Here in 2015 America, there is little doubt that we are being blessed by God with a return by more and more of His people to the loving detail of His Word when it comes to the vital, culture-shaping subject of children’s education. Let’s not lose sight of this beautiful truth. Let’s celebrate it and thank God for the hard fought victories that have come by grace-fueled obedience to His Word as we strive to secure more territory for His Kingdom today and tomorrow.
As this education reformation builds, so too does its opposition. The enemies of Christ from both outside and within the professing church grow louder and more contentious with each stride made by those who would dare publicly proclaim and apply what God has said on this subject. So the battle goes on, obedient Christians are gaining ground (within a larger culture that is losing ground), and things are getting more intense on the cultural battlefield as a result. The enemies of Christ have been accustomed to unquestioned dominance in the realm of children’s education for so long that they can hardly believe what is now happening before their convicted and terrified little unbelieving eyes. As God moves His people forward to take this vital hill on the cultural battlefield, we must anticipate increased (and increasingly desperate) resistance and retaliation from those enemies.
Today I’d like to focus on one of the most commonly deployed defenses or arguments for Christians shipping their children off to State-controlled systems for education.
You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. We’ve all heard it…time and time and time again: The “salt and light” pitch.
Somehow, some way, little kindergartners, first and second graders from professing Christian homes are going to storm (or at least be dropped into) the front lines of the worldview war raging in State-controlled “schools” across the country and are going to overcome the enemies of Christ that designed and define those places.
Yeah, that’s gonna happen.
And why wouldn’t it? I mean, it’s such a reasonable idea.
Which makes the looooong running result of this approach all the more perplexing. Hard as it is to even begin to understand, much less fully grasp, it seems as though the vast majority of the kindergartners and older kiddos that we have been dropping into the jaws of the enemy worldview cultivation machine have failed to do what we told ourselves (and others) we were sending them there to do. So far it seems as though most of those kids have been chewed up, digested, and thoroughly converted by that State-run-secular machinery.
And it’s not even close.
So what gives?
How could this be happening?
Could there maybe, just maybe, be something wrong with our approach? Something unbiblical, perhaps?
No, no, no…wait a minute! We know what to do. We know how to handle this.
Let’s just ignore the results. Let’s ignore the reality.
No matter that we now have year after year, decade after decade, and generation after generation of evidence in the form of ever increasing mountains of smoldering cultural wreckage all around us, let’s just pretend it’ll all be okay in the end if we just keep on keepin’ on.
Let’s just keep right on feeding our children to the beast, hoping that this “salt and light” thing will eventually pay off.
Now let me ask you: Does that sound sane?
Does that sound rational?
Of course not.
It is the voice and perspective of utter madness…yet it also happens to be the attitude in practice of the vast majority of professing Christians (as led by their “pastors”) in 2015 America. (See: Why is the beast of Socialism eating our children? Ask your pastor.)
These folks (and the children in their care) desperately need loving confrontation and correction through the Gospel and Word of Christ on the vital subject of children’s education.
To that end, I’d like to submit ten points for consideration where the “salt and light” argument for feeding children to the State is concerned. While this list focuses its attention on younger children, I hope to write more soon with a focus on others impacted by the State-controlled system of anti-Christian “education”.
That said, here are ten problems with the “salt and light” excuse for feeding children to the State:
1. Scripture’s “salt and light” reference is exclusively applied to supernaturally reborn New Creatures in Christ. This is known in strict theological terms as “a big deal”, yet it seems to be completely off the radar of most professing Christians in America. Biblical “salt and light” is not about being well groomed, polite, or nice. Pagans can do all of those things quite well, thank you very much (and go to hell just as surely as unbelievers with bad hair, bad breath, and bad manners.) Biblical “salt and light” is about consciously striving to proclaim and apply the Nature of God as revealed in His Word in every area of life, all by His grace and for His glory.
2. An unsaved child cannot be “salt and light” to anyone. Until and unless your 5-, 6-, 7-, or 8-year old is actually saved by the grace of God through the Gospel, they are incapable of being biblical “salt and light” to anyone. Moreover, they are in dire need of being exposed to such biblical salt and light themselves – which Christian parents are commanded and equipped to provide through active obedience to the Word in every realm of life, including, not coincidentally, the realm of children’s education. Being biblical salt and light effectively requires spiritual depth, discernment, and maturity…qualities that little children simply do not possess (which is why God has lovingly instructed us to protect them while they are children so that they might by His grace through our obedience be allowed to grow into adults who do possess those qualities).
