Biblical Schooling, What Is Required?  

Posted by Daniel in , ,

Is it a sin to not homeschool or send your child to a Christian school? Parents are commanded in the Bible to raise up their children in the way they should go. If we send our kids to a public school, or perhaps better to say, to any school that does not teach from a Biblical perspective, is that a sin? Are parents shirking their responsibility if they do this? I don’t know the answer to this question. I hope we can get a good discussion going, I’m throwing it out there to get y’alls thoughts. I was reading a blog this morning and the question popped into my head.

Hope y’all have lots of thoughts on it.
Daniel

Reactions:
This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at Tuesday, July 21, 2009 and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

25 comments

Someone may ask that if it is a sin (or maybe just not the best choice) why I am going to a public university? I would say because I am mature enough, and Biblically solid enough to endure it. If I was not, and it would be a major temptation than it would fall into the same category as primary and secondary education.

July 21, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Good question!

I think that it probably is a sin if you know better and are able to homeschool your children but are not.

Public schools have horrible influences and I'm grieved when I hear Christians say they are sending their kids to be a "light" there. I'm sorry to break it to them, but these kids are in no way strong enough or grounded enough in the Lord to be able to overcome the temptations there! I know there are some circumstances where you actually can be a light there, but the majority of the time we need to leave witnessing to those kids to someone older and wiser.

I also think that if you are going to a university it is always best to live at home and not on campus. I don't know of one single person who has gone off to college (including Christian colleges) and come back home a stronger Christian than they were. They all backslid.

Anyway, I'll stop my ramble. :) Hopefully this made sense what I was saying...if anyone needs clarification of what I said, please let me know!

~Michelle
P.S. I have scriptures to support everything I wrote... I would give all the references now, but I have to leave for work. Let me know if someone would like to read the scripture verses, and I'll be glad to type them up later. :)

July 21, 2009 at 1:17 PM

I would love to have the scripture, I'll always take it. :D It does make sense, though I will point out one thing, if it is a sin, than whether you know better or not it is still a sin. Yea college presents plenty of opportunities to backslide, though I think a lot of it is that many people who do live on campus are not ready for it. Now I'm not saying some people can do everything on their own, because thats totally not true, but some people have a better sense of what is ok and what is not.

July 21, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Well, the reason I said it was probably a sin because I don't know if it always would be. What if you were a single mom who wasn't physically able to homeschool, and couldn't afford a Christian school (although, in my opinion it can be just as bad as public school sometimes!) so the only option would be public school. I think in that case, the Lord wouldn't judge her for that if there was no other option. God looks at the heart, so I couldn't judge her if she was doing the best she could. In your opinion, would you tell her she was sinning?

Okay, and on with some of the verses you had asked for... :)

Proverbs 4:14-15
"Do not enter the path of the wicked,And do not walk in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on."

Proverbs 12:26
"The righteous should choose his friends carefully,For the way of the wicked leads them astray."

Proverbs 13:20
"He who walks with wise men will be wise,But the companion of fools will be destroyed."

Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go,And when he is old he will not depart from it."

Proverbs 22:24-25
"Make no friendship with an angry man,And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways
And set a snare for your soul."

And as I'm sure you know, there are plenty of other verses to support what I'm saying, however, I didn't have time to find all the references yet.

Anyway, hope this clarifies things a bit better. :)

~Michelle

July 22, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Hi! I realize y’all don’t know me, and I’m totally interrupting haha, so feel free to ignore and/or delete. ;) But I stumbled onto this and wanted to respond to what’s been said. (Sorry it’s soo long!)

I don’t believe it’s a sin to send kids to public school. But I don’t think we can truly judge whether or not this particular issue is a sin or not. I think the real question lies in whether or not you humbly knelt before God and sought His guidance on where and how your kids should be schooled. A second sin could potentially exist if you sit in judgment, condescendingly criticizing people who have stepped out in faith and are following God’s will for their children’s lives. Who are we to judge? You could throw sin into a lot of different angles with this issue. If someone has the means to homeschool, God wants them to, and the kids are tossed into the public school system because it’s free – you have a problem. If the parents are scared about what will happen if they do send their kids to a public or private school (with all of the unbiblical influences and whatnot), and the fear is rooted in lack of faith, you have another problem.

