed, and he’d won. David rejected Saul’s armour, and went out to confront Goliath with what seemed to be strange weapons: a sling and five smooth stones.

What’s the application to education? We must discard foolish humanistic beliefs, in favour of God’s stated way to educate children.

When the State controls education, the process from start to finish becomes politicised. Australia has seven Education Departments, all vying for a greater share of the taxpayer’s dollar, while they busily publicise all their apparent funding “shortages.” What does a Minister know? The responsibility for education passes out of the hands of parents, to a bureaucracy. Are they really interested in what’s best for children, or their own security of tenure?

Secondly, this means that public education becomes extraordinarily expensive. The big costs are land, buildings, teachers and the bureaucracy. (Our local public school, sits on land worth about $15-20 million). A competent home schooling parent can home-educate a child for under $1,000 a year, but taxpayer funded education controlled by bureaucrats, costs the taxpayer today in Australia, about $15,000 per child. You don’t need a degree in rocket science to figure out where the best value is.

But do you really think those public servant bureaucrats would want to see the proliferation of home schooling, a phenomena that doesn’t requires a bureaucracy? Heaven forbid!

Thirdly, it means that the quality of education falls. Is it any wonder that children 100 years ago, had an education in the fundamentals far better than today? Or that there are per capita, far more illiterate people, through much of the West, today? It’s a logical outcome of the State’s interference and control.

The State doesn’t care about the quality of education; it does care about control. When the population has submitted to government regulated education, it’s ripe for political manipulation, which is just want ambitious, power-hungry politicians want. But children, educated independently of government, without submission to departmental regulations? Perish the thought!

  1. L. Mencken (1880-1956) put it well, 90 years ago:

The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.     

Conclusion:

Our yesterdays have become our todays. Naïve, trusting Christians began submitting to governments controlling education 150 years ago in Australia, and we’ve continually accepted the process, with hardly a qualm. But all of this has to stop, and the sooner the better.

In favour of what?

Independent education under God, conducted and controlled by the family. Charles Finney (1792-1875) was right:

I would rather pay any price at all within my means, or even to satisfy myself with one meal a day, to enable me to educate my children at home sooner than give them over to the influence of public schools. Remember that your children will be educated, either by yourself or by someone else. Either truth or error will possess their minds. They will have instruction, and if you do not secure to them right instruction, they will have that which is false.

 

 

[1] Gary Demar, “Liberal War on Women is a Tactic to Control our Lives and Make us Wards of the State,” “The Godfather” website, 14/4/2012.

[2] Quoted in Francis Nigel Lee, Communist Eschatology: A Christian Philosophical Analysis of the Post-Capitalistic Views of Marx, Engels and Lenin,” Nutley, NJ: The Craig Press, (1974), 351.

[3] Quoted in Lee, p.350.

Women and Homeschooling

Many years ago when I was working at Australian Christian Academy, I had a phone conversation with a woman who was considering homeschooling her children. She had some reservations about her ability to do this successfully, and made the observation to me at one point, “Oh well, I’m just a mother.”

Since then, I’ve reflected on that statement over the years. That woman made an important observation that showed something: someone had indoctrinated her in relation to her supposed lack of ability to educate her children, being “just a mother.”

What does this show us? The modern world is very strong on qualifications. We’re told that “you’ve got to know what you’re doing.” And after all, “If you haven’t been to university, how could you really teach children?”

My wife Sue finished her formal education at Year 10, aged 16, and has helped our three sons graduate with a Year 12 Certificate. At the same time, she managed the home and cared for us all. Has she got any qualifications for any of this? Formally, no. Was she able to do all of this competently? Absolutely.

I grew up on a farm in NSW, living there till I was 18. I learned to drive various vehicles there such as cars, trucks and tractors. I learned how to do some basic mechanical work on those vehicles (such as changing a wheel and changing the oil), and to work with livestock such as chickens, dogs, sheep, cattle and horses. I learned there is a right and wrong way to stack hay-bales on a truck, how to walk on a corrugated-iron roof without damaging it, how to load and shoot a gun safely, how to milk a cow, raise calves, paint a gate, how to roll 200 kg bales of wool and how to do many other things.

Qualifications to show for all this? None.

