“Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-10).
Question: “After spending thirty years in the public schools why are you promoting Christian schools now? Should we not be salt in this world?
There are three main reasons why I have changed my mind on public education down through the years and why I now support and recommend Christian education for our children.
1. The public schools have undergone many changes in the last thirty years.
You must remember that when I began in the public schools prayer and Bible reading was still allowed. God was expelled from schools just after I began to teach. It is very interesting to me that educational test scores were going up in America until the early 1960’s when prayer and the Bible were banished from the schools. It is not a coincidence that test scores have been going down ever since. [I hope and pray I was not the cause.]
It is tragic that during this same time discipline problems, truancy, teenage pregnancies and violence in the schools have sky-rocketed. A nation cannot remove God and His Word from the schools and have true education continue.
2. For years, I tried to separate my strong belief in Christ from my active participation in public school education.
I came to the realization however, that my belief in Christ must become the central theme of my teaching. It no longer could be in a separate compartment of my life. If Christ is the center of my values, He must also be the center of my teaching. If I believe that Christ is the creator I cannot teach biology and leave Him out of His creation. Theology is not an add on subject, it must be at the center of all subjects. A child should not have to leave campus to study Jesus Christ.
3. I used to believe that a child should face sin, temptation and life as it is in the public schools since he would have to face it later in the work place.
I felt he must learn to stand on his own feet. The problem with this is that we are asking him to stand before he has a firm foundation of beliefs.
Ones beliefs are solidified in the teenage years after watching and accepting the behavior and values of those who are important in their lives. The childhood years are the years they need instruction from parents and from those the parents have delegated–their teachers. As Christian parents we have the responsibility to make sure those teachers in whom we have put our trust are teaching the truth–with Jesus Christ at the center–and not contradicting our faith and philosophy of life.
A child deserves to hear the same truth spoken consistently by all the main influences within his life. The family, the church and the school must speak the truth with a consistent voice. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. said, “Life is not divided into the secular and the sacred; for a Christian, all ground is holy ground, and every bush is a burning bush. How can you educate a child if you cannot tell him where he came from, why he is here and where he is going.” [Philosophy of Education, ACE].
Finally, I saw little children being hurt by a world where wickedness and violence abounds.
I saw parents abandoning their responsibility to the schools. I saw the government mandating educational programs to solve these family and societal problems. I realized that the causes of man’s ills were due to sin and selfishness – these were spiritual illnesses. You cannot put educational band-aids on spiritual wounds. Only God can heal them.
I believe the public schools are not the cause, but they are a reflection of a sick society. If we cannot get God back into our schools, then we must take our children where God is taught, worshiped and is the answer to all life.
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