Ever wonder why, no matter how many gajillions of dollars we spend, how many studies we undertake, or how many reforms we make to address the subject of children’s education in America, we only seem to be able to continue the steady decline in knowledge, understanding, and character from one generation to the next?
If you have been wondering about this, you are not alone.
If you are a Christian and you are wondering about this, well…you shouldn’t be wondering.
While the secular American culture is swimming with angst, studies, propositions and ponderings on the topic, Christians have been lovingly provided with so much detail and so many gracious commands on the subject of children’s education, that any biblically literate Christian ought to have no trouble at all both A) recognizing the reasons for the failures of our approach to children’s education, and B) prescribing a sound set of solutions to those problems.
So it is apparent that biblical literacy isn’t really “a thing” for most professing American Christians. This is the first problem we really need to acknowledge and address.
Could this rampant biblical illiteracy in most professing Christians in America maybe have something to do with the State-controlled system and culture of “education” in which almost all of ’em were raised?
Weird how that all seems to fit together, huh?
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Our Only Path to Recovery: Repentance and Reformation
If Americans are to ever again experience cultural stability, much less any sustained, meaningful improvement, we are going to require the Lord to grace us with a Spirit of repentance. He is going to have to give us that which we would never seek in and of ourselves: A genuine desire to seek out and destroy the idols that now define our lives and, by natural extension, our culture.
One of the greatest idols, or “enemy strongholds” (2 Cor 10:4) dominating the modern American culture, including the lives and cultures of the vast majority of professing Christian families and churches, is the idol of State-controlled children’s education.
The (very) good news is that the Lord is graciously giving many the aforementioned desire. Spirit-filled believers are seeing with increasing clarity the beauty and purpose of their Lord’s loving command to make Him the explicit core of their children’s education.
With the hope of encouraging and equipping Christians to seek Truth on this issue and continue the positive reforms being made through personal obedienceI (as opposed to State mandate), I’d like to share now a portion of the Fire Breathing Christians book that dealt with this issue back in 2010:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! ~ Psalm 111:10
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. ~ Proverbs 1:7
“In the state of California, if I had a child there, I wouldn’t put the youngster in a public school…. I think it’s time to get our kids out. And I’m going to get hit for [saying] that.” These words were spoken by Dr. James Dobson during the March 28, 2002 broadcast of his Focus on the Family radio show. This statement, coming from one of the nation’s most influential evangelical Christians, served to up the ante in a long-simmering dispute within American Christendom.
Marshall Fritz, President of the Alliance for the Separation of School & State, subsequently expressed support: “For years, Dr. Dobson has supported three options for Christians: Public schools, Christian schools, and home schooling. With today’s courageous and insightful statement, Dr. Dobson joins the millions of Americans who have already discovered that the public schools have become government indoctrination centers which are no place to train new generations of freedom loving Americans.”
Our Embrace of Christ-less Education
“By law, you are no more allowed to teach religious values and religious views in our public schools than you are in the schools of Russia tonight…as far as all religious teaching (except the religion of Humanism, which is a different kind of a thing) it is just as banned by law from our schools, and our schools are just as secular as the schools in Soviet Russia—just exactly! Not ten years from now. Tonight!” ~ Francis A. Schaeffer (from a 1982 speech at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church)
“…the American school system is inferior in terms of academics, bankrupt in terms of morality, and corrosive in terms of spirituality and religion. In short, the government education system is no place for the children of people who claim allegiance to the King of Kings.” ~ Voddie Baucham
We love a good lie. This is our nature.
Just ask Bernie Madoff. Or Joe Isuzu. Or Barack Obama. Or…well…you get the picture.
One of the greatest of delusions willfully pursued, captured, and cherished by the vast majority of professing Christians in recent American history is the notion that Christ can be removed as the clear, ever-present center of education in all areas, and that anything better than an unending series of completely catastrophic consequences will emerge as a result.
Before we dive into any detail, just think of it. It’s such a simple thing. This question, as all others of significance, finds its every good and true answer in one place: Christ.
