As some of you may have noticed, this last weekend I put up a post that went kind of nuts. I am talking about Tolle, Leg It, in which I encouraged Christian parents to take this particular rainbow moment as an appropriate time to remove their kids from the government schools, select a tall object on the horizon, and head for it in all due haste.
My point garnered a lot of attention and sparked quite a bit of debate. There are 488 comments there now, and the post gathered up 5.4K Facebook likes. John Piper did his bit by tweeting a quote from the post, and I can tell you via the wonder of Google Analytics that 17,639 people showed up the day after it was posted to gawk at it — and on a weekend too.
So maybe we should talk about this topic a bit more. Before going any further, let me extend my thanks to everyone who showed up to discuss it, particularly to those who differed with me. I will not be able to manage a detailed response to everyone, obviously, but I would like to say just a few things here. For those who want to follow up in detail, there is plenty of material available. In that post I put up links to four books. The best introduction to the subject I have is Why Christian Kids Need a Christian Education. The book that interacts the most with standard arguments for keeping our kids in the government schools is Excused Absence. The other two books represent the same basic outlook, but in the context of arguing for classical Christian eduction.
Well, then. One objection was that I posted this view under the category “Engaging With Culture” while I was ironically calling for disengagement from culture. Now is not the time to disengage, the response goes — now is the time when the government schools need salt and light, now more than ever.
The answer is that engaging with culture wisely is something that requires training. So the issue is not whether we want soldiers who are ready to engage with culture, but whether our army is going to provide those soldiers with training in boot camp. More than that, will we provide them with guns and ammo? To change the metaphor, Nairobi requires salt and light also, but you don’t put your seven-year-old on a plane to go there. The reason you don’t is that they are not yet equipped.
My education was entirely secular, from kindergarten through my M.A. I regard it — spiritually speaking — as a best case scenario. Because my parents were such consistent and conscientious Christians, whenever I saw a conflict between what they had taught me and what I was being taught in school, I always sided with my parents, no question. But I didn’t always see what was being done to me, particularly when I was younger. You can’t choose sides before you can see the sides.
So education provides the “lesson” that a kid takes home, but education also rests upon a network of foundational assumptions — and many of those foundational assumptions are now being given far more authority in the church than they should have. It makes no sense for pastors to look around astonished at what passes for rational argumentation in their congregations — liking and sharing rainbows on Facebook, for instance — when that same pastor has adamantly insisted for decades that the children of his congregation be trained by specialists in that very way of thinking. As Voddie Baucham put it memorably, if you render your children to Caesar, don’t be surprised when they come back Romans.
Another argument appeals to the sovereignty of God. God can save a person anywhere, including government school, and another person can reject the finest upbringing and education in order to fall away in unbelief. This is quite true, but to use it as an argument against the use of scripturally appointed means is to teeter on the lip of hyper-Calvinism. Jacob and Esau went to the same school, but the fact that Esau rejected his birthright is no argument for withholding it from Jacob.
The issue is whether God has required us to use particular means. Of no authority whatever is any particular line of reasoning from the bare fact of God’s sovereignty. If God is sovereign, why pray? Why preach? Well, we should pray and preach because it was the sovereign God who told us to. In the same way, Christian parents are required to bring up their children in the paideia of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Covenant children must grow up in an environment completely dominated by the Word of God (Deut. 6:4-9). Our children bear the image of God, and so it is forbidden to render them to Caesar (Matt. 22:21). There are exegetical arguments for the necessity of Christian education. We must work through those first before getting to the hard cases, which brings us to the next point.
A third issue has to do with money. I would want to divide my response here into two. The first would be to agonize with those parents who want a Christian education for their children, but who do not see any practical way they can do it. In such circumstances, it is the responsibility of church communities to help out. At Christ Church, we baptize infants, and every time we do, the congregation takes an oath to help these parents in “the Christian nurture of this child.” In Baptist churches, something similar can be done when children are dedicated, or when they are baptized later on. Regardless of denominational distinctives, Christian churches carry a responsibility to help parents in the momentous task of Christian nurture. At Christ Church, we have a Christian Education Fund because we do not want any covenant child in our community to fail to receive a Christian education because of money. Sometimes there are other factors — say a nasty divorce that resulted in a court order requiring government school. But taking one thing with another, a Christian community dedicated to Christian education can do an awful lot — and can do it all without legalistic rules. At Christ Church we have hundreds of kids, and only a handful, less than five percent, are in the government school system.
But there is another half to the money question. I wish I could say that Christian fathers rarely put monthly budgetary issues ahead of their children’s educational welfare — but it is not true. There are unfortunately many instances when it all comes down to the money, and not in the right way. There is no way to build a Christian educational alternatives without sacrifices — and people won’t make sacrifices when they don’t understand the issues. And getting someone to understand the issues when understanding them will cost him a thousand dollars a month is frequently a tough sell. It is often hard to persuade someone when the cost of him following the argument will be him not following the money. Teaching children to love Christ with all their heart, soul, mind and strength is expensive. So is feeding them — but we still do it.
Twenty years ago or so, I was a participant on a panel having to do with homosexual rights. Gay activists were there in force, and were as well-behaved as they usually are on such occasions, which is to say, not very. I remember standing in the hallway afterwards listening to a lesbian screaming — “in ten years, your children will be ours!” My kids were all still at home and in school at the time, but not in the system of indoctrination she was apparently counting on. My response was, “Not my kids.” This was not said in presumption, or on the basis of any carnal boast. We are commanded to bring our children up in the faith, and that means bringing them up in faith.
And here we are, decades later — four families, seventeen grandchildren, all of us loving Jesus Christ. If there is one place where I am hungry to be able to imitate the Lord Jesus, it is in repeating His words first given through the prophet Isaiah: “Here am I and the children whom God has given me” (Heb. 2:13).
They have taken a sign of God’s gracious promise, and turned it into an emblem of their defiance. We should be grateful that our children will not be destroyed by a global flood, but if we trust God with the education of our children appropriately, neither will they be destroyed by all the rainbow lies. God in His goodness will summon them all to His throne room, where purity dwells, and the rainbow is emerald green (Rev. 4:3).
I LOVED this today. Thanks for posting.
What sort of admonitions would you give to workers in the public schools, Pastor Wilson? I’m a recent college graduate with a degree in Music, and I’ve been thinking about getting a choir/voice lesson accompaniment job in a public school. However my conscience is not at ease about the idea. Do you think that kind of job (or other kinds of jobs in the public schools) is a good opportunity to be a witness, or a position of silent complicity in the corruption of the public schools?
