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Public School is NOT a Valid Choice for Christian Education

Christian Living | Culture | Theology

Published on October 02, 2023

In the last article, we made a case for a Family Integrated approach to church. Let’s move next to consider the Christian Education of children. Now, I admit that this section deserves a more in-depth and nuanced treatment than I can do here, and we may come back to it at another time to consider more nuanced details. But I’m laying out broad strokes here for now. So, take what is said here with that salty grain. We are establishing the main principles, not getting into all the details of the “what about ifs…” and legitimate exceptions. 

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The main principle I’m arguing for is that Public School should not be considered a legitimate option for Christian parents to educate their children. In fact, we should have never had public schools to begin with because they were rebellious from the start. This is why they have all turned away from the Lord. This decline of the public school system has been predicted for a long time now. R.L. Dabney, in the 19th century, wrote that 

“We have seen that their [the schools’] complete secularization is logically inevitable. Christians must prepare themselves then, for the following results: All prayer, catechisms, and Bibles will ultimately be driven out of the schools.”

(Dabney, On Secular Education, 26-27) 

When Dabney wrote those words, the schools were largely controlled by Christians and had Bibles, prayers and even catechisms in them. However, God had never given the responsibility of the education of the next generation to the civil government in Scripture. That duty was given to their parents. Thus, although well-meaning, they were trying to get Christian fruit to grow on a secularist tree.

So, the Public School system is not a legitimate or Biblical option (under normative circumstances) for Christian parents to consider in the education of their children. In special cases, (such as single parent homes, special needs kids, etc) every effort should be made to ensure that children have a distinctly Christian education to the best of the parents’ abilities with the support of their local church community.

That’s my main thesis. Tall order. Let’s unpack it now.

The Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge

I believe that the convictions that lead to a family-integrated ministry approach also have ramifications for how Christians should think about educating their children and would preclude public government-run education as a legitimately faithful way or ideal first choice of discipling children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This is especially true in our day where the public school curriculum is overtly anti-Christian. It’s not just that it’s non-Christian or secular. Modern curriculum is actively against the Christian worldview. It is not neutral now, nor has it ever been.

Education is either according to Christ or against Christ because it is in Christ that ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge lay (Col. 2:3). ALL OF THEM.

Thus, it is questionable for a Christian father to willingly and knowingly give his children over to the State-run schools of secular pagans for instruction and education from an anti-Christian worldview for the majority of their productive waking hours. There is no neutrality. Sometimes we assume that while it is clear that different religions come from opposing worldviews, somehow education is neutral. But that’s simply not the case. All of life is ultimately religious because everyone must have starting presuppositions which are based on certain faith commitments (you can refer to my articles/episodes on presuppositional apologetics for more on that).

As Pastor Douglas Wilson notes,

“Education is fundamentally religious. Consequently, there is no question about whether a morality will be imposed in that education, but rather which morality will be imposed. Christians and assorted traditionalists who want a secular school system to instill anything other than secular ethics are wanting something that has never happened and can never happen.”

(Wilson, The Case for Classical Christian Education, 22) 

Even subjects like Math, Science, and Geography have religious presuppositions. For example: Why does math work in a chance universe? Why is science even possible if we are randomly evolved from cosmic goop? How can we trust our sensory perceptions to give us accurate knowledge of the world if life is not designed by a Faithful Designer but is rather randomly evolved through an unguided process? Wouldn’t that mean there is a chance that some of us may have evolved our eyesight, hearing, touch, smell or taste different from others? How then could we ever have confidence in the observations we make with those senses that form the basis of scientific inquiry? The answer to all of these questions involves presuppositions which must be established on faith in some worldview. And this worldview is what is being imparted on a deeper level in the education process.

That great prince of preachers, Charles H. Spurgeon, once wrote,

“To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God… Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter.”

Like Teacher, Like Student

In every education, there is an underlying worldview that will be imparted to the students. Jesus himself said in Luke 6:40 that “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone, when he is fully trained, will be like his teacher.” 

So, the question is, what will your child be like when he is fully trained by God-hating pagans? And that is not being mean to Mrs. Pennysmith, the 4th-grade geography teacher. That’s being Biblical. We all were once children of wrath, enemies of God, and rebel sinners before grace came and saved us.

If you have a non-Christian teacher, then according to Jesus, when you’ve been fully trained by them, you’ll be like them. 

We don’t even need to bring in the question of the LBGTQ agenda that is being rammed down the public school curriculum or other concerning ideologies like Critical Race Theory. Or the fact that 9th-grade Math has had anti-racist activism inserted into the curriculum or that science has been used to normalize racism and is part of the colonialist oppression we must be liberated from. Or the plethora of other legitimate concerns about the Canadian public school system brought to the fore by some like Pierre Barns of Exposing SOGI 123, James Pew of Woke Watch Canada or Canadian Gender Report or the equivalents in the US and other countries. We simply need to consider that Jesus’s words are true – every student will become like their teacher. How can we expect little impressionable minds to be able to distinguish between the bits of true information in their science or language or social studies class from the false parts of a non-Christian worldview? They can’t. That’s why Christian parents are obligated by Scripture to give their children a Christian education (don’t worry, we’ll get to those passages soon).

The Lord will not hold us guiltless if we neglect our duty toward our children and His commands concerning their education and upbringing. He did not hold Eli guiltless for the unfaithfulness of his sons. 2 Samuel 2:12 says that, “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord.” Scripture holds Eli responsible for his sons because he neglected to discipline and disciple them. Eventually this led to the Lord putting Eli’s sons to death. Even the good king Hezekiah ended his life pitifully. In Isaiah 38–39, after being mercifully granted 15 more years of life by the Lord, when he was rebuked for his pride of showing his treasures to men from Babylon, the Lord told him that his sons would be carried off to be castrated Babylonian slaves. Hezekiah, instead of repenting and doing all that he could in his last 15 years of life to fortify the kingdom and prepare his sons, he sat back easy because he took that to mean “at least I’ll have peace in my days.” Such selfish and short-sighted thinking is wicked and should not be found among us. Let us not finish like that, but finish strong to the end.

So, now let us return to look at the texts of Psalm 78 and Deuteronomy 6 which are often illegitimately used to support Kids Ministry programs to see what they are actually clearly teaching us – both in terms of their relevance to Family Ministries in churches, but also more properly in terms of the obligations of parents to children for their education.

