Current Education Debates Often Don’t Go Far Enough
Right now in our culture, there are an increasing number of discussions arising in our nation seeking to understand how education can be reformed and improved. Fundamentally, I am excited many are starting to ask this question in more profound ways than in previous decades. That being said, I am concerned that in many facets this conversation is not going deep enough. I heartily agree with those who are horrified at the indoctrination of Critical Race Theory being performed on children in schools. Without a doubt, I see major issues with the radical gender theory being taught in our public education system. Yet, as vital as these issues are for us to recognize, they are not the foundational problem, but the fruits of a tree with a rotten root.
The fundamental issue with much of the current education structure in our country is that it does not teach in accordance with a Christian worldview, nor is it founded upon biblical teaching. To be clear, I am not solely aiming this criticism at schools teaching those below college age, I am including the collegiate institutions as well. Any education system that is not grounded in Christ and His Word is erroneously built on a false foundation. Remember, it was Christ Himself who said that one can either be for Him, or against Him, there is no neutrality (Matthew 12:30). Consequently, if you build your education system upon a foundation other than Christ, that infrastructure will crumble sinking deeper into the quicksand of lies producing the rotten fruit we now see. In Christ are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3), no other foundation gives you the depths of truth that Christ does for He alone is the Lord of glory.
Government, Neutrality, and Education
Many individuals will balk at my claiming education should be driven in a distinctly Christian avenue. Should the government be taking a stand seeking to honor Christ? Shouldn’t the government merely be neutral? First, the government and public education systems are not neutral. The curriculum is teaching godless secularism proclaiming evolutionary process as the origin of the universe. There is no reference to God as the Creator showing the true origin’s account revealed in Genesis. Americans, please hear me, your public education system is teaching in direct contradiction to the Word of God. Whatever you and I may say about the public schools, we cannot pretend they are neutral, because they blatantly are not. I am not saying there are not true believers who exist as students or teachers in these institutions. But, I am without hesitation saying the curriculum being taught is in direct contradiction to biblical Christianity. Education is discipleship, and discipleship is not neutral but will always be based on a worldview which in the case of the public schools is secularism.
Secondly, governmental authorities are called to be “servants of God” according to Romans 13:4. Kings are commanded in Psalm 2:10-12 to kiss Christ the Son bowing down before Him lest they be destroyed. To make the claim that governments are to be neutral with reference to God or His Word is to neglect the explicit teaching of these passages. Certainly, a government should not execute or persecute others because they are not Christian. I don’t want the government to kill or criminalize an atheist because he isn’t a Christian, yet neither do I want the government to legislate on the basis of atheistic morality.
Thirdly, as a Bible-believing Christian, I hold to the sufficiency of Scripture as the authoritative revelation from God. As such, it is He who defines what roles are given to the government, the family, the church, and so forth. No doubt, He has given the government the authority to bear the sword punishing righteousness and rewarding that which is good (1 Peter 2:13-17). However, He has not given the government the authority over education any more than He has given them jurisdiction over what a pastor should preach on Sunday morning. Dear reader, if you disagree, then please feel welcome to send me the Bible verse where God gives the government authority over education. In fact, if you do so and show me my error I will be grateful for your effort. Yet, not once does God in His Word ever give the government authority over education, thus for them to take that authority is for them to take captive that which does not belong to them.
We Must Take Every Thought Captive
Look, what I am saying is not that everyone who sent their kids to public school in the past is automatically not a Christian. I disagree with that decision, but I know many individuals who I hold close Christian fellowship with that sent their kids to public school. However, that does not make my stance on this issue any less clear. We are called to take every thought captive unto Christ being ready to oppose error (2 Corinthians 10:1-6). What I am calling for is that we not miss this golden opportunity for us as believers. A chance we have where so many see issues in the public education system and for us to point to a better model.
Undoubtedly, it is the responsibility of the parents to educate their children for God’s glory according to His commandments (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). They can delegate some of that responsibility like Hannah did with young Samuel bringing him to Eli the priest (1 Samuel 1-2). Yet delegation is not abdication. A parent’s responsibility is to see to it their child receives a robustly Christian education. Obviously, the church is commanded to teach the nations all that Christ has commanded and that certainly includes children (Matthew 28:18-20). So, the church can and should be encouraging the parents and discipling the entire family for the glory of God, as a supplementary role to parents raising their own children. These areas are where God places the responsibility of education. The goal is to raise children who will grow into adults armed with a robustly Christian worldview to use their gifts, talents, and abilities for Christ’s sake.
Friends, let us not just hack at the low-hanging fruit of issues we see in the education realm today, let us dig down to the root and fix the problem. I have no doubt there will be those who disagree with me vigorously on this subject. My prayerful challenge to everyone regardless of our education background being public, private, or homeschool is for us all to seek to come to God’s Word and be obedient. Don’t hold your belief simply because you have always had that view. No, come to the Scripture and think deeply. Does what “I believe” coincide with what “God says?” If not, we must always seek to be in submission to God by bowing before Him. Seek to intently study the Word that you might know what is true. May we be faithful to the truth of the Word in obedience to God!