I’ve been teaching music in the public school for 8 years. It is a MISSION FIELD if there ever was one. And if you treat it as such, God might use you to change the lives of kiddos walking in deep, deep, darkness. There is little hope or light – you can bring it in. Especially (I’ve found), if you are married and stay married and talk about your marriage. My marriage is an anomaly that I share freely – and that most of the kids gawk at in wonder, because it’s something they’ve never seen. Literally. Never. I do… Read more »
David, just a quick reply for now. Christians teaching in the government schools are not in the same position of vulnerability that the children are. There are different challenges and frustrations, but I don’t see it as nearly as problematic as with the children. There are problems, and so I want to get all good Christian school teachers teaching elsewhere — but that takes money. Perhaps more later.
I used to work in the public schools, one which was relatively good in a conservative part of the country, and I would advise against it. Like you, I didn’t feel at ease in my conscience about it, and it was only after I left that I realized what a burden that had become on me psychologically. I used to try and tell myself that my being there was a witness opportunity, but I think if I was being honest with myself, that was just my way of rationalizing taking a job where I didn’t have to work that hard… Read more »
Amen to Sarah R’s point about work in the public schools being a mission field IF you go in with the fulness of that mindset. (I say work “IN” rather than “for,” because it can be an all-too slippery slope when your temporal paycheck and all the indoctrinations YOU must go through to keep it come along for the ride. As Doug aptly emphasizes: Go in prepared and well-armed in an Ephesians 6 sense. As with any mission field, it’s also important to recruit your local church into the process by way of (at least) explicit sending, prayer and, where… Read more »
Re: Pastor Wilson, Ben, Art, and Sarah R, thank you for the words and advice. I have much to reflect on. To be more specific to my circumstances, one of the issues with which I’ve struggled with respect to this situation is that an accompanying job is not the same as an ordinary teaching job. Accompanying entails less interaction with schoolchildren, and hence, I would guess, less of an opportunity to be a light. It is in part because of this that I question whether by taking such a job I would be doing little more than providing the music… Read more »
David, I have taught at a public community college, private college, private University, and Classical School over the last eleven years. I teach English, and so I use it as an opportunity to invade enemy territory by utilizing texts by Lewis, Tolkien, and others. I see music as a similar platform, but I definitely walked into the community college, in particular, as a smuggler of truth. God has used it, as much to refine me as anything, and I have been blessed to see young people and returning students saved as the courses prompted questions, turned them to the Bible,… Read more »
Mr. Larson, I had the exact kind of job you are considering and struggled through some of the same questions while considering whether to apply. In the end I applied and took the offer because (being a musician) I simply needed the work. Sometimes that’s all one can do. I’m sure working for the Babylonian government wasn’t Daniel’s first choice. There were a variety of pros and cons to working as an accompanist but by the end of the year I had had only three chances or so to be vocal about my faith (hopefully I was Salt and Light… Read more »
An accompanist in a public school has very little contact (and therefore influence) with students. This, of course, all but eliminates any argument for witnessing. You cannot be implicated with the evils of the “secular, modernist institution” any more than those who pay (unGodly) property taxes are implicated with the evils of an unGodly government. Caveat…if you can find a music position at a Christian institution or church that would be comparable, then that should (obviously) be your first choice. However (and this may be a whole other topic), many (if not most) Christian institutions and churches do not value… Read more »
A couple of paragraphs pertaining to public schooling from Machen: “In the state of Oregon, on Election Day, 1922, a law was passed by a referendum vote in accordance with which all children in the state are required to attend the public schools. Christian schools and private schools, at least in the all-important lower grades, are thus wiped out of existence. Such laws, which if the present temper of the people prevails will probably soon be extended far beyond the bounds of one state,  [which will] mean of course the ultimate destruction of all real education. When one considers… Read more »
What does congregate-setting mean?
It is a term for anything other than home-schooling. Public schools and private schools are congregate-setting schools.
Why would you lump all Christian schools into the category labeled “cesspools”? Does the mere presence of non-siblings somehow corrupt the atmosphere and render godly teachers incapable? Or is the parent-teacher somehow incapable of creating a cesspool in her living room?
Are you postulating that if you teach your children, great, but if you teach my children all is lost?
You seem to overlook that he put Christian in quotation marks.
I saw the quotation marks. The full context was “what [Machen] says is true about public schools. What kind of parents would want to throw their children into such cesspools? Yet this can ALSO be applied to ANY congregate-setting schools, including private and “Christian” congregate-setting schools.” Since Chris placed such emphasis on “ANY,” it seemed he was tossing — well — literally any congregate-setting school into the category of cesspool, and by placing quotes around Christian he was therefore casting doubt upon that title since, by his reckoning, they were already steeped in the mire. Perhaps I misread him, but… Read more »
Malachi, the thought is that the government schools do not honor Christ and that other forms of education can place Christ first.
Yes, public schools are cesspools of education evidenced regularly in our news.
Thanks for the explanation.
Thank you Pastor. Your words of wisdom have had such a profound influence on our family and my church family. I am sincerely grateful for your ministry and all that you do for education.
I think the godless pagan Neil Bortz said it best, “If you put your children in government schools you do not love them”.
Not all public schools are the same. A sincere Christian probably shouldn’t send his children to a progressive school in say, Berkeley, CA, but would probably be fine with the public schools in many parts of West Texas.
And not all brands of Islamic terrorism are as violent as ISIS, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone send their children to a terror training camp of a different stripe.
Well I can’t argue with that. Literally. Because it wasn’t an argument. I make a reasoned response, gently pointing out that a father’s choice for his children’s schooling depends on contingent factors such as the make up and character of the community the family lives in (notice I never bashed homeschooling or Christian schools), and you beg the question by declaring all public schools to be inherently sinful and anathema to Christians. This is of course incredibly presumptuous for a number of reasons, but your response condemns all Christian fathers who have chosen public schools. This includes my own father,… Read more »
The public schools across America, in every community, are a sewage heap. You need an argument for that? Seriously?
Shame on your father, pastor, deacons and the other so-called God-fearing men in this country.
I think Jesus would see the public schools like he saw the crowds in Mark 6:34. Remember what Mark records? Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them because they were sheep without a shepherd. He did not call them a sewage heap. He entered their world and called them to follow him. I suggest you do the same instead of acting like the Pharisee who said “thank you God that I’m not a rotten sinner like all of them” (Luke 18:11).
I think one of Doug’s more important points in the post above is that the way that Jesus would see the public schools would depend on whether He was commenting on our biblical responsibility to evangelize the nations versus our covenantal responsibility to rearing our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. I think Dougs analogy about evangelizing the people of Nairobi as distinct from sending our children to the place that needs evangelizing so that those people in need of discipleship are now the ones to disciple our children is a very important one.
But it has been backed up. The pastor has provided the argument in the post and not for the first time. If you want to argue for the wisdom and adherence to scripture by sending your kids where they will not be taught that Jesus is Lord, then you need to back it up and not with, that is what my father did. We have opportunities now, that were not as readily known to our parents. What is your argument for Ephesians 6:4?