As Christians, we are supposed to live out of our comfort zone and face trials and persevere. We may be scared to death, but God can work in and through any situation, no matter where we are. The verses Michelle posted are AWESOME, and I think they can be used wherever God chooses to use you. I mean missionary kids generally aren’t homeschooled, and their parents are unquestionably serving God. If you want to go OT, Moses went to a “government run” school. He turned out okay. I mean for the most part. ;D But you get the idea. I think we pray ‘Your will be done’ and seek God’s guidance and roll with what He chooses in each individual instance. When it comes down to it, I think it’s the only way to live.

My mom grew up in the public school system and learned about Christ from a public school friend. If she hadn’t been there, I probably wouldn’t be sending this. Jesus spent so much of His ministry among nonbelievers. Yes, we need to surround ourselves with people who love our God like we do and are striving to follow Him… But if Christians spend all of their time among like-minded people, where will nonbelievers learn about what we believe?

I am absolutely pro-homeschooling, but for awhile, I went to a magnet school where I received hours and hours of training in an art area God gave me an insane passion for. I was among kids who were striving to be the best that they could be, using all of their talents to the fullest, who challenged and pushed me in a competitive sense to defy low standards and learn as much as possible. Something God calls us to do no matter where we are. Training like that wasn’t available in a homeschool setting. I was at the most liberal high school in all of Houston, possibly one of 3 Christians on campus, but God set up the most incredible opportunities to share who He was. In all of my years of homeschooling, I never had to constantly research what and why I believed as well as other active worldviews. Being there, I was forced to constantly be on my toes and do my best to live out the Word – or I’d get called out for my hypocrisy. Whether or not I was a “light” or “backslid” because I was there? God alone knows. But never have I prayed so hard or loved and wanted to serve any group of people more than those “public school kids.”

Anyway, those are pretty much my thoughts on the subject. Sorry again for randomly posting :P Let me know if this doesn’t make sense, and I will ramble on some more! :) katie

July 22, 2009 at 8:35 PM

Haha, it's perfectly fine, I welcome anyone who wants to comment. Well within certain bounds obviously, good post, i'm too tired to respond tonight though lol.

July 22, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Hey friends! Hate to barge into this conversation like this, but here goes:

Very interesting post, Daniel. Where did this question come from?

I second everything Katie said. She put every thought I had running around in my mind in a good, comprehensive few paragraphs. (ok, a small novel) :D. But nevertheless, I completely agree with what she said and the way she said it.

Now Daniel, I hope to see a full response to Katie's comment! Hate to say it bro, but your response to her post really sounded like she has you stumped ;). Hahaha just kidding. But please reply in full! This stream of comments is very interesting!

July 23, 2009 at 10:17 PM

Haha, as I told Katie, anyone and everyone is welcome (provided you aren't profane or start flaming people). I was reading a blog that was talking about the incredible ineptness of the public school system. Also from experiance with people I know, who I would say are definitely not better for having gone to public schools, or private school. Now I'm not saying that everyone who goes to public, or even a lot of private schools, are worse off, but many of them did not gain from it. I was extremely tired john, and the only thing that would have come out would have been extremely disjointed reasoning on why the moon is in fact not a sphere... :-p

Michelle and kinda Katie too- I understand your argument, and no I haven't and hopefully never will be in that situation, I'm not saying this is always the case, and hopefully never is but, how much faith is that single parent living by? Are they truly willing to put everything on the line and trust in the Father to provide for them and still be able to raise their kids at home because they don't want to expose them to the bad influences in schools? I obviously can't answer that question, but I have to wonder honestly, the Bible talks about everything being in God's hands. Now granted we need to use common sense and wisdom, but we do have to trust.

That leads me into Katie's post. I understand and completely agree with what you're saying about following God's will for your life, and that it's not the same for everyone. (yes, there is a but coming :-p) But how many parents who do send their kids to school do that because they feel like that is where God is leading them? I think I can say this with a fair degree of accuracy (don't have proof but still) that many parents put their kids in school because they: 1. don't want the hassle of homeschooling, or "don't think I can do it, or stand being with the kids all day" Which quite possible comes from them not properly disciplining their kids. 2. They don't want to give up their double incomes, which opens up an entirely new can of worms, the wife putting her home and family before her wishes, but thats another post lol. 3. It's cheaper to go to a public school. This goes back to trusting God. And there are many others. Oh and the "everyone else is doing it" Don't get me started on that one...

