We are living in a world that we probably did not dream of a decade ago. Infant sacrifice in the form of 9-month abortion is legal and applauded in America. Children are being trained to think that nothing is absolute, including basic biology. Children are being sacrificed to the god of lust in an ever-growing pedophilia epidemic, and they are sexually assaulting each other. And while we mourn and moan and lament the downfall of our society, Christian parents continue sending their children to spend 14,000 hours of their life, the most impressionable years of their life, to an institution that is built on a completely secular and humanistic worldview. It’s so completely normal that to go the opposite direction is considered radical Christian parenting.
Why are we surprised at the outcome? An even bigger question is: why do we ignore the elephant in the room?
Humanist Charles F. Potter writes, “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?” (Charles F. Potter, “Humanism: A New Religion,” 1930)
John J. Dunphy, in his award winning essay, The Humanist (1983), illustrates this strategic focus, “The battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: A religion of humanity — utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to carry humanist values into wherever they teach. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new — the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.”
Is this what’s happening? John Dewey, remembered for his efforts in establishing America’s current educational systems, was one of the chief signers of the 1933 Humanist Manifesto. It seems the Humanists have been interested in America’s education system for nearly a century. They have been absolutely successful in teaching children that God is imaginary and contrary to “science.” (source: https://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/secular-humanism.htm)
Read the news. Peruse social media. Look around you. We are witnessing the upbringing of generations raised by a secular system. We are witnessing what happens when Christian parents abdicate their responsibility. Our society speaks for itself.
“The headlines speak for themselves. Student-teacher sex scandals, student-student sex, immodesty, foul language, drugs, alcohol, radical homosexual agendas, teachers taking students for abortions, “sexting” leading to suicide, sexually transmitted diseases, brutal beatings, and school shootings. These are just some of the headlines that have become the norm. And that does not include things like cheating, disrespect for authority, impropriety towards the opposite sex, and other moral behaviors children learn regularly and repeatedly in school. One wonders what the schools will have to do to our children before we are willing to acknowledge the folly of our choices.” Voddie Baucham
I cannot put it more plainly or more eloquently than Voddie Baucham did in his classic speech: Children of Caesar.
Christians seem shocked at the current state of our culture. But if they are shocked, it’s out of total (maybe even willful?) ignorance.
“…if secularism is a worldview that is so contrary to human life, how does it continue to propogate? After all, the false religion of Islam, for example, recognizes that offspring are key to its eschatalogical goal of world submission and domination. At a worldwide birth rate of 2.9 children per woman (the next highest being 2.6 among Christians), Muslims spread by procreation just as much, if not more than, by proselytization. Secularism, on the other hand, is unsustainable based on its own low view of human life. So where does it get its disciples to continue perpetuating its worldview? Shouldn’t secularism gradually self-destruct? Shouldn’t it be the cause of its own philosophical time bomb?
Naturally, it would. Except for the fact that it has an entire educational institution upholding it.
Public schools, inherently secular, are the engine that produces these like-minded disciples. Far from being morally or religiously “neutral” (an impossibility since everyone operates according to a particular standard), schools that do not acknowledge God as the Creator are actually falling into the sin of Romans 1:21: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” And of course, the behavior produced by a secular education fits in exactly with the fallout described in the rest of Romans 1, and what is now seen in places like New York.
And where does a secular institution get many of its disciples? From those who don’t kill their children, but then give their children to the institution all the same.” (Josh Neimi)
The bottom line is this: Christian parents who continue to send their children to secular, humanistic public schools are ignoring the dangers of that system. They are allowing the culture to raise their children. That culture includes not only the secular, socialist, humanist curriculum, but also teachers that, at the very least, are Christians stifled and handicapped by the “separation of church and state” argument, and at the worst are atheists and child abusers; it includes associating with tens to hundreds of kids who come from all manner of backgrounds, while largely unsupervised; and it includes the world of the internet, easily accessible on phones and tablets, in the hands of children who have little or no oversight at home, on the bus, or at school.
