Ps.145:4: "One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shalt declare thy mighty works
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 "Hear O Israel The LORD your God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with oil your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the raad, when you lie down and when you get up."
Ephesians 6:4 "Fathers, ...bring [your children] up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
A. BibIicaI Christian Education
(*)Because of the virtual takeover of the public schools by anti-Christian educational philosophies, methods and goals. Bible-believing Christian churches and parents are turning to private Christian schools in increasing numbers. The parallel burgeoning home school movement throughout the United States is an even more determined step in this direction, How much longer these movements, the cutting edge at Christian action today, will be allowed to continue by the anti-Christian powers that be is unknown. Eventually, perhaps soon, a showdown is inevitable (see Lesson 12). Meanwhile every year, every month spent in a truly Bible-believing Christian church or home school is at inestimable value.(*)
Genuinely biblical Christian education will reflect the biblical Christian world view and begin with its starting point, God
Himself as Creator and Lord of all that is, and bibllcal creation. It will never forget that "The fear of the LORD is the beginning at wisdom" (Proverbs 1:7). It will try with all its might to base oil instruction in all subjects taught upon the Bible as Cad's Word. It will impress God's Law diligently upon the students at all possible times (Deut. 6:4-7). Ot course Christian education (and for that matter all child rearing) must be in the hands at the parents, designated by God as responsible far it (Ephes.6:4) Genuinely biblical Christian education will maintain discipline under the authority at teachers and parents, even as "the low is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ" (Col 3:24). Children are to honor their parents and persons appointed as their overseers/teachers by their parents (Exod.20:12). Christian education can never be "child-centered" or "non-directive" as its goal is to provide "training and instruction of the Lord" (Ephes. 6:4). God is its center and its Director. As Creator and Sustainer- He knows best what is best for the child, using parents and teachers as His co-workers (I Cor.3:9)
Not only does God's creation at man in His own image and likeness have consequences for man's moral upbringing, but it also is the foundation for training the God-given talents and abilities which are part of each child's created identity. The parables our Lord Jesus Christ taught about the talents (Mat.25:14-30) and the pounds (Luke 19:12-27) prove that each of us is to do the very best he can to bring increase to our Lord with the "working capital" He bestowed upon us. This applies to our physical and mental gifts as much if not more as to our material gifts. "Everything that is within us" is to praise His holy Name (Ps.103:1). Thus we as parents and teachers must diligently discern our children's abilities and talents, and do our utmost to help them develop them to our Maker's glory and joy. (*)Each child must be asked and encouraged to do his very best in all school subjects, and this regardless of grades (achieve the highest grade possible, even if no higher than a C), of comparison with peers (each child is responsible to God, not classmates), and of future career benefits (these may come or not as God sees fit.'There must be just praise and blame, as God Himself gives His servants (Mf.25:20-23, 26-30): often parenfs and teachers do not rejoice enough in their children's good work. Yet there is no reward so blessed as our Lord's praise "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" and He Himself rejoices over His faithful people "with singing" (7ephaniah 3:17). Even so the child longs for his father's and mother's praise, and parents reloice (or should, vocally and expressly) over their good children Christian education remembers that we bring up and train our children ultimately for fellowship with our Lord not only in this world but in eternity. His commandments are not only to be obeyed outwardly and for a time but on our hearts" (Deuf.6:6: Jer.31:33; 2Cor.3:3' Heb.~:1O~11: 2Pef.1:t: I John 3:2-3). Christian education's goal is to lead to the restoration of God's image and likeness in the students, "planting and watering" in prayer and hope that God will "give the increase" (I Cor.3:6 7). Parents and teachers also need discernment in choosing what may enter their charges' minds. Students, too, must be trained diligently to "test all things and hold fast that which is good" (I Thess.5:21). Finally, Christian education is full of purpose and joy in our Lord. Because "the one that is in God's children-Christ Himself through the Holy Spirit-is greater than the one who is in the world (Satan)" (I John 4: 4), because our Lord, the Creator of all that is, is almighty, all-knowing and ever-faithful (2 Tim. 2:11-15; Jude 2t-25, etc.), our labor in Him is never in vain (I Cor.15:57-58).