Psalm 78:1-8

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
    I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
    that our fathers have told us.
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.
He established a testimony in Jacob
    and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
    to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
    the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
    so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
    but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers,
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
    whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Let’s start by making some basic observations of the text. Who is this text directed to? 

Specifically, it is directed to fathers and by implication parents, that they (that is, the parents and especially fathers) will not fail to tell their children the deeds of the Lord (v.4) and to teach them God’s law (v.5). Furthermore, consider the original audience. This is a Psalm that would have been sung by the general congregation of the people of God during worship in the Old Testament. Parents would have been reminded of their duties to disciple and educate their children during worship and children would have also been instructed by the song. 

I don’t see how we can take a text like this and twist it to say, “well that means that fathers are to give their children over to Kids Ministry workers to disciple and educate them and keep them out of the gathering of God’s people for worship.” One would never come up with that idea from reading this text. Kids Ministry workers are not the ones addressed to instruct “their children” as the Psalm repeats. Neither does this Psalm permit parents to give over their kids to secular state schools for discipleship (which is what education is). This Psalm is rightly understood as directed to parents and specifically to fathers as heads of their households. Furthermore, beyond just its implications for a church’s approach to family ministries, this obviously has implications for the parents’ roles in the home for overseeing the education of their children.

The rest of the Psalm goes on to recount the Redemptive History of God with Israel and there is an important lesson there for us in this historical Psalm. James Montgomery Boice comments on this Psalm that,

“It recounts the history of the people of Israel in order to draw lessons from it—lessons as to who God is, what he has done, how the people responded to him wrongly in the past, and how they should learn from those past failures today… Its lesson is that history must not repeat itself.”

(James Montgomery Boice, Psalms 42–106: An Expositional Commentary, 645)

Simply put, one of the duties of parents laid out here is to ensure that their children learn from history so that they do not repeat its mistakes. This is why the Psalmist says he will use “parables” (v. 2) to communicate things his fathers had told – he’s passing down generational wisdom and inviting his hearers to draw conclusions by the use of historical stories that communicate some moral lesson or wisdom (that’s what a parable is). Yet how much of this has been forsaken today? How many parents tell the stories of the past? Obviously they should tell stories of their spiritual past given to us in the pages of Scripture which tell of the story of redemption in history. But they should also tell of their country’s and family’s mistakes and successes in order to learn from them. These sorts of things are certainly not being taught in the vast majority of public schools, and when they are, they tend to be taught with a certain leftist bent.

History always has a didactic function, and depending on how it is framed can greatly affect the lessons which are learnt from it. This is one of the many reasons why we see history repeating itself again with the rise of Marxist ideologies and ungodly philosophies.

Notice also what goal parents are aiming towards in verse 7, that our children “should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” Bible Commentator, Derek Kidner, points out that “The three phrases of verse 7 show a threefold cord of faith, as personal trust, informed and humble thinking, and an obedient will.” (Derek Kidner, Psalms 73–150: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 16, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, 312) That is what the goal of the parents’ instruction and discipleship of their children should be – and this is primarily their duty. Not one to give their children away to non-Christians to hope that they do. Thus, the goal of Christian education is not just data transfer. It is rather the centrality of worship as the end goal and this is why it cannot be achieved by secular means. We know that Biblically, worship is central to life, and therefore it must be central to the education preparing you for that life.

As R.L. Dabney notes,

“Education is the nurture and development of the whole man for his proper end. That end must be conceived rightly in order to understand the process, and even man’s earthly end is predominantly moral.”

(Dabney, On Secular Education, 13)

In light of this, Kidner is right when he observes that “Scripture has no room for parental neutrality.” Whatever route parents decide to take for the education of their kids, either public schools, private classical Christian schools or homeschooling, these are not neutral decisions. Some worldview will be imparted – it’s just a question of which one.

Deuteronomy 6

Let’s look next at Deuteronomy 6. In many ways, Asaph was only reiterating what Moses had said many years before to the people of God. Moses opens Deuteronomy 6 this way:

“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.” (Deut. 6:1-2)

Notice again how the context sets the audience. Moses is primarily addressing parents. It then continues with the “Shema” (which is simply the Hebrew for “hear”) and would have been often repeated by every faithful Jew.

““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.” (Deut. 6:4-9)

Note that this is nested also in the context of what Jesus called the greatest commandments, and when God gave His people His Word through Moses, He obligated the parents to teach it to their children. That’s how important this is. Bible Commentator Ajith Fernando comments,

“Teach them diligently” is the translation of a single word that means “repeat,” and this is reflected in the NLT rendering: “Repeat them again and again to your children.” The truths of God’s Word might not go into the mind and transform our lives after one hearing. Therefore they need to be repeated often, and the primary place where this takes place in the lives of children is the home… The teaching is to be done “diligently,” which, again, has the idea of repeating. This is not an occasional thing that parents do; it is a regular part of the life of the family. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).”

(Ajith Fernando., Deuteronomy—Loving Obedience to a Loving God, 264-265)

Because of the need to teach repeatedly and diligently, it makes sense why God would give this primary responsibility to parents of children. Much of this would take place in the home, as the next verses imply. God’s Word is to be the constant and regular topic of conversations around the home and throughout life for families. As such, mealtimes together are opportune times for these conversations, as well as when the kids are up in the morning with morning devotions and when they are put to bed with a bedtime story or reading. They are to think about God both to start and end the day. God’s Word should bookend our every day. Yet this very thing is often neglected or placed lower in our day-to-day priorities. Fernando comments,

“Considering the volume and content of what we are exposed to these days, we should be spending more time than the people in Old Testament times counteracting the anti-Christian messages that we encounter. Clearly, this is an area that needs urgent attention.” (pg 266)

I couldn’t agree more. This responsibility falls primarily upon parents to give their children a decidedly and distinctly Christian education. Again Boice is insightful as he comments,

“Let me make this relevant to our time by saying that one thing we are to abhor as Christian parents is “values-neutral” education. Our culture wants it. In fact, it fights for it. But then we get a world in which the young avoid hard work, laugh at honesty, steal, and in some cases kill with no apparent conscience. We should not be surprised. We should struggle to make sure that our children are taught morality grounded in the character of God and supported by the life and power of our Savior Jesus Christ. We must teach this in our homes. If necessary we must teach it in our own schools—when the country’s schools begin to destroy what we believe and hold dear.”