What can we learn from this? There is such a thing as “learning on the job.” There is such a thing as learning by observation, whether it be from parents, siblings or others. There is also learning from a book, or the internet. And most of all, there are many, many tasks in life that people can accomplish successfully, without formal qualifications.

As far as we know, education in Abraham’s day was almost totally a family responsibility, and “on the job training” was the only kind of training there was. Abraham clearly had military ability to plan and execute an attack to rescue Lot using 314 men (Gen.14:13-16), and he had the capacity to successfully manage a lot of men in their work for him, as also did Isaac and Jacob, along with the management of livestock, and assets such as silver and gold (Gen.13:1-2).

Isaac’s abilities at crop-growing were such, that he “sowed in that land and reaped a hundred-fold” (Gen.26:12), and the men of Abraham and Isaac’s household (and possibly Isaac) were competent at digging wells (see Gen.21:25-30; 26:12-25).

All three patriarchs were prudent, shrewd and just in their dealings with outsiders, such as the king of Sodom, Pharoah, Abimelech and the Philistines, and Abraham with his allies Mamre, Eshcol and Aner (Gen.14:13).

If this was what these men were capable of, what about the women who were there to help them? Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel were shrewd, wise and grand women of faith. Furthermore, there were women in the households of the patriarchs with specialised abilities, and these are mentioned in the Bible. We read that Rebekah had a nurse called Deborah (Gen.35:8), and Rachel had a mid-wife (Gen.35:17). The woman of Proverbs 31 has many talents and skills, and is clearly a woman of work, who does not “…eat the bread of idleness” (Prov.31:27).

Even when her husband Nabal was incapable of dealing with a family crisis, Abigail had sufficient wisdom and initiative to launch an intercessory mission to successfully head off and placate David, who was coming with 400 men to destroy every male of her household, (I Sam.25).

Conclusion:

Christian women had best be careful who they are listening to, especially to comments that are made to diminish or demean their capacity to educate their children. When the first woman (accompanied by her foolish and negligent husband) listened to a serpent and acted on his suggestion, Jesus Christ had to die to sort the whole mess out.

The patriarchs would have been puzzled by a woman saying, “I’m just a mother.” On the battlefield, perhaps it wouldn’t be appropriate that she be there (except afterwards). But women at every other circumstance were welcomed, valued and needed, as they are today in godly homes and churches. When Abraham sent his servant to find a wife for Isaac, he went with silver and gold (Gen.24:19-22, 52-53).

Her primary qualifications? They are ethical and moral ones, as Proverbs 31 again teaches us. “An excellent wife who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain….She opens her mouth in kindness, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (v.1-2, 26).

Fathers: Education in Practice

These are some of the things I put into practice with our children.

1. Lead the family daily in devotions and prayer. This is the responsibility of every Christian father. “…a father tells his sons about Your faithfulness” (Isa.38:19.)

2. Take a child or children with you when you are doing something out of the house. “And he went up on the mountain and summoned those whom he Himself wanted, and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him…” (Mk.3:13-14).
My father had a saying: “Me and Thee…” (My Grandmother was a devout Christian. I assume she was familiar with the King James Version).
In February 1969, my father took me to watch Australia play against the West Indies at the SCG in Sydney. I was 13, and Australia was batting. I can still recall the scores, and who was playing. There was Wes Hall, Charlie Griffiths and Gary Sobers from the West Indies, and Bill Lawry and Doug Walters for Australia, who scored 151 and 224 respectively.
Two years later my father was dead. That day at the cricket is still a happy memory.

3. Do things with children individually, including playing with them. They will remember this, and they’ll know that this was important to you. “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov.13:20).

4. Value your time with them, and engage them in conversation/discussion. What do they think? Speak of natural things and spiritual things. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deut.6:6-7).

5. Find out their interests. There might be a career or calling in there somewhere that should be followed up.

6. Pray with each child at bedtime. This can be a time of one-on-one each evening, when the child has the opportunity to share something with Dad. That way, the child understands that “this is important enough for Dad.” Once, when I went to my son’s bedroom to pray with him, he was unhappy with me because I had upset him earlier in the day about something. I needed to apologise to him, and I did. He was then at peace with me. “The child that goes to bed happy, wakes up happy.”

7. Take them to your work-place where possible, so they can see and understand what you do. It may be of interest to them.

8. Talk positively about your parents. This is a way of honouring them. What you do for your parents, your children will learn to do for you.