B, Worldly Education in General
(*)lt is a great pity that Christians have awakened only recently to the anti-Christlan stance of public education. Had we understood the basic division between biblical Christianity and all other world views, we would have initiated the Christian and home school movements many years ago, indeed never have departed from them. As pointed out in Lesson 1, biblical Christianity begins with biblical creation and the Creator - creature distinction. It knows that God alone as Creator of all things out of nothing neither needs nor depends on anyone or anything. Man the creature. on the other hand, always and totally depends on God. It is the very essence of unbelief and of man's fall that man denies his dependence upon God and wants to be his own god, lord and master (Genesis 3:5). Neutrality in this foundational issue is impossible. Even the agnostic who says God may, or may not, exist by this ve~ statement sets himself up as independent judge between God and atheism. We either willingly depend on God, or deny our dependence on Him (Mt.6:24,' John 3.18' 2 Cor.6'.14). The public schools of oil Western "post-Christian" societies claim similar "neutrality" between Christianity and other religions as well as atheism. John 3.'18, "whoever does not believe [in Christ] stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son," applies in full force,(i In general non-Christian education will reflect the non-Christian philosophies current at any particular time, though overall trends con be discerned. Modern worldly education in its explicit anti-Christian "child-centeredness" and rejection of the biblical view of man as a fallen sinner may be traced bock to Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). For Rousseau, as for worldly educators today, the child is naturally good, as is primitive man unspoilt by civilization, Man's dominion mandate and creativity is downgraded, even despised. The progressive, "democratic" model of public education still predominant today was introduced by John Dewey (1859-1952). This model, today combined with New Age teaching (see Lesson I) and Rogerian "non-directive" philosophy (see Lesson 5). does away with discipline and teacher authority in the classroom, and the thorough instruction of students in the basic learning skills. The results, widespread illiteracy and anarchy, are all around us. Ironically Dewey's progressive education was to prepare the students for harmonious togetherness in total "democracy. The eventual goal of worldly education is a society world-wide in scope. National boundaries are to be abolished, as are belief in God, absolute moral laws and the preaching of repentance from sin and regeneration in Christ. (*)As a Harvard professor of educational psychiatry put it in a childhood education seminar as early as 1973'.
Every child in Arnerica entering school at the age of five is mentally ill, because he comes to school with certain qilegiances toward our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward 'his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural Being, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity.
it's up to you teachers to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future. (Quoted in "Christian School Comment," Vol.16, No.9, a publication of Association of Christian Schools lnternational)(')
Students are motivated by selfism, the future utility of their studies, and geffing along with their peers. When all these motivations fail, only instant self-gratification is left. Hence the phenomenal drug abuse and promiscuity among Western young people today. Because of the system's impersonalism and often broken homes and absentee parents, more and more young people see themselves and human life in general as meaningless. Hence outright suicide among them is on the rise. Worldly education tries tn remedy these hurts by "self-esteem" or "death education" courses to little avail.
C, Specific Problems
Moral relativism is rampant in public education today. The older generations' values are made to appear doubtful, foolish, or obsolete through "values clarification" teaching, ostensibly designed to help young people think independently. The concept is akin to Rogerian "nondirective" counseling, (see Lesson 5). The result is inevitably the rejection of any strongly held values, that is, the supposedly "neutral" mindset of the public education system as a whole and its leaders in particular. Such "neutrality" as we saw is in itself a rejection of biblical Christianity and Its God.
(*)Closely connected with this valueless "neutrality" is the lack of spirited support tar the public school system. It still functions because school attendance is compulsory and because it is financed by ever rising taxes. Amazingly, public school teachers are much more likely than the general public to send their own children to non~public schools. They know the system's grave faults from within, especially the lack of discipline, administration support, and absence of academic challenges for bright young people. Educational excellence itself has become a non-value.(')
Not only has the curriculum been watered down for many years, daily teaching time is reduced by administrative chores and non-essential activities as well as inquiries violating the privacy of the students and even their families. Some of these inquiries and questionnaires are withheld from the parents in order to avoid confrontations. Because all this has been going on for a very long time, belated parental resistance to health clinics and sex and contraceptive education in the public schools is not taken too seriously by the educational elite. (*)Public education is in practice in the hands of the state and federal departments of education, not in the hands of the parents or even local school boards (see Lesson 12]. By the same token, policies are set by these state or federal bodies, and behind them the education faculties at our public universities and colleges, as well as prestigious private universities. Such universities may even have begun as Christian institutions, but they denied their origins generations ago and are now citadels at unbelief.('J
* Lately New Age thought has invaded the public schools (see Lesson 4). Its agenda includes the training of children (even as young as kindergarten) to "center" or "focus upon spirit guides" or the Higher Self within them. Feminism and one-worldism as well as man's equality or even inferiority compared with the rest of nature are taught in many appealing ways. or course New Age teaching is religious, even occult and should therefore be banned from our public schools if "separation of church and state" were impartially enforced. In practice the only "religion" which is cast out is biblical Christianity. In order to eliminate even the thought of the God of the Bible, the many scientific evidences showing the impossibility of evolution are generally not presented to public school science students, while evolution is taught as fact. (*)Thankfully, a staunch minority of public school teachers do not abide by this censorship and exercise their academic freedom in the classroom. Students themselves also often have the courage to stand up for their Christian convictions in the classroom. not only on creation but also on abortion, chastity, and the truth of the Gospel itself,(*) If Christian parents are compelled to keep their children in the public schools, they must be prepared at least to buttress their children's precious faith with the necessary supplementary study materials, personal encouragement and discussion, and if need be intercession with the school administration, Financial strain and career or work obligations do not excuse mothers and fathers from "impressing God's commandments" on their children and being responsible to God Himself for "bringing up their children in the training and instruction of the Lord" (Deut.6:4-7; Ephes.6.'4).
