In 2014, there was a discussion concerning an obscene book in a local public school district (Cape Henlopen). A friend of mine sent a message to each member of the school board at Cape Henlopen School District urging them to stand by their previous decision to remove this book from the recommended reading list at the school. You can read her letter here.. However, issues like this raise more serious concerns, especially for parents of students in the government school system.
My appeal in this post is to parents. My appeal is this: Will you consider removing your children from the government school system? I do not write this post in order to generate unprofitable debate, I simply seek to encourage us to think critically about every area of life.
Let me give you three brief reasons for considering removing your children from the government school system, along with two viable alternatives. I will then close by briefly answering the question: What happens without government schools?
1. Parents Are Responsible For Educating Their Children
God’s Word clearly lays the responsibility for educating children on parents. Parents are instructed to bring up their children “in [the] instruction and information of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4,). Too often we have relegated the “spiritual duty” of instruction to parents, while giving the secular school system the much broader task of indoctrinating our children with a comprehensive worldview. But all of life is to be brought under the instruction of Christ’s Lordship. Parents are responsible for ensuring that the education their children are receiving is specifically Christ-centered and Christ-exalting. Anything less is to fail at our duty to bring up the next generation. When we allow the government school system to indoctrinate our children with anti-Christian views of history, economics, literature, health, ethics, sexuality, and science (just to name a few), we have effectively given over our children to the state. The home is central in any godly society—a truth that the government school systems are not interested in teaching—and parents must take full responsibility for teaching their children the importance of the home.
There are few statements today about the opportunity and the obligation of a Christian home in a republic. Yet there is no single element in America which contributes more significantly to the success of Christian Constitutional government. It is in the home where the foundations of Christian character are laid. It is in the home where Christian self-government is learned and practiced. Yet, the Christian American who is aware of the particular challenges to America’s Christian character and to the Constitutional form of government still inclines to political education outside the home. Thus, while parents are active politically, educationally, religiously, it becomes necessary for other agencies—the school, the church, the community—to pick up the responsibility for making home the first sphere of government in the republic. Needless to say they cannot substitute what only the home can provide. (Rosalie J. Slater)
Furthermore, education is as much about catching as it is about learning. This is why Jesus said, “The disciple is not above the master: but whosoever will be a perfect disciple, shall be as his master” (Luke 6:40).
2. The Public School System is Anti-Christ
All education is essentially religious. If you’re sending your children to the government school system, you are not sending them to a neutral institution. No matter how much we would like to believe that good, godly teachers can salvage the schools (and I do believe there are godly teachers sprinkled throughout), they cannot override the humanist foundations that pervade all such public institutions in America. Because all education is essentially religious, operating from a life-and-worldview—and the public school system is operating from a decidedly humanistic worldview—the government school system is indoctrinating children with an anti-Christ religion. We have made a grave error in thinking that education can be neutral.
3. Immorality Abounds in the Public School System
As is evidenced by the aforementioned controversy concerning a book promoting fornication and homosexuality, the government school system is rife with sexual deviance and illicit content. “Be not deceived: evil speakings corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). We must not think so much of ourselves as to think that we can counteract the ungodly influence and indoctrination our children receive for eight hours a day with a few hours a night . While we may like to think that our child’s school is not as bad as the rest, many parents are finding out that no school district is immune from the rotten, corrupt root of secular humanism.
What Can You Do?
In a truly free society, all education would be private—never government-run on any level. Thank God for His mercy because we are able right now to pull our kids out of the anti-Christ government school system. This is something you can do right away. As often as we can, I seek to give practical advice based upon biblical principles—and this is probably the most basic and practical step you can take (if you haven’t already) to honor Christ as a citizen of this state.
You have a couple options:
- You can homeschool your children. This is the option my family is taking. It will take some sacrifice and hard work, but it is well worth it. (And the socialization myth is just that, a myth.)