(James Montgomery Boice, Psalms 42–106: An Expositional Commentary, 646)

We are already at that point that Boice describes and beyond. I think it is high time that Christians wake up to that reality. 

As Voddie Baucham says, we cannot keep on giving our kids to Caesar and wonder why they keep coming back as Romans. 

Some Illustrative Examples

A few examples to illustrate this will have to suffice, but many more could be multiplied.

In a 2021 article from the Canadian Gender Report, the author notes,

The Toronto District School Board is discussing how to permit LGBTQ students to change their names in their databases, without parental consent. Also in the TDSB, at Bowmore Road, grade 7 students were instructed that their “parents and grandparents may not be as informed about (gender) as the students.” What’s implied: your parents don’t understand gender and have no authority on this matter, so kids shouldn’t listen to them.

 Parents in the Hamilton Wentworth School  Board (HWDSB) are denied access to their “Learn.Disrupt.Rebuild” curriculum, “designed to address the twin pandemics of Covid and anti-Black racism.”

While I know some Christian parents who have kids in the public system do their best to be involved, know the teachers and curriculum, realistically, it is impossible to stay on top of absolutely everything that your child is exposed to in the public system. That’s just the reality. This is especially difficult if you have activist teachers who are committed to hiding such curriculum from parents.

A National Post article in 2023 noted how children in schools can gender transition and be referred to gender clinics without their parent’s knowledge or approval, stating,

“It’s just one way the education system has become intimately involved in the transgender process, which affects an “exponentially” growing number of young Canadians.”

Samuel Sey, who addresses a lot of issues of race from a Christian perspective, notes the prevalence of Critical Race Theory in Canadian education:

Peel District School Board has added courses to its curriculum that replace that “challenge dominant colonial narratives and promote student’s epistemologies in education from kindergarten to Grade 12.”

Though many people remain in denial over the prevalence of critical race theory in schools, a presentation from Peel District school board explicitly says some of these courses “explore contemporary Black culture in Canada, through the lens of Critical Race Theory.“

The website, Exposing SOGI123, lists many books used in Canadian public schools for their sex-ed curriculum. Such titles include, “It’s Perfectly Normal”, “This Book is Gay”, “Quick and Easy Guide to Queer and Trans Identities”, “The Gender Book”, and “All Boys Aren’t Blue” which teach radical LBGTQ+ and gender-theory to kids. Some of these books are simply pornographic (you can check out the links for yourself). These books can only be considered as grooming and are actively being used in public schools in Canada. With the fact that many kids can’t even remember what they had for lunch, it is quite questionable to expect them to remember to debrief with their parents about everything the teacher taught or that they read through readily available resources on their bookshelves.

Just a few quick examples will have to suffice. Here are some actual books found in Canadian public school curriculums. It’s called SOGI123—Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. The website already should raise some red flags, but just wait until you see the books used in this curriculum.

Here are a few of the books that are actually used in the curriculum, kept in public school libraries, with some pictures of what’s inside:

The agenda these days is not at all subtle. In times past, Christian parents might have been able to claim ignorance, but now it’s been made clearer as the fundamental worldview in the public schools has not changed and it is moving towards its logical end.

Chanel Pfahl (a former Ontario teacher), in an article on Woke Watch Canada, exposes the pressure toward ideological conformity to the leftist agenda in Ontario public schools stating,

in February 2021, I posted a non-politically correct Facebook comment in which I suggested teachers should not indoctrinate kids, but teach them how to think for themselves. I added that they should model kindness and speak out against all forms of discrimination — even discrimination brought on by the “anti-racist” movement, which claims that all white people are racist by default.

Anyone who works in a school knows this last part especially is a big no-no. Even I knew that. To be equally concerned with the treatment of all people is wrong, because only non-white people deserve any kind of sympathy or consideration in this new progressive era.

She goes on to document the pressures and investigations she faced from the school board for just questioning the prevailing orthodoxy. With these sorts of things going on, there is immense pressure on many public school teachers to conform. And while this may not be the same everywhere and in every school, it is something that is happening.

With such pressures, how would a parent even know if their child’s public school is operating this way when teachers are pressured and silenced?

Ephesians 6

In the NT, one of the most relevant texts for our consideration is Paul’s instructions in Ephesians 6.

Ephesians 6:4 commands fathers not to exasperate their children, but rather to “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” There is both a negative and a positive command to us as fathers.

Negative Command: Don’t provoke

Negatively, we’re not to “provoke our children to anger”. This Greek verb, παροργίζω is a derivative of the noun παροργισμός (anger), and according to Louw-Nida means “to cause someone to become provoked or quite angry.”

John Calvin comments on this passage that fathers,

“are exhorted not to irritate their children by unreasonable severity. This would excite hatred, and would lead them to throw off the yoke altogether… Kind and liberal treatment has rather a tendency to cherish reverence for their parents, and to increase the cheerfulness and activity of their obedience, while a harsh and unkind manner rouses them to obstinacy, and destroys the natural affections.”

Lincoln in his commentary on Ephesians notes,

“Fathers are made responsible for ensuring that they do not provoke anger in their children. This involves avoiding attitudes, words, and actions which would drive a child to angry exasperation or resentment and thus rules out excessively severe discipline, unreasonably harsh demands, abuse of authority, arbitrariness, unfairness, constant nagging and condemnation, subjecting a child to humiliation, and all forms of gross insensitivity to a child’s needs and sensibilities.”

Why this emphasis and warning for fathers? Because God knows that our sinful propensities lead us in these directions towards harshness, severity, authoritarianism and condemnation of our children. God has made men to be fighters and warriors. However, the home is not the battlefield and our children are not the enemy—they’re our weapons according to Psalm 127—arrows in our quiver!

While training godly children requires discipline and correction, it is to be done in a way that does not exasperate the child. This is why in Colossians 3:21 Paul reminds us,

“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.”

Anyone who has had a father who provoked them, teased them, constantly put them down, or harassed them knows how damaging that can be and how much resentment and hatred can be built up because of it. It inflicts father wounds that take a lifetime to heal. Fathers are powerful in shaping their children’s future. This is why Scripture exhorts them and warns them in this way.