D. Education Deteriorates Without God
Believers and unbelievers alike today recognize that our public education system has deteriorated greatly. Believers attribute this deterioration to our society's departure from God and His law Unbelievers, of course, would give up anything rather than their cherished independence from God. They think more money, smaller classes, better buildings, or perhaps a return to "classical education." a "Great Books" program, or even Optional "traditional" schools might help. Some small benefits might be expected from such measures because they are in line with basic Christian-biblical principles of encouraging the training of each child's God-given talents and abilities. But the "one thing necessary" is still lacking: a purpose for both each individual and for society as a whole. Therefore education without God will be anarchistic, as now in the West. or totalitarian, as under Communism. Only the Triune Personal God and Creator of Christianity can provide through His instruction for each individual human being as well as mankind as a whole, for He created man in His own image and likeness. more-than-one Persons in unity of wisdom, purpose and fellowship. Lacking the Triune God as a "role model," would-be independent human education will of necessity end in lawless disintegration. superseded by forced uniformity in a state-imposed straitjacket.
1. According to Scripture. who is responsible for education of children?
2. Is discipline and authority in home and school biblical? Cite Scripture.
3. Is Western public education really "neutral" abdut God?
4, Name some specific problems in public education today.
For Further Reading:
Samuel L. Blumenfeld. NEA.' Trojan Horse in American Education. The Paradigm Company. P.O. Box 45161, Boise. Idaho 83711. 1984.
Rousas J. Rushdoony. The Messianic Character at American Education. Nutley. NJ: The Craig Press. 1963.1972. The best overview of Arnerican public education and its anti-Christian trends since its beginnings.
Phyllis Schlafly. ed.. Child Abuse in the Classroom. Alton. IL: Pere Marquette Press. 1984. Second Edition February 1965. Public testimonies before the U.S.Department of Education every parent should read.
Ps. 145:4; Deut.6: 4-7;' Ephes. 6:4
A. Biblical Christian Education
1 begins with God as Creator and Lord Prov. 1:7
a. will base all instruction in all subjects on Bible and impress God's Law on students Deut.:4-7; parents responsible Eph. 6:4
b maintains discipline & authority Gal. 3:24; Ex. 20:12; I Cor.3:9
2. God's creation of man in His own image undergirds training of talents
a. everyone must bring increase Mt. 25:14-30;Lk.19:12-27; Ps. 103:1
b. just praise & blame essential Mt. 25:20-23, 26-30; Zephaniah 3:17
3. Christian education not only for now but for eternal life with God
a. God's laws to be "on our hearts" Deut. 6:6; Jer. 31:33; 2 Cor.3:3; Heb 8:10-11; 2 Pet.1:1; I John 3:2-3
b. parents & teachers co-workers wiih God I Cor. 3:6-7
c. parents, teachers, students need discernment I Thess.5:21
d. Christian education full of purpose and joy in our Lord I John 4:4; 2 Tim.2:11-15; Jude 24, 25; 1 Cor15:57-58
B. Worldly Education in General
1. Creator-creature distinction denied; man wants to be God Gen.3 5
a. neutrality impossible Mt. 6:24; Jn. 3:18; 2 Cor. 6:11
2. reflects current non-Christian philosophies
a. "child-centeredness" today goes back to Rousseau (1712-1778)
b. progressive "education for democracy" from John Dewey (1859-1952); now combined with Rogerian "non-directive" philosophy (see L.5)
c results: widespread illiteracy & anarchy; goal is one-world state
d. students motivated by selfism, future utility of studies, getting along with peers, instant self-gratification (drugs, sex)
e. system's impersonalism, broken homes lead to meaninglessness, suicide
C. Specific Problems
1. moral relativism in climate of "neutrality" about values
2. whole system has lost public support; educational excellence no longer valued
3. academic curriculum watered down; invasion of student/family privacy
4. proliferation of New Age thought; censorship on creation/evolution
5. if public school inevitable, parents must help Deut. 6:4-7; Eph. 6:4
D. Education Deteriorates Without God
1. stopgap measures (more money, buildings, "Great Books" etc.)
2. but meaning, purpose for individual and society still lacking
3. public education in West has anarchy, under Communism is totalitarian