Do you believe that it is always a sin, regardless of the circumstance or situation, for a Christian parent to send their kids to a public school?
Or are there some situations and circumstances when it would be acceptable biblically?
I think that is a really difficult question to answer. I admire RC Sproul jr for being willing to take a firm stand on this issue, very much. I think there are times, a single parent, with very little money, without church support, may not have any other choice. (And I am glad that there is public school for kids without other resources) but I personally believe in such a case that a church family should help their brother or sister. I am blessed to be in a church where we do support one another. We have paid for curriculum… Read more »
At least you were honest in stating you think it would be sin to choose to send a kid to public school. I think you are terribly wrong to make that assertion and it does not hold up biblically. But if that is where you (and your church) stands on the issue it is necessary to exercise church discipline on parents who make that choice. You will find that to be a slippery slope!
I don’t say that is where my church leaders stand. My pastor has never said that. Please, let me make that clear. I almost didn’t answer because I am in no position to make assertions like that. But you point blank want my opinion, and that is it. He homeschools his family as we all do, it just has never even been an issue that has come up as far as I know.
I appreciate the clarification. Let me ask another direct question if you don’t mind. How do you ensure that you don’t treat other Christian parents who choose to send their kids to public school as “less than.” It seems the tone given off by many commenters on this post and even Doug himself borders on a perception of spiritual superiority over those who chose to send their kids to public school. Does this concern you and do you think it could be handled in a better way?
That’s a great question, and yes it does concern me very much. I thought Ryan had a relevant point, and still do, (but no argument for it, or wish to discuss it authentically). I think this is just the kind of sin I can easily fall into and need my sisters and husband’s frequent correction. I pray daily to improve. But I don’t think its cause is homeschooling. It is just the sin in my heart that will find whatever it can to hang its hat on. Like Jillybean said, I can do it with Classical christian vs any other… Read more »
I appreciate your humility in saying that. I think that is all those of us who do choose to send our kids to public school, actively take on the role of discipling them and believe we are being faithful to the Lord could ask for!
I appreciate it too. I am by nature pharisaical down to my fingertips, and because I kid around a lot in person, people don’t necessarily notice and call me on it. Do you remember in Screwtape Letters Lewis talks about an “innocent” sort of pharisaism that consists of sort of taking for granted that our family’s (or church’s or culture’s) ways are the “best” ways? I am extremely prone to that, and your example with English literature is dead on.
Oh…….yeah. That’s just what I was getting at below just now.
“A Pharisee Named Jillybean” is a title that says, “read this book!”
I will get right on that, Timothy!
True. On the face some government schools are just whacked out for all to see (remember the purple penguins?) However, from what I’ve read the educrats in TX are no bastions of constitutional republicanism, conservatism, nor biblical Christianity. No matter where you live, the government school is bound to teach ‘to the test’. That is one of the most insidious parts of Common Core. The SAT has been rewritten to these revisionist and godless standards. This presents a problem for those who flee the system.
Do you think that by the time a child is writing the SAT his Christian worldview is mature to the point that he can handle most challenges?
There’s more than the essay. I’ve graded standardized tests in Indiana. If they score similarly, there’s a metric the evaluator’s use. Ours didn’t measure content per se. One aspect of the metric was ‘Did they answer the prompt?’ In this case the prompt was ‘Why would Maria Mitchell be a good role model?’ One student wrote: “I believe Maria Mitchell would be a good role model for men because they would like to look at her hiney.” Not know quite what to do with this, I called over my supervisor. She scratched her head and soon we had a convene… Read more »
I’ve done it too. It lends a whole new meaning to the term soul destroying! And, in California, the grader’s work is spot-checked as well.
This assumes something erroneous I believe. It assumes that teacher-training in Texas ed schools is different than teacher training in California ed schools. I see no evidence of that. You seem to be saying that government schools resemble the communities where they are established, but I would argue that, because the ed schools all march in lock step, they resemble each other more than the average parent can imagine.
I am curious about the 5% in your congregation that do send their kids to public school and how you address them. Are they in sin for sending their kids to the public schools? If so, it would seem that your church should exercise church discipline on them if they are in sin and are not repentant.
Or… there are legitimate reasons whereby a Christian parent could send their kids to public school and fulfill the biblical responsibility to train their children in the ways of the Lord… which is the exact point I made in your previous post.
Michael, as Doug mentioned, some of those parents are being restricted in their choices by Court order.
That is not what I asked. Are any of the parents in Doug’s church choosing to send their kids to the public school? If so and Doug believes this to be sinful (which sure seems to be the case from both posts) is the church exercising church discipline on these parents? If not, why not? My hunch is that at least one of the parents in Doug’s church (the 5%) is choosing (not court mandated) to send their kids to the public school and the church is not exercising discipline. The reason? Sending your kids to public school is really… Read more »
I agree. However, in 2015 America , the exception proves the rule.
We’re told not to pass judgment on disputable matters, but we’re also told that everything we do should be done for the glory of God. Indisputable sins are the proper realm of church discipline, but disputable sins are no less sin. In disputable matters each person needs to follow his own conscience. The church’s role is to shine as much scripture as it can on the issues to help conform consciences to God’s law. And it’s certainly appropriate for Christians to share their thinking on disputable matter, to make the case for what they believe, to promote what they believe… Read more »
It can’t be a “disputable sin” while at the same time be a “matter of conscience.” Either it is sin or it is a matter of conscience. If the latter then the harsh rhetoric and condescending tone needs to be removed from the discussion. It could go something like this: “I believe the Scriptures teach parents should train their children in the ways of the Lord. They can do this and make a choice of how to educate their kids (public, private, homeschool). Every parent should seek the Lord concerning this decision and I, personally, would recommend that parents very… Read more »
But it is possible to sin in a disputable matter, out of ignorance or folly, or by not attending to the circumstances that make it sinful in a given situation. It’s not simply “if it’s disputable you’re not sinning by doing it.” You can exercise your conscience and still sin if there is something wrong with your conscience.
Your logic does not hold. Either it is a sin or it is not a sin. The very nature that a matter is disputable (there is no clear directive from Scripture) necessitates that Christians approach the topic with a lot less vitriol and spiritual superiority and with a lot more grace and understanding. It very well may be a wisdom issue but not a sin issue. Once again, this must be acknowledged by those who have accused fellow believers that they are in sin if they send their kids to public school.
“Either it is a sin or it is not a sin.”
Is it sinful to buy a certain car?
Well, it’s obviously “not a sin” to buy a Ford Focus.
Except, if the only Ford Focuses in town available are being sold through a known car theft ring, and there are plenty of decent, affordable cars around that can be obtained legally. Then it is.