I'm not saying that everyone uses these or other similar ones, but these are the main reasons I have heard a lot of people use.

I understand your point about your mom, and thats cool that someone reached out to her, but I just want to point out that God used that circumstance, He could have used an ice cream truck or anything else.

I understand your point about like minded people, and yes thats true but when we are young, and do not have our foundations built yet, is it wise to spend a lot of time around non-Christians?

I have run out of anything to say lol, I have been out of it this whole week lol. Did you go to HSPVA? Hope it all made sense
Daniel

July 24, 2009 at 8:04 AM

Daniel, I hope you don't mind me commenting (or rather writing a book!) again, but I just wanted to clarify a few things of what I had said in regards to Katie's comment, and yours too....

I agree with Katie that we can't judge someone for their decision, it's between them and the Lord. However, I don't think we would need to pray about whether to send your kids to "the gates of hell" as Martin Luther said in this quote: "I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scripture engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the word of God must become corrupt."

As I said in my comment above, kids going to public school are most likely not going to be nearly grounded enough in the Lord to be able to overcome those temptations. 2 Cor. 6:17 says to "Come out from among them and be separate." Psalm 1:1 says "Blessed is the man who walks NOT in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners."

Katie said: "But if Christians spend all of their time among like-minded people, where will nonbelievers learn about what we believe"? Great question and I just wanted to clarify that yes, we have to witness and reach out to the lost. This is why our homes need to be loving mission bases of encouragement, showing sincere Christian hospitality, where people of any age will see the love of Christ through us. May we be instant in season or out of season to care for others whether it's at the store or talking with a telemarketer.

The point I'm trying to make on sending our children to public school, is that we cannot surround ourselves with darkness on a daily basis. "For what fellowship can light have with darkness?". (2 Cor. 6:14) I don't believe it's our children's job to be around darkness on a daily basis trying to be a witness to other kids along with being bombarded by false teachings. Matthew 18:5-7: "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin [stumble], it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."

I don't care how strong you think you or your child is, the Bible says a companionship of fools will be destroyed,(Prov.13:20) we are not as strong as we may like to think. My family and I have seen it happen time and time and time again.

And on a side note, the same caution you would use with your children in public schools could also apply to worldly minded homeschoolers.

I know some may say I'm being too protective and "sheltering" children too much, but Prov. 22:3 says: "A prudent man forsees evil and HIDES himself." I think that sometimes those who say it's okay to send your kids to public school are the ones who are actually sheltered by not knowing what all is there. My mom went to one of the nicest schools you could have gone to, and I won't even mention some of the things that went on there! You would be pretty appalled.

Katie said: "If the parents are scared about what will happen if they do send their kids to a public or private school (with all of the unbiblical influences and whatnot), and the fear is rooted in lack of faith, you have another problem. " (sorry, not trying to pick on Katie here!! :)) I hear Katie's heart on this, but I do have to say though, that I liken this to touching a hot stove. You are wise to tell your child to stay away from a hot stove, afraid that they will get burned. It is not an ungodly fear rooted in a lack of faith, it is a wise and healthy fear rooted in proper fear of our own sin nature and what God says we are capable of and not.

(Continued Below)...

July 24, 2009 at 1:20 PM

(Continued)....

Before someone may judge me for judging others, I do know there are certain circumstances where public school is the only choice, and I know the Lord can use it for His good, just as He did with Katie's mom. That's why I said in my comment above, that "I know there are some circumstances where you actually can be a light there".

However, as Christians, knowing that public school can cause children to stumble, I believe it is a sin to send your children there unless you have exhausted all other means of educating them.

Also, our secular school system is in direct parallel with with the Communist Manifesto, not the Bible. That should give us a clue there. ;)

Is there any convincing evidence that a secular-humanistic public education is causing kids to stumble and fall away from the church?
Here are some statistics I found...

