We ought not to be at all surprised, if after having sent our children to be given an education in godless surroundings, an education specifically designed to prejudice them against the Gospel, that they eventually turn their backs on all that we as parents have sought to instil in them of the truth of God. In this and other articles to follow, it is our intention to expose what is really going on in government schools and educational establishments – from the kindergarten to the university.
We stand today in a battle zone. Two kingdoms are locked in a fight to the death. Each kingdom claims total authority over every aspect of life in our world and over everyone in it. Every square inch is a matter of dispute. Neither side tolerates compromise in the slightest detail. It is all or nothing. There are no areas of shared interest, or of neutrality. Everyone on earth – man, woman or child submits to the jurisdiction of one or the other of these regimes. Everyone is caught up consciously or unconsciously in the ferocious conflict. There are no non-combatants and no prisoners are taken, the end is death or life for all involved. The end will bring eternal calamity for those on the one side and eternal blessedness for those on the other side. We speak here not of an indeterminate struggle between good and evil, but of a battle of which the end is already certain.
One kingdom is legitimate and its Ruler, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is appointed by God as ‘heir of all things’ (Hebrews 1:2). The other kingdom has at its head a usurper who has taken that which belongs to Another. The first of these kingdoms is the kingdom of God ruled by Christ, the Light of the world. The second, the Bible names as the kingdom of Satan, prince of darkness. The power of the kingdom of God is the light of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, one day to fill the earth (Habakkuk 2:14). Satan’s kingdom is ‘full of darkness’ (Revelation 16:10) and therefore engulfed in ignorance. So deep is the darkness that even its subjects, although loyal and unswerving, are ignorant even as to the precise nature of their own condition.
Each kingdom is entered by birth. All men without exception enter this fallen and ruined world by physical birth becoming part of it, sharing its condemnation and ultimate destruction. Being thereby born sinners, all of us are necessarily engulfed in the darkness of Satan’s dominion. No one enters the kingdom of God by natural birth, not even by virtue of human parentage.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
Those who would enter into the kingdom of God must do so individually through a second birth, not another natural and physical birth but one brought about by the Spirit of God to those who believe in Christ.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
The Bible is talking about more than a simple ‘decision’ for Christ. Involved is a move to a very different way of life, something that radically changes all that we do. This change will determine whom we marry, with whom we strike up friendships. It will dictate how we manage the resources God entrusts to us, where we pursue our studies, and decide what course our lives take, and how we educate our children. Nothing lies outside the rule of Christ.
By this spiritual rebirth, we leave the kingdom of Satan and enter the kingdom of Christ. Subjects of Christ’s kingdom have just as decisively moved out of Satan’s rule as they have submitted themselves to the rule of Christ, having believed in Him. There is an eradicable line of demarcation marking an irreversible separation between the two.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
There can be no mingling of the two, even as where light is there can be not darkness, though where there is light the darkness must give way. “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:5). The Gospel of Christ permits no compromise and the way we live must reflect this.
Now there are those who believe they have moved into the light but in reality they remain in darkness. Whilst still sitting in darkness, seeing Christ’s kingdom from afar, think they already have light. We are the servants of the one whom we obey. It is not possible to be a loyal subject of Christ and at the same time live according to the former ways. Yet others seem to think that although having moved across to Christ, situated between the two battle camps there is a kind of no-man’s land where both sides meet, that there are places where both sides can operate under a neutral flag. This is a deception, for outside Christ there lies nothing but death and destruction.
Struggles between the various kingdoms of this world will inevitably involve physical coercion to secure the imposition of the will of one upon another.
“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36)
All false religions manifest themselves as kingdoms of this world by resorting to the sword, physical force, in the furtherance of their cause, whether these are nominally Christian, Muslim, or anything else, and including the secular religion of Humanism. This sword may at times be literal, and at other times the ‘sword’ may simply be a misuse of the instruments of law by those who ought rather to be punishing wrongdoers.
Behind the tangible and physical, the fight in which we are involved takes place on a hidden level and much goes on there of which we are utterly unaware. Behind the confrontation with ‘flesh and blood’ in the material world stand the unseen forces of darkness.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
To meet it we need to be armed not with physical weapons, but the whole armour of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day (v.13). Modern smart bombs may be physically awesome, but their effects are restricted to the physical world. The calamity brought about in spiritual conflict is to be feared more for the effects are more devastating.
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)
Nowhere is this battle more in evidence than in the struggle for the hearts and minds of children taking place day by day in state schools. Governments of all political colours have an agenda for education that they are far from being reluctant to reveal. Remarks made by Prime Minister Blair in his speech to the Labour Party Conference of October 1999 are in this respect significant. His assertion was that if the important resources of the 19th and 20th centuries were plant and capital, then those of the 21st are people. He implied that government could mould the people to conform to a new, politically correct morality to the common good. Once things were nationalised, now people are. Government would determine every detail of our lives: how we are to behave towards those of a race other than our own, of another gender, or towards those of ‘a different sexual orientation’. Employers are told whom they can employ, employees how they are to speak to each other at work, and then what we are to do in our spare time. All this is to be carefully watched over by a growing band of bureaucratic thought police.
Central to success in ushering in this new order is what goes on inside our country’s schools. The educational changes necessary were outlined early in 1997 by Stewart Ranson, professor of education at Birmingham University.
“The change presupposes moving from our preoccupation with cognitive growth to a proper concern for development of the person as a whole – feeling, imagination and practical/social skills as much as the life of the mind … Thus the challenge for our society at the turn of the century is to remake itself … The values and conditions of this learning society are citizenship; democracy; justice.” [ed. emphasis added]
Education is no longer merely learning, it is proclaimed as a way of salvation for our nation!
Long before ‘progressive’ education really took root, in his book On Liberty, John Stuart Mill observed:
“A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the State, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by a natural tendency to one over the body.”
School is seen by governments, right and left, as an essential instrument in enforcing social cohesion, the alternative they fear is disorder and anarchy. Their objection to those who remove their children from the state system is that they do not learn to socialise with others in a pluralistic society. Children from all the different kinds of religious, racial, and social backgrounds must be herded together and compelled to mix. Despite clear evidence to the contrary, they believe too that the expertise of trained teachers is essential to the education of children and that parents will provide something inferior. Coercion is justified on the grounds of ensuring education for all children under the supervision of the state. Children, they claim further, naturally grow apart from their parents. Parental influence is to be diluted and attitudes that suggest parents are to be obeyed or followed are discouraged. Bad parenting is said to be widespread and children need to be protected from parents. Furthermore, parents should not concern themselves too closely with how their children are educated.
Tell me, you Christian parents, do you know what goes on when once your children pass through the gates and the doors of the school swallow them up? The original framework for Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship (1998), part of the National Curriculum, suggested that your children at 5 should be taught to name the private sexual parts of the body, face ‘moral dilemmas’ and consider ‘simple political issues’. At 7 they would be expected to ‘exercise basic techniques for resisting pressure’ – from parents and teachers, perhaps? When they reach 11 they will be taught about ‘death, separation and divorce’, warned against the ‘high risk behaviours’ such as sexual intercourse without a condom. Instead of to parents, they are directed to sources of ‘reliable information’such as school nurses and ‘drug awareness organisations’. Now freed from moral absolutes, at 14 they are to take ‘more adult roles…within a context of moral reasoning’ and further ‘clarify their opinions, attitudes and beliefs’. They will be informed where they can get free condoms and the morning after pill – and you as a parent will know nothing of it. State schools are encouraging our children to be promiscuous whilst at the same time hiding the fact from us, providing the necessary instruction at our expense. One secondary school for girls in one of our large cities, reputed to be the largest of its kind in Europe, has also acquired the dubious reputation of producing more teenage pregnancies than any other school of its kind in Europe. Not for nothing is it dubbed locally ‘the brothel on the hill’!
In ‘Citizenship’ as a new subject for 11 to 16 year olds, your children will learn ‘the key concepts, values or dispositions of fairness, social justice, respect for democracy and diversity’. This means they are probably going to be told that ‘diversity’ means a sodomite marriage is like any other any other ‘lifestyle choice’. In fact, the word ‘marriage’ did not appear anywhere in these documents. Students will be expected ‘to develop skills of [political] participation and action’. Do not imagine for a moment these lessons are ineffective. Hundreds of children in the city of Birmingham recently played truant with immunity in order to participate in a rally organised by the son of a junior government minister to protest against the conflict in Iraq. It is no use complaining, schools! – most were unusually quiet – you have after all been stoking the fires! Secular, politically correct ‘values’ – if this is what they can be called – can be taught to your children largely without any right of withdrawal being given to you as parents. (See A Sinister Change of Purpose: Towards a Knowledge-free Society, Nick Seaton & Katie Ivens, from Campaign for Real Education.) Can you shoulder the responsibility before God of exposing your children to this kind of trite and godless indoctrination day in and day out? Think about it – and do not wonder later why your children have turned their back on the Christian faith when all the damage has already been done!
Modern educationalists are to the minds of our children what physical abusers are to their bodies. They are a danger to our people and should be removed from their post and from where they have access to children.
According to this ‘progressive’ way of thinking, the government bears the prime responsibility for the education of children and for their beliefs and morals. The fear is said to be that those educated outside the government system will turn into anti-social misfits who are unable to support themselves. The facts demonstrate that state schooling today goes a long way down the road of producing itself that which it most fears. Many schools are plagued with violence, persistent bullying, falling standards, pupil apathy, drugs, an anti-academic ethos, and with regard to all these things government and the educational establishment are constantly ‘in denial’. School can be a dangerous place. Ask the parents of those students senselessly slaughtered at Columbine High School. Ask Mrs Francis Lawrence whose 48-year-old husband, Philip, in 1995 was stabbed to death outside the school of which he was headmaster whilst attempting to protect a vulnerable 13-year-old from being attacked by a gang. In January of this year, the boy he tried to rescue stood in the dock at the Old Bailey facing a prison sentence for carrying a loaded Browning .22 pistol at the Notting Hill carnival. On 26th April 1996, Harry Greenway MP made these remarks in the House of Commons:
“I was subsequently deputy headmaster of a school for 2,200 children from 11 to 19 on the Bellingham Estate in Lewisham and I ran that school for periods of time. So I know that in running a school one often has to face physical challenges. … From time to time I have had to disarm boys with knives and other aggressive weapons – boulders, great pieces of wood, and so on – just as other teachers, head teachers and deputy heads have had to do over the years.” (ed. emphasis added)
Send my children to a place like that to learn? To learn what? No, thank you very much. You have to be joking!
For around 130 years, we have had compulsory government-backed schooling. If this is the best they can do after all this time, enough is enough!
No modern government is likely to relinquish control of the education system, still less entirely into the hands of the parents of those attending. Some may be tempted to make a pretence of doing so, but in the end government will still be calling the shots. Parent control, in any effective sense, is the stuff of nightmares for any politician or member of the educational establishment. The family is a dangerous rival influence in the raising of children. Parents cannot be trusted to bring up their own children properly on their own.
At the heart of a secular curriculum – in itself the expression of a ‘faith’ or belief system – is the assertion that in all things capable of explanation there is no need to bring God into the picture. This false faith assumes that there exists a vast neutral area of human knowledge accessible to all men irrespective as to whether or not they believe in the God of the Bible. This is profoundly misleading as reality is intelligible only within the complete framework of some system of belief, which for Christians is found within the pages of the Bible. Even those who maintain they have no belief system are thereby making a confession of their faith. If we place aside one perspective, we must take up another. A view of the world will be Christian or it will be something else.
Many have bought into the neutrality myth, including many who regard themselves as Christians. It is the assumption of all those who divide reality into the separate and distinct worlds of secular and spiritual and believe that accessibility to one is not dependent upon the other. What in fact is happening is that the ‘secular’ world is being given over to a humanist interpretation. The created world is said to yield up its own explanations by observation, placing believer and unbeliever on the same epistemological ground. In truth, it is to make common cause with secular humanists in order to shut God out of the world He has made and leave Him with nothing to say about it. In terms of what is taught in school, nominally ‘Christian’ or secular, this means that bulk of the curriculum is then given up to teaching based on godless humanist assumptions, permitting any religious belief to be tacked on later as an appendage to everything else. A Christian worldview with its assertions about there being but One who is God, with its belief in six-day creation, not only affects ethics and behaviour – which is plainly different from the humanist agenda of the state – but also determines the way in which science, mathematics, language, history, geography, and every other subject on the curriculum are taught.