9. Take an interest in their sporting activities, and if possible teach them some skills. This is important to a child. My father was a competent sportsman, playing cricket, tennis and table tennis, and I learnt to play these games.
Teach children how to win graciously, and lose politely, with good manners. (They will need to handle both winning and losing, right throughout life.) Encouragements in these kinds of abilities can assist a child in many ways in adulthood. Some sporting abilities pass from parents to children, and sporting opportunities that they have in adulthood should not be new for them.

10. Take an interest in what they are learning, daily.

11. Teach them how they can learn, using books, the internet and other people.

12. Teach them the things that you can do, and how to do things (like cooking on the B-B-Q, changing a car’s wheel, or growing vegetables), when they are ready. “…the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing” (Jn.5:20).

13. Every father should teach his children to respect their mother, and ensure that they do so! This is an aspect of the Fifth Commandment. We do this for our wife’s sake, our own sake, but also for our children’s sakes too. It is for their good, “…that your days may be prolonged in the land…” (Ex. 20:12).

14. Be careful who they are interacting with, and who are their friends. I know of one father who unwittingly let an adult “friend” be alone with his sons, only to find out many years later that this man had been intent on their sexual abuse.
Sometimes, “Christian” friends are not what they appear to be. I know another family, where the father’s authority and reputation was quietly undermined for years by a teenage son’s “friend,” who consistently made accusations against him behind his back. It took years to restore the father/son relationship. “…the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Prov.13:20).

Conclusion: Being a father is an exciting opportunity, along with an important responsibility. We are to represent God to our children, and the Bible says “who is a teacher like Him?” (Job 36:22) Finally,

The most important issue for a child’s education is their parents’ example.

Why Homeschooling?

By Walter Williams, (www.lewrockwell.com), 1/9/2015

Many public primary and secondary schools are dangerous places. The Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics show that in 2012, there were about 749,200 violent assaults on students. In the 2011-12 academic year, there were a record 209,800 primary- and secondary-school teachers who reported being physically attacked by a student. Nationally, an average of 1,175 teachers and staff were physically attacked, including being knocked out, each day of that school year. In Baltimore, each school day in 2010, an average of four teachers and staff were assaulted. Each year, roughly 10 percent of primary- and secondary-school teachers are threatened with bodily harm.

Many public schools not only are dangerous but produce poor educational results. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress for 2013, sometimes called the Nation’s Report Card, only 33 percent of white 12th-graders tested proficient in math, and 47 percent tested proficient in reading. For black 12th-graders, it was a true tragedy, with only 7 percent testing proficient in math and 16 percent in reading. These grossly disappointing educational results exist despite massive increases in public education spending.

Many parents want a better education and safer schools for their children. The best way to deliver on that desire is to offer parents alternatives to poorly performing and unsafe public schools. Expansion of charter schools is one way to provide choice. The problem is that charter school waiting lists number in the tens of thousands. Another way is giving educational vouchers or tuition tax credits for better-performing and safer schools. But the education establishment fights tooth and nail against any form of school choice.

Another viable alternative increasingly chosen is home schooling. In 1970, there were only 10,000 home-schooled children. In 2012, according to recently released data from the National Center for Education Statistics, there were about 1.77 million children who were being home-schooled (http://tinyurl.com/ooodba7).

Parents give a number of reasons for home schooling. Many want a safer environment for their children — away from violence, alcohol and other drugs, psychological abuse, and improper and unhealthy sexual indoctrination found in public schools. Some want to teach and impart a particular set of values and beliefs to their children.

In terms of academic achievement, home-schoolers beat out their public school counterparts. In reading, language, math, science and social studies, the average home-schooler scores somewhere near the 80th percentile. The average public school student taking these standardized tests scores at the 50th percentile in each subject area. Home-schoolers also tend to score higher than their public school counterparts on college admittance tests, such as the ACT and SAT.

Home schooling is not without its critics. Some of it is ludicrous, as shown in an excellent article in City Journal titled “Homeschooling in the City,” by Matthew Hennessey. Stanford University political scientist Rob Reich has called for tighter regulation of home schooling to ensure that “children are exposed to and engaged with ideas, values, and beliefs that are different from those of the parents.” My question to Reich is: Whose ideas and values should children be exposed to? Georgetown University law professor Robin L. West worries that home-schooled children grow up to become right-wing political “soldiers” eager to “undermine, limit, or destroy state functions.” West would like to see home schooling more highly regulated and home-schoolers subjected to mandatory testing and periodic home visits in order “to give the state a window into the quality of home life, and a way to monitor signs of abuse.”

