This is my response to a pastor with whom I had opportunity to converse and then write on the subject of government schooling of Christian children.
Warm Christian Greetings!
You wrote, “While I am an advocate of public schools, I have not talked with anyone in the church about schooling except for one church member…my position within the church is to support each family whatever their position may be.” I would ask, is this the function of a shepherd? Don’t shepherds lead? Picture the actual shepherd of four-legged sheep following this philosophy. He would be running all over the woods and pasture, trying to support each sheep in what he was doing, where he was going (maybe off a cliff). No, obviously the shepherd’s job is not to “support each family whatever their position may be”. A shepherd is to lead. And indeed, you are leading, even if you are not verbally advocating government school education. Your entire congregation knows (essentially) your position and your endorsement of government education. And those who do not government school their kids know without a doubt they are swimming against the stream.
Changing direction a bit – what does the Bible say about education? Is there any indication in the Bible that education of children (of Christian or Hebrew children in particular or any child at all) is a function of the civil government? Always, and always education is to be under the jurisdiction of the family (Deut. 6; Eph. 6). And always into a Christian worldview (homeschool or Christian school; Deut. 6; Eph. 6 and any other Bible verse or example you can find). Never does the Bible suggest or intimate that Hebrew or Christian children should be placed under a system that does not specifically teach the fear and reverence and works of God. Never does the Bible advocate placing them under a pagan system that teaches socialism, humanism, non-biblical sexuality; a system that at worst purposefully and blatantly spurns God and at its best denies Him by ignoring the God who oversees history, who made the orderly world in which mathematics and science function, and who holds all people responsible for their moral conduct based on standards revealed in the Bible. Surely you are able to discern that the government school system (in spite of the fact there is a percentage of Christian teachers within the system) is not promoting a Christian worldview enabling Christian children to grow in godly wisdom. Do you suppose it ever entered the mind of Mary and Joseph to send Jesus to the Greek gymnasium for his education? Absurd! They, as all faithful Hebrew parents, taught him in synagogue and home the ways, the histories, the works, the worship of the LORD.
A common defense set forth by advocates of government schools is the salt and light principle. They say we need to send Christian children into the government schools so they can be salt and light. The first response to this is – the government schools are not part of the will of God for He has not given education as part of the jurisdiction of civil government. Government schools should not exist. My second response is this – when Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world and make disciples he was not talking to children. He was talking to 1) full grown men, who themselves had already been 2) educated in a strictly biblical (Hebrew) manner, 3) had spent three and a half years with Jesus. Jesus was not talking to children when He gave the great commission. My third response is this – far from our Christian children making disciples within the government school environment, they themselves are made the disciples of socialism, of humanism, and of a warped morality.
The principle of “come out from among them and be separate” applies here. Are Christian children coming out and being separate? On the contrary, they learn the pagan (those who refuse to receive Christianity) ways! Are the non-Christian children being conformed to Christ or are our Christian children being conformed to the world? The answer is unmistakable by observation and statistical! According to a Baptist study we lose 70% of Christian kids who go to government schools. Another study shows we retain 95% of Christian kids who are homeschooled. Government schooled Christian children are conforming to the world.
“Do not touch what is unclean” – Are Christian children in government forced to touch what is unclean? Absolutely! They are taught all sorts of moral aberrations from “safe sex” to homosexuality. Is “safe sex” unclean? It certainly is. Is homosexuality unclean? Worse, an abomination!
We, the Church (Body of Christ) in America are in danger of this:
Isaiah 2:6 (NKJV)
For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob,
Because they are filled with eastern ways;
They are soothsayers like the Philistines,
And they are pleased with the children of foreigners.
Respected Pastor – and I do respect you and your life given to God, as I mentioned previously – please do respond to this letter. Please do bring your biblical reasoning in response. I don’t think, biblically, you have a leg to stand on. Please don’t say to yourself, “He will not hear me anyway, his mind is made up, my response to Eugene will do no good.” “Come let us reason together.” My challenge to you is that you cannot build a biblical case for government school. The Bible will not sustain it. If I am mistaken, I wish earnestly to be shown I am wrong.