The enemies of God see clearly that education is a means to an end. It is not neutral. Throughout history, they have unabashedly used educational systems in their attempts to steal the hearts of the next generation.
When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side, 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…
…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.”
Tim Challies has posted a lengthy article graciously rebutting my own answer to why we homeschool. Although he broadly denied the applicability of Deuteronomy 6 and seems to doubt the godless foundations of the modern public school system, he said little of what he actually believed about either point.
I’ll be composing an answering post, but in the meantime don’t miss the lively discussion over there.
I have to confess that I’m at a bit of a loss as I try to understand how Mr. Challies and many other Christian parents can reconcile their opinion of the public school system with their choice to send little ones into it.
On the one hand, they openly admit that the system is indeed teaching children a different worldview, one that goes against what Christians strive to teach their children, a worldview that careful Christian parents must actively guard against and unteach their children.
They may even praise the particular school that their own children attend and the Christian teachers in the school. They assure us that this school is better than most. And some parents provide an extra layer of protection by volunteering at the school to keep an eye on what they are being taught so they will be aware of issues that need to be addressed from a better perspective.
I love comment #55 from Mr. Challies’s post:
The only Christian kids who I have seen maintain their witness are those who had parents agressively discussing with them, interacting with them, and who remained very involved in their childrens lives throughout their public schooling. In many cases, this would be much more work than placing your kid in a Christian school or homeschooling them. It’s like receiving little bits of venom, so you can build up an immunity. You are definitely protected against it but you could always just carry the antivenom with you and forgo all the painful steps of building that immunity.
Even if he and others deny the roots of the system, we do seem to agree on the nature of it today.
So tell me again, how can we say that we are doing our utmost to fulfill God’s charges to raise our children in the training and admonion of the Lord (Eph 6:4), train them up in the way they should go (Pr. 22:6), teach them His words (Deut 6:7), not cause them to stumble (Matt 18:6), and so on…how can we send them into that system and say we’re doing our best?
I ask this in all honesty: Knowing that the system as a whole works in opposition to a Christian worldview, how can a Christian parent believe, based upon Scripture, that public schools are an obedient option, let along The Best Way to train up their children?