Home-schoolers have a defense against this sort of meddling. The Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children. The National Home Education Research Institute provides educational resources and research for home-schooling parents. Its founder, Dr. Brian D. Ray, recently published “African American Homeschool Parents’ Motivations for Homeschooling and Their Black Children’s Academic Achievement.” His findings are proof that home schooling is effective for not only white youngsters but black youngsters, as well.

Why do Christians Accept Public Education?

All across America, mothers who from day one have accepted the idea of partially tax-funded education, but who want to maintain the illusion that you can have common textbooks without the American civil religion, are in a dither… Why should they be? It is just one more ratchet up in a process that began in 1837. There is nothing new about this. It means that fringe outlook mothers are going to have to acknowledge what has always been true in principle: when you take the federal government’s nickel, you take the federal government’s noose.

It’s been a generation now, since Christians in the West started asking hard questions about the popular notion of sticking Christian children in the Public School system.

I’m glad they started asking questions, because it was about time. The pagan system doesn’t want to be reformed by Christians, and Christians are wasting their time trying to reform it. It’s no different to putting lipstick on a pig. Pigs with lip-stick are still pigs, wanting to wallow in mud, eat slops, and love it.

This is the fact: education is always about indoctrination in a values system, which relates ideas to behaviour. What sort of ideas, and what sort of behaviour?

The Bible tells us about this, very particularly. It makes it abundantly clear through what God said about Abraham.

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 justice and righteousness, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him (Gen.18:19).

The Christian is thus commanded to “keep the way of the Lord.” He is expected to know this himself, but this is just the start. He has a divine commandment to disciple the next generation, beginning with his own children.

How do we “keep the way of the Lord?” God tells us in the following words of the text: “doing righteousness and justice…” Christians would do well to think a lot about these two terms. They form the basis of a Christian and just society.

Public education believes in righteousness and justice too. But the public school is humanistic to the core, so it puts a humanistic interpretation on those two terms. Forget what the Bible says.

But the real problem we have is this. Ministers in the West abandoned the notion Biblical of  righteousness and justice when they abandoned Biblical law. They abandoned God’s law, so they were sitting ducks for socialism and public education.

The idea that children could and should be handed over to the State for indoctrination means nothing to 80% of ministers. They grew up with public education. They think it’s normal. It is; for people who aren’t governed by scripture.

Dabney saw the consequences of this, over a century ago:

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]

Most preachers won’t instruct their people in this. Most older parents won’t teach the next generation, and so neither will 95% of their children.

In about 2002, a woman in Brisbane came to see me to talk about home educating her son. She’d been convicted by something her 7 year old son said to her:

Mum, why do you send me to a school that doesn’t believe in God?

This much is therefore clear. The godly education of Christian children will have to be undertaken on a family by family basis. It’s called homeschooling. Pastors are afraid; they hardly want to touch it, so families will have to take the responsibility themselves, and run with the plan. If pastors ignore scripture, they’re asking to be ignored, too.

Christian school educators ignore the vital, insurmountable elephant in the room:

You take their nickel, you’ll take their noose.

I believe every user of taxpayer monies should have to give account for it. That’s a good thing. And that’s why the “Christian” school is a captive institution to government: a terrible mistake. If they won’t survive without the State funding, they shouldn’t have been started in the first place.

Conclusion:                                                                                                                         Christian parents must recognise this fact: our parents and grandparents have generally not served us well in the education of the next generation. Unfortunately, we can rarely draw from their example in terms of how to educate our children.

What we must do, is go to the scripture for our guidance on education. If that flies in the face of what our parents, pastor and friends recommend, so be it. We’re called to obedience, not sentimentality.

Dabney said more:

The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God-this is his task on earth.[2]

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

[2] Quoted in Bruce Shortt, “The Harsh Truth about Government Schools,” 2004, p.356.

How Parents Should Deal With School Bullying

Gary North  (www.garynorth.com), June 17, 2015

 

Back in 1980, at the National Affairs Briefing Conference, where Ronald Reagan came to speak, I gave a speech on education. Here is what I said: “If every parent pulled his kid out of the public school on Monday, there would be no more public schools by Wednesday.”