Where there is within state education a multiplicity of ‘faiths’, and here we include secular humanism, the question of religion will always remain acute. One traditional solution to this problem here in England is to have government-maintained Church schools. However, such schools only rarely provide a genuinely Christian alternative to state education. The objection remains, the essential teaching within the school nearly always continues much the same as in their secular neighbours with ‘religion’ being appended to the rest of the curriculum as an added extra. Government-backed education in state schools must out of practical necessity be agreeable to parents from many different backgrounds and ‘faiths’. The consequence is very clear: education must be reduced to some acceptable ‘essentials’, or a lowest common denominator. No single system of schooling can accommodate within it differing belief systems each of which, in order to stand itself, must proclaim all others false. A Christian worldview cannot be maintained within a humanist one. One cancels the other out.
Multiculturalism is a deceitful lie. Schooling in such a society – which in Britain could include members of the Church of England, Roman Catholics, all the various protestant denominations, plus Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and many more – will exclude from its curriculum anything that any one of these groups finds offensive. Whilst there may be a show of ‘celebrating’ the various cultures, nothing of any substance can be permitted. Having virtually removed rival worldviews, the ground has now been thoroughly prepared for their replacement with a secular humanist programme. As we have seen, this puts in place anti-Christian, relativistic ethics in every sphere of life and a godless rationalistic interpretation of the universe. What has happened is that by embracing all faiths, a new humanist ‘faith’ has been introduced unobtrusively to replace them all. Until recent times no one ever thought that education without faith was ever possible. This remains the case, faith as such has not been chased out of school, but governments have imposed the godless ‘faith’ of secular humanism upon the present-day schools of our western democracies. The products of our secular education system will profess the faith that has been taught in them in school. It is no great wonder then when our young people turn their back on God and faith in His Son; they have been thoroughly trained in another antagonistic faith.
A secular education demands the ejection of the God of the Bible from the classroom. A non-Christian education is an anti-Christian education. Whilst it is not the task of the government to save souls, neither is it its task to wage war against the truth of God. What this all falsely assumes is that the ordinary subjects of the classroom, arithmetic, writing, and reading can be taught effectively without first giving any ground to belief in the God of Scripture. In the removal of all overtly Christian material and the rejection of a Christian methodology the school did not take a stand on neutral ground, it became something other than Christian.
In plain language: an education is thoroughly Christian or it is something else!
It is in the context of what is a conflict of belief systems, a conflict of kingdoms, that we must approach the matter of how our children are to be educated. If we surrender our children to the tutelage of godless educators, whose goals oppose all that is of God, we ought not to be surprised when later they refuse the Gospel and turn from all that we have taught them of the truth. Perhaps we too have fallen for the myth than certain areas of our life are neutral and here both camps may co-operate. This last deception is perhaps the most difficult to dislodge. School is not a neutral place. What goes on there will either train young minds in the ways of God or it will mislead and pervert them. There is no middle pathway and let us ever be mindful of the warning of the Lord Jesus, particularly with respect to those young lives that have already been changed through faith in Him.
“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)
The widely reported poor standards of education delivered in state schools must be of concern to all parents. To believing parents it must generate a greater uneasiness to realise that in these places our children are being trained, using methods akin to brainwashing, into a disposition that will refuse the Gospel. It is difficult to reconcile this with the Scriptural injunction given to all believing fathers to bring up their children in the ‘nurture and admonition of the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:4). We are hardly doing this by entrusting our children to those whose educational goals are to inculcate a false gospel. What is worrying is that whilst many ‘Christians’ will be concerned about the academic deficiencies and seek a good school – those who can afford it turning to the independent sector – few seem to have recognised that greater spiritual danger to which their children are exposed in state schools. All education is religious at heart.
Where we send our children to be educated will demonstrate what we value most.
Not even the government believes that schools are neutral places. The purpose of schooling in the eyes of the government goes far beyond merely preparing young people to earn their living.
Is there then no such thing as neutral education? There is an education according to the truth and there is an education according to falsehood. Surely, it can be argued that learning to read, write, and do sums has nothing to do with anyone’s faith? What we are not talking about is an education plus Christian teaching, we are arguing for an education that is itself through and through Christian. Part of the problem is that parents themselves do not see Christian belief as something that has claim over all of life. Often it is money, prestige, blindness, confusion about what constitutes evangelism, a schizoid view of reality, or social ambition that determines what education their children should have. Despite a profession of belief in the Bible, few appear to be serious enough about their faith to do anything radical about the education of their children. The behaviour of many implies that the Christian faith has largely to do with Sundays and going to Church, and education has to do with what goes on in the rest of the week and never the twain shall meet. Nevertheless, the claims of the kingdom of Christ are universal in scope, so that there is no area of our present lives to be lived outside its borders. As Christian believers, we are to live every moment in submission to Christ and to be governed even in this present evil world by the laws of His kingdom. He has given very clear instructions in His Word as to how we are to live now on earth. We are to work even now for the destruction of the kingdom of darkness and this includes every detail of how we educate our children.
A truly biblical faith begins with one eternal, self-sustaining God, antecedent to all other beings and things, all of which were made by Him.
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3). This is the sum total of all that exists: there is God, and then there is His eternal purpose embracing all He has made and all that comes to pass. Nothing exists outside God that He did not create and for which He does not have a purpose. Even wicked men are made to serve His purposes: “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil” (Proverbs 16:4). Even as everything was created by His word, so nothing continues to exist but by that same word, “by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). All things exist, all events unfold, only by virtue of the one eternal plan for ever present within God’s being. God “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11). He is the necessary presupposition for all things existing and all events occurring on earth.
Only the God of the Bible is God. All others are false gods. These exclusive claims of Scripture infuriate multicultural humanists. There being only one true God, there can be only one true interpretation of reality from which a school curriculum can be constructed. The Bible is uncompromising.
“The LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. … the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” (Deuteronomy 4:35 & 39)
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.” (Isaiah 46:9)
“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (1 Corinthians 8:6)
Even as there is only one God so there can be only one purpose for the world He has made.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)
There is but one God and one Saviour. We have seen that a truly Christian training for our children begins here. Remove this truth and we have nothing to stand on. This truth is the clear teaching of the Bible and the one most vigorously attacked today.
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5)
Let the argument of those who claim otherwise be with Him who gave us the Bible. Many governments, Canada among them, some in the EU, legislate such teaching as ‘hate crime’. Yet this strikes at the heart of our faith and makes such legislators God-haters. This is the most devastating of all hate-crimes! In this, they go way beyond the authority entrusted to them by the God they are at pains to deny. If they imagine for one moment they shall escape the scourge and retribution of God, they are woefully mistaken. We can fear for these countries unless they change. We are failing in our Christian duty should we fail to point this out to our legislators. What they say in effect is
“We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” (Isaiah 28:15)
Such law we are under no obligation before God to obey and we must in all good conscience openly flout it whatever consequences come upon us. As Daniel, when Darius forbade prayer, the moment he knew ‘the writing was signed’, he opened the windows of his chamber towards Jerusalem so that everyone could see that he was praying to God just as he always did. Our God is well able to deliver us from the hands of wicked men as he did Daniel from the den of lions and in Him we trust. God will destroy those who have sought to destroy us. Like Haman, they will hang in their own gallows! To force us to confess anything other than that there is only one God and Saviour causes us to break the first commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Let 1 Timothy 2:5 be emblazoned on every street corner of our land! We hate no one by telling him or her that they follow a false god who will lead them to destruction. This is all a complete reversal of the truth. Instead, we demonstrate our love in desiring all to come to God through Christ. Nor shall any man silence us, for in preaching this Gospel we obey the command of our heavenly King. To men we answer in the apostle Peter’s words: “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
In the first chapter of Colossians, verses 12-15 teach us that redemption and forgiveness through the blood of Christ accompanies a deliverance from the power of darkness, where once we lived in ignorance of the truth, and also our translation by the Father into the kingdom of Christ, where there is light and therefore knowledge of the truth. This is our inheritance, which God previously ordained should be ours.
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (vv. 12-14)
Furthermore, this passage tells us that Christ is God, the Creator, and that He is before the world was. The world continues not by powers or laws to be found within it but because it is kept as it is by Christ.
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (vv. 16-17)
Creation rules out the assertion that the universe is self-contained and holds within it an explanation of itself that we only need to uncover. The teaching of science in the context of a truly Christian education governed by Scripture will exclude evolution and see it for what it is, a myth with no place in the real world. It will teach that once all things but God were not but became, created where once they did not exist.
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3)
Eternity exists only in God; matter is not eternal. This flies in the face of a pantheistic materialistic humanist education where ‘eternal’ matter takes the place of God. There is no conceivable way by which a humanistic view of the universe can be reconciled with a biblical one. Christians will teach something entirely different.
Having sought to remove God, it now becomes necessary for men to fall back on that which their own intellect can devise in order to bring the necessary unity and meaning into the diversity of the created universe. The result is not light but darkness, not knowledge but ignorance, not wisdom but foolishness.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:21-22)
The humanist looks to that which is created, to himself and the things around him for an explanation of all things, instead of to the Creator as the ultimate authority. This route leads only to absurdity and chaos.
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25)
All creation uncomfortably reminds all men of the Creator who made them. Non-Christian education is a systematised effort to silence that voice. To refuse the testimony of creation is an inexcusable sin against the truth.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
If we are to understand the meaning and purpose of creation, we must first see that the world was not made for our benefit, but for Christ. Christ is
“…the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence”. (Colossians 1:18)
God yet man, not only that He might die to save us, not only that He might be “the head of the body, the church” (v.18), but that He should be at the head, pre-eminent, over all created things. This purpose remains in place and will prevail, although for a short while it appears to have been disturbed by sin.
“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (v.20)
Christ died, so the redemption of those who believe is not an end in itself but one significant part of the reconciliation of all things unto Himself.
Outside the interpretation given to all things by the one God, Creator and Sustainer of all things, there can be found no credible understanding of anything. That which is in the eternal heart and mind of God is revealed in Scripture. Here alone we have access to an objective and verbal revelation of His mind. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130). Consequently, the Bible must be placed at the centre of a Christian curriculum. God’s Word will bear no contradiction, tolerate no compromise with anything else.
To the humanist, the universe is unknowable. Like a man in a dark underground cavern, there is nothing to be seen but that which is illuminated at a turn of the head by the lamp attached to the obligatory safety helmet.
Christians believe that what God has made can be known in the light of His revelation; today we have His Word in Scripture as our infallible guide.
As he turns his head this way and that, the non-Christian think he sees something but then it is gone. There can be no real aim as far as knowledge is concerned, for nothing can be known. He gives up on knowledge in despair and turns his mind to other things, not knowledge we are told is important, which has proved itself to be elusive, but skills. Education today, we are told, is not about knowing anything, but about doing. This dominates modern teaching methodology and this will be corroborated by any trainee teacher. The Christian faith is not an add-on to the rest of the curriculum, but an integral to every part of it. Every subject will be taught from an opposing perspective to that of non-Christian school. A child will develop only as it learns to know God and see God as the Maker and Sustainer of everything around it. The child-centred anti-authoritarianism in the setting of the modern non-Christian school rather than allowing the child to develop totally disorientates it. Without that authority which derives directly from God expressed in terms of the lovingkindness of God, a child will be disorientated about its own place in the world.
Whether we are teaching language or mathematics, history, music, or science, all depend upon creation facts. Therefore, they are not neutral, but must be taught in the light of what God has revealed to us about them. Unbelievers do not see these matters in relation to divine creation at all and so will understand them all very differently and therefore teach them differently. Nothing exists in a void but by the plan and purpose of God. Without the concept of absolute truth, there can be no certainty in mathematics. There can be no guarantee that two plus two will always be four. Unbelievers have no such concept. All things were created to the glory of God and so all things must be taught to His glory. This is the only way in which anything in the created world can be taught. Facts have meaning only in relation to the eternal purposes of God. It is in Scripture that this is revealed. A godly teacher must teach his subject in the light of the teaching of the whole of Scripture. Teaching in any other way, even if the school calls itself Christian, is not Christian education.
A humanistic worldview has little to with truth and falsehood but everything to do with the rejection of God. This is yet another reason why education is not a plant that grows in neutral soil. The Bible tells us that knowledge of God is to be found within everyone as part of our human nature. God put it there deliberately and it is as inescapable as it is ineradicable.
“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” (Romans 1:19)
This is unwelcome knowledge for us guilty sinners. Two possibilities remain open to us, receive God’s remedy for sin in Christ or suppress this knowledge and face His judgement of our sin – which perversely is our natural inclination. This choice will determine the way we behave and therefore the ethics we teach. The ‘values’ taught in schools reflect the humanist rejection of God. Having refused Him, God then gives us up to our chosen pathway and its consequences.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:28)
There then follows in this chapter a horrendous list of deeds, many of which will find a ready echo in our modern world, many of which are defended and lauded as being the right way to behave. It is a kind of ‘righteousness’ in reverse.