3. Unsaved children are slaves to sin. They are born that way. They love sin and hate holiness naturally. So sending them off to a place where the Gospel is prohibited from clear acknowledgment, much less detailed presentation and repetition, while there is constant interaction with fellow sin-enslaved children (and teachers) is one of the most incoherent, irresponsible, and destructive things that a professing Christian parent can do to a child given them by God to raise by the light of His loving Word. Such an environment is the perfect incubator for anti-Christian worldviews…all by design, of course. We have no excuse for sending our inherently vulnerable children into that darkness.
4. Unsaved children are defenseless against the anti-Christian purposes of the State-controlled “education” system. Everything about the State-controlled system of education is aimed at appealing to and cultivating the anti-Christ nature within all unrepentant unbelievers. As such, all unsaved children sent into such a system for “education” are going to be purposefully fed a worldview that will further cement and encourage their rebellion against God. With an unbelieving spirit in place already, they will be naturally inclined to sop the system’s Christ-dismissing bilge up and build their lives upon it.
5. Immature young professing Christians are to be protected from satanic worldviews, not immersed in them. The beautiful hedge of Deuteronomy 6 is lovingly presented in vivid detail by a Lord who desires that His people have what they need to raise their impressionable, immature, sinful little ones into God-fearing, wise, and responsible men and women.
6. Dropping children into the front lines of spiritual combat is irresponsible and idiotic. Formal education and training is fundamental and vital stuff, at any level, but particularly at the earliest levels and youngest ages. This is where foundations are laid. This is where worldviews are formed. To send off vulnerable, timid, and malleable little children into this sort of high stakes environment populated (and often led or dominated) by unbelieving instructors and classmates in the hopes that the little guy or gal might win spiritual battles by being “salt and light” is as irrational, irresponsible, and insane as bundling up a five year old in a flak jacket, handing them an M-16, and shipping ’em off to fight bad guys in Iraq.
That. Is. Crazy.
They are untrained. They are unprepared. They are immature and unwise. Yet, off to battle they go…right into the jaws of a system designed to tear every part and parcel of their worldview into Christ-dismissing wreckage.
Schools are spiritual battlefields. They are front lines in the war. They are therefore no place for us to send our unprepared, ungrounded, and often unsaved children.
7. Unsaved classmates are not neutral. They love sin. They hate holiness. And they love loving sin and hating holiness. (See: The nature of man as described in Scripture. Romans 1 is a good place to start.)
8. Unsaved teachers are not neutral. They love sin. They hate holiness. And they are going to teach the children in their care to do the same, whether they know it or not, believe it or not, or intend to or not.
9. The “nicest” unbelievers are the most dangerous unbelievers. Forget the caricatures of flagrantly bad teachers that increasingly populate the headlines of newspapers and online news sites reporting tales of debauchery and abuse perpetrated more and more against students by teachers. Sex crazed predators and drug or alcohol fueled monsters are obviously a terrible threat to children and young adults in the State-controlled education system, but it is the “nice” men and women in the system who can be the most dangerous.
The presentation of unbelief as a path to being a “good person” is one of the most persuasive and therefore dangerous threats to an unformed, unsaved child’s mind and worldview. Many of “the nicest people” leading students in the State-controlled system are even professing believers, which makes them all the more dangerous to the formation of children’s minds when it comes to the relationship between salvation and true goodness.
The system knows that it succeeds each time a student becomes convinced that goodness, respectability, and success are attainable apart from submission to Christ. So it is that “nice teachers” – especially professing Christians – become particularly effective tools of the enemy in this environment.
After all, if they support the State’s Christ-dismissing approach to life, can it really be all that bad?
10. We will all give an account to God for what we have done. When we use “salt and light” arguments as justification for flagrantly trampling His crystal clear commands on the subject of children’s education, we are begging for trouble. But God, by His grace, has given us an opportunity even now to repent and reform in this vital area of life. No matter how many or how great our mistakes have been to this point, everything has been purposeful, and He will use it all to His glory and our benefit (see: Romans 8:28), however unbelievable that may seem or feel right now.
God is good. He is faithful. And he has lovingly provided us with all that we need to obey and benefit from His perfect Nature as revealed in His perfect Word.
Our presently disintegrating culture is not only under the judgment of God, it is the judgment of God upon us. We, the professing church, have led the culture to where it is today through our example of disobedience and disregard for the lovingly, life-preserving clarity of the Word of God.
I hope and pray that this has been helpful, clarifying, and convicting where appropriate. I also hope and pray that each of us will strive to share and apply these challenging truths, all by the grace of God, to the glory of God, and to the eternal benefit of the children (and future generations) that have been entrusted to our care.
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