Parents would not do this in 1980. They will not do it today. If you want to blame the public schools, blame the parents. The parents could close the schools in a week. The schools would never reopen. All the parents have to do is pull their kids out. There would not be enough truant officers and judges to enforce the compulsory attendance laws. The laws would be changed. Every politician who didn’t vote to authorize homeschooling on this basis would find himself out of office at the next election. They would learn really fast.

Fact: most parents like the public school system. They scream about it. They complain about it. They can tell you that it ought to be fixed. But they like it, and they liked it 70 years ago. The system never changes, because parents are content with the system. Bureaucratic systems don’t change except on two bases: (1) somebody cuts off next year’s money; (2) there is going to be a lawsuit.

People need to take responsibility early in their lives. Most people will do almost anything, and suffer almost any indignation, in order to avoid taking responsibility for their lives.

BULLYING

A recent post on bullying came up. I have dealt with this before.

Here’s the problem with bullying in school. First, the administrators are spineless. They are caught on the horns of multiple dilemmas, and they will do almost anything to avoid making a decision. They don’t want lawsuits from parents who are outraged there hoodlum kids were expelled. They also don’t want lawsuits from parents whose children are the victims of these hoodlums. They want their budgets increased next year. They want to keep all bad news out of the newspapers. They want to have all their sports teams win. They want things happy, happy, happy. But the world of Phil Robertson is not available to school administrators.

Most of the efforts of school administrator are put into keeping the lid on, but above all, the public relations lid.

They want to avoid making decisions. They have been trained not to make decisions. They have been bureaucrats all of their lives. They went from public school bureaucracy as students through public school bureaucracy as teachers, now they are administrators.

Bureaucrats want to avoid responsibility. The goal of the bureaucrat, above all, is to get next year’s budget increased, but the second goal is to avoid a lawsuit. The rest of it doesn’t matter.

Second, any parent who puts up with this nonsense is playing the same game. The parent doesn’t want to take responsibility. So, the parent goes to the school administrator, and tells his story of woe. The administrator has an obvious reaction: to promise to clear it up. Then he has the second reaction, which is simple enough to explain: to sweep it under the rug. Things get cleared up by being swept under the rug. If the school administrator can delay a decision long enough, the kid will graduate, and the parents will go away. So, delay is the order of the day. Only when parents are adamant will they be listened to. But even then, they probably will not be listened to much. Only if a parent brings in a lawyer will the parent be listened to. School administrators pay attention to lawyers. They pay attention to budget cuts and lawyers. They don’t pay attention to anything else.

Anyone who does not understand this is willfully blind. Any parent who does not understand this is living in a fantasy land, because the parents grew up in this system. It is just the way it was in Back to the Future. Biff runs the show. There’s a working relationship between him and the vice principal, because the vice principal is unwilling to expel Biff and his buddies — bad publicity — so Biff knows just how far to push. The vice principal knows just how far to go through the motions as if he were doing something to stop the problem.

So, we have gutless school administrators and gutless parents. Should we be surprised that children get bullied?

Third, we also have gutless kids. The kids don’t have to put up with any of this. The kid can go home immediately after school, and sit on the front porch. Then some neighbor calls the cops, and the cops come and take the kid away. Now the kid has the cops on his side. The kid is in complete control. The parents had better figure this out. The parents can’t control the kid. So, the parents had jolly well better do what their kid says.

The kid should say this: “I’m not going back to that school. You must put me in a different school, or let me homeschool, but I’m not going back to that school, and you can’t make me go back. The kids at school who are bullying may are the threat; you aren’t.”

The parents can play hardball, but the kid can play much harder hardball. Within 24 hours, Child Protective Services will be in charge, not parents. Then the parents get to pay for a lawyer to get the kid out of the hands of Child Protective Services. Any parent who doesn’t understand this is simply an idiot. The parent doesn’t understand what is happening to the American legal system. The parent is not in control. The kid is in control. Are we clear about this?

Parents may like to think this is not the world today, but it is the world today. So, parents had better take steps to make certain that they provide a safe environment for their children’s education. This probably means homeschooling. It may mean sending your kid to a school they can barely afford, on the assumption that a private school is going to be different from a public school, which may or may not be true. This is tested under fire.