“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Romans 1:25-27)
That which God abhors, that sin for which He destroyed whole nations in the Old Testament has been turned into a widely accepted ‘sexual orientation’. Those who object have been effectively silenced everywhere by a small and intolerant PC lobby and ‘thought police’. We all have the ‘right’ to sin, this has been allowed us by God, but we do not do so with impunity. The terrible aspect of current ‘morality’ is that the most revolting of sins has been enshrined in human law as a new form of ‘righteousness’ and the right to condemn it for what it is has been forbidden. We shall not be silenced whatever laws men make to defend their evil doing. Are these the ‘values’, is this the ‘morality’ we want taught to our children? Is this the way they ought to be lead? This is what they will hear in state schools.
Goodness is not something that exists apart from God by which we measure even God Himself. What is good is defined by the being of God – “…there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). There being only one God, there can be only one form of goodness. We reject God and every basis for goodness goes with Him. This being so another ‘goodness’, another ‘righteousness’ must replace that of the God we have refused. There are few passages in the whole of the Bible that describe the ‘morality’ of our western civilisations in the 21st century better than Romans 1:29-32.
“Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
That which is foolishness with ungodly men is wisdom with God; that which is ‘righteousness’ with haters of God is unrighteousness with God. Between secular humanism and the teaching of Scripture there is no neutral ground, but a ‘great gulf fixed’. There is one moral mandate for all men: “Thus saith the Lord!” This global war continues for the hearts of men, to rescue them from darkness and bring them into the light of the kingdom of Christ. This takes place wherever the lost are found. We claim every inch of ground for Christ, in the home, in the workplace, in the Church, in the school – everywhere is to be brought under the subjection of Christ. The alternative to this is not neutrality but a sell-out to Satan.
We will not teach our children a lie as though it were the same as the truth. We will not submit to the enticements of ungodly men to give a hearing to the lie! We do not need to have our children schooled in the knowledge of lies and myths. Rather it is our responsibility before God to see that our children are schooled in the knowledge that Christ is Lord of all – and that there is no other Lord. Why should we allow them to be first confused with deception in the expectation that they will later believe the truth? A genuinely Christian education invites opposition on two grounds. First, it is hated because the godless modern state is thereby denied ultimate control over our children. Second, it is hated because those who train children in the ways of the Lord are a constant reminder to our rulers of their own rebellion against Him. State education is not simply non-Christian; it is anti-Christian. The Bible-believing parent is not faced with a choice at all – it is simply wrong to send our children to these places!
The question is not whether we ought to send our children to a government school or provide a genuinely Christian education, but whether government has any business at all to be running schools.
The modern understanding of a ‘state’ finds no support in Scripture. This is not to say that the Bible says nothing about civil government, far from so. Civil government, or more correctly the magistracy, is necessary because of the presence of sin in the world. The Bible teaches that the authority of civil government is both delegated and limited.
The locus classicus is Romans 13 where the apostle Paul tells us that civil authorities are ‘ordained of God’ and not to be resisted.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” (vv. 1-2)
Anarchistic revolutionaries do wrong in that they seek to overthrow an authority put in place by God. Godly rulers have nothing to fear from Christian people even as Christians have nothing to fear from righteous rulers. Rulers ought not to be a terror to those who do good but alone to those who do evil.
Civil government exists because of the presence of sin in the world. Were there no sin in the world there would be no need to restrain or punish it. The need for such an authority is already implied Genesis 9:6.
“Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.”
The murderer strikes out at God by attacking that which is made in His image. God gives life and only by His authorisation can it be taken away. The execution of murderers requires divine authorisation and is not to be carried out randomly. The Mosaic Law gave very precise instructions as to whom the death penalty applied and when it was to be carried out and by whom.
The magistracy is charged by God not only with the negative task of punishing wrongdoers, but it should also encourage those who do good. The apostle Peter wrote:
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” (1 Peter 2:13-14)
Rulers are not lords in their own right, but ministers, servants of God.
“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.” (Romans 13: 3-5)
A servant must answer to His Lord. Earthly rulers must give answer for their actions directly to God. The Lord Jesus reminded Pilate that any authority he enjoyed had been given to him by God.
“Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” (John 19:10-11)
Civil government receives a delegated authority ultimately from God despite the fact that it may this may be received instrumentally through other men.
The Bible’s teaching on civil government is grounded in creation. Deny creation and it has no basis.
The world being created by God, it being therefore His world, all authority derives from Him.
“The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1)
The power of civil authority does not come from within itself. Furthermore, its jurisdiction is strictly limited. Its boundaries have been prescribed by the One who gave the authority. Modern governments need to be constantly reminded of the source of their own authority and of its limitations. These limitations on power were deliberately set by God to prevent tyranny. A government that disregards these divinely designated limits has already begun to whittle away the liberties of its people. It is not given to government to determine what shall and shall not go on in spheres beyond its own competence. A regime that presumes it can make laws governing every area of life is a tyrannical regime. The limited scope of true government authority secures liberty in all spheres of life.
There are areas of life over which the government has God-given powers to rule and equally there are areas of life where it has no such mandate. It is not within the authority of the government to intervene in matters of the Church or the family for it instituted neither, nor does it give either one its powers. Christ founded and He builds His Church. The biblical Church is not an extension of the state as it is made to be in some countries. It is not given to government to appoint Church officers as it does for the Church of England, nor can it send forth missionaries. The family was founded by God in the Garden of Eden. Both Church and family possess a separate delegated authority limited in its scope and in its own area of jurisdiction similar to that given to civil government. All those bearing authority within their own sphere must given answer directly to God for how they use it. No one authority may encroach on the jurisdiction of the other.
Whilst separate, this does not mean the various ‘powers’ are to have no contact with each other. The government has responsibility to see that no criminal activity takes place in either within the Church or family. E.g. it must see that children are not abused in any way or exposed to danger; it ought to ensure that Church buildings are safe and through criminal negligence are not a fire hazard. Preachers of the Gospel ought to remind rulers very clearly that they are to rule righteously and in equity and are answerable to God. They should be praised for the good they do and reprimanded for the evil they may promote.
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2)
Were civil authorities to carry out thoroughly and properly the responsibilities required by God with respect to the upholding of law and order, they would have little time to interfere in matters that are really none of their business. That governments go beyond what is legitimately theirs to rule means that time and resources are more widely spread so that inevitably they end up doing nothing effectively. Justice would be better served, were the government to concentrate more closely on what it was ordained by God to do. The denial of God as the source of their authority, the illusion that all authority lies within themselves by right or is delegated to them by those whom they rule will initiate an inevitable drift into totalitarianism. Even so, it is God ultimately who appoints and eventually removes them.
The human heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). The wickedness that would quickly become universal in the absence of authorities of law and order is hard to imagine. As has been seen in recent years, in the interval following war and before the complete restoration of some civil authority, those once held in check by the enforcement of law will often rampage through the streets in a frenzy of looting, pillaging, and even killing. Without the civil authorities, hell would visit the earth. The institution of civil authorities is a work attributable to the goodness of God that leadeth to repentance (Romans 2:4). In a place where there is peace and quietness, godliness and honesty, the preaching of the Gospel can prosper and men come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Godly rulers are the blessing of God in a sinful world but equally human rulers are the penalty for the rejection of Him. It was upon the rejection of God as King that Israel was given a man in His place. The consequences of their action, based on a desire to “be like all the nations”, was spelled out to them by the Lord through Samuel (1 Samuel 8:7-9). There would be compulsory military service, forced labour in the service of the king, the expropriation of property and livestock, the demand of a tithe like God. Furthermore, God would not hear them when they complained about this the result of their sins! The government is an instrument for good and for evil in the hands of almighty God.
If we experience the creeping power of the government in our day, if it becomes oppressive and even cruel, this must be seen as the direct result of a national rejection of God and His righteous ways.
A totalitarian government must be seen as the most severe form of divine punishment on a nation. Because God sees fit in His infinite wisdom to use such a regime, does not make it anything less than an evil usurpation of authority to be judged by Him in the end. Only God, who alone is perfectly good, can ever exercise a righteous totalitarian rule. With man, his power must always be limited and subjected to God. The desire for, still less the exercise of human authority beyond the limitations imposed upon it in Scripture is at heart satanic as it presumes man sitting upon the throne of God. It becomes a substitute for the kingdom, for the rule of Christ. Such rulers will, in this world and most certainly in the next, receive the just reward of their evil. In Acts we have such an instance.
“And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” (Acts 12:21-23)
It is incumbent upon civil rulers to protect those privileges God has given every human being: to hold property, implied in the commandment “thou shalt not steal” (cf. Acts 5:4); to go about our business in peace and safety; to speak freely that which is pleasing to God; and to worship Him unhindered and unmolested.
The credo of modern humanism dictates that everyone is right; everyone is his own god. Our children are taught in school to question all authority, except that authority which says that it is right to question all authority – this they must accept. . Everyone is right and no authority one can forbid anything, but eventually, the children of the ‘revolution’ will question the authority of those who gave them this their ‘freedom’. The revolution has always devoured its own. Those who believe no one has the right to forbid them anything will seek to force their own will on everyone. In a nation where such exaggerated anarchy reigns, only a totalitarian government can then bring order into the chaos with the increasing diminution of God-given liberties. Humanism encourages the breakdown of law and order and the imposition of totalitarian control is the only possible solution. Those who dispute this do not know their Plato! This becomes inevitable when God’s ordinances for just government in this present dispensation, with their in-built liberties, are spurned. On a global scale, this means total world domination, in every area, political, economic, social, and religious. Here the human race would find salvation. This gospel, an emulation of Babel, is the message of today’s rulers far from God. They shall have their day, but mercifully, it will be short-lived. Such a ruler places himself in the place of the one rightful ruler of the world: the Lord Jesus Christ. A government that believes it has the right to rule and make laws in every area of life is a blasphemous government that denies the royal rights of the One true King and Ruler of men.
We must be convinced not simply that a truly Christian education would be a fine thing for our children to have, but that it is the only education possible for them.
The absolutes of the Kingdom of God can only be realised when the kingdom of Satan is destroyed. Before Christ comes this will not happen, but this does not mean that until then our children must be given over to the kingdom of darkness to be educated. This would be a blatant dereliction of duty. Our sure hope for the future is that the enemies of Christ will be vanquished and Christ shall reign.
All education being essentially religious in nature, the government can have no authority to forbid us to teach our children the Word of God, indeed they ought to encourage it. Instead governments insist that children attend a school whose teaching is grounded in atheistic and evolutionary humanistic materialism, itself an alternative religious belief system that is incompatible with the teaching of Scripture and so unacceptable to true believers. Not only is the state exceeding its authority by running schools, it also has no sanction from God to determine what our children are to be taught in school. This is the task of parents. The Bible teaches not only the separation of Church and state, but also the separation of state and family. The state is obliged under God to respect the sanctity of the family and not to usurp its authority. Both derive their separate authority from God. The godless state has long sought to subordinate the family to itself.
The responsibility for the education of children lies with parents. It does not lie with the Church or with the government. It is not the business of Churches to be running schools any more than of government.
God appoints the parents to be the teachers of their own children, in the first place in the context of the family.
Those who say they do not agree must show us that what they say is what the Bible teaches. Deuteronomy 6:7 shows that teaching children is something that goes on continually in the home – “and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up”. Christian parents, therefore, ought not to send their children to state schools. The argument has little to do with the academic failure of much of the government system, which is in any case inevitable and of an irretrievably poor standard, but stems in the first instance from the clear commands in Scripture, both in the Old and New Testaments, to bring up our children in the ways of the Lord. Our failure has generally been an unwillingness to work out the full implications of this for teaching our families.
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
Those of us who reject infant ‘baptism’ as unbiblical still recognise the Scriptural distinction between the children of believers and unbelievers, not denying that all children stand in need of the new birth.
“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:14)
We cannot cast that which is holy to the dogs. It is important that the children of Christian parents receive a Christian education. First, because God demands it of us and we must answer to Him. Second, because a Christian education prejudices our children in favour of the Gospel. Third, because, enlightened by God’s Spirit, it enables our children to read the Word of God and understand His will and His ways. We must remember that moving from darkness to light is emphatically not simply a matter of education. We cannot educate children into the kingdom of Christ, but this does not absolve us of our duty, not to mention the motivation of our love for them, to bring them up in the ways of God. At the very heart of a truly Christian education are the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make our children “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). God requires this of us: that we teach our children about the whole of life from a position of truth not falsehood.
