by Matt Slick
Harvard, Princeton, and other renowned colleges in America were originally founded by Christians who wanted to educate people in biblical principles. Princeton was founded as a seminary, for example. But history teaches us that educational institutions tend to drift away from what they were originally designed.
Many colleges in America have abandoned classical biblical education for pragmatism, utilitarianism, and a curriculum designed to indoctrinate its people with secular humanism. We have a vast educational void in America that is slowly growing. Home Schooling alternatives and private schools are increasing. The need is obvious. More and more, Christians do not want their children indoctrinated by unbelievers who actively teach beliefs contrary to biblical truth.
The Schools are the Battle Ground
What cannot be forced into the minds of adults, must be propagandized to the young. Therefore, today's schools are battlegrounds for culture and political correctness and the youth are those suffering. Reading, writing, and arithmetic have given way to humanism, anti-Christian indoctrination, and "values clarification." The Conservative Students for America conducted a survey of 13 colleges in the Southeast and found that of those surveyed, "56 percent said that right and wrong is a matter of personal opinion." That is truly a frightening statistic. Is this the kind of moral relativists our schools are producing? Would you want a lawyer to defend you if he thought morality was relative? What about politicians and those in power over us? Those who make our laws don't seem to give a second thought at exempting themselves from many of the laws and taxes they pass upon us. It is a scary thought. And things are getting worse.
Sure, the three "R's" are still taught in schools, but poorly. The educated in America are increasingly less knowledgeable and trustworthy. Since the 1960's, Americans have become less capable and are falling behind the rest of the world in educational ratings. What is being promoted as the solution? Money! In 1996 the total Federal funding of public education was over 17 billion dollars. State funding totaled over 113 billion dollars. It hasn't helped. In fact, the educational system seems to be getting worse.
In a national survey conducted by the International Communications Research group, in Pennsylvania, 58% of the parents polled strongly supported school choice as an option for parents. When asked if they thought that children were receiving the education they needed, 16% said yes and 79% said no. Clearly, people want a change.
What is the Christian's Responsibility Regarding Education?
As Christians, our responsibilities are to make sure that we and our children are educated in the most godly manner possible. We should not let unbelievers teach our children ungodly philosophies. God has entrusted us with children, and He will want an accounting of what we did with them.
As people of God who are under His Lordship, we have been given the command to multiply and to subdue the earth (Gen. 1:28). To do this, we need to learn about God's creation and seek to discover what God has hidden in His creation. By doing this, we learn more about God's majesty and grow in our ability to praise Him and glorify Him.
Electricity, radio waves, light, sound, physics, biology, medicine, etc., are all treasures God created and hid in creation. He gave us the ability to discover them, to become educated about them. All areas of knowledge, science, math, art, philosophy, medicine, etc., are merely categories of discovery made by people. Therefore, all education for the Christian is to be God-centered because it is disclosure of God's creative glory. The queen of the educational sciences should be biblical theology.
I recommend that Christian parents seriously look into homeschooling as a preferable option over letting unbelievers teach in a manner contrary to biblical revelation. Nevertheless, some will say that it is difficult. I know. My wife homeschools our children and we are financially strapped because of it. It is work and it is a sacrifice. But, our children are given to us by God to care for, raise for Him, and nourish in the ways of the Lord. We parents will answer to the Lord for how we raised our children. Connect with a local Christian homeschooling organization. The support there is great as well as encouraging. There are many viable options to public school. Do some research.
Another excellent alternative to public school is the Christian Day school. These are Christian schools that are dedicated to teaching biblical perspectives. The faculties are Christian, God-fearing people who know the great value of raising children for God. There are many fine ones all over this nation.
What does the Bible Say?
Please consider the following verses (NASB):
- 2 Chr. 17:9, "And they taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the Lord with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people."
- Psalm 78:1, "Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth."
- 2 Tim. 3:16-17, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
- Rom. 1:20, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made..."
- Eph. 6:4, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
- John 1:17, "For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ."
Christians should pray for the educational system in America and get involved in improving it. They should be very active in governing the education that their children are receiving, especially in the home.
The education of the young, and ourselves, is a responsibility given to us by God.
For further information see the Center for Education and Reform at edreform.com.
Also, check out the Classical Christian Schooling Network ccsnet.org.