Positive Command: Bring them up

Paul contrasts the negative command not to provoke children with the positive command that conveys the idea of gentleness and forbearance. The Reformation Study Bible notes here that the command ἐκτρέφετε “suggests the idea of nurturing and helping to flourish.”

For context, it is important to know that in the Greco-Roman world, according to ancient writers such as Plutarch and Prudentius, after age seven until about sixteen, the father was in charge of a son’s education. He would sometimes enlist a tutor to help, but besides learning literacy, the father would oversee training in ethics, religion, household management, philosophy, public service, and exercises in developing strong rhetorical skills. This was the duty of every father in the First Century Roman Empire. So, Paul was agreeing with the Greco-Roman and Jewish culture of making fathers repsonsible for the education and religious upbringing of their children. However, the focus is shifted here.

Note that Paul specifies that it is not just to bring them up any way or even according to the Roman ways. Grammatically, Paul denotes what children are to be brought up in using the dative case for the two nouns—in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. “The Lord” was Paul’s common shorthand way to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ. The discipline and instruction must be then explicitly Christian.

These two Greek terms are instructive for us. The word νουθεσίᾳ, translated “instruction” has to do with instruction to correct behaviour and belief. BDAG defines it as “counsel about avoidance or cessation of an improper course of conduct, admonition.” So, fathers are to provide moral instruction for their children in proper conduct–this much should be uncontroversial. 

The Pillar New Testament Commentary notes that,

The first word-group could refer to education or training in a comprehensive sense (Acts 7:22; 22:3; 2 Tim. 3:16; Tit. 2:12), or the more specific nuance of discipline or chastisement (1 Cor. 11:32; 2 Cor. 6:9; Heb. 12:5, 7, 8, 11). Here in Ephesians 6:4 the general sense appears to be in view, with the second term (1 Cor. 10:11; Tit. 3:10) pointing to ‘the more specific aspect of this training that takes place through verbal admonition or correction’.

(Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999), 446.)

The Importance of Paideia

The second word, παιδείᾳ–translated as “discipline” has a lot more to it than most translations communicate. BDAG defines it as “providing guidance for responsible living, upbringing” and Louw-Nida defines it as “to provide instruction, with the intent of forming proper habits of behaviour.” So, at the core, the word concerns upbringing in terms of making a child a responsible person with proper habits of living. Various translations render this word as ‘education’ or ‘training’ or ‘fear’ or ‘admonition’ or ‘Christian worldview’ or ‘good character,’ but none of these is wholly adequate because there is no exact English equivalent. There’s more to it than any of these single-word translations.

The early Greeks realized the power of building culture intentionally through παιδείᾳ. A parallel idea can be found in ancient Israel (Deuteronomy 6). This is why Paul uses the word in Ephesians 6 after quoting from Deuteronomy 6.

In the Greco-Roman world that Paul was writing in, this word (παιδείᾳ) had the connotation of bringing up a child to be a good citizen of Rome. This is why it is used in Acts 7:22 to say that “Moses was trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians”–that is to say, he was trained in the παιδείᾳ of the Egyptians to be a good citizen of Egypt’s empire. He was enculturated with the values of Egyptian society, to understand how Egypt worked. 

In Roman society, every adult male was ideally to be trained up in the παιδείᾳ of Rome to the extent that they had a good understanding of how the Roman Empire worked, its laws, customs, values and politics. They were to be fully enculturated to be good and active Roman citizens. An ideal man within the city-state (polis) would be well-rounded, and refined in intellect, morals, and physicality. Both practical, subject-based schooling, as well as a focus on the socialization of individuals within the aristocratic order of the polis, were a part of this training. The practical aspects of paideia included subjects within the modern designation of the liberal arts (e.g. rhetoric, grammar, and philosophy), as well as scientific disciplines like arithmetic and medicine. Gymnastics and wrestling were valued for their effect on the body alongside the moral education which was imparted by the study of music, poetry, and philosophy.

Thus, this is not a new problem we face today. The context of the first-century church very much mirrors ours today with regard to widespread pagan education and holistic enculturation. It was something the Ante-Nicene Church of the first four centuries of Christianity recognized. Since Homer and pagan mythology formed the basis of the Greco-Roman παιδείᾳ, it presented dangers to the faith of Christians. But to shun the pagan schools for these early Christians seemed impossible, as even Tertullian admitted: 

“How can we reject profane studies, without which religious studies are impossible?” (De idol. 10.4). 

Tertullian’s basic opposition to Hellenism was expressed in his frequently quoted: “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem; the Academy with the Church?” (Praescrip. 7). He and many other Christians saw the fundamental antithesis between pagan education and the Christian worldview. By the mid-third century, we have clear evidence that Christian teachers like Origen and others could offer a complete philosophical education, which paralleled that which was offered in schools all over the Graeco-Roman world.

In his commentary on Ephesians, Stephen Fowl notes that

“Within the pagan household the training of the children, especially sons, would be directed to the end of preparing them to fulfill their proper role in the household and in the community at large. In Ephesians, fathers are admonished to form their children to fulfill their proper ends as people of the Lord. That is, the formation of children in the household should be in the light of their identity as Christians, not primarily as members of a specific family or citizens of a particular city.”

(Stephen E. Fowl, Ephesians: A Commentary, ed. C. Clifton Black, M. Eugene Boring, and John T. Carroll, First Edition, The New Testament Library (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012), 195.)

In Ephesians 6, Paul is saying that Christian fathers are to bring up their children to be, not good citizens of Rome but of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. This was radical.

This is the Christian creed, “Christ not Caesar is Lord” enacted in the home. I don’t think we really grasp just how radical the antithesis between Christ’s Kingdom and Caesar’s kingdom was in the First Century for us today as 21st Century believers. It was acute enough that Rome eventually would see Christians as a threat to the Empire because of their insistence that Christ and not Caesar was Lord of everything – including their kids. We must recover this again because we once again are in a time where the State believes and acts as if it is all-powerful and as if it owns the next generation. For example, the State removing children from families which don’t go along with their radical agendas. 

