Explain Why You Do —
Make Others Wonder Why They Don’t
By Craig Smith
Men must know what they are about. Men must be able and willing – maybe even to the extent that they are seen as aggressive about it – to articulate why they do as they do. When it comes to home education, we men must be able to defend not only our family’s chosen lifestyle but also defend and protect our wives and children from the harassment they can sometimes receive from what we shall charitably call “well-intentioned” friends, neighbours and relatives.
We say “well-intentioned” only because they are acting according to what their conscious and unconscious beliefs tell them about your home education endeavours: that you are cutting your children off from proper socialisation, from a quality academic education, from the excellent resources and professional teaching experiences available at schools. That is to say, in their ignorance and lack of having thought the issues through, they try to get you to conform back to the present day cultural norm of sending your children off down the road at age five. They want you to join them in abdicating most of your parental responsibilities; in ensuring that your family is thoroughly fragmented; and most of all, in making sure that your children will be less under your influence and authority and more under that of the local peer group while on the playground and the professional social engineers while in the classrooms.
We must deal with a number of issues, recognise what is going on and come to a conclusion that we can then defend from the Scriptures.
Who is Responsible?
First, who is responsible for the education of our children? What say the Scriptures? Most of us are already very familiar with Deuteronomy 6:6-7: “And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children….” The very first two statements, verses 7 and 8, after the introduction to the entire book of Proverbs, say pay attention to God and to your parents: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and reject not your mother’s teaching.” Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers….bring [your children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” That is, while it may be Biblically permissible to delegate the educational task of our children to someone else, the secular state can have no responsibility in the education of our Christian children. To give our children into the care of these secular humanists is akin to committing lambs into the care of wolves. Let us no longer be timid about proclaiming this proposition: Bible-based education with a thoroughly Christian world view is the only alternative for the children of Christians.
So with this conviction firmly in your hearts and minds, men, your wives can confidently refer any neighbour or relative to you as soon as they start giving her a hard time about home education. It gets them off her back, the main objective of your role as protector. A real bonus here is that you can just about guarantee they won’t have the fortitude to bring it up at all with you, the hairier, more testosterone-charged member of the family!
What if it is fellow church members – even your pastors – who express concern about your home education and who actually do bring it up with you? Pour the acid on them! Don’t let them get away: make them justify (for one day they’ll have to do this before God) why it is ok to send children of Christian families into the government schools, those temples of secular humanism, to be trained to think like pagans.
Perhaps it is time we ourselves began to call for a co-ordinated commitment by the Christian leaders in this country, by church pastors and the larger Christian community, to support every ongoing effort and to initiate even more efforts to enable Christian parents to get their children out of the government school system and into home education or, if that really cannot be done, into decent Christian schools.
State Schools Are Anti-Christian
A second issue is how to demonstrate that state schools are teaching from anti-Christian philosophies. This is simple. In the first place Section 77 of the NZ Education Act demands that in primary schools “the teaching shall be entirely of a secular character”. According to every Minister of Education since David Lange in 1984, that means “with no religious instruction or observance”. To rule Christ out of the classroom is clearly anti-Christian.
Is history taught as “His story”, looking at the way God deals with mankind over time? Is history even taught in state schools? Has it not been replaced by the non-subject of “social studies” wherein one culture is as valid as another? Is maths taught as a discovery of the orderliness in God’s creation that we can use to have godly dominion and responsible stewardship over the earth? Or is it taught as an invention of the mind of man that can be used to manipulate people, the environment and the economy for the greater good of all?
Is evolution taught as fact or as theory in science? Check out English language skills: grammar was dispensed with some time ago; spelling is on its way out; the “whole-word” approach to reading has crippled many thousands of children, most of whom could easily pick up reading once instructed in phonics; and essay writing is virtually impossible to teach in 45-minute classes when it takes sustained concentration to formulate a thesis, break it down into a number of points, explain each one coherently and then tie them all together again in a convincing conclusion. Maybe that’s why professors in most of our universities complain that first year students can’t write essays. Illiteracy is a friend of the enemy, a hindrance to us people of the Book.
Secular Morality Is Immorality
A third issue is the moral one. The people teaching children in state schools come in all kinds of moral configurations including practising and unrepentant paedophiles, sodomites, lesbians, fornicators, de facto arrangements, adulterers, etc. Some of these are starting to come to the notice of the authorities, if media headlines of late are anything to go by. The children populating the classrooms also bring with them an apparently increasing amount of experience in fornication, lesbianism, incest, pornography (print, video, internet and live), homosexuality and abuse of all kinds. Sex and sexuality education programmes in the schools assume children are little more than feral animals with insatiable and uncontrollable urges that require instruction in condom fitting, contraception strategies, STDs and how to obtain abortions.
We cannot even assume that private or integrated schools calling themselves “Christian” are clear on the distinctives of a Christian world and life view. A Christian school this writer helped to get established invited the secular D.A.R.E. drug programme into their classrooms. They took over for three afternoons a week for five weeks! Their first unit was on self-perception, and they – remember this is a secular crowd in a Christian school – they first of all explored the question, “Who am I?” So how does a secularist answer such a question in a Christian school? That you are a creature made in the image of God? That you are fallen in Adam and possess a fatal sin nature? That your only salvation in this life and the next is in Jesus Christ? That you have a soul for which Christ died and for which the devil is going to make constant ploys to deceive into his camp? That God commands you to repent? That you have a sure home in heaven if you do, and that you will roast in hell forever if you don’t? That you are called by God to be an ambassador of Jesus Christ here on this earth, to bear the ministry and the message of reconciliation to a crooked and perverse generation all around you, a generation who really doesn’t want to hear? Or will they say you are a child of the universe, a citizen of mother earth, that you are very special to your family and have the ability of making others feel special too, that you are free to do as you like, as long as you don’t harm others or limit their freedom to do as they like?
