Unless otherwise stated the articles are by David W. Norris
Ever since Emile Zola uttered the words, “Families I hate you!” the attack on families has continued unabated. Arguments from those who support the family will often be simply pragmatic ones – it is the basic unit of society and has always worked well. However convincing this line of argument may be, ultimately the family can only be adequately defended as a creation ordinance, as something given of God and binding upon us all.
In this article on Christian education published first in DAYSPRING, we trace how ‘voluntary’ private and religious schools were deliberately squeezed out of existence by the radicals of the 19th century and replaced by compulsory state education. We shall continue by looking at some of the men and the ideology that has given us our modern secular education system and show how schools are used deliberately to undermine the Christian faith. This first article will then conclude with a brief outline of a Christian and biblical approach to education
A biblical consideration of the children of Christian families and the goals of humanistic state eduation.
Up until the late 19th century most, if not all schools had some kind of religious affiliation. This was especially true of the Church of England. Consequently, religious instruction enjoyed a central place in the curriculum. After a number of education Acts, including the Forster Act of 1870, elementary schooling became compulsory for all. Although compulsory, Christian education was to be strictly non-denominational. The basics of Christianity were taught including the Bible stories of the Old and New Testaments and the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul. In addition, pupils were instructed in the importance of the Ten Commandments and taught to say the Lord’s Prayer, often learning much by heart along with a number of Psalms. In Church of England Schools prayers were taken from the Book of Common Prayer and hymns sung from Hymns Ancient and Modern. The result of this was that many of the things learnt by heart remained in the memory even into old age. The teaching of religious instruction was continued under the Butler Education Act 1944. Changes were inevitable once the ‛multi-cultural society’ arrived. The Education Act of 1996 says:
“Religious education must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teachings and practices of the other principle religions.” ...
Most parents erroneously believe that children are sent to school to learn things, reading writing and arithmetic will do for a start. It should be clear from the government’s own statements above that RE, indeed the whole of school life, is about something more than learning or education in any sense that most parents would understand it. Children suffer daily incarceration to the end that they may be subjected to progressive indoctrination using a teaching methodology derived from the brainwashing techniques of Pavlov, behaviourist and constructivist psychology, as any teacher training syllabus will show. Our children are being systematically moulded into passive, unthinking clones, to be used for whatever purpose governments deem fit. ...
Although well suited to this purpose, undermining the Christian faith is not something that is confined to RE lessons, but pervades every other subject in both its content and the way it is taught. Education goes way and above the imparting of knowledge or development of skills whether this is learning to read, write, do maths or learn a foreign language. Going to school has the purpose of conditioning students for their role in life.
The foremost concern of most caring parents with children at school will be that their offspring learn to read and write competently, and be proficient in basic arithmetic. Such parents will avoid schools that fail in these areas and will be prepared even to move house to ensure their children will be allotted a place at a school they see as being successful. Recently, there has been much reported in the British press about the extent to which some parents will go in order to secure such a place and, on the other side, the extraordinary measures local authorities will use – including the ‘snooping’ provisions in anti-terrorism legislation -–, often against innocent parties, should they suspect anyone is cheating. Articulate parents demanding the best for their offspring are an ever-present nightmare for many head teachers and local education authorities – and who can blame them for creating a fuss? Parents are naturally surprised and suspicious when they see good schools being closed or amalgamated, grammar schools talked-down and abolished, and a perpetual war being waged against faith schools and the independent sector, sometimes with a threat of eventual closure.
Just a few years ago, there would have been no doubt but that England should be considered a Christian country, no longer. Few may have entered a Church, but most would have described themselves as C of E or even Methodist! Sunday along with all the Christian holidays have been maliciously abolished. There were at one time consistent social and moral conventions; no abortions but illegal ones; homosexuality was illegal and most people would have had little understanding of what it involved anyway; divorce was rare and such a couple would be viewed with some suspicion and disapproval. All this has changed, and so very rapidly and with little or no public consultation.
According to the New Testament, divorce was given by God as a practical remedy because of hardness of heart.
“He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” (Matthew 19:8-9)
In Scripture divorce is allowed only in the instance of a sexual misdemeanour, when the marriage bond is broken by fornication or adultery.