Almost nothing is “either a sin or not a sin.” Whether something is a sin depends a lot on circumstance, both the circumstances of the thing being done, and your own personal circumstances.
Great point. Is it a sin to eat an apple?
It is when God tells you not to eat one from that tree!
Isn’t sin entirely in the intention? If I kill somebody because a brain tumor makes me believe he is an enemy alien, I have not sinned. If I steal $1 from a blind person who sells candy at the subway station, I have committed a deadly sin. If I do something quite harmless that I believe to be sinful, I have sinned. Even my own fairly rigid faith tradition has always stressed that sin requires awareness of wrongdoing and consent of the will. Because we have to navigate this minefield is why it is so crucial that the conscience be… Read more »
No – sins of omission and sins of comission. It is sin regardless of intention.
I’m not sure I follow that. A particular act may always be sinful, but surely the individual’s culpability depends on intention.
Michael, I’m very curious what you’re trying to say, and I definitely don’t get it yet. I have two questions for you. First, where’s the distinction between what Doug Wilson said and your sample idea?
Secondly, if a disputable sin isn’t a matter of conscience, what is it? What does it mean to use liberty as an occasion for the flesh if not to sin in disputable matters?
From what I have read, Doug believes there are no circumstances (except court order) whereby a Christian parent could send their kids to public school and not be in sin. At least that is what his rhetoric indicates but feel free to correct me if I’m mistaken. His comments and many in the comment section seem to be saying: “You can’t be a Christian (at least not a good one) and send your kids to the indoctrination centers called public schools. Are you some kind of wacko? Don’t you realize you are sacrificing them on the altar of secular humanism?… Read more »
So are you saying one can’t believe something is always a sin unless the sinfulness of that thing is biblically indisputable? By that reasoning are the only real sins indisputable? When the Bible talks about disputable matters, surely it’s talking about what is sin, right? So mustn’t we conclude that there are sins beyond those sins that are biblically indisputable? And mustn’t we seek to conform our lives to God’s word in every matter, whether indisputable or disputable. The difference I see is that we’re not to exercise church discipline or otherwise pass judgment when our brothers come to different… Read more »
That is exactly what I am saying – this is not a definitive sin issue. This is a conscience issue. If you believe it to be sin for you to send your kids to public school then by all means say that. But you cannot tell someone else that they are in sin based on your conscience. You must give the freedom for them to come to a different conclusion based on their conscience. I’m all for discussion. But on an issue like this the most you can say is “I am bound by conscience to send my kids to… Read more »
So basically you’re saying our lives can be completely ruled by laziness, vanity, greed, selfishness, etc., and so long as we don’t murder anyone or commit adultery, the church shouldn’t speak to any of the issues of sin ruling our lives or directly challenge anyone?
I believe that scripture supports this position. Certainly, there is a scriptural principle which would lead those desirous to live a holy life to have their child’s worldview emanate from a center of Christianity. But there is more than one way to skin a cat. To draw from principle and proclaim prescription for every family in a church is to play God and will, in the end, lend a very cultic atmosphere to a church. This is because ‘where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty.’ When we dig into the NT and find that religious leaders tend to… Read more »
rr, I’d like to ask you the same question I asked Michael: how are you not (or are you) saying our lives can be completely ruled by laziness, vanity, greed,
selfishness, etc., and so long as we don’t murder anyone or commit
adultery, the church shouldn’t speak to any of the issues of sin ruling
our lives or directly challenge anyone?
ourdemascam – The church must speak to our sins, but it must do so in a way that is not a respecter of persons (James 2). For example, if the church wishes to call into question the motives of ps parents to make sure they are not desirous of filthy lucre, it must also call into question the motives of Christian schoolers to make sure that they are not blindly following tradition and hatin’ on the ‘Gentiles’, and it must also call into account the motives of the home schoolers to make sure that they are not trying to save… Read more »
I don’t see the validity in your interpretation of James 2 at all. Is Paul a “respecter of persons” when he gives advice to people in particular circumstances (and doesn’t cover every other possible category)? As James 2 says, faith without works is dead. It seems pretty absurd to say that the church should never discuss any of the workings of faith. Do you really believe that all the questions of how to put faith to work should be worked out by each individual Christian with no help or advice or cooperation or council from the church? Where does that… Read more »
I really appreciate the points you have made in response to mine, and I think that they are fair and pointed. In regards to this issue and James 2, of course, the connection would be hard for you to see because it came to you only in the form of my historical slip showing. It may help to reveal more of my history: I was in a church where only men who sent their children to the denomination’s schools were considered elder/minister material. In my area of the country, preachers and teachers of the law in more than one denomination… Read more »
Don’t you think it’s a stretch to say that anyone is “requiring” anyone else to pull out of the government schools. Isn’t it more like Doug’s strongly held opinion? In either case, you seem to object specifically because he is a minister. If some random layman voiced the same opinions would you be okay with that? I’m certainly not here to defend Doug, but I am curious what you’re referencing with the bit about “individual callings.” As far as religious leaders “tending to want to create prescriptions,” what I see is that people want to be Christians (or pretend to… Read more »
A lot of questions: Again, yes, my big issue is that DW is a minister of the gospel. America, by and large, is a public-schooled nation, whether we like it or not. When a man/consistory use the weight that authority bears and strongly opine that faith is not sufficient but now there is something extra a family must (excuse me, ‘strongly suggest’) do in order to please God, it very possibly will: 1) alienate Christians from one another 2) work to cut off, rather than enhance, Christian liberty in the church 3) eventually create a cultic atmosphere where sycophants are… Read more »
Michael, you really are like my Southern Baptist friends who search diligently looking for one example of someone else sinning who hasn’t been corrected so that they may go their way doing what they want to regardless of scripture. “So and so is doing it and they haven’t been disciplined so I am home free.” They really like the grace so that they may sin more option.
1. I am a Southern Baptist so I will more than happily take that jab under the belt you just threw. 2. All I am asking for is consistency in what is being said. Be consistent! If this is a sin issue then the church (Doug’s in particular) should exercise church discipline on those who are in sin and are unrepentant. This is not happening (as far as I can tell) so either (1) it really is not a sin issue but a wisdom issue or (2) the church is not doing what it is called to do. 3. I’m… Read more »
It is a common mistake to think that, if something is wrong, then the civil government should do something about it. I.e. “there ought to be a law.” This assumes that the civil magistrate has authority and jurisdiction over all matters of every kind of sin, and not just criminal sins. The reasoning would follow that: If a child lies to his mother (clearly sinful), then congress should pass a law and the D.A. should prosecute the child. If society doesn’t voluntarily provide charity to educate or feed the poor (clearly sinful), then the government should establish a tax-supported monopoly… Read more »
Then change the tone of the blog posts and comments to reflect this patient and understanding tone. Seek to persuade instead of spewing vitriol. Love well instead of approaching the discussion from a position of spiritual superiority. But if the condescending tone and lack of understanding is indicative of the true belief then exercise discipline. Excommunicate and insulate. If you really believe that public education is destroying the Christian family in much the same way that adultery would (which is what is being argued) then I don’t see how you can avoid exercising church discipline. If not discipline over this… Read more »
What in the original blog posts do you consider “spewing vitriol”? How and on what basis are you detecting feelings of “spiritual superiority” here? I really think this is based on perspective. I, like you, have a bias here. From my bias, I see no spiritual superiority, but something more like a fire alarm clanging loudly. People screaming “fire” in a burning building are not asserting their superior fire-detection and avoidance abilities to make themselves feel good, they’re trying to save your life. Nor are they attempting to be excessively censorious of combustion reactions — they’re just warning about about… Read more »
That is because it was written from a close-minded perspective and you are in agreement with what was written.