We cannot abandon our children to the relentless anti-Christian propaganda, designed to deter them from faith in Christ, to which they will invariably be subjected in government schools. The state education agenda is aggressively godless. We must reckon state schools to be the enemy bent on the destruction of our faith. The result of permitting our children to attend state schools will be that we end us working against ourselves. What we do at weekends and in the evenings, teaching our children the things of the Lord, is unpicked piece by piece in school during the day. Children are taught to despise all authority, including and especially that of their parents, God does not even appear in the picture. A wiser man than our modern educators wrote: “A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent” (Proverbs 15:5). Our children must learn this and we must strive to be worthy of it.
The home is and must remain the heart of our children’s education. It has no equal and there is nothing to replace it. The most precious schooling takes place in the family and many of its most important aspects in the very early years. Statist educators are very aware of this. The educational establishment resents and fears godly parents who exercise a profound influence over their children and give them a bias towards the Christian Gospel and set them against all non-Christian worldviews. It threatens all they stand for.
Therefore, the family as an alternative source of influence is feared and constantly under attack. An increase in so-called one-parent families is to be encouraged. Social and economic conditions are to be manipulated against any mother staying at home to care for their children. She will be penalised by a perverse misuse of the tax system. Instead, they are induced and badgered into returning think to work as soon as is physically possible after childbirth, shamed into it if necessary. It is their ‘right’ to return to work and employers are obliged to reinstate them. Mothers at home are regarded as social oddities, something less than ‘modern’ women. Women who care for their own children at home are thought in some way to be letting the side down and depriving their offspring. No, on the contrary! The best early schooling is found at mother’s knee and not in a kindergarten or nursery. Here a child learns its ‘mother’ tongue. No language teacher in school or university will ever surpass her! Nowhere else will that child ever learn a language so easily or so quickly. Learning how to run a household, or how to cook, are all matters to be learned by example within the family. There are no better educators than godly parents. In the family, the most basic lessons of human relationships are learned. The family is a place where everyone learns.
School is not the place where our children are educated and everything else takes place at home. Schools provide an artificial environment and so can only assist but never replace the home. Where children attend a school, this must always be thought of as an extension of that which takes place at home. If parents school at home, they are unlikely to have all the knowledge required in the education of their children and may need to employ others with that knowledge they do not possess. Many families already bring in music teachers to teach piano or some other instrument, so why not maths or language teachers too. Teachers in any schooling situation must never be thought of as replacing parents. They are assistants to the parents who are the primary instructors. This is quite the reverse of what happens in state education, where parents are only drawn in when their children become a nuisance in school! Parents more often than not have only themselves to blame for being excluded. They are often quite content to offload much of their responsibility onto schools with not many of them having much of an idea what goes in there. We must return to the situation where the parents in the context of the home are the primary source of our children’s education assisted by others at their discretion. This can mean home schooling, it may mean a decidedly Christian school. State education is not the worst option for Christian parents; it is a forbidden road.
True knowledge has its beginning in the knowledge of God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7).
To send our children to be trained in godlessness at school is by implication a denial of the faith, a dereliction of Christian duty, and we show a deficit in love.
It amounts to bowing down before a false god, passing our children through the fire to Moloch.
The family, an ordinance rooted in creation, lies at the heart of every nation; it is the greatest centre of influence upon children. As with the magistracy, family authority is limited to its own sphere and derived from God. It is delegated to the father as its head who must give answer to God for all that he does. The failures in any nation begin here – in the family. How we behave towards each other within our nation is, shows what has been going on in our families. The influence of the godly family and that which it imparts to the child is the bitterest rival of the godless modern liberal humanist government. Within the family, one member has a loyalty to another and a debt of responsibility and care to one another. With a liberal humanist society, the family is to be replaced with an extreme individualism of rootlessness. The humanist state will accept no other ties or loyalties rivalling its own. Commitment to others is permissible only under its own patronage and structure. Anti-family rhetoric walks hand-in-hand with the godless myth of evolution. The tribe, the clan, the family, marriage are all said to be primitive states in the unfolding of human biological evolution and will soon disappear. Humanists see the traditional family as having given place to something they call ‘the nuclear family’ already in the eighteenth century. Since the sixties, the nuclear family has been in decline and the free-floating couple, ‘partners’ rather than husband and wife is said to for be replacing it. Despite all this chatter, the family has proved to be extremely resilient and prophecies of its impending demise have, and shall, come to nothing.
The modern family is generally much less than the biblical pattern. The individual member seeks to shake off family ties at the earliest opportunity. Son or daughter sees father and mother, and parents see their offspring, as restraints on personal freedom. The basic unit is the individual within the family and not the family unit itself. Few are prepared to make any real sacrifices, certainly not to educate their children, still less to provide for their family in any long-term way, this has now become the domain of the welfare state. Family members are often left to sink or swim on their own. Individual freedom is paramount. The modern family is now quite happy to see the government take over responsibilities that are in fact its own. The cost, however, is one that goes far beyond the levying of higher taxes.
Feminism established the myth that a woman’s personal fulfilment and freedom depend upon a job separate to that of husband and family. Her freedom is her economic independence. Adam had been at work before Eve came along and she was given to Adam as a helpmeet to him personally in his calling. Her orientation was never intended to be towards an independent career, but towards her family and its calling under God. In the modern family, once the children have fled the nest, the marriage will often disintegrate, the wife finding she has more in her job than in her husband. This can be equally true of the husband. In the worst examples of such a relationship, the men are often wimps continually hen-pecked and nagged by aggressive and domineering women, and given over to strong drink. The children turn out to be dropouts, on drugs, or satisfied with dead-end jobs. The crisis in western nations is a family crisis as much as it is anything. Many of our problems can be traced back to the rise of a humanistic, individualistic concept of the family rather than the acceptance of the biblical pattern, the pre-eminence of the individual even within the family context.
It is interesting that the New Testament teaches that men were to have proved themselves as husbands and fathers before being recognised deacons and elders in the Church. The initial training ground for Church officers is the family not the theological seminary with its state-approved accreditations or phoney degrees. Those who do not pass this test eliminate themselves.
In Scripture, all of man’s life flows from the heart of the family: Church, magistracy, school, welfare, nationhood. The welfare of family members is a matter for the family before it is a concern of anyone else.
“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. “ (1 Timothy 5:8)
Yet this too is a role assumed by the modern state with disastrous consequences; it sees itself as our family. The government is increasingly taking more and more of this responsibility to itself and claiming ‘parental’ rights. In giving tax-credits for children, governments are only returning to parents that which was often anyway theirs and which should not have been taken away in the first place. This, thinks government, buys them a stake in family matters.
Children seeing their parents fulfil their own responsibilities towards them, rather than expecting the state be their parents, instils that same sense of responsibility in them towards their own duties. If they see their parents looking to the state to take on what they should be doing, they too will do the same. They will expect the government to provide them with a higher education, medical care, employment, a pension, and who can say what else? Government is very eager to make any promise so that citizens are held captive from the cradle to the grave – themselves, to ‘clarify their own values’ promises it can never, and does never fully keep. Government wants to play at being ‘mummy and daddy’ until we die.
It is to government agencies our children are supposed to turn to for advice on everything from even whom they ought to marry to how they ought to behave in the marital bed! The transference of the discussion of the most precious and personal of all human relationships from the context of a loving family situation into the anonymity of the school, its abstraction as ‘education’, disassociates it from the family. Ultimately this contributes to the disassociation in the minds of young people of such matters from the context of the family altogether. Sex is thought of apart from the family to be engaged in as an end in itself and purely for self-gratification. This is encouraged by humanists who seem to regard the human race as little more than an aggregate of copulating atoms rather than men and women created in the image of God.
Robert L. Dabney (1820-98) was an exemplary Southern Presbyterian professor of theology, for a time during the Civil War, chief-of-staff, and chaplain to General Stonewall Jackson. He wrote:
“…the principle upon which the Government intrudes into the parental obligation and function of educating all children, is dangerous and agrarian. It is the teaching of the Bible and of sound political ethics that the education of children belongs to the sphere of the family and is the duty of parents. The theory that the children of the Commonwealth are the charge of the Commonwealth is a pagan one, derived from the heathen Sparta and Plato’s heathen republic, and connected by regular, logical sequence with legalised prostitution and the dissolution of the conjugal tie. The dispensation of Divine Providence determines the social grade and the culture of children on their reaching adult age by the diligence and faithfulness of their parents, just as the pecuniary condition of children at that epoch is determined. … It is His ordination that youth shall inherit the status provided them by their parents, and improved it by their own exertions as aided by the Christian philanthropy of their fellow-men.” (p.241, The Government Free School System in Discussions, Vol. 3, reprint Edinburgh 1982)
Discipline, and in particular self-discipline, is learned primarily within the family circle. In addition to this, discipline in the school context prepares the child for behaviour in the wider community. Whilst it is true that the home is the greatest influence for good or evil upon a child, it is also true that situations arise at school that do not arise in the home. What is perceived by the child to be acceptable behaviour at home and at school is carried over outside them both. Today’s disproportionate growth in vicious vandalism and youth criminality can to a large degree be traced back directly to the disintegration of family life and the breakdown of discipline within the family. Schools cost less to build than jails. Dabney also perceptively remarked, “But what if it turns out that the Government’s expenditure in school-house is one of the things which necessitates the expenditure in jails?” What is taught in school is put into practice in the world at large. Children are taught their ‘rights’ and a ‘you cannot touch me whatever I do’ will be thrown at the police or anyone else attempting to reprimand them, often with the support of the miscreant’s parents. A large section of our young people in the UK are running the streets totally out of control, making life on some housing estates unbearable for residents; certain streets, open spaces and parks are ‘no-go’ areas and not only in run-down inner-cities. There is little point in governments combating these with court orders from outside as long as at the same time the authority of parents within the family is persistently scorned and a false understanding of right and wrong propagated in schools.
By discipline, we do not mean simply ‘giving the kids the walloping they deserve’, which may be applied entirely inappropriately as an expression of frustration, failure, and bald viciousness and therefore in the end will be counterproductive. Discipline is to be understood as a training of the human soul, of the mind, the will, and the desires. Its aim is not to bend or break the will, but to do what is possible to direct it within a context of understanding right and wrong.
A definition of right and wrong is inherently religious; a different religion or worldview will produce a different understanding of good and evil.
The Bible teaches that evil is deviation from the revealed will of God, deliberate rebellion. There can be no compromise on this definition. Teaching children how they should and should not behave is intimately connected with this understanding of good and evil. Right and wrong is not relative; it is not an area detached from our deepest beliefs. This is not something we can think up for ourselves according to the times in which we live, but an absolute, unchanging measure.
The natural inclination of every child is to transgress God’s will in thought, word, and deed. Perversely, teaching right and wrong tends at times to provoke wrongdoing and our children need to understand what are the consequences of their actions. They will want to do that which is forbidden simply because it has been forbidden them. In this way the rebellious nature of our hearts is exposed.
“ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.” (Romans 7:7-8)
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Everyone child from birth will seek its own glory not that of God. This fact alone sets a Christian pedagogy on the road to conflict with state education, which, following the teaching of Rousseau and his imitators, promotes the self-expression of ‘innocent’ children. Children are in fact capable of the most horrendous crimes to which the daily news bears testimony.
It is often objected that one cannot educate children into godliness; they need to be ‘born again’. This is very true, but this provides no objection to a Christian education. We are to train up a child in the way it shall go; this the Bible commands and so is not a matter of choice. If we do not train a child in godliness and according to the truth, shall we then train him or her in ungodliness and lies? Faith is not natural and left to itself the child will chose evil rather than good, it will choose self-seeking rather than God’s glory and the good of others. Ultimately, only God can change the heart of a child. The role of the teacher is to teach the truth about all things in the light of the Gospel, including the need to turn from sin and trust Christ. We then prayerfully await the working of God in faith. Thankfully, God restrains the effects of sin even in the heart of the child so that it may not be as bad as it potentially could be. The characteristics of the kingdom of God are “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 1:17). This should be the pervading atmosphere in a Christian upbringing. Too often compulsion, severity, and rigidity chases away cheerfulness, naturalness and joy in the Lord. Above all genuine love and friendliness will win the heart of the child.
What is sought in Christian education is not silent subservience, but willing obedience. Even as we obey our Saviour out of love to Him, so we would that our children obey us as parents and those teachers to whom give them in trust. As the Scriptures teach: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1). A child under age, though he may be the heir, is to obey just as a servant would for he “is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father” (Galatians 4:2). Within these guiding constraints, a child learns to develop into a proper freedom until childish dependence has gone. There is a delicate balance to be struck between insisting on obedience and allowing the child to develop proper individuality, self-confidence, and personal freedom. Best is example, the parent and teacher living in loving obedience and subjection to the will of our heavenly Father. Raising children can stretch human patience to its limits, but passionate anger and bursts of frustrated wrath are clearly out of place – and who has not failed here? We must do nothing to provoke our children to wrath (Ephesians 6:4), nothing to give them a just cause to be angry and resentful towards us. Encouragement and appreciation are far better tools than continual carping and nagging.