If the school will not respond what the parents want done, the parents don’t have to put up with this. The parents didn’t have to put up with the 40 years ago, either. The parents can simply pull the kid out of the school, and homeschool him. But parents are gutless. They are also bone-lazy. They don’t want to teach. They don’t want to take responsibility. They just want everything to be hunky-dory, and they don’t care what happens to the emotional state of their kids. They send their kids off to what are known sinkholes, and have been known as sinkholes for half a century. They don’t care. The parents don’t want a fuss. They would rather have bullies take it out on their kids than do something positive, which means pulling their kid out of the school, and homeschooling the kid. At some age, you have to take responsibility. I think age 12 is about right, because when puberty hits, responsibility comes with it.

If the kids don’t like middle school, they don’t have to go to middle school. If kids don’t like high school, they don’t have to go to high school. Anyway, they don’t have to go to high school at the behest of their parents. They may have to go to a particular high school because Child Protective Services puts them in a foster home, and the foster parents say that the kid has to go. But even then, the kid does not have to go. The kid can simply say, “I’m not going. You can’t make me go.” Then the kid goes into reform school. That’s the final sanction. But if the kid really wants out, the kid simply can say this: “Let me take the curriculum on the Khan Academy. I’ll do my work. I’ll pass my exams. I’ll get my GED. Just don’t get me back into that hellhole.” Any parent who doesn’t want to listen to this message is going to find himself lawyered up at his expense at $200 an hour. If parents think they cannot afford a private school, they had better be prepared to spend money on a lawyer to get their kid back from Child Protective Services.

It’s basically the parents’ fault. Blame the parents. They are responsible for their children, and they don’t want the responsibility. They have turned the responsibility over to public school administrators, and they do it from the time the child’s under six years old. Blame the parents. Don’t blame the schools. The schools are simply doing what all bureaucracies do. If you don’t like the way our schools do it, find a different school, or else homeschool the kid. But don’t blame anybody else anymore.

This sign should be on every father’s desk: “The buck stops here.”

CONCLUSION

It’s the parents’ fault, because the parents are responsible for the education and upbringing of their children. Nobody else is. Don’t point the finger at the schools. That’s like blaming the Communist for being a Communist. It’s ridiculous. After almost two centuries of the same old academic stuff, parents ought to figure out how the system works. But they don’t want to, because they don’t want to exercise responsibility. They don’t want to fight public schools in the only way that they can be fought effectively, namely, to pull their kids out of the public schools.

Pursuing Harmony in the Homeschooling Family

Harmony of the home and family are important goals every Christian family should be seeking. Paul’s gave some advice to the Ephesian church, which can rightly be applied to any family. He encouraged them to walk

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph.4:2, 3).

As I’ve observed homeschooling families, I’ve concluded that possessing unity of spirit is one of the critical factors that will determine whether their homeschooling will succeed or fail. This is something that every family member has a responsibility for, beginning with the husband.

Husbands have a unique role, in that while they are members of the family, they are to lead the family as well. This dual role can create a challenge! But it is answered by scripture:

Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her… He who loves his own wife loves himself (Eph.5:25, 28).

Unity amongst a number of individuals for the sake of the kingdom of God, generally means that someone’s desires today may not be fulfilled. While it is true that husbands are in charge, their authority is always contingent on their responsibility. He has authority so he can serve. Thus the husband should always be prepared to put aside his wishes, if that is necessary in the best interests of the kingdom of God. Every husband may see himself as the king of his home, but only ever in subjection to his far greater King!

For the sake of His Father and the kingdom, Jesus said, “…Not as I will but as You will” (Matt.26:39). Every husband must adopt the same attitude, and do exactly the same.

Some of us have seen the humorous Duck Dynasty U-Tubes in the last year or so. The patriarch of this remarkably blessed Christian family, Phil Robertson has written a book entitled, “I am Second.”

What does he mean? He’s second to Jesus. What he wants, thinks and says in his family or business is irrelevant, unless he’s living in subjection to his King. And that attitude has been  a big part of Robertson’s success and prosperity.

No husband or father has any authority autonomously. That would make him a tyrant. Authority is only ever to be held in subjection to the One Who has “all authority.” That requires that every husband must avoid “…thinking more highly of himself than he ought to think…” (Ro.12:3). Put simply, family harmony requires humility, beginning with the husband.