Should I translate that as, you’re not willing to give me any specifics, then?
– Public schools are “cesspools” – They are an “unclean thing” – You are a “compromised Christian” if you send your kids to the public school – Todays schools are “ungodly idols” – You can’t “follow Jesus” and send your kids to public school – Sending kids to the public school is the equivalent of “throwing them in the snake pit” – You are a “fool” for suggesting Christian kids can go to public school – Government schools are “wacked out” – Government schools everywhere are a “sewage heap” – “Miley Cyrus” is what your kids will turn out like… Read more »
Well said, Jane. Thank you.
I believe the options Katecho mentioned were: Love and patience while working toward a better understanding and patient instruction in general. One thing that I have noticed is that homeschooling is speaking for itself. It grows every year. Several others have noted how those who originally doubted what families were doing now encourage and want those families around. We see this in Universities for example. Does that sound arrogant to you? If so, how can I tell you it is successful, which is the truth, without sounding arrogant? Mothers as well who see intellectually/spiritually fulfilled women who get that fulfillment… Read more »
And yours was a very patient answer. I am familiar with this debating technique, and in the hands of a skilled practitioner, it is a gotcha. “Do Catholics oppose abortion and the death penalty?” “According to the pope, they are certainly supposed to.” “So how come neither Scalia nor Sotomayor will ever get excommunicated? So the pope can’t really mean it. Huh? Huh?”
The funny thing is that if you replied that your church would practice discipline against a public school family, you would be told your church is a cult.
I would add to this that in matters of liberty, there is no ‘patiently working’ with those that come from different backgrounds or that do things differently. If you think your way is better, and I have a clear conscience about my calling, I will smell your arrogant condescension a mile off and you can patiently work with me for decades to no avail. Your ‘love’ that seeks to change me is not love. I will never see the opposite of what the Spirit of God showed me through the preaching from Romans and Galatians: that the mystery of the… Read more »
Are you Preacher Michael or a different Michael? Michael, I didn’t hit incorrectly as Baptists do love to sin for more grace. I was a church member for 40 years and that doesn’t include the years before being baptized and joining the church formally. I recommend Frank Turk’s blog for a more robust Baptist view of life. The SBC is great with foreign mission support but since the 60s, the SBC and most Baptist churches have refused to address social issues with fierce biblical responses. Instead, they take the individual freedom that Christians may choose what is right and wrong… Read more »
I’m not sure what SBC you are talking because the SBC has clearly taken stances on:
Abortion – http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/2256/on-the-sanctity-of-human-life
Homosexuality – http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/614/resolution-on-homosexual-marriage
Prayer for the Nation – http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/861/resolution-on-prayer-for-the-nation
Christian Citizenship – http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/341/resolution-on-christian-citizenship
Sabbath – http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/684/resolution-on-the-lords-day
Welfare – http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/434/resolution-on-christian-responsibility-toward-the-disadvantaged
Family – http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/534/resolution-on-the-family
Christ-Centered Education – http://www.sbc.net/resolutions/2244/on-the-importance-of-christcentered-education
Again what SBC are you talking about?
Michael, your SBC and my SBC. You link to words, I speak of the actual actions by the SBC and its member churches. Abandoning the poor to the welfare system was because the SBC wanted to spend money on foreign missions rather than maintaining the church’s Biblical directive to take care of the poor. Working on the Sabbath (which started with 7-11 staying open on Sundays to sell bread and milk to poor folks) went down without only a few pastors dissenting and a few words from the SBC. After the abortion debacle, neither the SBC nor Baptist preachers called… Read more »
Let me educate you on the reality of SBC life. The Southern Baptist Convention exists 2 days every year when messengers are sent from SBC churches to the annual meeting. Resolutions passed at the SBC annual meeting are voted on an approved by the messengers present. Therefore, if the “words” were voted on and approved by the messengers then it is coming from the SBC. So those resolutions speak on behalf of the SBC and its churches. You cannot argue with that. Your problem is individual churches that choose to follow or not follow those resolutions which, as autonomous churches,… Read more »
Michael, 40 years is a long time to visit and belong to different churches as a member not as a child. Yet, they were all the same. Are you even 40 years old? I attended state conventions and guess what? They were more acrimonious than political rallies and in Colorado, a power play was instituted without the proper vote of the the messengers. Those running the show made a mockery of every Baptist doctrine and poor Robert’s Rules. Baptists do not hold to the rulings — as you said because they don’t have to — and as a result the… Read more »
You know they say if you look around and can’t find the sucker it the room then it must be you. I think the same goes with people who do very little other than complain. The common denominator in all those churches and situations is you. It may be time to stop and ask who the real problem is…
Michael, I see that your concern is church discipline. Is that right? Will you flush out for me what you foresee if public schooling is asserted to be a sin, say like RC Sproul Jr states it to be? (And he has willingly accepted some consequences for that declaration.)
My concern is consistency and tone. If it is sin then churches should exercise church discipline on parents who choose to send their kids to public school. Doug’s church has parents that send their kids to public school (5%). Is this by choice and not just by court order? If so, then is his church exercising discipline on these parents because they are sinning and not repentant (the only way to repent would be to pull their kids out of the public school)? If not, why not? Could it be that they really don’t believe it is a sin but… Read more »
Thank you for explaining. I am not capable of discussing the discipline issue, but Katecho is here, and is. Did you see her post? I would appreciate it if you would respond to it, so that a discussion about your concerns could take place with someone who can aptly address them. Thanks. The tone issue I think I could address, and I believe the tone on both sides of the issue has at time been less than charitable here, and at others, been helpful. As a homeschooler I can tell you that perfect strangers feel completely entitled to say disparaging… Read more »
“Katecho is here..” I just had a strong feeling of peace come over me when I read that. Yes, the voice of reason is here.