The best thing to do is – should you wish your child to have a teenage pregnancy; to develop a drug addiction; to become suicidal; to tear everything it knows to pieces through ‘critical thinking’; to put a ring through the nose like a pig or a safety pin in its navel; to develop an antagonism to all things Christian and become so bored and disillusioned with nothing to do but hang about the streets looking for trouble; to do any one or all of these things – to send them to the nearest state school!
Our schools are churning out millions of mentally distorted youngsters, vast numbers are functionally illiterate and innumerate even when they arrive at university, few who can think for themselves, nearly all are disillusioned and frustrated, and many unemployable. This is and will remain the result of state education because this is the best it can do. State education has not made anyone free, but many dependent. State schools and colleges are little better than intellectual mind-mincers. State education is given not primarily in the interest of those receiving it, but in the interest of those giving it, who then expect to receive something in return.
“All government education is a sort of dynamo machine for polarizing the popular mind; for turning and holding its lines of force in the direction supposed to be the most effective for Government purposes.” Henry Adams (1907)
It is to parents that God has entrusted responsibility for training their children and they are most fitted to oversee the task. The government is well suited to encouraging them to do a good job of it, but it can never take this task from them. State education usurps the God-given role of parents in bringing up their children. An abdication of this parental responsibility, and the ensuing weakening of family life, is harmful to children. It encourages the growth of irresponsible parenting.
Liberal humanist educators always portray parents as the villains of the piece. This is more evidence, were it needed, that their educational philosophy, such as it is, is rebellion against God. There is a very simple solution to this whole problem. All that parents need to do is simply remove their children from state schools and resort to home schooling or together with other parents open their own genuinely Christian schools. This is being done right now and can be done very successfully in many countries around the globe.
Those within the educational establishment believe that they know best how our children are to be educated; indeed, that only they know! Nevertheless, we have nothing to fear, our opponents are men not gods, and they fear any possibility of a child having a truly Christian upbringing. Anti-Christian educators in Australia are nervous at the increasing numbers of Christian parents opting out of the state education system. One such education guru described the “fast proliferating Christian community schools and parent-controlled Christian schools” as “a frightening concept”. When Christians begin to take their beliefs seriously by organising schools for their children, the enemy is scared witless! Opposition to Christian education is based largely on blind prejudice and hatred of Christ and rarely on reason.
The question of who educates our children is an all-out war and not just idle prattle about choice or money.
Our opponents proclaim ‘freedom of speech’ for all save for those who oppose them. Modern educationalists are in the sphere of education little better than tin-pot dictators. Even as the words ‘pluralism’ and ‘multiculturalism’ leave their lips, it is only to impose their own tyrannical reign. We are not to teach creation as truth, but they are at liberty to brainwash our children with evolution fairy stories about mythical ape-men whom no one has ever seen! We must not say Islam is false religion because that is a ‘hate crime’, but they can misuse the name of God and Christ with impunity. Let anyone within the state system portray the marriage of one man to one woman as alone legitimate and promiscuity, lesbianism and sodomy as sinful perversions, and then it becomes rapidly clear as to how much true pluralism there is around! It is forbidden to forbid all but that which is forbidden by those in control. The imposition of the human secularist perspective is mandatory and ‘pluralism’ is but a smokescreen. The stance to be taken in schools on these matters is dictated by the education establishment, it is written into the national curriculum – even into such innocuous subjects as modern foreign languages –and is enforced by rigorous inspection carrying heavy sanctions and sometimes by perverse laws. Here is the illiberality of the ‘liberal’ mind, banishing everyone who dares to believe something else.
We are not defending anything. A faith that is not continually on the offensive is dying.
If as parents we would have our children removed from this evil influence, we shall immediately become suspect and a threat to the designs of the government, dangerous terrorists of the mind who need to be dealt with severely. Government agencies may at first just chivvy us along in the right direction, should we then make a stand and refuse, more drastic measures will follow as many have experienced to their cost. Despite their current power and bluster, we know that our enemies are on the losing side. The Bible says so. This is glorious battle and parents teaching their own children in the home, teachers in Christian schools, are all fighting in the thick of the battle. We are not fighting the civil authorities as such for as we have seen they are the servants of God in the sphere of authority delegated to them by God. What we do fight is the abuse of that authority to rule in areas of our lives that are none of their concern.
We are to give to Caesar what belongs to him, but when Caesar asks for God’s portion as well, we are bound to refuse.
The revival of home schooling both in the UK and the USA has prodded the sleeping giant to action. Court action and threats have followed. Parents have been wrongly accused of child abuse, a few imprisoned and some children made wards of court. Home schooling is not a last resort, but should be the preferred option and a genuinely Christian school should in all cases function as an adjunct to parental instruction and not as a substitute for it. Thankfully, in many of our countries home tuition is still a legal option. Where it is not, other avenues need to be explored.
Over the last hundred years or so, since governments assumed responsibility for schooling, parents, including most Christians, have swallowed the deception that schools controlled by the government and financed by taxes are the best places for their children to receive an education. All this is despite the fact that state education has shown itself to be a catastrophe of colossal proportions. Home schooling was common in the early days of American history; it has less of a tradition here in the UK. Many non-Christians see that teaching their own children at home is the only way many of them are going to receive a decent education. Christians see that only in this way can they obey what God has called them to do. On both continents, home schooling has shown itself in many different contexts to be a superior form of education.
Home schooling is no easy option, it will involve sacrifice and in some places the rabid opposition of humanist education authorities, generally haters of anything that smacks of being remotely Christian, particularly if they can find an excuse to dub it ‘fundamentalist’. ‘Liberal’ tolerance does not extend to Christian schools and to Christians being permitted to home school their own children. These individuals and those behind them seem to be blind to the fact that they are themselves filled with the very spiteful and hate-filled form of the intolerance they claim to see in others. Let us not be deceived, these people are not speaking up in support of Islam, Hinduism, or any other religion; they simply hate all that is Christian. Many will be found themselves to have been brought up in at least nominally Christian surroundings. This following extract comes from a confessedly anti-Christian organisation in Canada:
“Intolerance and hate towards other religions is a sensitive and controversial issue. Unfortunately, literature distributed by the Child Evangelism Fellowship shows that intolerance is alive and well in Canada. In 1984, the Alberta Commission on Intolerance and Understanding found curriculum in private Christian fundamentalist schools that described Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam as false religions, and promoted the opinion that the followers of these religions were godless, wicked, and satanic. Although a number of these schools were shut down or adopted appropriate curriculum, there are still private schools in existence that are still pushing religious hatred on our children. … Their promotion of intolerance, negative perceptions of the public school system…must be exposed and accounted for.”
Contemporary ‘liberal’ educators are anything but that; they are intolerant and bigoted, and determined to eradicate all dissent – including that of non-Christian religions! Their purpose is to coerce everyone into accepting their ‘values’ and interpretation of reality.
A report in the Australian Journal of Education in 1993 written by two academics from the University of South Australia condemns outright a creationist approach to education, concluding that students from such schools “lack the appropriate knowledge, values and skills to enable them to participate in Australian society”. So, this is after all the real goal of education, to impart values and skills to fulfil a predetermined slot in ‘society’ – we might have guessed it! The authors of the article envisage protracted action through the courts to outlaw what they see as a ‘pro-family’, ‘pro-free enterprise’ and ‘anti-secular humanist’ curriculum. Creationists they deem ‘dangerous’. Of course, this is true, a genuinely Christian education is a dangerous threat to all that they hold dear. No believer could express things more clearly than in these words of our enemies:
“…children subjected to this form of teaching would be taught that the Bible is literally true and that soundly based scientific fact, should it not accord with the biblical interpretation, can suddenly cease to be fact.”
This is no game, no polite exchange of divergent views; it is struggle to the death for all that is ungodly. Many wax hysterical. Let us remember, we shall ultimately triumph for we are the winning side. If taught creation as scientific fact, children, it is said, will become confused with ‘myth masquerading as science’. Again, truth is stood on its head for this is precisely what we as Christian believers say of evolution. It is pure mythology, lies peddled as truth. The purpose of evolutionary teaching is religious. It is to remove God as creator from the picture. A reviewer of the above article writes, “Any attempt to indoctrinate children with false assumptions based on the unscientific hypotheses of creationism would be a tragedy”. Indoctrinating children with ‘false assumptions based on the unscientific hypotheses’ is precisely what we accuse the evolutionists in our schools of doing.
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20)
It is not beyond the wit of the government to take a child from its family and place it ‘in care’ for as long as it will, better defined as kidnap and imprisonment. There are a number of incidents where this has occurred. The state will not restrain itself from the physical confrontation with those who disregard its draconian laws. The government certainly regards this as war they can win.
“Iowa prosecutors are seeking more powers to intervene in truancy cases and have suggested law changes that could give county attorneys more tools to use against fundamentalist Christians who want to teach their children at home. Recommendations from the \Iowa County Attorneys’ Association include a change in the government’s juvenile code to add truancy to the list of reasons officials can start proceedings that can lead to removing the child from the home or to terminating the parent’s rights to their child.” (The Des Moines Register, 12 January 1989)
Let us repeat that it is not only Christian parents who areopting to school at home. Many parents are becoming increasingly resentful at handing their children over for education to people they do not really trust and in whom they have little confidence. Their numbers are steadily, if quietly, increasing as the failure of government education becomes more obvious. There can be little doubt that the educational establishment feels threatened by the home schooling movement, growing at 20% annually– and there is little government can do. Figures for home schooling are notoriously difficult to obtain and governments have an interest in concealing them. It is thought that 1.2 million children are currently home schooled in the USA, 2% of all school age children, making up 20% of those outside the state school system. In the UK, many place the number of home-schooled children as about 85,000 others make it as high as 140,000 and increasing rapidly year by year. It constitutes the considered verdict of many parents on government schools.
Home schooling does not only take place with a parent around the kitchen table, some most certainly. It may include distance learning and cooperative arrangements between parents and paid professionals. Home schooling rarely operates in complete isolation. There are many local and national support groups, and conferences and other functions all attracting significant numbers. Here in the UK some local groups arrange student concerts, field trips, and engage specialist teachers for shared activities. Home schooling is a model of education in which parents play the pivotal role.
Apart from all other considerations, the academic success exemplified by many home-schoolers debunks the myth of educational gurus that parents cannot do without hired, government-accredited specialists in order to force their offspring to learn anything at all. Here in the UK many students schooled at home have gone to the very best universities. It also dispels the notion that only the rich can have a good education. As funding for government schools in many countries is increasingly determined by attendance numbers, every home-schooled child represents lost income for some school somewhere. If the number of parents removing their children from the government system continues to rise who will make up the lost funding?
Contrary to the popular belief, encouraged by government and local education authorities in the UK, children here are not compelled to attend school. The Education Act 1966 says that parents have to ensure that they receive ‘an efficient full-time education’ suitable to their age, ability, aptitude and any special needs. The struggle as to who has authority over children, parents or the government, is one that has been fought in the courts in the past and will increasingly be the case as the days ahead become darker and the opposition to Christ hardens. To reclaim our children from state education is the claim them afresh for God. Opposition through legislation and the courts will continue, but more insidiously they will try to undermine the whole movement by apparent co-operation such as offering government home schooling programmes and bribes in the form of ‘grants’. The use of legislation to eradicate home schooling could in some instances force home schooling underground – there are already examples of this – or even in extreme cases bring about emigration. It will now be almost impossible to stamp out home schooling. Despite this, government will do whatever they can to force those outside the government system to do their bidding.
There continues to be a small but significant rise in the number of Christian schools. Any rise in the number of genuinely Christian schools will be seen as a challenge to the authority of the educational establishment and unleash vicious hostility. Eventually, should this growth continue, the government will act to protect its virtual monopoly, either by making these schools illegal and shutting them down, or as is more likely, by increasing control over them and interference in their operation, or by introducing some kind of sanction. Up until a decision was made in the Ohio Government Supreme Court in 1976 supporting parents, they lived under the constant threat of having their children carried off to foster homes for sending their children to unaccredited Christian schools. The educational authorities could refuse to register Christian schools under the pretence of maintaining standards, or by the use of some similar fiction. It is a puzzle to understand how they can accept or reject schools when their own schools are a shambles and the direct cause of the growth in the independent sector. How can people running a failing education system even pretend to know best how to educate our children? We do not need the overpaid mandarins of the educational establishment, who have clearly demonstrated that they cannot run schools, to tell us whether our Christian schools are any good! A recent article by a secular humanist writer demands of Christian educators;
“How does substandard educational standards and close-minded social conditioning prepare children for post-secondary education, or life in general?”