Thus husbands from time to time, have to re-consider their attitude towards their wife. Yes, wives are commanded to be “subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Eph.5:22), but the preceding verse is challenging: “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”

God gave men wives to help them, and I have found out from experience that helping a man sometimes means that his wife says some plain things to him, that are highly unflattering!

Proverbs 15 contains a lot of statements about reproof. It tells us that “…he who regards reproof is prudent” (v.5), that “…he who hates reproof will die” (v.10), that “a scoffer does not love one who reproves him…” (v.12), “he who listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise” (v.31), and “…he who listens to reproof acquires understanding” (v.32).

Could these verses refer to a wife’s comments to her husband?

Nabal would have none of that. When his whole household was threatened with calamity, Nabal’s servant told Abigail Nabal’s wife, of the danger they were all in. He closed his comments with a description of his master:

He is such a worthless man that no one can speak to him… (I Sam.25:17).

Every wife has an opinion concerning a matter. She may be right; she may be wrong, but she has an opinion. Furthermore, husbands are commanded in scripture to “live with your wives in an understanding way… and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life…” (I Pet.3:7). That means always making room for his wife to speak her mind, whether it be complimentary or not.

Nabal’s tendency to ignore or reject unfavourable advice led to his early death (I Sam.25:38). The Christian husband today must learn from this foolish man’s errors, and learn to appreciate advice from his wife or other family members, even if it doesn’t gratify his pride. Taking that advice may save his life.

Is that something you’re ready to do?

Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed (Prov.15:22).

It’s OK to Kill Your Children but Not Educate Them

By Gary Demar, (godfather politics.com), 3/3/2013

154325A number of countries are clamping down on family education of children, better known as homeschooling. Parents decide to educate their children in the home instead of sending them off to a government institution or a private school that must adhere to specific state educational guidelines.

Free-sex Sweden is notorious for denying parents the right to educate their children at home. A woman can kill her pre-born baby up until the eighteenth week of pregnancy for any reason, but if she decides to give birth, the State controls her child’s education.

Rabbi Alexander Namdar and his wife Leah decided to educate their children at home “to ensure that their instruction ran parallel to their Jewish beliefs. Just weeks after an appellate judge’s verdict supported the parents’ right to homeschool their five children, Swedish government officials challenged the decision.”

The Namdars won their battle with the State, but the media and leftist political groups denounced the court decision.

Then there’s the story of Annie and Christer Johansson who had their parental rights terminated in regard to their son, Domenic.

“The boy and his parents were on board a jetliner minutes from departing Sweden for Annie’s home country of India when Domenic was seized in June 2009. The reason authorities initially gave for taking Domenic was that he had been homeschooled.

“During subsequent medical evaluations, Domenic was found to have missed some vaccinations and ‘had cavities’ in his teeth.

“During the first months following his seizure the parents were only permitted to visit Domenic once every two weeks. This quickly became once every five weeks, and in 2010 all visitations were cut off.”

Other Swedish homeschooling families have fled the country when officials threatened to levy massive fines against the parents and retaliate by way of social service directives that don’t need court-ordered permission to remove children from so-called abusive homes.

Now we are learning that the German government is clamping down on homeschooling families. In 1938, homeschooling was outlawed in Germany by Adolf Hitler. Given what we know, the law was never rescinded, and the German government is taking full advantage of the Nazi-era law. The German Supreme Court has banned homeschooling to “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”

Germany wants State-sanctioned conformity. Mussolini described modern-day fascistic governments like Sweden and Germany: “Everything for the State; nothing outside the State; nothing against the State.”

It’s always been the dream of tyrannical governments to eliminate all competitive thought. Adolf Hitler understood it better than anybody. The following is from William L. Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich:

“When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side,’ [Adolf Hitler] said in a speech on November 6, 1933, “I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already. . . . What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.’” And on May 1, 1937, [Hitler] declared, “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]

There is still freedom to educate our children outside the government system. It’s too bad that more parents aren’t taking advantage of that freedom. Why are young people adopting a liberal, politically progressive ideology today? Because they’ve been taught to think this way for the greater part of their young life – 6 hours each day, 5 days a week, 10 months of every year for 12 years.

If you want to change the direction of America, get them out of the government schools before you can’t.