I didn’t see anywhere in the post where Doug said it was sinful to send the kids to public school. He seemed to suggest that it was sinful to neglect to give your kids a Christian education. Now, whether or not something is a sin is not always a good measure of whether or not the thing is worth doing, or even “good” to do. (see 1 Corinthians 10:23-33). Naturally, if it’s sinful, then it’s not good to do. But often things which are not sinful are also not good to do. Parents who send their kids to school do… Read more »
Edit: “…Parents who send their kids to *public* school do not receive church discipline…”
Michael, it doescanswer your question… if not why not…
We were driven to our public school system at the prek level by the local “Christian” school. When I told them he had autism, I was told he’d be better off there. Children with special needs should matter to Christian schools.
As a parent of a child with Down’s syndrome, Leah, I could not agree more. I am sorry about your experience.
I have a son with significant mental and physical impairment, and I’ve never attempted to place him in a private Christian school because I assume they just don’t have the resources. I think as more people withdraw from public schools, Christian schools and churches will expand their ministry to children with challenges, but for now I teach my son at home. It is daunting, but very rewarding for him, for me, and for the rest of our family. He benefits from being loved and included in all aspects of family life, and my other children benefit from the necessity of… Read more »
Move to the Niceville, FL area! Rocky Bayou Christian School has a solid Biblical worldview and a great special needs program!
The accompanying picture of the little girl painting is beautiful.
To those who are reading this blog, Ryan is the typical of compromised Christians who don’t want to spend the money to send their children to Christian schools or who really can’t see that today’s schools are ungodly idols. I have participated in this type of discussion for more than 35 years and my friends, just like Ryan, will not make the personal and monetary sacrifices that other parents make to raise their children in a Godly manner. Money is really the sticking point. Too many Christians have compromised and been indoctrinated with world views contrary to scripture and have… Read more »
It’s kind of ironic that this debate should be happening at a time when it is likely that Christian education will soon become illegal across the Western world. Some Christian parents here may think it is unimportant, but certainly those who hate Christianity see it as extremely important that children are brought up in the fear and admonition of the State. They, at least, seem to think it makes a difference and intend to make sure that every last child is taught all that they have commanded. It is already illegal to home school in some western countries. Many Christian… Read more »
“From my cold dead hands” applies to our children too. Americans will be able to keep their children if they keep their courage and their guns.
Can I point out that the 13% number only works if you include all 24 hours of the day. If you only include the waking hours that number is much higher– especially for elementary students. If we figure the average elementary student is awake from 7 am to 8 pm, that number is about 54% every school day. 7 hours a day for 180 days of the year makes 1260 hours. The remaining 185 days they’re home for the full 13 waking hours, making 2405 hours. Add to that the 1080 hours they’re still at home on school days —… Read more »
That doesn’t count time spent on homework.
True. It also doesn’t count time spent on a bus, if one is used, or extracurricular school sponsored activities. Of course, if your child stays up later then it also changes the percentage. However, the point is we’re talking a quarter of their time, more or less. That’s a lot more than 13% and Im surprised it’s not more alarming to Christian parents.
The school bus is perhaps the worst part of it all. My daughter rode a bus that carried kindergarten through twelfth grade students. Her driver was an excellent and caring man who did his best to provide a safe environment for his passengers. But there is little that can be done to protect children from the language and example of older kids. Over the years we dealt with bullying, anti-Semitic teasing, and explicit sexual remarks directed to very young children.
I knew something was fishy about his math. I thought maybe he was padding the number by counting the time his kids spent in utero.
Just some Gummint school quotes I rounded up some years ago: “To commit our children to the care of irreligious people is to commit lambs to the superintendency of wolves.” Timothy Dwight President of Yale University (1795-1817) Grandson of Jonathan Edwards ———————– “If I demanded you give up your television to an anonymous, itinerant repairman who needed work you’d think I was crazy; if I came with a policeman who forced you to pay that repairman even after he broke your set, you would be outraged. Why are you so docile when you give up your child to a government… Read more »
Is there actually any hard evidence that public schools make any difference whatsoever? Not anecdata, but real evidence? You deal presumptuously with the money question, once again assuming that you know everything and everyone who disagrees with your priorities is wrong. This question, like most, is going to involve trade offs, cost benefit analyses, and all that fun stuff. Let’s say that sending your children to a Christian school makes them 10% more likely to be a Christian. Is it worth 1k a month? That depends on the person, but it certainly isn’t a no-brainer decision like many seem to… Read more »
I think you raised some great questions!
We don’t raise our kids in faith and in obedience to God in the hopes that their chances of “getting saved” go up. It’s not a probability equation, Matt. We do those things because we are commanded to. Like Doug said, we raise our kids in faith, in faith.
You can turn it into a religious imperative if you like, but there’s certainly nothing in the bible commanding one to send their children to a specific school, or prohibiting people from using the public school system of whatever country they are in. So you aren’t really commanded to and shouldn’t claim that everyone else is too.
Luke 6: 40
No Jewish person sent their son to be educated by Caesar.
If our children pay attention in class, study well, they will learn the curriculum like they are in school to do. That is why they are there, to learn.
Why would we send them to learn what is not true and good and beautiful? I sincerely don’t see how that makes sense. Honestly, how can I explain that to my child? What is the point of sending him to a school where I don’t want him to learn the curriculum?
What curriculum exactly? It seems to me that the main sticking point is evolution and natural history, subjects which make up such a small part of the curriculum it’s hard for me to imagine going to the mat over them.
I think it is not just evolution. It is also foundational suppositions such as: God is in control of history; democracy is not necessarily godly; there are objective realities and standards; values are fixed, not mutable; mankind is not naturally good; virtue is not defined by consensus; people have a duty to their Creator, and learning their calculus is a part of that duty no matter how appallingly dull they find it. These suppositions arise in most subjects at some point or other.
Well that’s not actually the point is it–do what you need to do to turn out a christian– . That isn’t the command. The command is to raise your child in fear and admonition of the Lord. Some of us are arguing that sending our kids to public school is disobedient to this command.
I don’t understand why all and sundry are discussing anecdotes. I thought the point of this article was that anecdotes are beside the point. Doug believes God has commanded parents to give their children a Christian education. Arguing that Christian or government schools turn out this or that kind of child is irrelevant to his point, surely?
He links public schools with acceptance of gay marriage, so he clearly believes they have some measurable effect. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to request some evidence of this. If you don’t give a crap about the real world effects of public schools, then there’s not much to say really. Do what you think is best.
I don’t know if there is any scientific evidence, leaving us–so far–with the personal and anecdotal. My daughter has gay friends, friends with gay parents, gay teachers and performance coaches, and gay neighbors. She views people who oppose gay marriage with the kind of incredulous contempt we have for people who want to harm kittens. I don’t think a student could spend seven years in a Los Angeles performing arts academy and emerge with any other view. She sees my own position (okay on civil marriage; not okay on religious gay marriage; everyone be tolerant of Christian wedding vendors) not… Read more »
If that makes you a bigot, what must she think of ISIS chucking gays off rooftops?