* 88 percent of the children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of 18;

* 83 percent of children from committed Christian families attending public schools adopt a Marxist-socialist worldview;

* Mounting evidence that the public schools are successfully converting Christian children to secular humanism

Here is a quote by Charles Hodge....

“This whole process of education is to be religious, and not only religious, but Christian…. And as Christianity is the only true religion, and God in Christ the only true God, the only possible means of profitable education is the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Anyway, all that to say, I certainly hope this doesn't come off as argumentative or mean spirited in any way. That's truly not my heart! :) These are just my thoughts in view of scripture and personal testimony of my parents experiences.

Please let me know if you need any clarification about anything... :)

Blessings!
~Michelle

July 24, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Okay, here are my thoughts concerning education. Deuteronomy 6 speaks much about teaching your children. Deut. 6:6-8 says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Chapter 11 verses 18-19 of Deuteronomy essentially say the same thing. Something important to see here is the fact that God designates the home as the primary place for learning. Someone may argue that this is only dealing with spiritual matters, but guess what? The “…words that I command you today…” was the Hebrew law and the law included history, language, ethics, social instructions, and many other things that we would classify today as education. If you don’t believe me then just read Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy! Moses wrote the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the Bible) which includes all the elements of education that I already mentioned. The important thing to see here from this passage is that it is the HOME that is designated as the primary place of teaching, and it is the PARENTS that are told to be their children’s instructors. I wanted to mention this because it is from this Scriptural principle that the rest of my convictions follow. To put things bluntly, my children are never going to be in public school as long as I can help it. I believe that God has commanded parents to take the primary roles in teaching their children. Period. I really like what Michelle said and I would greatly echo her words about placing your children in an environment that is not in the least godly. Someone may argue all they want about the fact that they are wanting their children to be salt and light, but the statistics show for themselves who ends up getting influenced. With close to 90% of Christians falling away by age 18 after being in the public schools, I’d call that a failure, not an effective witness for Christ. I’m not saying this happens in every instance, but the majority of professing Christians abandon their faith after having gone through the public schooling system. If someone can show me from God’s Word where it says that our children’s training is to be done for the most part by unbelievers (and left-wing, secular humanists at that) then I will concede my point, but you aren’t going to find it in the Bible. Granted, there are a few godly teachers in the public school system, but they are few and far between. The public school system has its own agenda, philosophies, and worldview. When we send our kids to public schools, even in the Name of Christ, we are willfully exposing them to the continual, persistent indoctrination of some very, very evil philosophies. When parents are comfortable with allowing their children to be fed the lies of secular education, something is desperately wrong. I would say I’m sorry for making it sound so bleak, but I can’t; there’s just no way to sugarcoat the truth. I’m not trying to sound harsh or attack anything anyone has said, but it just grieves my heart that there are Christians comfortable with their kids being in public school. I agree with Katie that the decision is ultimately between the parents and the Lord as far as schooling goes, but we also have to understand the whole context of that schooling. Children aren’t just receiving information in the public schools; they are being fed the lies of secularism. If you don’t believe me, read any history, science, or psychology textbook. I have, and I think you will be shocked at what you find. To sum up my point, God does not change; His un-changeability is one of His attributes. He gave the instructions for His people concerning the responsibilities of parents in the upbringing and teaching of their children. If anyone else has some other Scripture, please show me! By no means do I know everything and I am willing to learn!

July 25, 2009 at 5:11 PM

(continued)

One may argue that parents can be training their children at home in spiritual stuff and allowing public schools to teach them the rest. Well we already know that what the schools teach is faulty to begin with, so it’s not a win-win situation to say that they get the spiritual at home and the schooling away from home. Also, I would ask anyone with this opinion this simple question: “Why do most Christian children leave the faith after being public schooled?”

In closing, Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” This seems pretty clear to me: Don’t conform to the world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Why? So that you can discern the will of God: what is good and acceptable. When you consider what the public schools teach and what they are, they are anything but good. We are called to be different and set apart from this world. I believe this to include all aspects of life, including education. I hope what I have said makes since. I feel very strongly about this issue; it is a to-the-wall issue for me, if you can't tell! Looks like I have my own novel here to add to everyone else's! :-P

July 25, 2009 at 5:11 PM

If Christ were visibly walking among us today and we could ask Him directly if we should place our Christian children in the atheistic government schools of America, how do you suppose He would reply?

