Christian Education Resolution

This is the anti-public school resolution submitted to the SBC and rejected. I’m interested to know what my readers (both of you!) think of it. I am particularly interested in what you think of the “Whereas” clauses. Do you disagree with the fundamental points? Or simply disagree with the conclusion?

I have excerpted and emphasized the parts that are particularly compelling to me. Here is a link to the full resolution.

Whereas, the Bible commands that fathers are to bring up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4), and all parents have an obligation to strive by all means to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and

Whereas, all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Jesus, and He has commanded us to make disciples of our children and teach them to observe everything He has commanded (Mt. 28:19-20), and

Whereas, teaching our children everything that Jesus commanded involves their learning to think biblically about all the spheres of human thought, activity, and life (Dt. 6:4-9) so that they take every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), and

Whereas, our thinking is not to be conformed to this world’s way of thinking, but our minds are to be renewed and sanctified by the truth of God’s Word (Rom. 12:2; Jn. 17:17), and

Whereas, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Pr. 1:7) and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3), any instruction that does not begin with the fear of the Lord, teaching the centrality of Jesus Christ for understanding all of life cannot properly be said to impart wisdom or knowledge to children, and

Whereas, Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (Lk. 11:23), the government school system that claims to be “neutral” with regard to Christ is actually anti-Christian, so that children taught in the government schools are receiving an anti-Christian education, and

Whereas, the government schools are by their own confession humanistic and secular in their instruction, the education offered by the government schools is officially Godless, and

Whereas, the Bible says, children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior (Ps. 127:3-5), we must understand that children are weapons (arrows) to be aimed for the greatest impact in the kingdom of God. Just as it would be foolish for the warrior to give his arrows to his enemies, it is foolish for Christians to give their children to be trained in schools run by the enemies of God, and

Whereas, training to be a faithful witness should be a vital part of a Christian child’s education, and

Whereas, the millions of children in government schools spend 7 hours a day, 180 days a year being taught that God is irrelevant to every area of life, and

Whereas, many Christian children in government schools are converted to an anti-Christian worldview rather than evangelizing their schoolmates, and

Whereas, the Bible teaches that the companion of fools will be destroyed (Pr. 13:20), and that people are prone to be deceived into thinking that evil company will not corrupt them (1Cor. 15:33), it is incumbent upon ministers of the gospel to warn God’s people that their children are being corrupted by spending half of their waking hours instructed by teachers who are required by law to inculcate a Godless education

I find the argument very compelling. Our government public schools are, by law and by design, thoroughly secular. By excluding God, they are implicitly teaching that He is irrelevant. Children spend 7 hours a day, 180 days a year, receiving an atheistic education. And further, many of the people who prepare the textbooks, the administrators who design the curriculum and plan the school day, and the teachers who do the actual teacher, are often not Christians. The Bible tells us that this makes them enemies of God, slaves of Satan, who do Satan’s will. Does it make _any_ sense to turn 5 year olds over to this system? Do we want slaves of Satan teaching a godless worldview to our children through lessons that simply ignore Him and present strictly natural and human causes behind history?

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10 Responses to Christian Education Resolution

  1. Josiah says:

    I think I agree with all the Whereas clauses you listed. (I did not read the linked, complete list.) My wife and I are seriously contemplating homeschooling our children when they reach school age. As a pastor, I’m contemplating whether I ought to send this message to my flock and the implications of doing so. Of course, the implications must not make the decision for me…

    One thought that rolls around in my head as I perhaps attempt to justify not pushing Christians to remove their kids from schools is that they need to be in the world. That parents can still direct the education of their children and give them the full picture without removing them from the schools. But, as I said, maybe I’m just rationalizing my way out of standing against something so big.

  2. they need to be in the world

    I’m not willing to send my children among the wolves, not quite yet. Not without my protection and shelter. When they are older, that will change, of course. But for now, if they are going to interact with the world, it will be on my terms, under my protection and direction, at my discretion. I feel like it’s my responsibility before God to protect them. I think it is better to manage their interaction with the world, rather than just throwing them out there and seeing what happens.