Grammatically in Greek, the training and admonition that fathers are to give is described as “of the Lord” which could be understood either as a subjective genitive or a genitive of quality. If it is the former, then the text is indicating that behind the parents stands the Lord himself and the ultimate concern of parents is not simply that their children would be obedient to their authority, but that through godly training and admonition, their children would know the Lord himself. If it is the latter, then it is indicating that the training and admonition are in the sphere of the Lord. That is, it is to be a truly Christian education. This second interpretation has the advantage of fitting well with what Paul said earlier in 4:20-21 about learning Christ and being taught in him. This is speaking to education from within a Christian worldview. As Ben Witherington notes, 

“It is not just any sort of education that is referred to here. It is Christian education—the training and admonition of the Lord. “Of the Lord” could mean either with the Lord in view or with the Lord using the father as the instructor, probably the former.”

(Ben Witherington III, The Letters to Philemon, the Colossians, and the Ephesians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Captivity Epistles, 338.)

But regardless, both interpretations would require distinctly Christian education to achieve.

The Association of Classical Christian Schools defines it this way,

“Paideia is at one level, the transfer of a way of viewing the world from the teacher to the student. At another it shapes and forms the child in terms of his or her desires, passions, and loves. It is essentially the part of upbringing and education that forms the soul of a human being — and it is key to the formation of a culture. Put yet another way, paideia is a description of the values we actually love, the truth we actually believe, and what we assume about the nature of our world… All schools reinforce some type of paideia.”

Christians must change how they think about education. We have defaulted to thinking, with the pagan secularists, that it is the job of the government to provide education. However, God gives fathers the tools they need to do this in His Word. Paul affirms this in 2 Timothy 3:16 that one of the things that Scripture is profitable for is “instruction in right living” – same word–παιδείᾳ. God has equipped us and commanded us to ensure that our children receive a Christian education and worldview. This is not a responsibility we should take lightly nor pass off easily.

As the Association of Classical Christian Schools goes on to note,

“Because it influences each person in a culture, paideia forms a culture. How do we think? How do we vote? Do we marry? Do we have large families? Small families? Do we do productive things? Start a revolution? A million actions lie on the surface. Layers of influence and supposition lie under each decision. Paideia lies at the deepest level. It is the blueprint of thought, affections, and narrative through which every one of us views everything. Because it is the building block of culture, it determines the future of a people.”

Thus, what we’re talking about here is not “just” your child’s education or a parent’s school choice. We’re talking about what will inevitably shape our culture for years to come. We’ve been reaping the fruits of the disfigured παιδείᾳ of secular State-run education as we see our civilizations which were built on a broadly Christian worldview crumbling at the foundations. This is why this is important to recover. As R.L. Dabney noted in his book On Secular Education,

“Education is the nurture and development of the whole man for his proper end. That end must be conceived rightly in order to understand the process, and even man’s earthly end is predominantly moral.”

(Dabney, On Secular Education, 13)

To raise up your child in the παιδείᾳ of the Lord as Paul commands means to train him/her to be a good citizen of Christ’s Kingdom. This simply does not happen in secular public schools. Unbelieving teachers are not going to teach your child to bow the knee to King Jesus over Caesar. They will instead teach them to continue to look to the overloaded Nanny State for all sorts of things the government was never given the responsibility to oversee. Scripture gives a very limited role for civil government (you can refer to previous articles/episodes for more on that topic).

Thus, these Scriptures oblige parents to not just give their children an education but to give them a distinctly Christian education. Supposedly secular public schools is not a valid way to accomplish this. As Stephen C. Perks noted,

“An education that denies God and His Word as the interpretive principle of all things, including all academic disciplines, is an education that implicitly denies the whole of biblical truth and the validity of the Christian faith. To subject our children to such an education is to deny the sovereignty and Lordship of God over our children and thus apostasy from the faith.” 

(Perks, The Christian Philosophy of Education Explained, 78–79)

We are morally obligated to keep our kids out of “secular” public schools because the Scriptures expressly require that we give them a non-agnostic form of education—that is, an education into the paideia of the Lord. As Perks notes later,

“Either we educate our children in terms of a Christian culture, or we hand them over to be educated by humanists as pagans. Our actions in this matter will help to determine and shape the culture of the next generation.”

(ibid, p. 116)

But what about…

Now, at this point, I know there will be a hundred different “what if” objections about exceptions to the norm – such as single-parent households, etc. However, again, I’m not addressing the exceptions here. I’m focusing on making a case for what should be the norm. Only after we have established what is the ideal that should be the norm, can we actually consider what to do in special circumstances. Only when you have the ideal and goal clearly defined can you consider the deviations from the norm. We don’t have time in this article/episode to fully consider every situation, but I’m hoping to leave some food for thought.

TGC Good Faith Debate & Jen Wilkin

Recently, The Gospel Coalition has been doing a series of “Good Faith Debates” on a variety of controversial topics. I’m all for debating important topics, however, the TGC seems to tend to push leftward (as has been their pattern) on many of these topics. One of these TGC Good Faith Debates was on public school. The person they had representing the side arguing that Christians should send their kids to public school was the popular women’s teacher, Jen Wilkin.

Now, I’m sure that Mrs. Wilkin is probably a fine and pleasant Christian lady who loves the Lord and her kids. That is not in question at this point. However, the arguments that she put forward in this “debate” are in question because they were, quite frankly, questionable. I don’t have time for a full review, and there have been others who have offered such a critique. But I want to pick up on one line of reasoning she put forward, that Christians should try their best to put their kids into public schools for the sake of loving their neighbour.

This is not the first time the “love your neighbour” argument has been used by Big Eva to support all sorts of Tom-foolery. The argument goes something like this, “if all Christians pull their kids out of public schools, then there will be no Christian witness and Christian parents who can be actively involved in the public schools and that will lead them to get worse and hurt our neighbours.” On the surface, that seems logical enough and there are certain premises that I’d agree with. However, this whole loving my neighbour thing has to be clearly sorted out. Perhaps first by asking that question the Jewish lawyer asked Jesus – who then is my neighbour? But secondly, how then do I love them Biblically?

To start, I’ll just note that Mrs. Wilkin’s argument was devoid of much or any Scripture that is in context specifically about the education of children. But that aside, are not the little ones in our own household our closest neighbours? What of loving them? Are we to love the stranger a few blocks away from us over the children God has given us to train up in the Lord? I’m sure when it’s put that way, not even Mrs. Wilkin would venture to say such a thing. However, this is in essence what she was arguing for (knowingly or not).

