What happens when our children sit at the feet of secular humanist teachers, studying humanist books and ideas for 14, 16, 18, 20, or 22 years of their life? More importantly, what happens when God is left out of 14-22 years in the educational life of a child?
I’m writing this, particularly for homeschooling parents and students. My hope is that by the time you get to the end of this message, you will more clearly why God needs to be at the center of our children’s education. It is a matter of life and death. Stay with me on this.
Recently, parents in Santa Ana, California, were up in arms because the Santa Ana Junior High offered LGBT fairs for 11-14-year-old kids, complete with make-up lessons from a drag queen. The parents crowded into the school board meeting to complain. And the response? Incredibly, the school board actually chastised the parents for daring to bring in such narrow-minded, prejudicial opinions into the discussions. They yelled epithets at the parents and, reportedly one board member went so far as to call the largely Hispanic crowd of parents, “liars and fear-mongers.” This is truly a nightmare, and it’s playing out in California at the bleeding edge of the “brave new schools.” Is this what happens when God is left out of education?
I pray and hope that parents will wake up to the grim reality of the conditions of education, for the sake of their children.
We need to ask the question: how did we get here? What is our responsibility in all of this?
That’s what a pastor in the Bahamas told me a few weeks ago. I had flown down to the Bahamas to meet with a group of pastors and Christian leaders to discuss, among other things, the incursion of secular humanist education into the Bahamas. Over the course of our conversation, this one pastor kept saying, “We clip the fruits but we water the roots. We clip the fruits but we water the roots.” What he meant was, we are concerned with the surface level problems in education, but we haven’t dealt with the core issues. You know what? He’s right!
Why should we be surprised at junior high LGBT fairs and drag queen make-up classes? This school faculty is only living out their humanist worldview, and the consequence of abandoning the fear of God as the beginning of all knowledge. Who is protesting the humanism in the schools? How many people are going to show up at their school board meeting because the school has failed to put Christ first, the Word of God as the frontlet, and the fear of God as the foundation? Christian parents and pastors can and should wage the cultural battles at the school board meetings, but we need to focus our efforts on the “root” level.
It's time to abandon the shoddy foundations of education and knowledge that our western culture has clung to and replace them with Christian foundations.
My wife and I used one of the most popular Christian homeschool textbooks for 11th-grade science. I recently pulled this volume off the shelf for a quick review. As I leafed through the pages, I was stunned. I couldn't find a single Bible verse in the whole 600-page book! Actually, I noticed one reference to “Good luck,” which my wife had helpfully scrawled over and hand-written in “May God be with you.” I couldn’t find a single reference to praising God in some 600 pages of science!
Friends, it's time for us to bring a radical reformation into the area of education, especially, in the area of Christian home education in America. Simply pulling our kids out of the public schools and putting them in private schools, Christian schools, or home schools while borrowing the same secular approach to the curriculum will only perpetuate the disaster we’ve already seen in government-sponsored education. When God is left out, not mentioned, and not worshiped in the science and history class, what kind of worldview do we expect our children to walk away with?
Humanism crept into education in the 19th century. It came first through the ideology of Jean-Jacques Rousseau who deposited his children on the steps of an orphanage, and then suggested a child-centered education funded by the state in his famous book Emile. He is the grandfather of modern education. Child-centered education then became the humanist ideal with Marie Montessori, John Dewey and others in successive centuries.
The battle of ideas rages most ferociously in the area of education, and Satan wants to limit the debate between two equally humanist positions. He would not allow us to present a third option. Thus, the debate works out between man’s system and the man himself (the individual) Should the child be educated for the system or for himself? Should the child be directed by the system or be directed by himself. In the self-oriented approach, students are encouraged to be self-directed, asking their own questions. They are encouraged to “self-correction” and “self-assessment.” Children are taught that their minds are ultimate when it comes to determining the truth. The consequences of these ideas is an education that is relatively free of direction. The child should be left daily to “long hours for exercise and investigation.” The child under supervision should be “left much to himself––both that he may go to work in his own way on the ideas that he receives, and also that he may be the more open to natural influences.”
While the humanists argue between the individual man-centered and state/system-centered approaches, Christians must take a wholly different approach to the education of a child — the God-centered approach.
This approach will take the ultimate focus away from the man and put it back on God and His Word. A God-centered education begins with the assumption that man absolutely relies upon special revelation from God for his knowledge and for what is important in all learning. This has been true since Adam’s creation when God conveyed His special revelation to the first man, immediately. Adam learned from God his role (dominion over the created world) and God’s rules (to refrain from eating from one tree). After the fall, man’s mind was devastated by a corruption that disabled him from thinking rightly about everything. Now, more than ever, he needs divine revelation as a source of knowledge. At this point, every person on earth needs divine revelation to instruct him, to correct him, to rebuke him, and to bring him to a repenting mindset on everything.
God is at center for the Christian. This is the plain teaching of Romans 11:36: “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
So what is a God-centered approach?
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
Jesus said that real life and eternal life is to know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent (John 17:3). To ignore God leads only to death.
“Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)
Life or death. What do you want for your kids? Who is at the very center of your approach to education? Parents, for the sake of our children and for the sake of the Kingdom of God, we must put God at the center. Now is the time need to go to the Word of God, and ask “What does the word of God say about the education of a child?” The worship of God and the Word of God need to be woven through the very fabric of the teaching material. God needs to be at the center of history. He needs to be praised in the Science class. God’s truth must be the heart and soul of the Literature class.
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, but shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11)
We are seeing this famine of truth in America right now! May it be said of us that we gave our children the best education possible: an education based on the Word of God that recognizes the God of the universe seated on His throne and Jesus Christ sitting at His right hand!
A couple of weeks from now (April 16-20), we are going to be releasing an online training series called The Christian Literature Deep-Dive. We are going into detail on how to use Literature to give our children a truly God-centered education. Click here if you want to be put on the waiting list and we’ll send you an email when it opens up.