That poses a real moral quandary for her, poor girl. Of course, it is wicked and appalling behavior, but she would be uncomfortable saying anything mean about their religious beliefs (as opposed to my religious beliefs!) They must simply be misled, or are the victims of oppressive child rearing, so that cold blooded murder of gays in the middle east is kind of morally equivalent to refusing to fly a rainbow flag back home. But she is still young and I have great hopes for her. At her age I was as tiresome and self-righteous a liberal crusader as you… Read more »
Okay, so a few thoughts here: 1. I do not believe the situation in all public schools is as dire as Wilson proclaims here. 2. Involved parents can find it remarkably easy to counterbalance the postmodernist stupidity if their kids trust them more than their teachers. This is not hard to accomplish. 3. Anyone who is trying to keep their kids from the postmodernist stupidity by keeping them out of public school is making swords of brittle iron. 4. That having been said, anyone who homeschools or Christian schools their kids while inoculating them against, rather than hiding them from,… Read more »
“2. Involved parents can find it remarkably easy to counterbalance the postmodernist stupidity if their kids trust them more than their teachers.” Okay, children should trust their parents more than their teachers. Granted. But only marginally. The idea that you send your kids to people for education, but then you spend lots of time and energy undermining them, seems, well, rather ridiculous. If you can’t trust them at least minimally to teach your kids without constantly having to backstop them, how can you entrust your children’s minds to them at all? And if you can’t tell your kids that they… Read more »
Especially when they are young. I can’t imagine the pressure my son would have felt trying constantly to decipher when he should listen and when he should not…I would have already had to teach him how evolution was wrong and what to look out for, how good words like justice, fairness and tolerance can be twisted… my boy would have been a nervous wreck, he was such a pleaser. He would want to please his teacher and his mom just like he wants to do with his Sunday school teacher whom he adores. Yikes, that just does not seem like… Read more »
I will add that I don’t disagree that in many cases, it’s not that hard for committed, well-taught, and involved parents to manage it. I just don’t think saying so very much mitigates the anti-public school argument, because I see the point as being more about “what’s the wise way to approach this” rather than “how can I manage things so the outcome is not so bad anyway.” As carole noted somewhere along here, the command isn’t for us to make our kids turn out Christian, it’s to raise them obediently.
I think you misunderstood what I said, but I could have said it clearer, so I’ll try again. If parents have raised their children in such a way that their children find the people who bore/chose them, feed them, and raise them more trustworthy than the paid government employee who sees them for six hours a day, five days a week, thirty-six weeks a year, for one year, then it is relatively easy to correct for when the teacher goes off the rails. If a parent fails at the above task–by which I mean, fails their job as a parent–then… Read more »
But you don’t know EVERYthing the teacher(s)/books/audiovisual materials are inculcating into your child’s mind; you aren’t there the whole day, and the child certainly isn’t going to spend his evening rehashing to you every detail of what he was exposed to.
No, but generally speaking if you ask kids about what they learned they’ll tell you stuff.
Okay, thanks, that is different from what I thought you meant.
But I think my points still stand, though they may be a bit off-topic to yours.
But Tom, why? Why would we even introduce this element into young children’s lives? What benefit is there, when they are so clearly upfront about the harm?
Why take the risk at all?
It was risky to use cowpox as a vaccine against smallpox.
But that had a perceptible benefit.
Interesting analogy. Cowpox is a very mild, self-limiting disease, very rarely developing into anything dangerous in a healthy person.
Which is my stance on being exposed to what vestiges of postmodern stupidity you normally get in elementary school.
Thank you Pastor Wilson.
I almost wept.
I have no issues with folks who home school. In fact, many of my closest friends home school. I also do not have a problem with people who send their children to a private Christian School. However, I have experienced first hand the alienation achieved by those who have an all-or-nothing-attitude when it comes to education. When the Family Integrated Church paradigm began to gain momentum, there were folks at my church who split from the church to begin their own church to accommodate the movement. They were against sending their kids to Sunday School, AWANA, and other social programs… Read more »
Matt, here are some thoughts on public schools making a difference: *estimated 9.6 percent of students – nearly one in 10 – who are subjected to sexual misconduct by teachers, coaches, principals, bus drivers and other personnel during their K-12 career. 2004 GAO report *If these numbers are representative of the student population nationwide, 4.5 million students currently in grades K-12 have suffered some form of sexual abuse by an educator, and more than 3 million have experienced sexual touching or assault. 2000 Survey commissioned by American Association of University Women *The 2002 Department of Education report estimated that from… Read more »
I have nothing against Christian schools and something against public schools, however…
Look at who you quote. The Department of Education and The American Association of University Women for examples. Why would I take their word for it? Estimates?? How did all of the above arrive at their estimates?
Assuming all their statistics are correct with reference to public schools, what are the numbers for private schools, including Christian ones? How do we know they are any different?
I should amend by adding, I have nothing against Christian schools per se and something against public schools, but not per ser.
John, those were studies on child abuse in government schools. Read the remarks from public school teachers on this thread and on Tole and it is easy to realize that the reports I mentioned are only the tip of the iceberg.
The point is the ungodly nature of the public school system.
I taught in public schools in California for 13 years. During that time, I became a Christian. As I grew in the faith, I became more vocal about my faith, just as a baby grows and learns to talk. Eventually, I began to step on some toes, big toes, because I went from crawling to walking and was simply taking every thought captive as my God tells us to do. Well, in the end, when I was teaching the truth of creation, those big toes gave me the pink slip, and it was about the time when I realized it… Read more »
It would take hours and hours to discuss all that I think is wrong with this column. In a nutshell: I think that it leads to a promotion of spiritual abuse and arrogance from the pulpit, in the consistory room, and in the pews as well as to no Paul in sight who will step up to a Peter’s new found love of Judaizing way. I think your position is a spiritual and an intellectual threat to the church: Let‘s just all get circumcised and hang with circumcised peeps ‘cuz that‘s gonna keep the church safe. This is utterly devastating… Read more »
No, it’s clear from both of Doug’s posts and the comment thread that the point is not that adult Christians should quit jobs at public schools and form Christian ghettos, but that parents shouldn’t send their children as soldiers.
Dear Ian, Were no Christian children in public schools, the church would, indeed, consist of Christian ghettos. Parents and their children are soldiers of Christ, and they follow His orders. They do not need to follow the voice of men, some of whom will tell them where they ought to send their kids to school. Every child is unique as is every set of parents as is every set of mission orders. Christian schools will prosper as they are filled through the work of the Spirit on parents ‘ hearts, as they, through faith, are provided by their heavenly Father… Read more »
RR, you missed the Bible’s standing orders that govern all Christians and override any individual callings. Children are not equipped to go into battle against adults. It’s train up first not send into battle and give OJT.