    I mean, I won’t even let my toddlers watch _Finding Nemo_ because I think parts of it are way too scary for them. What kind of father would I be to control what movies my kids watched, but not watch over the rest of their lives like that?

    That parents can still direct the education of their children and give them the full picture without removing them from the schools.

    I believe that government schools, by design, provide a secular education that treats God as though He were meaningless. At worst, it’s absolutely hostile to Him.

    I do not think I can counteract ~35 hours per week of this in a couple of hours (max) per night, plus a few hours on Sunday.

    Those are some of the reasons we’re going to homeschool our kids.

    The Highland Study Center has a lot of good articles about this. They are a bit more abrasive than might be necessary, but I like the articles anyway. There’s a lot to read there!

  3. Karl Thienes says:

    We will either be homeschooling or sending our children to this new classical school:

    http://www.agiasophiaacademy.org

  4. Adrienne says:

    As a dedicated Christian who loves teaching in public schools and sees God at work every day in education and the beautiful lives of her students, I find this resolution and your post ignorant and offensive.

  5. Adrienne, I certainly didn’t mean any offense for public school teachers. My wife was a public school teacher for the first few years of our marriage, until the birth of our first child. My objection to public schools has almost nothing to do with the teachers themselves; it is primarily with the _system_. You might have noted that in my single-paragraph commentary, I wrote “_many_ of the people who [are involved in public schools] are often not Christians”. I don’t know if you read the entire resolution or not, but it included some paragraphs to that effect as well.

    Can you explain what part of the resolution or my post is “ignorant”?

    Is it not true that public school teachers are fobidden by law, and by school policies, from teaching a Christ-centered world view? Doesn’t God (specifically, Jehovah) _have_ to be excluded from your teaching?

    To what extent would you say that the public school system where you work permits, or encourages, the presentation of a God-centered world?

  6. Karl Thienes says:

    “To what extent would you say that the public school system where you work permits, or encourages, the presentation of a God-centered world?”

    Even more to the point, what extent do the government schools permit or encourage a *Christ*-centered world? “God” (whoever you want him/her/it to be) is always tolerated….as long as it isn’t Jesus Christ….

  7. Jared says:

    Hit and run flaming drives me bonkers.

  8. Rong says:

    Unfortunately for a lot of us, it is (or at least was) financially impossible to home school our children. In that light we have to remain steadfast and unwavering in our virtues, principles and moral standards. As a father of 2 high schoolers I can firmly attest that kids want rules and structure, even as they push against our boundaries.
    They may be fed 35hrs a week outside the home, but when it comes to the real authoritative truth in the ir lives it is our job to make sure they always know where it comes from.

  9. financially impossible to home school our children.

    My wife is reading a “how to homeschool” book right now, and it estimates that you _can_ homeschool for as little as $300 per child per year. Fortunately that is in many people’s price range – more people than can afford private Christian school anyway! Private Christian schools are unbelievably expensive as far as I can tell.

    Of course since we want lots of kids, even $300 per kid will add up very quickly! :-)

    They may be fed 35hrs a week outside the home, but when it comes to the real authoritative truth in the ir lives it is our job to make sure they always know where it comes from.

    You are right that it is our job to teach them the truth regardless of any other circumstances. It’s just that I think the “brute force” approach has some strength behind it. 35 hours per week is an awful lot to overcome! I prefer to stack the odds in my (their!) favor.

  10. what extent do the government schools permit or encourage a *Christ*-centered world?

    Very good point, Karl. I wrote “God-centered” because in my mind it’s synonymous with “Christ-centered”. You’re absolutely right that the world doesn’t see it that way. That indulgent old grandfather in the sky is cool with just about everyone. Jesus the Messiah, well, now, that’s a little different.

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