Friday, August 30, 2013

School Time

Well, it is that time of year once again.  Large yellow busses are found driving down the roads early in the morning.  Walmart is especially busy selling oversized erasers, cheap notebooks, and Angry Bird backpacks.  Little Debby stock is up 13%.  It's school time!

Children are going to bed before 10 for the first time in three months.  Parents are packing lunches at 11 p.m..  Books are being covered, the smell of freshly sharpened pencils fills the air, and the new clothes still have that new clothes look to them.  It's school time!

Teachers have their lesson plans prepared for the next two weeks for the only time of the year.  Grade books have been set up.  Buildings are as clean as they will be for nine months.  It's school time!

Homeschool parents have that zeal to get through it all and be up and at 'em first thing in the least for a few weeks.  Children are asking if they can stay in their pajamas all day.  Abeka is making a killing on these DVD classes.  It's school time!

A study on education is not my purpose in writing this, but a greatly suggested task should one desire to do so.  It is interesting on how our philosophies have changed over the years when it comes to education.  All that matters is this: "What is Biblical?"

Should a Christian send their children to  the public school system teaching them to be "salt" to the world.  Allowing them opportunity to share the love of Christ to a lost world and producing an atmosphere where their light will shine the greatest?

Should a Christian send their children to a Christian school where they will be taught the Word of God and education based upon a Christian perspective with peers that are supposed to all be sold out and growing in the Lord?

Should a Christian educate their child at home where they will be protected from outside distractions, temptations, and the always present rebels that are out there while being taught the Word of God and an education based upon the Word of God?

We could debate these three questions for a long time.  I personally know good men and families who hold strong to one of these three options?  So, which is right?  Rather, which is Biblical?

There is no doubt Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."  

There is no doubt that part of the church's great commission is  "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." (Matt. 28:20).  We know that Paul sat under the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). 

There is no doubt that it is the parent's responsibility to teach their children.  (Prov. 22:6, Deut. 6:7; 2 Tim. 1:5 & 3:15).  

So where does this leave us?  As I said, respectable people hold different preferences in the matter...and here is mine.

1. I cannot send my children to a public school based upon a Biblical mandate.  Psalm 1 reads that a man is blessed when he "walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."  There are few places that better describe this warning more than our public school system.  The public school system by and large gives counsel (teaches) under the authority of whom God would say are "ungodly."  The greater part of peers in the public school would be considered "the way of sinners".  Few places on this earth scorn the things of God more than the public school system.  By choosing to not send my children to a public school, I am honoring my belief in the Word of God, but I am not taking my children out of the world.  They still live in this world and can and should be a light and salt to this world.  I seek God's blessings for my children and therefore cannot send them to a public school based upon Psalm 1.

2. I do believe the church is to teach all things whatsoever God has commanded us.  I also believe a church can and should do this through regular meetings as a church body (services).  I also believe that a church is a proper setting and can be used to educate children in other aspects based upon the Word of God. 

3. I do believe it is the families mandate to educate their children.  The responsibility and one held accountable for the educating of the children will be their parents.  They should assume that responsibility and see to it that is done properly.

Having said thus, I do not believe it wrong for a family to use a church school as a means to educate their children.  The parent maintains the responsibility, and oversees that is done properly through the church school.  The church is the pillar and ground of truth, and we desire our children be educated in the truth.  I believe home schooling is a tremendous way to educate the child, but one must not segregate from the church in doing so.  Most people I am close to understand this, but one does not have to search long before one sees that many homeschooling organizations promote family above the church and eventually see church as a non-necessity.  This is wrong!  God has ordained the church as the pillar and ground of truth.

I have been ridiculed for having a church school in the past and my wife and I choosing to educate our children at home some years.  Because of fundamentalism, you have to "support your church school!  To send your kids anywhere else is disloyalty!"  How we have put the cart before the horse!  I love my church and our school and some years have chosen to homeschool our children.  They were still part of our church school certain days and we saw our church as our accountability.  Some assumed that since my children did not attend our academy one year that there was a bad problem with our church school.  In no way was this the issue.  If I thought a problem was in our school that would keep me from sending my children there, should not I as the pastor of the church correct the problem or shut it down?  Of course!  The problem is that we are "too fundamental" and only see it as disloyalty or distrust.  Even some as they read this can't imagine doing such a thing or it just makes them some what angry at the thought.  Why?  Because it is a feeling and philosophy based upon your flesh.

Some parents have the liberty and ability to educate their children at home. Fact is, some parents do not have that opportunity based upon finances, ability, and different situations.  So what are these parents to do?  Answer: be sure their child receives an education that is Biblically based.  This is Biblical.

Bottom line, it's school time and we as parents should see to it that our children are educated in a Christ like manner.  This means, they should be protected from the ungodly, scornful, and way of sinners.  This means they should see and understand the importance of the Word of God and the church as the pillar and ground of Truth.  This means that parents can educate at home or a Biblical church school.  Just be sure they are educated.  

Education cannot become an idol in our life, but nor can it be ignored with the "Bless God, they love Jesus and God will use 'em.  They don't need no fancy education."  God can use anyone, but the Lord said to do all we do "with all of our might."  It is right as a Christian to do our best at whatever we do.  To know to do right and not do it is SIN.  We should desire our children to receive a solid education and for them to do their best so they are usable of the Lord in whatever field He calls them to.  

As my Daddy used to always say, "God can use a sharp axe easier than He can a dull one."  It's school time, let's do this Biblically!