This is precisely the question we ask of our narrow-minded state establishment educationalists of their own schools. Another similarly motivated writer makes the observation of Christian schools that “substantive values are taught in an essentially one-sided and occasionally prejudicial manner.” Again, this is precisely the accusation we would level at them. These people are emphatically never ever purely objective or neutral, but demonstrably biased. We make no pretence of neutrality; we are positively Christian. There can be no compromise and no co-existence with these people. The dangerous thing is that they want to forbid us teaching our children according to the Scriptures. Who are then the intolerant ones?
Something needs to be said about this accusation that Christian education is necessarily sub-standard. Although, we believe firmly those making such accusations are hardly deserving of an answer from us. It is certainly rich coming as it does from people who specialise in turning out year upon year illiterate and innumerate children by the million! Apart from this, we must ask ourselves by what standard they measure. Standards in schools have more to do with teaching methodology than what children actually learn. In state schools ‘progressive’ teaching methodology is all pervasive and enforced. Examinations are designed less to measure what children know than what ‘skills’ they have acquired. School inspectors are enforcers whose task it is to ensure that modern pedagogical methods are being adhered to in the classroom. (A future Dayspring article will, God willing, look in some detail at the brainwashing methods used in government schools in the guise of progressive pedagogy.) Inspectors look for ‘oral language and listening skills’, ‘mental involvement’, ‘critical thinking’, and ‘communication and peer interaction’. The measurement of these so-called ‘skills’ is largely subjective and open to flagrant abuse and rank dishonesty. Little is straightforwardly right or wrong. The use of the memory by children is dismissed as ‘rote learning’ and ‘parroting’. Such practice is anathema to inspectors and will be written off as lax educational standards. For this reason many Christian schools, who may for example encourage the learning of Bible passages by heart, will be downgraded for this as sub-standard. A knowledge-based ethos rather than a skill-based one in a school is enough to raise the ire of inspectors. Not too much credibility should be given to the words of government school inspectors, they utilise strange measuring sticks. We neither need nor desire their accreditation or favour; they have nothing very much to teach us.
The way things are taught has become more important than what is taught. What on earth is a degree in ‘education’? This reflects the emphasis in our schools on methodology rather than content. Rather than studying mathematics, language or literature, history or geography, they study something called ‘education’. It would appear that a teacher no longer has to know anything about the subjects he or she teaches! Memorising anything, and especially learning by rote is deemed an unacceptable drudgery from which pupils must now be freed. Conjugating verbs, memorising tables are an abomination. Learning a foreign language (especially a difficult one like German!) educators in England tells is a task too difficult for our children. So it is that teachers, instead of being thoroughly conversant with the subject they are to teach, study ‘education’. What is implied is that the best teachers are those who actually know very little. Empty heads make the best teachers! The results again, speak for themselves!
The emphasis of a Bible-based education will be written off by these visiting busybodies as producing ‘questionable social attitudes’. This would include attitudes towards those involved in perverted and sinful relationships, the biblical claim that there is only One who is God and therefore only one true faith, and so on. Interestingly, only rarely are Muslim schools accused, despite also claiming that all faiths but their own are false. This demonstrates again that the establishment hatred is really aimed at the Lord.
We measure the secular educational establishment by biblical standards and find them wanting! We have put up with progressive educationalists for years and years and are now really fed up with them. Most of them are little more than self-inflated windbags. All they have given us is a generation of largely uneducated, uncultured, unruly, bad-mannered, self-obsessed children many of whom leave school barely able to read, write, or do simple arithmetic. Standards? We prefer our own and do not like what we see of theirs! Accreditation? Not from us! To a man – or a woman – they should all be put out to grass.
We ought not to assume that rotten schools and poor education in general is anything new. Indeed, it was one reason, among many, why so many left England for a new life in America in the seventeenth century. Referring to education in England, one of their number wrote:
“The fountains of learning and religion are so corrupted most children (even the best wits and fairest hopes) are perverted, corrupted, and utterly overthrown, the multitude of evil examples and the licentious government of those seminaries … suffer all Ruffian-like fashion and disorder in manners to pass uncontrolled.”
Let us be prayerful that we are not forced to repeat this exercise.
Originally, the Ivy League universities of the United States, almost without exception, were committed to Christian education. In the laws of Harvard College of 1646 are to found these words: “Every one shall consider as the main End of his life and studies, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is Eternal life. John 17:3” Well into the 1920s much of American higher education still emphasised the Christian nature of university studies. How did we move away from this?
Some time before state education had become established, two men had certainly recognised its importance. Point 10 in the Communist Manifesto (Marx and Engels) states this objective:
“Public (ed. state) and free education for all children. The abolition of factory work by children in its present form. The combination of education with material production, etc., etc.” (our translation)
Education is portrayed as being largely of economic significance, designed to suit the child for its eventual slot in the great economic machine. These words could easily have been penned by the more erudite of our modern politicians. The stance of educationalists and modern governments towards our children may be summarised thus:
“When an opponent declares, ‘I will not come over to your side’, I calmly say, ‘Your child belongs to us already … What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community’.”
This chilling statement was uttered in a speech in 1933 made by Adolf Hitler. Compare this with the words of the father of state education in the USA, Horace Mann.
“Having found the present generation composed of materials almost unmalleable, I am about transferring my efforts to the next. Men are cast-iron, but children are wax. Strength expended upon the latter may be effectual, which would make no impression upon the former.”
Similar thinking lies behind the remarks of psychiatrist, Chester M. Pierce, made at a Childhood International Education Seminar held in the USA in 1973:
“Every child in America entering school at the age of 5 is mentally ill because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward elected officials, toward his parents toward belief in a supernatural being. … It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating an international child of the future.”
There could not be anything more anti-Christian than this statement from Benjamin Rush, signatory to the American Declaration of Independence.
“Let our pupil be taught that he does not belong to himself, but that he is public property. Let him be taught to love his family, but let him be taught at the same time that he must forsake and even forget them when the welfare of his country requires it.”
This is idolatry. Such devotion is due alone to God.
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” (Isaiah 45:7-8)
“For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:22-23)
It is a mistake to assume that compulsory government-sponsored education is only the preserve of left-wing liberals. In the 19th century, universal state education was justified by conservative thinkers such as Matthew Arnold, who believed that exposing our children to ‘sweetness and light’, by which he meant the best of human culture, enabled self-transformation through education. This was the only way to prevent Britain from falling into anarchy. “Men of culture,” he wrote in Culture and Anarchy, “are the true apostles of equality.” The utilitarian philosopher, Bentham, thought freedom to be a good thing in most contexts, but that people needed to be taught how to use their freedom aright. Both of these views assume that crime, sin, is the result of ignorance and is to be remedied by universal education. All men are at heart said to be good and human nature perfectible. Faith in this falsehood did not do much for the Unitarian, Neville Chamberlain, in his negotiations with Hitler. The Bible and therefore experience too teach something very different.
“There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. … For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:15, 21-23)
Education cannot change the human heart. This takes a work of the Spirit of God. Without a change of heart, education only makes sinners clever.
Politicians and the educational establishment argue that ‘education for citizenship’ makes for better-informed pupils, and so better voters and citizens. As one wag in the USA observed, he would rather be ruled by the first thousand names picked out of the New York telephone book than by the entire faculty of Harvard today! With World War II still fresh in his mind, Aldous Huxley wrote in a new foreword (1946) to Brave New World (1932):
“The benefactors of humanity deserve due honour and commemoration. Let us build a Pantheon for professors. It should be located among the ruins of one of the gutted cities of Europe or Japan, and over the entrance to the ossuary I would inscribe, in letters six or seven feet high, the simple words: SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF THE WORLD’S EDUCATORS.”
Compulsory government schooling was not a response to a lack of education at the time, but a conscious attack on all other forms. They were not set up because of any deficiency in the existing schools; their purpose was very different. Historians Jack High and Jerome Ellig write that government schools
“…displaced private education, sometimes deliberately stifling it and altered the kind of education that was offered, mainly to the detriment of the poorer working classes.”
There were plenty of innovative schools at the time state education was introduced, many of them decidedly Christian, so that schooling was within the reach of most. There was a high degree of literacy both in Britain and the USA. This is evident from the high volume of individual books sold in relation to the population – and many of these books were no easy read! In the USA before the late 1800s education was largely the preserve of the home or one-room schoolhouses called ‘Dame Schools’ because generally women taught in them. One writer in 1812 found that in a population of around 7 million out of every 1,000 fewer than four were unable to read. Were the objectives of those advocating state education solely to help those of limited means, they would have given subsidies, as had happened before this time, at least in Britain.
In tracing early attempts to use a state education system to mould their nations, we can go back as far as Plato’s The Republic. Ancient Sparta, model for the modern totalitarian government, observed by Plato, was a huge armed military camp with children being educated to obedient compliancy, separated from their families. It was both cruel and wicked. A handicapped child could be left to die. Abortion could be decreed. It was an exclusive and xenophobic state; all outsiders were excluded. Its citizens were educated by the government from earliest childhood for military skill and absolute obedience. All lived in barracks and were barred from other interests. Everything was reinforced by stringent laws designed to prevent economic inequality and gainful pursuits. Similar examples in modern totalitarian regimes are known to us all. The temptation to use education as a mill for creating ‘good’ citizens is irresistible to almost all politicians and social engineers. The key is compulsion. No child can be permitted to escape the net.
One of the first modern examples of the establishment of a government school system was in the German government of Gotha in 1524 with others following suit quickly afterwards. Württemburg introduced compulsory school attendance in 1559. Luther designed a state school system in Wittenberg, as did John Calvin in Geneva, both to secure a place for their teachings among the people. State education, as we know it today, can be traced back to a rather unexpected source. In 1806, Napoleon defeated the Prussian army. It was a severe blow to Prussian pride to be defeated by a Corsican corporal’s amateur army and it caused them to take a long look at reconstructing their government institutions, especially the schools. The strategy they developed involved universal compulsory education in order to produce a well-disciplined docile citizen who would follow orders. What the Prussian authorities sought was a worker, and therefore a soldier, who would obey without questioning authority. Prussia needed submissive civil servants, compliant clerks who never thought anything about anything. Only 8% of the Prussian population went to Realschule, 92% received a Volkschule education, the purpose of which was now to train children in obedience and subordination. Intellectual development was regarded as a reason why nations lost wars. In the Prussia of that time, property was owned and finances controlled by about 200 families. They wanted to keep things as they were. These aristocratic families did not send their children to the government schools. As our elites today, they denied to others the choices they allowed themselves.
After the ignominious defeat at the battle Jena in 1806, the German philosopher, J. G. Fichte, made his now famous Rede and die Deutsche Nation (‘Address to the German Nation’). Fichte makes clear his views, “the schools must fashion the person, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will.” Thus it was that in 1819 in Prussia for the first time in modern history, education was forced upon a nation’s children. Those who refused to comply were fined or could have their children taken away. In this way, Frederich Wihelm III energetically reinforced the national school system that had been set up in 1717. All teachers, even in private schools, had to be certified by the government. Semi-religious private schools were abolished. The scheme was highly successful, industry flourished and wars were no longer lost. It was aimed at uniting the nation, suppressing the various subcultures within Prussian boundaries, especially Roman Catholicism. The German language was mandatory, putting those speaking other languages, such as Polish, at a distinct disadvantage. It was essential to remove the children from unsuitable cultural influences such as that acquired from parents. The first Kindergarten (lit. ‘Children-garden’) was begun in 1840 with the purpose of socialising children, as the name suggests its aim was to cultivate them as tender plants – vegetables perhaps? Good citizens were required, those who would pay their taxes punctually and leave the social elites to run the country.
Some historians have suggested that Prussian schooling played a crucial role in driving the German nation into precipitating two world wars. There have been many films made of Erich Maria Remarque’s book All Quiet on the Western Front. It is perhaps the earliest of these, Lewis Milestone’s deeply-felt adaptation, that captures most vividly how the schoolmaster, the fanatically patriotic Kantorek, whips his pupils into a frenzied hysteria to move them from the school bench to the front in World War I. Only much later when first one and then another of his school friends falls to French bullets does the dreadful deceitfulness of it all begin to dawn on Paul Baumer, the central character. In fairness, in France and Britain similar emotions prevailed, although possibly the schools were less central. The German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed in spite by the Nazis almost at the end of World War II, thought the war to have been an inevitable product of the kind of schooling that discouraged individual thought and taught pupils to look to the teacher to tell them what to do. This mentality has made German industry so effective even in post war years. Individual initiative is still largely frowned upon, virtually nothing is undertaken without reference to someone higher up the chain of command. Yet, the characteristics of Prussian state education are to be found in our own systems today: compulsory school attendance, national training for teachers, national testing to enable the government to classify job training, a national curriculum. The Prussian/ German army was a state within the state until the defeat in 1945.
