|What to do about it|
| The current strategy in the church is to try to restore religious freedom to the government-run schools. If we can do so, Christian teachers will be allowed to express their views during class, and Christian students will be free to share their views with classmates and to challenge the secular establishment.
I have two reasons that this strategy should be abandoned for a new one. One reason is practical and the other is ideological.
Practically speaking, this strategy was used in other Christian countries such as England, and it failed. It was the nature of this government-run system from its beginning to become increasingly hostile to the teachings of Christianity. This is especially true with atheists redefining “the separation of church and state.” If we continue with this strategy, we will continue to lose.
The other reason is ideological. Christians must stop supporting this government-run system, because it is unbiblical. God gave the responsibility of educating children to parents, and he gave the responsibility of charity (e.g. public education) to the church. When we handed the public schools over to the state, we set ourselves up to fail.
Bruce Shortt says, “For most of America’s history, families and the church provided education. To those earlier Americans, the notion of entrusting their children’s education to strangers in a secular or pagan institution would have been unthinkable. When the government school movement began in the middle part of the 19th century, many parents and clergy resisted it, enough so that government schools did not fully triumph over America’s original educational traditions until the early part of the 20th century.”
The state-controlled system was based on Enlightenment thought. The idea was that the secular and sacred were independent. This meant that we could give the earthly things to the world and keep the spiritual things with the church. This led to the idea that secular education was neutral to Christianity, so we could separate secular education from the church, and everything would be fine.
Now the worldly wisdom of public schools is affecting the church. Shortt says, “Research by the Nehemiah Institute shows that children from Christian homes who attend government schools are five times more likely to adopt such anti-Christian dogmas as moral relativism than those who attend Christian schools, and Barna Research has found that only 9% of evangelical teens believe that there is any such thing as absolute moral truth. The damage is also painfully evident from the fact that a substantial majority of children from Christian homes no longer attend church within two years after graduating from public high school. Government schools are killing our children spiritually, morally, and intellectually.”
What about Christians who teach in public schools? Shortt replies that “the mere presence of Christian teachers and administrators doesn’t mean that our children get a Christian education. For those who care to look carefully, it is plain that the curricula, the institutional rules, and many of those working within government schools aggressively promote anti-Christian values and an anti-Christian worldview. In fact, government schools have become so hostile institutionally to Christianity that Christian teachers and administrators who actively profess their faith are dismissed or disciplined if they are ‘caught.’”
When we gave our God-given responsibility to the power of the state, we lost the rights and liberties that went with it. For now Christian parents must provide Christian education even while they are forced to pay for godless education. School vouchers are a good step in alleviating the burden, but eventually, the church must take back its proper role in education. As soon as possible, the church should help poorer families to provide a good education.
Many Christian parents see the problem and are doing what they can to give their children a Christian education, either with home schooling or Christian schools. It can be hard, but it’s worth the effort. When a mother teaches her children, she prepares them to reclaim this decaying culture.
|More to come . . .|
|More to come . . .|