Dave, You presuppose that the adults in the Christian schools are safe.
No, they are not, but they are active soldiers, and at least are considered to be responsible for their own mental safeguards. Children are, by and large, not.
Ian, I am talking about the children in the Christian schools not being safe. They may be subjected to ideas that are spiritual landmines.
RR, no they are trained and are able to handle the ideological hand to hand combat in today’s schools. They understand the calling and the risks. Not so with kids.
Dave, So adult men are ready to handle receiving ideological warfare in regards to Christian liberty? Seminarians can handle the warfare so they don’t step into pulpits and start bludgeoning fellow soldiers who got different orders to death or at least assist every sheep around to headbutt them? I’m glad they, at least, can handle it. Sigh of relief.
“Were no Christian children in public schools, the church would, indeed, consist of Christian ghettos.”
I would think the Church is supposed to be a Christian ghetto. What else could it be?
If you mean, you think that Christians would be living in ghettos, what happened to adults having jobs, families having neighbors, people participating in community activities, etc.? Why is participation in this *one particular institution* the necessary and sufficient condition to keep Christians from ghettoizing?
I think the problem (strawman, possibly) is the idea that a retreat would be a spiritually, aesthetically, philosophically, and socially stagnant one. It is a valid concern, but Doug and thousands of homeschooling parents and Christian schools are (hopefully) working to be vibrant, inquiring, articulate, and lovely communities focused on the Good, not merely hiding our heads under our pillows.
Jane – Christians FREELY fellowshipping in schools, Christian ones also, is lovely. I am against Christian liberty being removed as an ideological possibility and the resultant abuse of those that don’t join said ghetto…perhaps due to their Captain’s orders.
It would take hours and hours to discuss all that I think is wrong with this column. In a nutshell: I think that it leads to a promotion of spiritual abuse and arrogance from the pulpit, in the consistory room, and in the pews as well as to no Paul in sight who will step up to a Peter’s newfound love of Judaizing way. I think your position is a spiritual and an intellectual threat to the church: Let‘s just all get circumcised and hang with circumcised peeps ‘cuz that‘s gonna keep the church safe. This is utterly devastating to… Read more »
As a Homeschool dad who is grateful to have a wife who is willing to be a wife, mother, headmistress and contractor for great tutors like our friends at Wilson Hill Academy and Veritas, the reason we started homeschooling was not because we thought that the schools would indoctrinate our kids. If you have met me, you probably can sort it out that there aren’t many people who can present a lie in my presence and not find themselves running for the door (intellectually if not physically) when they find out to whom they have presented it. But right now… Read more »
Right on, Frank. Glad to see you enter the fray. Clarity of speech and reason is always welcome here.
Frank Turk brings out the tank mounted flame throwers. Frank, even years ago the United States Air Force gave special handling to homosexuals so that they would be promoted regardless of ability. Unless God makes some significant changes in how Christians worship, how preachers preach, how Christians pray and how Christians interact with society we will continue to be under the growing monster of sodomy.
In case you haven’t noticed, Ryan, by Proverbial standards, is a fool and speaks in the gate like a fool. He will not answer hard questions and does not have the credentials to speak with authority on placing children in ungodly situations when they are not prepared. As you answer him, consider his foolish answers as just that.
I have another possible reason for keeping your kids in public schools – training. They are going to hear all the arguments and get all the exposure eventually, why not teach them how to engage with what they read and hear while you have them under your roof and have some ‘say so’? It is wonderful that Doug Wilson’s kids have turned out well (I love their writings and really think he did a first class job as a parent). But I know many a parent who put their kids in fundamentalist school/home school whose kids did not turn out… Read more »
I would not subscribe to the protocol of training ones children to handle rattlesnakes by throwing them in the snake pit.
I did not allow my children to go into the alfalfa field (the haunt of those critters) until I had instructed them well on rattlesnake handling, and I was satisfied that they had reached an age where they were physically and mentally prepared to execute the protocols in which they had been catechized.
I would not ever have allowed them to spend their days in the nest. regardless of training.
What you say reflects my husband’s and my own attitude on this — with the caveat that there is no way that you can *start* their education in the midst of the battle — you have to train them first. So, all my kids have gone/are going to public high school. But only because we knew they knew their right hands from their left and were not going to be persuaded otherwise, before they got there. I do think that having them face the opposition while still under our roof has been good, but that’s not to say that homeschooling… Read more »
“I have another possible reason for keeping your kids in public schools – training. They are going to hear all the arguments and get all the exposure eventually, why not teach them how to engage with what they read and hear while you have them under your roof and have some ‘say so’?”
This might be helpful for older kids. But grade school kids are not ready for that. And they are certainly not ready for the sexual matters that are being taught and which now will increase!
Excellent comment, tpbaehr
How I long to say “Here am I and my children with me”…..If only I had known then what I know now……
Am I understanding correctly that some professing Christ followers were disagreeing/complaining about either article?
That’s putting it mildly. Replace ‘disagreeing/complaining’ with ‘throwing a tantrum over’ and you’d be correct.
Planned parenthood posters advertising with the assurance that parent consent is not needed were front in center of the last high school I taught at. It’s heartbreaking.
For Matt, Ryan and the others who maintain that their public school is open to Christian thoughts, why don’t you stand on a Rainbow flag like Wilson is doing in the thread “For Further Discussion?” Then let us know just how Christ honoring those schools are.
Ryan, that’s why I asked about your credentials as it is apparent you don’t have any. You are all talk and no show yet you advise Christians to follow a foolish and ungodly path. Paul had credentials by his acts standing against ungodly governments. When he advised others to follow a particular path, his credentials backed his words.
You are foolish and your posts show that foolishness in the gate.
I homeschooled my kids through middle school. It was a blast. We studied apologetics and worldview in every subject. I was able to equip them and educate them in all subjects with a Christian perspective. They entered into public high school for athletics or the arts and did very well. The staff loved them and they were leaders. It was the best decision I ever made in raising my children. Now they are highly respected as adults with one deeply rooted in the theater world, sharing the Gospel to all she meets. Equip your children and prepare them to defend… Read more »
So, I’m late to the party, but did have this comment/question, Pastor Wilson: one concern with the “send your kids to private Christian school” view is the very serious problem that many Christian schools are corrupt themselves. Here in the Minneapolis area, many of the Christian schools are largely enamored with or in bed with flaky Christianity or Prosperity Gospel. And for me, I find a secular public school in some ways less dangerous to my child than a private school wrapped with a false gospel. Obviously, homeschooling is still an option, but not a great option for many (for… Read more »