The Jesus Christ of biblical Christianity is either the required centerpiece of a Christian understanding where education is concerned or He is nothing at all. He is God over all or He is a relatively trivial accessory. In biblical Christianity, there is never, in any area of life, an optional Jesus. If there is a single place where a Christian would consider his Christ as optional, then he is not dealing rightly with the Lord of Scripture.
Jesus defines and claims ownership over everything in the life of the Common Believer. And “everything” certainly must include education, every bit as much as it covers sexuality, spirituality, sobriety, entertainment, and business practices. Therefore, education, once separated from Christ at any time and for any reason, inherently and automatically pollutes any subject under its influence or authority. It accomplishes this inevitable result by transferring its own Christ-less nature to anything with which it comes in contact. Once Jesus was nudged oh-so-politely to the side where education was concerned, everything covered under its umbrella of authority was shifted into the very same “Christ optional” category.
This seems like such a stark, obvious sort of thing, yet I have no trouble recalling how I, as a teenager at Mountain Home High School, in a small, rural Arkansan Bible Belt setting, was convinced that my being in the public school system was no problem at all. I was a professing Christian and my presence there was completely natural.
As I said, the comfortable fit of a good lie does come quite naturally.
It was so easy to go there. And I’m sure that it was easy to be sent. I certainly hold no animosity towards Gram, the angel God used to save me from so much and for so long, for shipping me off to school. She had little idea as to what was going on there and, as many a professing American Christian in those days as well as our own, she simply didn’t know what the Bible had to say about education. She was going along with a crowd that had long abandoned the virtues it frequently professed with its lips. In a secular cultural context, my going to public school was the natural thing to do.
Even Gram was not familiar with the serious Christianity that accompanied the birth of this nation. She was drifting along with the cultural tide along with most everybody else. Again, this was natural. Most of her spiritual growth and biblical knowledge came long after I had finished doing my time at MHHS. Fortunately for Gram, for you, and for me, we are not doomed to the future prepared by the mistakes of our past.
You see, God has a perfect plan. And He simply will not let us wreck it.
Removal of the Lord is the End of Wisdom
“…the government school system is a foe to be defeated, not a friend to be reformed. Government education is one of the most corrosive influences in the history of the United States. It has served as an incubator for ideologies like Darwinian evolution, Gramscian Marxism, feminism, progressivism, and the radical homosexual agenda (to name just a few).” ~ Voddie Baucham
The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. ~ Proverbs 8:13
The point here is not to rail against those who might have been even more “in the know” than Gram as they sent their little treasures off to Caesar for Christ-less programming. We have all played a role in propping up this God-hating system—even those of us with no children at all. We are so completely on board with the Christ-less education program that its support has become our default setting; it is automatic…we automatically finance it through our taxes, we automatically advocate it through our votes and we even automatically defend it, as if, by sheer volume or raw numbers of forced participation, we might somehow validate our open rebellion against God through blind fidelity en masse to this Christ-less system of indoctrination.
My hope would be that we would set aside our pride and ego long enough to repent, submit to Christ’s expressed will in this, as all other areas of our lives, and begin to seriously approach the challenging and difficult path that we face where the reclamation of education is concerned. We’ve dug a deep hole, indeed. Yet He is faithful. He has provided us with every answer and every tool that we need to effectively apply that answer in each of our lives.
While there are many wonderful works dedicated to exploring the subject of Christ-centered education in detail, my aim here is much more humble and simple. What I hope to formalize here is an agreed upon starting point—a necessary centerpiece—for all of education.
The Word of God is not vague or hazy on this subject.
If genuine knowledge and wisdom have no beginning outside of Christ, why would we send our impressionable children to a Christ-less system for the purpose of acquiring its version of knowledge and wisdom as their own?
If the fear of the LORD really is the beginning of wisdom…if it is the beginning of knowledge…if we actually believe these things, then how is it possible that we would even entertain for an instant the thought of sending any child of ours to an overtly Christ-less institution for the purpose of receiving formative instruction in life?
Is this tricky? Of course it’s not.
Am I annoying? Surely.
But trickiness or nuisances are not vital concerns here. All that matters is: Is what I am saying true?