We are always having to navigate a network of obligations to others that Scripture places upon us. We have obligations to our spouse, our family, our church members, our community and strangers. But those obligations are to sit rightfully in a priority. Scripture itself teaches this principle when it tells us to do good to all, but especially those of the household of faith (Gal. 6:10). The next closest relational Biblical obligation we have on the priority list after our spouse is our children. Thus, Christian parents who decide to homeschool or Christian private school their children over sending them to public school are not neglecting the love of neighbours – they are simply rightly prioritizing which neighbours.

Furthermore, which is more loving in the long run to our pagan neighbours? To have children who have likewise been enculturated into the secular worldview and are ineffective Christians, or to have children who have a robust Christian worldview and can actually respond to the challenges and needs of the culture? Not to mention that Christian parents could be involved in public school boards regardless of whether or not their kids are in the system if they wanted to – that’s one of the things our tax payments ensure… and I would definitely be in support of that.

One good thing that Mrs. Wilkin stated that she’s not making the argument of sending our kids to public schools as missionaries. Great. Because that’s a terrible argument that is popularly put forward.

However, even at this point I think Mrs. Wilkin’s point is inconsistent. If Christians are to do their best to send their kids to public school in order to love their neighbours, it sort of implies that you’re sending them as “missionaries” in some sense since, I’m presuming that the expectation is that your kids would be either witnessing to the truth of Christianity by being salt and light in their schools. But, I’ve always thought that to be a weak argument, especially because for most Baptist believers, their kids who are in public schools haven’t even been baptized. This means that the parents don’t even think they’re believers as yet. This begs the question as to how they could possibly be missionaries when they aren’t even saved as yet. The public schools are the frontlines, and we don’t send our kids, or not-yet-believers or baby believers to the frontlines. That should be where mature adults go. So send in the Christian teachers and parents, but let’s follow what the Bible obliges us to do for our kids – and that is to give them a Christian education.

Pastor Douglas Wilson rightly notes in his book, The Case for Classical Christian Education that:

“Before we can win the children of this world, we have to stop losing our children to that world. And as we teach them their identity in Christ in such a way that they embrace that identity and the terms of the covenant that define it, they will provide the kind of contrast with our postmodern culture’s lost children that will make evangelism truly potent. Before we can invite nonbelievers to participate in our believing culture, we have to have one. And in order to have one, we have to pass the faith on to our children in spirit and in truth. There are many aspects to this task, but Christian education is right at the center of it. “

(Wilson, The Case for Classical Christian Education, 78)

State-Run Public Education

Before we close off, we should consider some of the concerns behind State-run Public Education. Now, there are plenty more examples I could bring up, but if I did, this article would go on even longer than it already has! (So thanks for reading this far!)

It creates serfs of the State

State-run education has an implicit motivation to create serfs of the State. Citizens who know nothing of their God-given rights, of the constitutions they live under which were based on a Christian worldview (in the West), and who are ignorant of basic economics, logic and history are easy to manipulate and control. So, why would the State have the incentive to produce citizens through its education system who will make things harder for them to maintain control? I’d simply ask those who have recently gone through the public school system, how much of your Charter of Rights and system of government do you understand in a meaningful way? Were you ever taught the Judeo-Christian foundations upon which most modern Liberal Democracies were built?

No Market Incentive to be Better

Not only that, State-run education has no market incentive to make it more efficient or higher quality since it has guaranteed financial subsidization from the government’s funding through taxation. Universal Education is not free. Much of our tax dollars are wasted and mishandled by bureaucrats who never have to reap the consequences of what they do with other people’s money. In fact, there are studies that have shown that it is actually far more expensive than private-run education because of the financial incentives for private schools to be run efficiently.

In the US, according to an ABC News report, only 23% of eighth graders tested proficient in math and 39% tested below even the basic level proficiency. According to “The Nation’s Report Card” in 2000, only a third of fourth graders in the US were at a proficient reading level. In 2001, a report from the Department of Education showed that half of the high school seniors could not perform at the basic level and 32% were only at the basic level. In Canada, it holds true that students who go to private schools do better academically on average than public schools. The Fraser Institute’s rankings show that a disproportionate amount of top-ranking schools are private and even though only 6% of Canadian children go to private schools, they account for over a third of the top-scoring schools. This is because, for private schools, there is a market incentive to be better since parents are basically paying twice for their child’s education (through mandatory taxation and additionally for the sometimes expensive private school fees). Now, I’m not arguing necessarily for taking out a second mortgage just to send your kids to private school—I think there are more cost-efficient ways such as homeschooling and classical Christian schools that are subsidized by churches. However, this is simply to illustrate the failure of the public school system due to a lack of market incentive, even though the government spends massive amounts of money on public education. If education were privatized, we’d see a dramatic increase in quality as well as a reduction in total spending due to the market incentive to be efficient.

The State was never given the job of education of our children by God in Scripture. Thus, it lacks the tools or ability to do it well.

It was under State-run education that subjects like logic, rhetoric, grammar, and even history have either been ruined or removed completely in public schools. Is it any wonder then that our societies look the way they do? Most public school education does not teach students how to think, they teach them what to think. Obviously, there are exceptions here – but I speak in generalities so that the argument does not die the death of a million qualifications. Comparatively speaking, the majority of home-school and Christian-schooled children outperform the vast majority of public school students. And even if they didn’t outperform them on an educational scale, even if they were poorly educated in math, sciences, etc. I’d still take having a mediocre education from a Christian worldview over a world-class education where I was indoctrinated with secularism and an anti-Christian worldview. All education is imparting a worldview because we are always being discipled. It’s just a question of by whom and for what kingdom.

The Marxification of Education

Perhaps one of the most pressing concerns about the Public Education System is the influence of Marxist ideology, not only in the form of the infiltration of things like Critical Race Theory, LBGTQ+ & Queer Theory and Marxist politics but also in terms of the approach to education itself – the pedagogy. Not many are aware of the name, Paulo Freire, a Brazilian-born philosopher of education who has radically influenced Public Education. He is no small figure in public education as the third most-cited scholarly author in all the humanities and social sciences. The majority of teachers who are trained to teach in public schools have been trained in Freire’s pedagogy – or better called, Marxist cult indoctrination. And that’s not an overstatement. Many teachers are unaware of this, as it is cloaked, as all Marxist ideologies are, in the language of compassion and progress.