- You also have the option of finding (or working to establish) a distinctly Christian school—a school in which all administrators and teachers would be required to confess (and be held accountable to) an orthodox confession of the Christian faith.
A combination of these two options (depending on age of child) is also a sound route. The question here isn’t about whether or not we can get away with sending our kids to the government school, the question is, “What is most edifying?” I grant that for a small minority, taking their children out of the government school system would be very difficult. I do not write any of these words to make these people feel guilty. Some parents may truly find themselves in a bind when it comes to determining education options in lieu of the government school system (single moms, for example)—contact me if you need help thinking of ways to transition your kids out of the government school system. For those who desire to take their kids out of the government schools and yet need help, I pray that their church would be the first to offer guidance and help. I, personally, would be happy to offer any advice or resources I can.
You may not be able to pull your kids out of the public school system tomorrow, but you may be able to make this their last year in an anti-Christ institution. The future of our society is being shaped and molded by an ungodly educational system. However, the reality is, most of the time no one is forcing us to send our children there—we are doing it voluntarily.
What Happens Without Government Schools?
I realize that for many, removing their children from the government school system may be a radical concept. Anytime we are confronted with something that is different than what we are used to, we can be tempted to write it off as over-the-top and absurd. One thought that many people might have is this: What would we do without the government school system? I hope to briefly address that question, while pointing you to a resource that will help you think about this in a more in-depth manner.
Civil Government’s Role
First of all, the foundation for this is God’s Word. When we are talking about the government school system, we are talking about the civil government doing something which it has no role doing. Any statistic, emotional appeal, or anecdotal account must be subjected to God’s Word. The Bible makes it clear that the role of the civil government is to punish evildoers—”for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well” (1 Peter 2:10)—not education. As Dr. Joel McDurmon says, “In no place in Scripture is it even intimated that civil government should have any hand in this [education] process.”
Did We Always Have Government Schools?
The fact that many people find it so difficult to envision a society in which the civil government is not in charge of education is proof positive that the government school system has failed to teach the true history of this land and the principles of freedom found in the Bible. Once again, I cite McDurmon:
There is no reason why civil government should have education as one of its functions…or even have regulatory oversight over education. In a free society the primary focus of leadership in education would always and only be the family and secondarily the church—and anyone whom the family freely decides to hire. And this is the ideal of freedom that is found both in the Bible and in [the] Christian founding of this land—and through the founding years of American history up until…the 1830’s.
He goes on to note: “In fact, as late as 1860, throughout all the states, there were only about 300 public schools…compared to over 6,000 private institutions—and that’s not including the vast majority, by the way, who were homeschooled.”
Clearly, the idea that we need the government school system is erroneous at best. Not only does God’s Word give no basis for it, but our nation was not founded with this practice. For more information, I encourage you watch Dr. Joel McDurmon’s video on this topic. He explains how it used to be in America and how, contrary to modern opinion, the education was, in fact, high quality.
For generations before the civil government took over the education system, we had private education here in America. Such a system produced the men who penned our nation’s founding documents—academic slouches by no stretch of the imagination. We are now paying (with our tax dollars) for a massive, anti-Christian education system. The first step to be free from this is to remove our children. We can delegitimize the system and seek to bring about private, Christ-honoring education.
What happens without government schools? Ultimately, if we seek to honor God’s Word and limit the civil government to its proper place, the answer is blessing. We cannot continually expect God to bless a system that is doing what He never intended it to do. Are there many more questions that need to be addressed? Yes. Will it take a long time to get rid of the government school system? Most likely. But, for starters, let’s seek to understand our nation’s history and what God’s Word says about this.
Teachers who are trying to honor Christ in the government school system should do so until they are fired or can no longer stay there with a clear conscience. I would like to see the end of the government school system, but I know that won’t happen overnight. What can happen overnight, however, is Christian parents removing their children from the system. In the meantime, I urge teachers who are still in the system to speak the truth about Christ, no matter the cost.