The world is an ugly place, especially in the eyes of a perfect God. We know it’s fallen. We live here. And no, we cannot shelter our children from all that’s in the world. But we can and must be in charge of what they learn and when they learn it. We must be the ones to teach them about the world and help to shape their worldview.
“Parenting as a Christian in a culture hostile to Christianity requires that one be, among other things, proactive and intentional. If the Christian parent is not the first to introduce the views that oppose the faith that the parent is attempting to instill, he will likely discover later that the very act of articulating those same views will lend credence to those who oppose his views.” (-The Bumbling Genius, Poisoning My Children’s Well)
Why I titled this post “Radical Christian Parenting.”
When my parents took my sister and me out of school in 1983 to homeschool, it was radical. It really shouldn’t be considered radical all these years later, but it still is. Beyond being radical, I believe it is now vital.
“Beyond the abstract argument as to whether public education is a proper function of government, the very real fact remains that our present public education system is religiously anti-Christian. Nor can the presence of Christian teachers in the classroom make up for the fact that they are required to teach a curriculum which is as doctrinaire in what it includes as in what it excludes (i.e., we get sex education but no lectures on the Ten Commandments, the role of women in today’s society but nothing on motherhood & homeworking).
This curriculum is further enforced by the requirement that “approved” textbooks must be used. These textbooks are very interesting as examples of rather poor preaching. If schoolchildren were ever allowed to taste real Christian preaching, they might detect the difference. However, the textbooks are spared this trial, since their contents are supposedly not sermons at all, but neutral “facts”. It makes exactly as much sense to send a Christian child to a school that uses typical public school textbooks & curricula as it would to send him to Moon Goddess Grade School or Temple of Islam High. In fact, it makes less sense, because we could expect the latter to be at least open about their religious bias, whereas the public school disguises its religious propaganda as “scientific neutrality“.’ -Mary Pride
When Christian parents take on the education — the complete upbringing — of their children, they aren’t just teaching math and grammar and history in a different location; they are laying a foundation for critical thinking and a biblical worldview. They are making a profound difference in the adults they send into the future. They are most definitely changing the world.
So while you read and hear and see calls for more funding for public education, more funding for education “choice,” more access to new programs and the latest technology, remind yourself that those are all tiny bandages on the gaping wound that is American public education. When you hear or read (or say) that your public school is different than all the others, or that your child’s teacher rocks, remember that the public education system is literally raising your child.
You are the minor influence in their life. You are the secondary authority. Your 4-5 hours per day are secondary to the 7-8 hours (or more) spent with teachers, coaches, and hundreds of kids from hundreds of homes. The first years you spent with your toddler before school began will be completely eclipsed by the 12 years of their time inside the public school system.
“Giving your children an anti-Christian education is not an expectation that Scripture puts on parents. When Psalm 127 speaks of children as arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, it has in mind releasing those arrows when they are prepared. Ancient warriors usually fashioned their own arrows. They would work long hours, making sure their arrows were balanced and shaped just so, to be able to fly straight and true. They understood that the future of their entire nation depended on these arrows. They did not dare release them until they were completely ready. We should follow their example.” -Israel Wayne, Education: Does God Have an Opinion?
Despite the rapid rise of homeschooling in America, it is still seen as a radical move. What is more, removing children from the public school system solely on the basis of scripture is even more radical among Christian parents. It’s convicting; conviction can be either offensive or life-changing.
Taking complete responsibility for the upbringing of your children is radical Christian parenting. Radical is good. The heroes of our world, our country, and our current day are the ones who make radical decisions; they are not the ones who swim with the tide. (Related post: What the Pilgrims Did)
“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.” – Deuteronomy 6:6-7
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” – Deuteronomy 11:18-19
For further reading on this topic, I highly recommend these books (click photo for link):
I wouldn’t just tell you to homeschool without telling you how, and my new book lays it out for every parent, in all kinds of situations. Get it here on my website, or on Amazon in print and Kindle editions.