Soon everyone was seeking to emulate the Prussian model. Early in the 19th century, information crossed the Atlantic in a series of travellers’ reports. Men like Horace Mann travelled to Germany and brought Prussian ideas to the United States. French national schooling was also reorganised along Prussian lines. A leading advocate of Prussian methods in the USA was Horace Mann. He ranked Prussia first among nations for schooling, but England came last. The Germans too never had a high opinion of the effect of English schooling on the English and its ability to provide good cannon fodder. When asked what he would do should the English invade Pomerania, Bismarck is said to have replied: “Why, I would send a policeman to arrest them!”
Early attempts at introducing compulsory state education in America were opposed by citizens, 80% in Massachusetts. On Cape Cod, the force of the education was a good thing. By the turn of the century, almost every government had succumbed. Today the educational trend is towards school throughout the year, the provision of day-care for all children from the Kindergarten and throughout their school life.
Horace Mann argued that curriculum design must be scientific. His ‘science’, incidentally, was phrenology, the reading of bumps on the head! The crushing defeat of its neighbour in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 focussed outside attention yet again on Prussia and the school system to which was credited military and industrial success. Secular humanism in the 19th century found a focus in the positivist philosophy of the French sociologist, Auguste Comte. Science was to be determinative. “The object of our philosophy is to direct the spiritual reorganisation of the civilised world … we may begin at once to construct that system of morality under which the final regeneration of humanity will proceed.”
The words are framed in the language of an ersatz religion that speaks of the ‘salvation’ of humanity. The vision is to reconstruct human civilisation according to the demands of ‘science’, one that decidedly excludes any God or hint of human individuality. Throughout the 20th century, government schools have laboured to accomplish this mission.
School days are not the happiest days for many children, but are often filled with boredom, fear, and frustration. Children then become self-destructive and violent. Here is the verdict of someone who underwent instruction in Prussia’s authoritarian school regime:
“One had to cram all this stuff into one’s mind, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year… It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of enquiry.” (Albert Einstein)
State schools are deliberately designed to deter or destroy individuality of thought, particularly if this is happens to be Christian. John Dewey, head department of philosophy, psychology, and education at the University of Chicago, architect of modern ‘progressive’ education, believed that in modern society people would be defined by their associations rather than individual accomplishments. He viewed education as “a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness”. This is a direct application of a Marxist view of consciousness to the world of education and work. He regarded those who read too well and too early as particularly dangerous because they become privately empowered; they know too much and how to find out what they do not know by themselves without consulting the experts. John Dewey said in 1896, “independent, self-reliant people were a counter-productive anachronism in the collective society of the future”. The pseudo-religious nature of his mission is evident in the statement: “The teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usherer-in of the true Kingdom of God.” Humanist educators preach salvation by compulsion; the Bible teaches salvation by conversion.
What the modern educators have in common with all those who have promoted government education down through the centuries is that the school provides a mechanism by which young people can be shaped to perform the will of the elite who govern the country. This is the common pattern of all state education: failure and elitism. It is an exclusive monopoly that denies choice in education to the majority, squanders our money, and barely teaches children anything. Modern politicians see state schools as a laboratory in which to test their vision of citizenship.
One argument commonly proffered in defence of compulsory state education says that inadequately educated parents can hardly be expected to make a competent decision as to how their children ought to be educated. This assumes government and establishment educationalists know best. This is, of course, utter drivel. In Great Britain, at least five or six generations have passed since the beginnings of state education. If parents are still so uneducated that they are unable to judge in these matters after all this time then clearly, the education they received has not been up to much. Even did this contention contain some truth, then surely, an illiterate father is in a very good position to judge whether school has taught his son to read! The innumerate mother will know immediately whether her daughter can do arithmetic. Certainly, parents are the first to know when schools are failing, to which the current brouhaha about rotten education in state schools bears overwhelming testimony. Parents are the best school inspectors because they accumulate daily data from their children as against the periodic checks of school inspectors.
Another argument suggests that abandoning compulsory education would lead to empty classrooms, but this is not borne out by any historical evidence. People need education and are generally not likely to neglect it. Remove compulsion and education would ultimately be seen as an opportunity. Uninterested students would be relegated to the past; they would be present in class because they wanted to be there. Sure, there are those who would not turn up for school, but they rarely put in an appearance now and are only disruptive when they do. Something needs to be done before children come into school, something that cannot be achieved by compulsion. Dabney again: “The moral aspiration and virtuous aims must be present, which alone will utilise a knowledge of letters”. Only then, will any child really benefit from education. Only the parents can instil this, the government cannot. There are, of course, exceptions to all general rules and these ought to be helped by the immediate community of families.
There may be many reasons why parents can be unwilling to send their children to school: their own indolence and ignorance; the recognition by intelligent parents that there is something fundamentally wrong with the education offered in state schools. Nevertheless, the answer is to deal with the parents rather than compel unwilling pupils into school where they are likely to disrupt and cause havoc. For this the Gospel of Christ is the radical and only proper cure. Being forced to go to school builds up a perverse resentment, and the stronger the enforcement the more forcefully this grows, so that it may well explain some of the increase in arson attacks on schools. Violent attacks on teachers and other pupils, including stabbings, are far more frequent than school authorities will admit. In some countries even gun attacks can occur on the school campus. One student in Germany returned to school to shoot his teacher. He shot several fellow-students before being locked in a cupboard. Thankfully, such incidents are exceptional. A phenomenon causing concern in the UK is the increasing numbers of arson attacks on schools each year. These fires can be quite small, perhaps in a toilet or changing room, or run to £1.5 million. According to figures supplied by the fire service, they now exceed 1000 annually causing over £100 million worth of damage. A school in Staffordshire was recently burned to the ground. The culprits, thought to be ex-pupils, were never caught. This can only be turned around where there is a genuine desire and willingness to attend school and to benefit from an education.
A national curriculum is essential to the achievement of government goals. Today, an elaborate cadre of inspectors, or ‘enforcers’, works coercively to ensure government educational goals are met. This has little to do with content, but they concern themselves with the ‘brainwashing’ techniques inherent in their preferred ‘skills-based’ pedagogical methodology. Schemes of work, lesson plans, to the uninitiated harmless teaching aids, but which in reality ensure that the teacher stays with skills-based rather than knowledge-based methodology, can easily be stored in computers. Theoretically, at least, it would then be possible for some centralised agency to know precisely what is being taught in any classroom in the country. ‘Suspect’ teachers could then be identified and monitored and action taken to remove the grit in the system. Even without going this far, control is the watchword. Ticking an almost infinite number of little boxes, endless surveys, teachers checking on teachers, and all this in the name of maintaining standards, ensures the will of the government dominates.
All children ought, we are told, to have equal access to a uniform form of education governed by the national curriculum. Nothing could be so stupid. No two human beings are alike; one child will be gifted in one direction militia was required to persuade the population that enforced each other. Diversity must be the name of the game, not cloning! There can be no one size fits all in education. Apart from the fact that such a system destroys choice, uniformity provides a drab ‘equal’ opportunity for all that amounts to very little for all. Collectivisation will produce the same devastating results in education as it did for the politics and economics of eastern European countries in the best part of the twentieth century. Apart from the inevitable academic stagnation it produces, a monopolistic education system is the most effective tool of tyranny. All children under state education must learn the same things in the same way. If any individual child does not respond as expected, there is something thought to be wrong with him or her but rarely with the school. Schools are a kind of machine preparing pupils for the needs of industry. Being compulsory, school is in essence a custodial institution. Compulsion is not the environment of good learning; it is self-defeating.
More recently, governments of all political colours have put greater emphasis on skills-based rather than knowledge-based education, and linked it to preparation for the world of work. Linking education to work appears of the surface to be a good move, but it needs further examination. Children are to be ’tracked’ from the moment they enter Kindergarten until they emerge at the other end of the education system as pliant workers. In an unwritten agreement between industry and politicians, as long as industry is provided with a constant stream of ‘flexible’, more often than not, low-paid workers who can be trained and re-trained (life-long learning!) for their allotted place in the economic scheme of things, politicians are left to their egalitarian social engineering.
At whatever point pupils leave the system, directly from school or as a university graduate, they will have appropriated a completely secular and humanist view of the world. Few of them will have any taste for anything ‘abstract or theoretical’; they will be submissive to authority and instinctively look to the government to provide for almost every need; many will be hardly literate and numerate, still less ‘educated’ in any real sense of the word. Whilst their graduates may not be able to read and write properly, state schools are highly successful in their overall purpose and this is the real problem!
State schools are little better than mental and spiritual concentration camps where unwilling pupils are incarcerated in order to undergo a cruel destruction of the mind.
As a source of learning, the system is worse than useless. It destroys the mind because its teaching methodology begins by denying the existence of the mind and tries to work outside it. Children never learn how to use their minds. They are brainwashed into becoming pliant non-individuals, owned, and cared for by the state. Self-respect is to be gained from the doubtful praise of appointed experts. They are plagued by constant testing, evaluation, grading and reporting. Children must be told in this way what they are worth.
A truly Christian education is costly and not only in terms ofmoney. They are costs few are prepared to countenance. All sort of objections and explanations are forthcoming from ‘Christian’ parents as to why they should stick with state education. They always have a phoney whiff about them. The real reason is always hidden away and never mentioned. It may be love of material things, the fear of men, pride. It can simply be sheer ignorance. Those who would not permit their children to play on a railway track in the school holidays are quite prepared to see them exposed to spiritual danger during term time. How bad must state schools become we find the courage to remove and another quite differently. Most children learn at different speeds in different subjects. We are all different from our children from them? Such a wholesale rejection of state education, particularly by Christian families, would create the most unholy row and bring frantic abuse from the liberal media and from politicians. Attending Church once or twice a week costs us little, providing a godly education for our children demands a real commitment that not too many possess.
Until we demonstrate that we are prepared to given our children a godly education whatever the cost, we cannot claim to be serious about our faith.
Parents with a Christ-like love for their children, those who would be obedient to Christ in all things, will not even give a second thought to digging into their pockets to provide a Christian education. We really ought not to expect our neighbours, through taxes, to meet these costs. Nor for that matter ought they expect us to pay for the education of their children. Thomas Jefferson said:
“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
By passing the provision of education over to the government, parents relinquish their own responsibility and give to government far-reaching powers God does not intend it to have. Those contemplating bringing children into the world ought to take account in advance of the necessity of making provision for their education in much the same way as provision is made for a house in which the family can live.
No tax money should find its way into schooling. Understandably, those supplying the funding will always want some say in how their money is spent. Accepting tax funding, even in the form of vouchers, will inevitably be followed by government interference. Subsidy can always be used as a threat when it is something upon which one has come to depend. Government financed schools necessarily become the tools of the government. With education, it is always as case of ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’. Where the family pays for the education of the children, it has the last word. The school is then an extension of the family and not of the government.
The greater the bureaucracy, the further removed those actually bearing the financial burdens will be from any real control. If the government or even the Church runs the school control is one more step removed from those who pay. For many who refuse the responsibility that is really theirs, this may be acceptable. Sharing the costs with other members of the Church or community at large, many of whom may not have children, gives to these others too a right to decide what goes on in school. The responsibilities of the parents in both cases have been diluted. True, some parents may need the financial assistance of others for some quite valid reason, but such help must always be an exception and not the rule. Whilst in the world in which we find ourselves, it may sometimes make practical and legal sense for schools to operate behind the face of a Church. However, this ought never to be at the cost of shifting ultimate responsibility for the education of children from the parents. These days, the only way Christian parents are likely to obtain a Christian education for their children is by paying for it themselves.
Even the suggested education voucher system still leaves the government with the whip hand. Vouchers will always come with strings attached and will only be another form, even an extension, of government control. The government could well then have gained effective control even over independent education. A tax credit scheme where parents sending their children to non-state schools receive an income tax credit towards tuition, will always bring government control, as only ‘suitable schools’ would be included. No government ever gave anything away without asking for something in return. Tax breaks inevitably bring more government control. Tax exemptions for Churches and schools always stand under the threat of being withdrawn. Educationalists along with the taxman will go through Christian schools with a fine toothcomb to police eligible schools. Without these kinds of subsidies, government loses much of its hold over schools. They will exercise control over schools in the same way they do over many charitable trusts. If you take the king’s shilling…
We do not owe the ruler obedience beyond that competence given him of God. This obedience includes paying taxes. It may well be that the authorities misappropriate or misuse them, for that they must again answer to God.
