Introductory Note: I was educated in public school. I have many friends and family who send their kids to public school. This post is not meant to be cruel. But we can look around and see that something needs to change with our country, communities, and churches. Educating our children in the Lord is one the best things our generation can do to turn the tide and more importantly to honor Christ. I know Christians can come through public school with their faith intact. But that is a sign of God’s grace and kindness, not a Christian’s obedience. Christians who sleep together before marriage can have good marriages. That does not make fornication okay. Just because someone got through “okay” does not make it right. I believe it is wrong for Christians to send their kids to public school. I am in favor of both home schooling and Christian private schools. Feel free to ask questions, raise objections, or comment.
Here in West Virginia there has been a rather contentious bill that was passed by the our legislature that gave those who home school more freedom. It was spearheaded by many good people, in particular Brian Kurcaba, a state representative from my county who home schools his children. With this law being in the news it is a good time to once again state what the Bible teaches on the matter of education and how Christians should approach education.
I plan on writing a couple blog posts on Christian education and public schooling. The first point I want to make is that Christian parents are required by Scripture to give their kids a Christian education. Public school does not provide a Christian education and therefore Christian parents should not send their children to public school.
What is the purpose of an education? Why do children learn math and science, Spanish and English grammar? Is education primarily the accumulation of various facts and skills so the student can eventually get a job? Or is there a moral dimension to education? Can it be an education if it does not train hearts and minds in the proper direction? Do we want men like Walter White, good at chemistry, but who use it make meth?
All men would, if pressed, agree that education will and must have a moral dimension. Education cannot be morally neutral. Children, whether they know it or not, are being taught every day what is right and wrong. They are being taught how to think about the world, what the great truths are that govern our lives, what is right, good, and beautiful, what is important, and what is not. Education is the shaping of a heart and mind and not just the passing on of facts. Therefore Christian parents should not send their kids to be educated by those who do not believe in God or cannot express that belief in God in the classroom. Without God, it is not a true education.
The goal is not to learn math, science, etc. The goal is to bring glory to God and to love my neighbor by doing math and science. If God is eliminated from education we have missed the main point. As I tweeted the other day: To eliminate God’s authority from education is to eliminate the primary lesson that is to be learned.
God made this world from nothing. He rules this world. He redeemed it by sending his only Begotten Son. He gave man dominion over the earth to serve one another and build his kingdom. We are sinners, made in His image, but separated from Him by our sins. This is reality, the world as it is. The Bible is clear that parents must bring their children up to love God with all their heart, mind, soul and to love their neighbor as themselves. This is not an option or suggestion. It is a command. Christian parents cannot afford to put their children in an environment where the essentials about the God, the world He has made, and mankind are blatantly denied or ignored. Here are some Scriptures to back up this point.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
Our children are to be surrounded by the great truths of God’s Word day in and day out.
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done (Psalm 78:4)
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:5-6).
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
These are some of the obvious examples, but there are more. The entire book of Proverbs is built on the assumption that the son is being raised to loved God. It is a covenantal book. Joshua’s statement in Joshua 24:15, God’s statement about Abraham teaching his children in Genesis 18:19, Psalm 1, Psalm 112, Psalm 128, and passages like Romans 6 and Matthew 22:37 make it clear that our children are to be taught to think God’s thoughts after him, to bring him glory, and to serve our neighbor.
Our public school system has denied God. God is neither acknowledged nor taught. He is an afterthought occasionally prayed to before a football game. But he is not Lord. His commands on sexuality, holiness, respect, kindness, and greed are ignored. Darwinian evolution teaches a false view of origins, which influences all disciplines, not just science. There is no standard for right and wrong other than what works. Pragmatism rules. Children are not taught how to glorify God in their studies or interaction with other students. Reality, the world as it actually is, is not taught. The most important things are ignored for the trivial. Self-fulfillment is the great goal. That is not an education, even if it does help someone get a job. Christian parents should want their children to grow up loving God, loving their neighbor, and loving Jesus. They should want their children to learn math and science in a place where God’s glory is the great aim. Public education does not provide this. Therefore, outside of circumstances where there are no other options (for example a single mother) Christian parents should not send their children to public school.