We have included this page on our website to explain why we think Christian Education is important and to give an answer to the common objections made against Christian Education. We have included some great articles as a resource for you as you consider Christian education for your child.
“If you send your children to Christian schools they’ll be in a sheltered, hot-house environment and will be isolated from the ‘real world.’ ”
Non-Christian education is what shields a child from the “real world,” the world God created and the world God speaks of in the Bible. Education ungrounded in God’s truth from beginning to end is necessarily poisoned with un-reality. Christian children should be exposed to non-Christian thinking later in their education.
“You should send your children to public schools to evangelize other children and teachers.” Soldiers are not sent into battle immediately after being drafted. They require training in the skills of combat. Thus so with Christian children. The young are not equipped to adequately counteract the entrenched secularism of the public schools. Those in the state schools can be evangelized in other contexts.
“Christian parents can debrief their children after school to counteract the non-Christian thinking.” This could be called “anorexic education.” The child is gorged with secularism seven or eight hours a day and then coaxed to vomit it up after school. If Christian education was pursued such extremes could be avoided. It is also questionable how effective such a method can be. Can a few hours a week of discussion really neutralize the teaching of an entire week?
“We must improve our public schools.” These are really “state schools.” We must here squarely face a neglected dilemma. “Public” education supposedly belongs to everyone. We all pay for it through taxes; we all have access to it; we all must send our children there (compulsory attendance laws) or to an “approved” alternative. Yet how can public school curriculum fairly represent all those who finance it? How can it become “all things to all people” It cannot.
“But the public schools are free.” No, they are not. We pay a high price of taxation (whether we use them or not). Because of the inefficiencies of statist bureaucracy, private (free) education is more cost-efficient. No culture can afford to subscribe to secularism (see Proverbs 8:36).
But how many people can afford Christian education?” This is a difficult matter. But we must think according to biblical principles first and foremost. It’s been said that Christians cannot afford not to send their children to Christian schools. They must not relinquish their children to institutionalized error about the things that matter most. Financially, sacrifices might need to be made. The church should band together in this, sharing her resources.
“But so many Christian schools are unaccredited.” This may be so. But who is the ultimate accreditor, Jesus Christ or human institutions? We must work to build a Christian counter-culture not dependent on the recognition of the non-Christian world.
“We’ve had some bad experiences with Christian education.” Undoubtedly, many have had this happen. We also have “bad experiences” with poor preaching, bad meals, and irritating relatives. But this doesn’t lead us to condemn preaching as such, give up eating, or hate our family members. You are either part of the problem or the solution. A few bad experiences cannot be universalized to apply to all Christian education.
“It’s too late. How can we change it all now?” Some thought it too late to deal with the institution of slavery. But it was not. Christian ethics is governed by truth, not expediency. Our culture gives us the context for our ethical deliberation and action but it should not determine them. If it does, we have been conformed to the world (Romans 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:15-17). We must expand our Christian vision, not give in to the circumstances.
“If we disestablish public education, many will not be educated.” We forget that mandatory, State education is not as old as America. We did well without it for a good long time. And state education today is not doing a sterling job of decreasing illiteracy as is. Education should gradually be returned to the family and the church, instead of being monopolized by the State. Christians must also open their Christian schools to those who cannot afford to go elsewhere.
"It is a fact that unless children are brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they, and the society which they constitute or control, will go to destruction." Charles Hodge
"If Psalm 1 is to be believed, we must not allow our children to stand, sit or walk with those who deny biblical truth and morality, Instead we must place them in situations that will aid them in meditating on the law of the Lord day and night.' surely this involves how and where they are to be educated." Voddie Baucham Jr.
Recommended Reading: 1. Blumenfeld, Samuel. Is Public Education Necessary? (Old Greenwich: The Devin-Adair Company, 1981), 263 pages. A scholarly and cogent treatment of the development of public education. Dissipates a score of popular misconceptions. Excellent. 2. Gato, John Taylor, Weapons of Mass Instruction A Schoolteacher's Journey Through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling (New Society Publishers, 2010. 3. Kienel, Paul A. The Christian School: Why It Is Right for Your Child (Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1974), 131 pages. Short, but cogent. 4. LaHaye, Tim. The Battle for the Public Schools (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revel, 1983), 283 pages. LaHaye is sometimes simplistic, but he exposes just what is happening in the State schools and what can be done about it. 5. Rushdoony, Rousas John. The Messianic Character of American Education (Ross House books, reprint, 1995.)