As Dr. James Lindsay notes in his book, The Marxification of Education: Paulo Freire’s Critical Marxism and the Theft of Education, for Freire, learning to read or other academic pursuits was little more than a cover for his actual objective: raising a Marxist political consciousness for the purpose of creating a cultural revolution. The. Marxist indoctrination is on strong display in Freire’s magnum opus, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which teaches students and teachers to “die and be resurrected” into a Marxist consciousness and engaged in the “permanent struggle”. Freire wanted students to be groomed into learners who basically only knew two things: (1) to view the world from the “standpoint of the oppressed”and (2) to denounce the current status quo as dehumanizing from that standpoint and become activists for a more “equitable”society (read: Socialistic, Communistic, and Critical Social Justice). Freire based his work, not on educational scholarship, but on people such as Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, Herbert Marcuse, and Georg Hegel to name a few.

This holds up in Canada, as the Fraser Institute reports,

“One of the most popular textbooks used in education schools is Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed… Modern-day education professors are, almost to a person, drawn to this philosophy because it appears to fit with an emphasis on social justice. However, what students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, really need are knowledge-rich and orderly classrooms.”

So, if you’re wondering how the public schools got so “woke”, it’s not accidental. It’s by design. Freire and his disciples are one of the prime source materials in the teachers training colleges. As Dr. Lindsay points out,

“Freire, then, is in a meaningful sense the father of Woke because going Woke means learning to see structural oppression in virtually everything in order to denounce it, like a process of waking up to a hidden, horrible world. Freireans assume the oppression is there and then aim to groom ‘learners’ to see it.”

(Lindsay, The Marxification of Education, 26)

This is done through programs in public schools such as Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and Drag Queen Story Hours, which are used to groom young impressionable minds into good Social Justice Warriors and Marxists. These are not accidental. They are vitally linked to Freire’s pedagogy.

By way of illustration, to show that this is not just a hypothetical but is an actual issue on the ground now, take for example a recent article from National Review on March 27, 2023, that starts off saying,

“Two plus two no longer equals four, according to members of the Ontario Mathematics Coordinators Association (OMCA), who consider the equation to be a white-supremacist dog whistle instead of a basic mathematical truth.”

That’s right. Children in Ontario today are being taught that basically mathematics is racist and White supremacist.

Now, aside from the concerns with the ideology being jammed down impressionable kids, this sort of thing obviously also results in kids being poorly educated. The author notes that,

“Not even half of sixth-grade students meet provincial math standards at present; 52 percent of ninth-graders met the bar during the 2021–2022 school year, down from 75 percent just three years prior, according to provincial standardized testing administered by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). Woke Math advocates have doubled down in the face of falling performance, seeking to incorporate so-called Indigenous Knowledge Systems and anti-racism.”

So, kids are being churned out as radicalized little Social Justice Warriors who have no clue how to do math. This makes sense of why so many of the radical left cannot understand basic economics.

Math curriculum in Ontario and other places is now known as “Discovery Math”where students are encouraged to “invent their own ways of solving math problems”–we’ll see how that works out once they have to pay bills or do their own banking! There is no hope in the so-called Conservative Party either. Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, campaigned to roll back Discovery Math, but since his time in office, Woke Math is still littered all over the curriculum. The new curriculum was prefaced with a disclaimer that math “has been used to normalize racism and marginalization of non-Eurocentric mathematical knowledges, and a decolonial, anti-racist approach to mathematics education makes visible its historical roots and social constructions.” Still sounds uber-woke to me!

The truth is that Secular Conservatism is not the solution, and Christians would be foolish to put their hopes in secular politicians who do not have the required worldview to truly see things rightly and make reforms that are from a Biblical worldview. The only way that happens is for Christians to be equipped with a robust Biblical worldview through Christian education and for those to go out into the workplace and politics and all spheres of society knowing God’s Word and design and acting to live it out. The change must be bottom up which is why Christian education is such a vital part.

But before we move on, we must look squarely at what public education is actually achieving with the children.

Radicalizing Children

The diabolical roots go deep with Freire, more than I can get into here. One of his chief influences was the Marxist, Dom Hélder Câmara, who had two notable proteges: Pope Francis and none other than the WEF’s Klaus Schwab. There’s a reason why our world looks the way it does today, and there’s history to back it up. The world isn’t in the dark place it is today by accident and the public education system was one of the means by which the Globalist Communo-Fascist elites remade it.

“In Freirean education, all education becomes a political education, with educators as facilitators into (critical, or Marxist) consciousness, so that all knowledge becomes political knowledge understood on Marxist terms. In fact, Freire goes on in The Politics of Education to explain that true education is political education (specifically, true ‘literacy’ is political literacy) ‘facilitated’ by conscientizes teachers. This is what the Marxists have achieved in our schools over the last forty years.””

(Lindsay, The Marxification of Education, 46)

This is why it is not an uncommon story of children sent to public schools or colleges and universities who come out as radicalized leftist activists who don’t actually understand anything or know how to truly think. That was never the goal of their education. Freire himself writes in The Politics of Education that “Only a mechanistic mentality holds that education can cease at a certain point, or that revolution can be halted when it attains power. To be authentic, revolution must be a continuous event. Otherwise it will cease to be revolution, and will become sclerotic bureaucracy.” (pg. 89) Thus,

“…the goal of Freire’s process is not at all to get students to learn to read… That’s the sales pitch. That’s the con. It is to get them to recognize their political context and their own roles as conscious participants in transforming it, in Marxist fashion, with the help of ‘educators’ as facilitators in the process. The method is to intentionally repurpose and misuse existing academic curricula as vehicles for this process…”

(Lindsay, The Marxification of Education, 85)

If you don’t know what the big deal is about the ungodly and demonic ideology of Marxism, I’d highly recommend you go back and read/listen to my articles/episodes on Marxism and Social Justice. But, suffice it to say that if you still think that Public Education is somehow “neutral”, you need to wake up and smell the Gulags comrad. It’s not. It never was. And these days, it is overtly taken over in large parts by an ideology that is Anti-Christian and hates God.

Do we really want to send our kids into that?

