Friday, January 6, 2012
Public Schools: Education or Indoctrination
Educators have pondered for years the achievement gap between Caucasian, African-American and Asian students. In order to narrow the gap educators have tried segregating schools, they have tried providing comparable facilities and they have politically corrected all the pictures in the text books to reveal a member of each race of people and all gender possibilities. The academic performance of the child seems not to depend so much on these issues as the attitude of their parents toward the educational process. If the parents consider the school a glorified baby sitting service then it's unlikely their children are going to perform well.
Like two ships passing each other in the harbor, Christians and secular humanists reveal two opposing viewpoints when it comes to the purpose and philosophy of education. Christians understand their responsibility in educating their children. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 reinforces the obligation parents have toward their children: "Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."
The early American theologian and Civil War Army Chaplain, Robert Louis Dabney, said, "True education is, in one sense, a spiritual process. It is the nurture of the soul." Because we are, by nature, spiritual beings we will develop our foundational concepts of spirituality during the elastic years of childhood and adolescence. Men are created to worship and worship we shall. We will either worship the one and true God or we will worship his creation (materialism) or ourselves (humanism).
The Puritan poet, John Milton, expressed the Christian view of education well when he said, "The end of learning is to repair the ruin of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge, to love Him, to imitate Him, to be like Him." Education is not the primary responsibility of the schools, nor is it the responsibility of the government or the church. It is every parent's responsibility to be sure his child is educated in the truth of God's word. Even though John was talking of his spiritual converts, 3 John 4 fits well here, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." Christians believe that the sole purpose of man's life is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. We find ourselves strongly opposed to anything that blocks us from that goal.
Those who believe that government schools are prohibited from promoting religion are deceived. They are prohibited from promoting Christianity but most any other religion is fair game. The religion most commonly propagated in our public schools is secular humanism. In the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins the U.S. Supreme Court defined humanism as a religion. The first Humanist Manifesto openly identifies humanism as a religion and Julian Huxley referred to humanism as a Religion Without Revelation. He taught that Christianity was fading and in its place was emerging the religion of humanism.
Many are awakening to the fact that our schools have become more focused on indoctrination than education. Our public school system is based on an industrial revolution model that came out of Prussia. It is a system that is compulsory. You must send your children to school and you must pay taxes to support the educational welfare system. Why do so many Americans think education is free? The average cost of paying for a child's education is between $10,000 and $12,000 per year. It costs a whopping $27,000 to educate a child in Washington, D.C. (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66)
The social agenda seems to be to convert our children to humanism. They are taught that homosexuality is an acceptable and alternative lifestyle. They are taught that marriage is no longer between one man and one woman but can include partners of the same sex and a multitude of other combinations. They are taught that we all evolved from nothing and God had nothing at all to do with our existence. They are taught that the fetus in a mother's womb is simply a mass of cells that can and perhaps should be aborted as the mother wishes. The result: the minds of our children are clouded about the existence of God, they are gender confused and they no longer believe in the value and sanctity of life.
90% of Christians send their children to government schools in which federal law forbids the mention of the name of Christ. Some of them have no choice because they cannot home school and they cannot afford a private Christian school. These parents must do all in their power to counteract the humanistic indoctrination their children are learning at school. It will require an organized effort to read and explain the Bible to their children in the home setting.
Other parents use the salt and light argument for sending their kids to public schools. They often say, "My child will be a witness for Christ.". A study done by the Southern Baptists indicates that 88% of Baptist youth who graduated from public schools left the church. Our missionaries are not converting others, instead they are being converted. They are going up against a systematic effort of organized policy and well developed curriculum that is designed to indoctrinate social servants of the state.
I am no enemy of public education. I know many wonderful Christian teachers and administrators here in Columbus, Georgia. They love Christ deeply and they are doing all they can to be a light shining in a darkened world. Most of my Christian teacher friends stay in government schools because they believe it is important to demonstrate Christianity to their students and co-workers. I agree with them but that is only half of the command of Christ. He also said, "…everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32) We are instructed to boldly declare the name of Christ. If you follow this directive in the government schools you will be looking for another job.
Neutrality is not an option. I am teaching my six year old son the concepts of driving an automobile. The line in the center of the road provides a parameter for travelers. If you decide to straddle the line you may lose your life. "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters." Straddling the fence on this issue can be fatal. We must not only demonstrate the lifestyle, we must proclaim his name boldly. Don't be deceived by the politically correct approach to Christianity in government schools. If you are not for Christ…you are against him!
Christ addressed this problem in Luke 6:40 " A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." When it comes to secularism, nine out of ten Christian students will cave. If our children have secular teachers they will likely embrace secular teachings, if they have Christian teachers they likely will embrace Christian teachings. Who is your child's teacher?
Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.