Removal of the Lord is the End of Knowledge
“There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a great battle and the government schools in many ways represent the front lines. As such, it is important that we have well-trained, well-equipped men and women (not children) engaging in warfare there when possible. Unfortunately, few Christian teachers understand this. As a result, the vast majority of Christian teachers (ignorant of the battle raging all around them) are merely serving as willing accomplices. Of course, they will argue that the mere fact that they are Christians makes all the difference, but this is a farce. Other Christian teachers see themselves as ‘missionaries’ working to save souls on a sinking ship. This, while admirable, is ultimately a band-aid on a cancer. This is the equivalent of teaching slaves ‘inner freedom’ without rejecting or opposing slavery.” ~ Voddie Baucham
It has been said that were an identifiable foreign power to have done to our children what the modern public education system has “accomplished” in America over recent years, we would certainly consider it to be an act of war. And this view comes from a secular perspective.
We, as Common Believers, should know all too well that there is a well-defined opposing power that has indeed committed an act of war upon our children. This has been done deliberately and as a part of a meticulously planned and ongoing assault upon biblical Christianity in an effort to transform and conform our civilization to a progressive mold. We must also confront the painful reality that we have been willing allies in the very same atrocity committed against the little boys and little girls entrusted to our care. While we may be tempted to look backwards in unproductive ways, the path to restoration not only lies ahead, but it is well lit.
The good part is that this well lit path has been made so clear by the Lord we serve. The bad part is that this well lit path has been made so clear by the Lord we serve. As I mentioned…be careful what you wish (and pray) for.
Embracing Christ-Centered Education as Essential
For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth. ~ 3 John 3–4
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. ~ Luke 6:40
How far do you think “progressive Christianity” would have ever advanced in America if every professing Christian in the land embraced the biblically mandated, Christ-centered approach to education?
Do you think that “progressive morality” would have ever had a chance of gaining traction in such an environment? Without the success of counterfeit of religion and morality, the progressive political movement would exist as an utterly impotent, extreme fringe movement, if at all.
Every progressive triumph of the past sixty years has been aided more by the Christian abandonment of Christ-centered education than by any other single decision or force in American culture. It is therefore impossible for any true, God-honoring, and lasting recovery to be found without this most fortified and critical of enemy strongholds being stormed, razed, and burnt to the ground.
Sound a little too dramatic? Well, it is dramatic. But, in light of Scripture, is it not true? And isn’t that what matters?
I know that, while once I thought very differently on this subject, and I do not even have a wife or children at this time, I cannot help but have radically changed in my views in light of the revealed truth of God’s perfect Word. What reconciliation can there be between Christ-less systems of education (or Christ-less systems of anything, for that matter) and Christ-centered biblical Christianity? None that I can see.
That kind of revelation can be painful, and much more so in this instance for those of you who have already sent your children down a path founded upon Christ-less education. Please know that God has purpose for you in precisely the position in which you and your children find yourselves. Remember: He loves to work through desperate situations, so take heart. That said, this will be anything but easy.
We have to ask ourselves questions, but much more than this, we have to want to find the answers. And whatever The Artists Formerly Known as The Emergent Church might have to say, God’s perfect Word does have the answers. All of ’em. I see this as both a blessing and a warning.
God’s revealed truth in this context makes for what we might call the quintessential “be careful what you wish for” proposition.
Do you want a Christ-centered life?
Do you pray for a Christ-centered home and family?
Do you desire a Christ-centered community, culture, and nation?
Do you dream of a Christ-centered restoration of that shining city on a hill that once was the United States of America?
Do you seek a reformation of the professing church of Christ in that same America?
I believe that, as a Common Believer, you do. You must.
With that in mind, I ask: Can you imagine any of the lofty goals listed above being even remotely possible without our personal insistence upon the Christ-centered education of children?
This excerpt was taken from the book Fire Breathing Christians and is representative of the ideas I aim to present in more detail in an upcoming book. Please feel free to send or post your biblically founded thoughts and feedback on this subject – every bit of such insight is helpful.
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© 2014 Scott Alan Buss – All Rights Reserved.
 Voddie Baucham, Question of the Month, as posted on January 11, 2010 at the Voddie Baucham Ministries website in his blog at: http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Entries/2010/1/11_January_Question_of_the_Month.html