The time has come to make a strong plea based on a conviction my wife and I have had for quite some time.
Christian, get your children out of government-run (i.e. public) schools.
As a believer and as a pastor, I have never hesitated when the topic of schools has come up to let my opinion be known about them. Before I was married and had children of my own I had decided that, as a father, I would not send my children to public schools. As a matter of fact, my then-girlfriend, presumptive fiance, and future wife had a pretty heated argument about it. I won. But the point is, I’ve long felt the way I do about public schools. When asked I’ve given my opinion. When discussions of schools have come up I’ve given my opinion. But as a pastor I have not gone all the way in telling others they needed to get their children out of public schools.
That has to change.
The image above was posted on Friday by the U.S. Department of Education after the Supreme Court ruled that so-called “same-sex marriage” has to be legal everywhere. I suppose this in your face response to the judgment, akin to President Obama’s classless bathing of the White House in the rainbow lights of so-called gay pride, was the last straw in all of this. But I cannot hold back any longer from recommending — yes, pleading! — that believers in the Lord Jesus Christ take whatever steps necessary, make whatever financial sacrifices are required, to get their children out of the government of the United States’ classrooms.
Now I’ve heard the objections…
“We can’t afford it!” — Is private schooling expensive? Usually the answer is yes. But this argument is based on the assumption that there are more important expenditures than your child’s spiritual well-being and education. Is that vacation more important? Is eating out more important? Is that entertainment more important? These are questions Christians should honestly be asking themselves when making the argument that public schools are the best option because of the price.
“I can’t home school!” — This is more related to the first answer than you might first think, because many say this because of jobs that are done to make more money to have a certain standard of living. But I also hear this objection from those who simply think they aren’t qualified to teach their own children. To which I respond, “Say what?” Who, more than mom and dad, is more qualified to teach a child? Who knows that child’s strengths and weaknesses better than mom and dad? Now, will there be subjects where you need help teaching? Absolutely. But they are available. In many cases they are much cheaper than you think. Do not let this your objection, though.
By way of disclaimer, my wife and I send our children to what amounts to a hybrid private Christian and home school. They go three days a week to class and we home school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is cheaper than most private Christian schools but it remains a financial burden on us. We’ve had to make sacrifices as a result, sometimes better than other times. But what we’ve found is that, while some days are very stressful, some days are more difficult than others, we are more invested in the education of our children than we would otherwise be because ultimately we are their first teachers. And that’s the way it should be. That’s what Scripture teaches. Just read the book of Deuteronomy.
One other objection I want to touch on…
“Well, our school is good. It isn’t like the schools we read about on the internet. And our kids are fine.” Well, I hope your school is better than others. I really do. But here’s the deal… the God we worship as Christians is the God of language, the God of mathematics, the God of science, the God of history, the God of the arts, the God of grammar, the God of everything. Thus, when we try to educate ourselves or our children by divorcing the Creator from that which He has created, we are automatically cutting ourselves off from the most important part of every subject we and our children will ever study. We are cutting ourselves off at the knees, which is a reason our government’s schools are consistently academically inferior to Christian education.
It isn’t primarily an issue of money. The issue is a biblical, Christian worldview, and you cannot get that in government schools. Maybe there was a day when you could, but not since I’ve grown up, I can tell you that (I went to public schools).
Now more than ever the government isn’t simply getting in the way of our freedom to teach children what is right — i.e., the chance to teach biblical creationism alongside the theory of evolution. They have become active agents of unrighteousness, and the above image is all the proof you need.
If your child is in a public school, that public school in some ways must abide by whatever the U.S. Department of Education says. Every state in the union bows the knee to the U.S. Department of Education so it can get federal money. Thus, every public school, including your daughter’s great elementary school, bows the knee to Caesar as well.
The stories of what is being taught in public school classrooms are bad enough as it is. They are going to become horror stories in the future to anyone clinging to a biblical worldview. “‘Come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord” (2 Cor 6:17). Light has no fellowship with darkness.
Now, I know that no private school, no Christian school, no church school is perfect. There have been many atheists and pagans go through the ranks of Christian education. But that is not a reason to send our children into the lion’s den. That just reminds us that this world is filled with sinners, and salvation is not of education, salvation is of the LORD.
There’s a reason the Proverbs tells parents, and fathers particularly (and not governments), to train children in the way they should go, so that when they are old they will not depart from it. The chances of your child knowing and loving Christ and obeying Him even after they receive their high school diploma increase exponentially if mom and dad make the sacrifices needed to make sure they are trained in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
Failure to do that sets our children up to fail spiritually.
As Voddie Baucham has put it,
If we continue to send our children to Caesar, for their education, we need to stop being surprised when they come home as Romans.
The government is coming for your children. Take them away from them. As soon as possible.