“For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.” (Romans 13:6-7)
Although we regard God alone as the ultimate lawgiver civil disobedience is only called for when obedience to the state would cause us to rebel against God. This is generally unlikely to include withholding taxes. We must resist government when the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching of the truth is affected. We must resist when the state claims our children as its own. We may at times be required to make a stand of deliberate defiance. It costs.
Historically, the provision of state education only appears when that same provision is already being adequately provided for privately. Increased government provision was a phenomenon of the twentieth century and it has been accompanied by an inflation of taxation. Free education is not free, but paid for on the pain of court action through compulsory taxation. Those who have or have had children and those without children are compelled to pay for the education of everyone else’s children. We only really value education for our own children when we pay for it ourselves. That for which we have to make no sacrifices is rarely valued. If the responsibility for the education of children lies essentially with their own parents, then it must be daylight robbery on the part of the government to exact taxes from those without children in order to pay for it. The Government takes from its citizens in order to accomplish its illegitimate aims of social engineering.
To say that education or medical treatment or anything provided by government, is ‘free at the point of delivery’ is a deceitful nonsense. We all pay for these things through taxes levied on our current income. In most western countries, if ‘hidden taxes’ are also included, this can amount to 40% to 50% of gross income. Parents already pay for the education of their children. Taxes hit those on lower incomes much harder than those on higher incomes. All the evidence seems to suggest that private education costs less per child to provide than government education. This is partly due to the enormous bureaucracy government-funded education generates. Were parents not taxed to provide an education for their own and other people’s children, most families would probably carry a lower financial burden for schooling than they actually do at present.
Higher education in the UK is now becoming so expensive that the only way in which it can be obtained without charge is to accumulate horrendous debt without collateral and then file for bankruptcy.
Give us our money back! We have been fleeced! Why have millions been spent on government education in order to produce nothing better than we had before? As the system becomes evidently more rotten, advocates of government education demand more and more money of us. Indeed, they blame our unwillingness to dig deeply into our pockets for their own inability to match their deeds with their extravagant promises. We are continually being asked to throw our money in to a machine that consistently churns out rubbish.
Whilst we have tremendous admiration and respect for those who fight valiantly for a decent education for all within the state sector, we fear they are on a hiding to nothing. Government-run education can never be successful. State education cannot be reformed but must be replaced. One battle won only leads on to the next. By engaging with the government educational establishment, they thereby legitimise an immoral system of coercion and tyranny paid for by legalised theft.
The average for an independent day school would be in the region of £5000. It has been estimated that Government education in the UK costs something between £4,500 and £5,000 per pupil per year. The cost is expected to rise 6% per annum over the next four years. This means that by 2005-6 it would reach nearly £6000. The way in which government schools are funded, nevertheless, remains clouded in mystery. The UK government’s own Audit Commission has described education funding as confused and illogical. If government schools were given the same legal status as independent schools but with continued funding from taxes, this would not free them from government controls, the ultimate sanction being the removal of funding. Furthermore, it violates the principle of parent responsibility and forces us all to contribute financially to the education of other people’s children over which we have no control and for whom we have no ultimate responsibility. This above figure was arrived at by taking the education budget and dividing it by the number of 5 to 16 year-old pupils receiving a government education. This does not take account all kinds of other bureaucratic and political activities set against the education budget, nor capital expenditure, nor such things as the training of teachers, the cost of maintaining examination authorities, and other such items. Were all these other things added, the cost per pupil would be considerably more. The Qualifications and Curriculum board, responsible for examinations has a staff of 466 and an annual budget of nearly £60 million. The Teacher Training Agency has a staff of around 180 with a ‘programme budget’ in this current year of £425 million and running costs of £9.4 million. The inspection regime, OFSTED will cost the taxpayer £197 million this year. Only about two thirds of the education budget actually reaches the schools. Something like £11.5 billion is wasted. The cry is for more money for education and the public, imagining it will help, reluctantly agrees. There is already far too much money being squandered on a system that can never work. Taxpayers will be expected to dig ever deeper and deeper into their pockets to prop up an education system that will continue to fail.
The demand is for ever more financial resources to separate our children from us and to turn them against us. The school day grows longer, children are even being give breakfast at school and watched over until mother returns from work. Plans are afoot in the UK abolish the three terms a year system and extend school over the whole year. All this will extend government control over the children and is an evil. State education is a denial of our individuality, family, and immediate community. Promoters of state education have battened down the hatches for a long battle. Planning for victory they are unknowingly doomed to defeat.
That children can be educated only using a state system is a mass superstition.
The first British government grant to education in modern times was in 1833 when £20,000 was given to help the Church provide education for the poor. The first school inspectors were appointed in 1839 and the first government-sponsored teacher training began in 1846. Further government intervention came with the 1870 Education Act which provided for local ‘board schools’ to fill gaps in Church school provision. 1881 saw the first compulsory education and by 1891 all elementary education was available without fees. County and Borough councils took over responsibility for government education in 1902.
No government ever gave anything away without asking for something back in return.
‘Public’ schools in Britain were all at one time just that, schools set up to provide free education for the poor and orphaned. They were commandeered one by one, often on a dubious legal footing, to provide an education for the wealthy. Various ruses were resorted to in order to exclude the poor. One school even claimed its pupils really were poor, only the parents were rich! The Public Schools Act of 1868 facilitated what was in truth the theft of a fortune in endowments that had been dedicated to poor pupils. Today they are fee-paying schools and the domain only of the very wealthy. Some, such as Eton, cost £20,000 a year to attend.
Independent education in the UK is currently usually open only to those who can pay the often extortionate fees. 7% of pupils in Britain attend schools outside the government sector, 12% in London, around 90% of them gain a place at university, which makes up more than 20% of all university entrants. It is not that these students are necessarily brighter than others; indeed many are relatively dumb. Given the same opportunity in government schools, many others would doubtless reach the same giddy heights.
Many of these schools are little more than pathways for the children of the well-heeled into high positions in the civil service, the armed forces, the law, and professional and managerial positions, where the ‘old school tie’ and something called ‘breeding’ count for more than real ability. Most of these private establishments are boarding schools that enable those so minded and having sufficient funds to off-load the responsibility for bringing up their children onto someone else somewhere else – out of sight and out of mind.
Private provision for education does not discriminate against the poor. For too long it has been assumed that only the government can educate the poor. There is no historical evidence whatever to support the contention that poor children were denied an education before the government began to take over education in the mid 1800s. Historians, such as E.G. West, professor emeritus at Carleton University in Ottowa, Canada, in “Education and the Industrial Revolution”, have shown that poorer working families in the 19th century were often able to provide their offspring with, at the very least, a minimal education. This is more than can be said for the products of inner city schools in Britain today paid for by taxes exacted by the government. State education makes the worst job of educating those very people who, it is claimed, are least in the position to make their own provision.
Educational opportunities for poorer families have worsened since the state took over. Government education with its poor academic results is harmful to all its pupils and low income families in particular suffer. Inner city schools have rightly been dubbed ‘poverty mills’, little more than warehouses for kids. Despite the millions spent, nothing changes. This has been the case in the ‘Ridings School’ in Yorkshire. The question of relative poverty here in the UK and its causes, the unremitting growth of a real underclass, is a whole subject on its own. There is a point at which dependency on government handouts becomes a whole way of life. There is no reason whatever, should it be necessary, why provision cannot be made for the children of genuinely poorer families through a system of private scholarships offered by charitable foundations – and this can apply equally to Christian schools. There can be little doubt that the sums involved would be considerably less than the billions at present spent and squandered on an inferior education.
Humanists are born losers and those who travel with them will go down with them. Humanist state education will fail because everything they undertake will ultimately fail as nothing is according to the truth. The central aim of all forms of humanism is to chase God out of His world and to place man on the throne. Humanism therefore has a religious goal. Those who seek a ‘democratic and equal’ society find the division of all humanity into the saved and the lost as elitist and inconsistent with their egalitarian ends. They also view the family as aristocratic and anti-democratic. They recognise that the family is a powerful, even the most powerful institution in any nation and believe that it promotes inequality. Better-off parents, they say, will seek to use their position to see that their own offspring get a better chance in life than others. The family militates against their concept of equal opportunity.
They will argue that any privately funded education is socially divisive. The children of wealthier parents able to spend more money receive a better education and those of more modest means a poorer one. The reality is that in a government system, rich and poor all receive a lower standard of education than would otherwise be the case. Were parents, both rich and poor, able to provide for the education of their own children all would be better off. The bottom half may benefit a little, the top half a lot, but overall both would benefit over the present woefully inadequate government system. Compulsory ‘free’ government education removes from the poor what little economic clout they do possess. It does them no favours. It removes from them, within the limitations of their income, the power of choosing what kind of education they want for their children.
Modern state education is a government-sponsored rip-off. State schools should be sold off to any one who wants to buy them and compulsory attendance scrapped. Parents should be free to send their children to any school they wish. One teacher in the United States wrote:
“Only when all parents, not just rich ones, have a free choice in education, when they can take their children out of a school they don’t like, and have a choice of many others to send them to, or the possibility of starting their own, or of educating their children outside of school altogether, only then will we teachers begin to stop being what most of us still are and if we are honest know we are, which is jailers and babysitters, cops without uniforms, and begin to be professionals, freely exercising an important valued, and honoured skill and art.”
The education of our children according to the Scriptures involves personal sacrifice. It is something we ought to reckon with when first bringing children into the world. Surely there can be nothing more rewarding on earth to see our children brought up in the ways of the Lord and go on to know Him; even as there can be little more devastating than the opposite. The alternative is handing our responsibility before God over to the state, which will subject them to ideological anti-Christian indoctrination and rotten teaching.
Today government schools are accepted as the norm, as though there had never been anything else, as though nothing else is conceivable let alone possible. Never has there been a more devastating tool at the disposal of godless men. John Dewey, father of ‘progressive education’, pictured schools as laboratories in which the right kind of child would be produced. Schools would not communicate knowledge or truth, nor could they, for these things are said to be always changing; nothing is stable. The task allotted to schools is to help their pupils to ‘adjust’ in a ‘changing world’.
Parents and pupils alike have every reason to be suspicious of the intentions of government educators. Get your children out before it is too late!
It is time to pull our children out of the state education system. The only choice we have is to send them to genuinely Christian schools or turn to home schooling. No other option is either open or permissible to us. The capital investment in Church property in western countries is often enormous and this despite the fact that many remain empty for the best part of the week right throughout the year. They could well be adapted to the dual purpose of place of worship and school to house newly founded parent-run Christian schools.
We are losing our children for three reasons. First, the cause is to a large extent due to the failure of the Churches we attend and the behaviour of the ‘Christians’ with whom we associate. Second, it is because of our own patently bad parenting. Third, we have, in sending our children to state schools, exposed them to a concerted and persistent campaign by the enemies of Christ, who consciously use the schools as an instrument to set children against the influence of their parents and the Gospel. Modern government-backed schools are rooted not in any Christian tradition, but in a pagan worship of the state.
Having gone through the state school system the student, even from a Christian home, will have a thoroughly humanist orientation to his thinking. He or she will operate using humanist assumptions even to the extent of defending any remnants of Christian belief by interpreting the Scriptures using humanist premises. We cannot preach and teach the truth on the ground of the lie that unaided human wisdom is the judge of what can be true and what can be false. Even when once having been made aware of this tendency within us, it can take a lifetime to eradicate it completely. It is surely better not to go down the pathway of unbelief in the first place.
The work of Christ in this dispensation has two aspects. Negatively, it is to save men from sin and remove them from the kingdom of Satan. Positively, it is that they might be built up in their precious faith in the kingdom of God’s dear Son, living life in this fallen world in a way pleasing to Him. Each of these kingdoms has its own ‘culture’, or way of life. The culture of the unbeliever, whilst expressing much that is God-given, is fundamentally godless and anti-Christian. It perverts and misuses the good gifts of God. This is very evident in the world of music, literature, painting, which instead of being beauty in praise of God, praises men and is shot through with darkness and soaked in sin. There is a way of life that brings glory to God and is pleasing to Him; music sung to His glory, writing that praises Him. Education is related to this and the way we live our lives in a fallen world to His glory. Clearly, a Christian education cannot have the same goals as non-Christian. There can be no synthesis with that which is ruined, nor will it ever be turned into anything good, but it will be brought to nothing when Christ returns and eventually destroyed and forgotten.
A teacher who is not leading the souls of our children towards Christ is leading them away from Him. The teacher of our children must be a true believer. He or she ought also to be sufficiently knowledgeable and convinced about what they teach and the issues involved that they are unafraid and happy to teach that which is ridiculed by the world. Helpful too would be a good understanding of the way in which godless pedagogical methodology works and how it is used in state education – to be the subject of our next article.