Schools Are Malevolent
There is something about the whole concept of “school” which appears to be malevolent. It has been a favourite tactic of social engineering by statist control freaks for many centuries. Plato (427-347BC) wrote a book called Laws in which we read on page 804, “The children shall come (to the schools) not only if their parents please, but if they do not please; there shall be compulsory education, as the saying is, of all and sundry, as far as this is possible; and the pupils shall be regarded as belonging to the state rather than to their parents.”1 Plato gives a further insight into statist education, both ancient and modern, when he writes, “If anyone at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the state should be the persons; and they, in their dealings either with their enemies or with their own citizens, may be allowed to lie for the public good.”2
Prussian kings sought to instill social obedience into the citizens through indoctrination. Every individual had to become convinced, in the core of his being, that the King was just, his decisions always right and the need for obedience paramount. A series of schools edicts that for the first time made clear that education was a task of the state, finally culminated in 1763 when Frederick II made schooling compulsory for all children between five and thirteen. In 1794 all schools and universities were made institutions of the state.3
About 1832 a group of wealthy Unitarians in Boston adopted the Prussian system as their model for instituting publicly funded schools in America, because in that system the state had complete control, parents had no influence and children were entered at the earliest age. The group designed a three-part plan: (1) compulsory attendance, (2) a state teacher’s college degree prerequisite to certification as a teacher, and (3) state owned and operated schools. When the Massachusetts state legislature hesitated to enact such legislation, the Unitarians offered to help pay for it, 50/50. They did, and in 1837 the first state public school system in the United States was established. Soon other states followed suit.4
Karl Marx, 1818-1883, identified free, compulsory and secular state education as one of the tools through which the proponents of Communism would take over the world. A contemporary of Marx, Abraham Lincoln, saw something similar, but expressed it somewhat differently: “The philosophy of the classroom is the philosophy of the government in the next generation.”
Edward Roth, in his 1906 book Social Control, said, “plans are on the way to replace community, family, and church with propaganda, education, and mass media. People are only little plastic lumps of human dough.”
In the May 1949 issue of Progressive Educator magazine, Kenneth Benne declared: “… Teachers and school administrators should come to see themselves as social engineers. They must equip themselves as change agents.” He was merely spouting the same language as the “Father of Progressive Education” John Dewey.5
The Humanist magazine published a prize-winning essay in its Jan/Feb, 1983, issue entitled “A Religion for a New Age” by John J. Dunphy. He lays all the humanist cards on the table, including the fact that secular humanism is not just a philosophy but a religion. Part of this essay reads as follows:
I am convinced that 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 that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being.
These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the education level — preschool, day care or large state university.
The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new — the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian idea of “love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved.
New Zealand’s own Phillip Capper, past president of the PPTA, said, “What I would like to see in the political debate about education is a recognition that public education is an exercise in social engineering by definition.”6
All Education Has an Agenda
This is only scratching the surface of the evidence. Never let anyone get away with saying that education or schooling is neutral: all education has an agenda….it’s in the very nature of education itself (as you’ve just read in the statements quoted above): to change the way people think. Your own home education also has an agenda….and you need to be able to articulate it, or you may find yourself following an agenda set by someone else, an agenda you just picked up from what sounded like good ideas from here and from there. Sadly, many of us start home education with the ideas we imbibed during our own state secular schooling days. Such godless ideas do not work the righteousness of God: we need to dredge our minds, re-evaluating everything according to the Scriptures.
It must also be acknowledged that many Christian schools have been hijacked by teachers and administrators who are more influenced by the secular humanist, Marxist and socialist doctrines they picked up in their own public schooling than they are influenced by Biblical doctrine. And if a Christian school was ever turning out effective Christian disciples, it would immediately become a prime target for the enemies of the cross.
This is another reason why we men must be committed to home education and to running as Biblical a home environment as we can: to keep our children immersed in a tightly focused Christian family, the most foundational and least-able-to-be-hijacked institution around. The key to its Christian soundness, men, is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ working through a husband and father who, as head of his house, is as committed to the Scriptures and to becoming as knowledgeable and articulate as he can be.
These articles in Keystone are written with this purpose in mind.
1. Robert R. Rusk, The Doctrines of the Great Educators, 1954, London: Macmillan & Co., p. 30.
2. Plato’s Republic, page 389, as quoted in Robert R. Rusk, The Doctrines of the Great Educators, 1954, London: Macmillan & Co., p. 15.
3. “Public Education versus Liberty: The Pedigree of an Idea” by Michiel Visser, http://www.acton.org/programs/students/essay/2001winners/index.html
4. “We Are Losing Our Children”, Remarks to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee by T. C. Pinckney, Nashville, TN, September 18, 2001, http://sepschool.org/SIG/losing.html
5. Dennis Cuddy, 20 Years of Federal Change Agentry, pg.1.
6. Dominion Sunday Times, 14 October 1990.
From Keystone Magazine
March 2003 , Vol. IX No. 2
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