Now there are some who will try to gas-light this point saying, “but you’re telling people to make their decisions out of fear of what if their children get brainwashed or radicalized. Christians should not make decisions out of fear but rather out of faith.” To which I’d say a hearty amen to that last sentence and firmly rebuff the first. It is not acting out of fear to protect your children from dangers–it’s actually an act of faith since that is one of the things God gives parents to do. I can protect my child from drinking poison without being “poison-phobic”. It is right and good for us to protect the vulnerable from dangerous things, and much of the prevailing ideologies that govern most public schools are like poison. The problem is, most haven’t read their labels to see the big skull and crossbones on them, and many have unfortunately drank some of it themselves.

The Proof is in the Pudding

At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. What has been the result of the many years of public education? Has it been an increase in educational standards and learning outcomes? Has it led to a flourishing society where people know the basis of their God-given freedoms and rights? Does the citizenry understand how their law systems are supposed to work so that politicians and governments can be held accountable by a knowledgeable society? Has it led to more people being discipled in the truth of the Christian worldview so that they would recognize God’s design in nature and give Him glory?

The Nehemiah Institute has conducted various surveys over the years, beginning in the mid-eighties, to determine the worldview outcomes of Christian kids in public school, private schools, classical Christian education and homeschool. Their scale from 0 to 100 ranks how well the students have a Christian worldview. According to their scale, 70 and above qualifies as a Biblical Christian worldview. Scoring 30 to 69 is considered to be moderately Christian and below 30 is basically a secular humanist. It includes questions which are indicative statements that students rank their level of agreement or disagreement on such as:

  • Human life as a real and unique person begins at conception
  • Premarital sex is always wrong and should not be condoned by society
  • Centralized government is inefficient and is counterproductive for society as a whole
  • The most effective way of curbing inflation is for the government to impose wage and price controls

The results of these surveys are staggering.

In 1988, for Christian students in Public Schools, the score was only 36.1—barely enough to be considered moderately Christian. However, by 2001, the score was 7.5!!! Within 13 years, Christian kids in public schools were on average coming out as pagans in terms of their worldview. The Christian kids in private Christian schools did somewhat better, scoring 47.2 in 1988 and 22.4 in 2001. So, even in the Christian private schools they went from moderate Christians to secular humanists within 13 years. Thus, just sending your kids to any old private Christian school is clearly not enough. They must also be committed to imparting a robust Christian worldview – which many Christian schools sadly do a poor job of accomplishing because it is not a central part of their curriculum.

There is some good news though. The Nehemiah Institute reported on what they called “worldview schools” as the exception. These included Classical Christian Schools and Homeschools. In 1988 Christian kids in these “worldview schools” ranked at 61.2, on the high end of moderate Christians, and by 2001 they ranked at 70.1, just inching into the Biblical Christian worldview category.

Dan Smithwick comments,

“However, with nearly each subsequent year of testing, we found the understanding of the Christian worldview by students to be lower than the year before. This trend has continued through year 2001. The only exceptions to the decline were Christian schools that had adopted specific worldview materials in their curriculum. These are primarily schools known as Principle Approach or Classical Christian, and homeschools. I believe students from these schools represent the true remnant and hope for the future, but they represent less than 5% of total students tested.”

It was G.K. Chesterton that famously said that if we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything—and this is exactly what has happened with Christian kids in public schools and even many private schools that operate exactly like the government schools (just with a little prayer and Jesus sprinkled in). Only in schools with educators who have a defined Christian worldview are they successful in passing on that worldview to their students. This does not come about automatically. So don’t think that I’m just arguing for parents to take their kids out of public school and drop them into any private Christian school.

As Louis Berkhof and Cornelius Van Til noted,

“Christian education is one of the means which God is pleased to use for working faith into the heart of the child, for calling an incipient faith into action, and for guiding the first faltering steps of faith. It teaches the child to flee from sin and to strive after holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

(Berkhof and Van Til, Foundations of Christian Education, 81)

Conclusion

Although some may think my viewpoints here is radical, nothing I’m covering here is new or novel about Christian education. These are very old ideas rooted in Scripture. If someone has a different viewpoint, that’s fair–but I’d graciously challenge them to make a more compelling argument from Scripture and reason. I don’t believe there is one. Why then does this seem so new and so radical to this generation? It is because we have forgotten the old paths. But that is one of the main reasons why our societies look so much weaker now than generations past which did not have anywhere near as high divorce rates, crime, single-parent households, and fatherlessness.

The family is the building block of society. And where there are strong, godly families, there will be strong godly societies because society is simply a community of families held together by a common culture. If there is to be any hope for the recovery of strong families and thereby rebuilding a strong community and countries that have just laws, honest politicians, and lower crime, then we must recover the Biblical vision and priority of the family and particularly of fathers’ role in leading their families. We must also recover the father’s commitment to give their children a distinctly Christian education and worldview. Christian ministers and pastors must proclaim this unabashedly from the pulpits and help to equip the saints for the work of this ministry. Christian parents cannot continue to assume that they can sow their kids into a secular education and expect to reap another thing—as Paul noted in Galatians 6:7, God is not mocked. Berkhof and Van Til put it this way,

“…can Christian parents reasonably expect their children to be imbued with a spirit of true religion if they persist in sending them to a school where for twenty-four hours a week they are taught in a spirit that is fundamentally irreligious, if not positively anti-Christian? The answer can only be a decided negative. And experience will bear out the correctness of this answer. America is today reaping in its churches what it has sown in its schools. It has sown through the secularized schools, and it is reaping a purely naturalistic religion.”

(Berkhof & Van Til, Foundations of Christian Education, 33)

We are not without a guide on this task. God has given us His plan and instructions. To appropriate a Chesterton quote, it’s not that it has been tried and found wanting… it’s that it has been tried and found difficult so we abandoned it. Or, perhaps more accurately in our days, it’s been lost, unknown and not even tried.

There are many great resources on truly Christian education (such as from Veritas Press, Canon Press, Base Camp Live, Doug Wilson, Logos Press, the Association of Classical Christian Schools, and Voddie Baucham) – everything from homeschooling to Christian private schools to Christian Classical Education. I’ll leave some links below. I’d recommend we start making use of them and do your research because this is important stuff. It’s the next generation and what the future of our societies will look like for decades and even centuries to come.

Please note, the Amazon Affiliate Links in my articles give me a small commission when you make a purchase at no extra cost to you and helps to cover the costs of this site. Thanks!

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