July 25, 2009 at 9:47 PM

Looks like it’s my turn to respond. ;)

Michelle said, “…However, as Christians, knowing that public school can cause children to stumble, I believe it is a sin to send your children there unless you have exhausted all other means of educating them.” I can’t, in good conscience, agree. Joshua said, “If someone can show me from God’s Word where it says that our children’s training is to be done for the most part by unbelievers (and left-wing, secular humanists at that) then I will concede my point, but you aren’t going to find it in the Bible.” Am I allowed to flip this? ;) I agree with Deut. 6 and firmly believe that the parent should be the one doing the training: spiritual, etc. My parents have made sure that they have taken what we have been taught when we weren’t at home and compared it to a Biblical worldview. After comparing, God provided profound opportunities for me to openly discuss anything I may have disagreed with and share who He is as much as I possibly could. All this to say, I take the Bible literally, and unless someone can give me a verse that specifically says that one should not use the public school system, I cannot say that sending your child to a public or private school is a sin. This is actually the first time I’ve ever heard that when my parents chose to stop homeschooling, they were sinning. It’s a huge statement. I feel like I would be sitting in condemnation of someone else if I made the same accusation.

I realize I most likely will not change your minds. My intent was only to throw in a new perspective. Chances are very good I’ll homeschool my own kids, and my brothers and I have been homeschooled ourselves for years. I was convinced before your arguments. But I also wanted to insert my point of view because I’ve been in public and private schools and have known firsthand the consequences of arrogant, condescending, religious homeschoolers that are so legalistic, they have forgotten about the hearts inside the institutions. Whether or not these kids were tossed into the system or carefully prayed over, I don’t believe it’s a mistake they are where they are. This issue isn’t black and white to me. I don’t have enough Biblical proof to pass out scarlet letters, but even with proof, I am just as much a sinner as they are. Thankfully, love covers a multitude of sins. In my own life, when my family experienced crisis, the majority of the people that dropped everything to selflessly love and care for us were the negative statistics, the ones with the Marxist-socialist worldview. We’re supposed to live set apart lives (2 Cor 6:17, Rom 12:2), but that doesn’t happen simply by being taught exclusively in the home. In many situations, homeschooling families have become so conscientious and get so caught up in how to shelter their own family and keep them from unbiblical dangers that they neglect those directly around them in need. Obviously teetering toward any extreme isn’t good. A child must leave the home at some point; we may not be of the world, but at some point (work, clubs, basic socialization) we must be in it. The world is fallen, and try as we might, we cannot avoid corrupt, evil institutions forever. And even the purest environments have their flaws.

All in all, as long as we live in an imperfect world, I think where and how to educate your kids is a personal question answered by seeking our Savior for what He wants for each individual. If you have questions or need clarifying, email me at klaitkep[at]comcast[dot] net, and I’ll totally discuss it one on one. This is my last comment on this particular thread. :)

July 25, 2009 at 10:52 PM

Hi Katie, just wanted to reply! First of all, I just wanted to clarify that I wrote my comments out of my personal convictions. I didn't write them out of retaliation to any previous opinion mentioned; I would have said what I said regardless of other's thoughts because it's what I believe personally. Also, I think you have some very, very good points regarding the public schools, especially the fact that we as homeschoolers tend to get caught up in our own little worlds and forget about the abundant mission fields in our own country.

As I said before, I believe that the ultimate decision is between the parents and the Lord. It's not up to me to judge mens' hearts because that is not my job: It is God's. I'd like to point out the fact that I never said that parents are sinning when they put their kids in public school. To say that would be to put myself in the place of God. All I know is that as a hopefully-future-parent, I will have a responsibility to do the BEST thing for my children, and at this point I feel that homeschooling is the way to go. I also know that I will one day stand before my Maker and give an account for all that I have done. I want to make sure that I what I have done is pleasing to God and the best for my kids.

As a side note, I'd like to point out that you can't use the logic of, "All this to say, I take the Bible literally, and unless someone can give me a verse that specifically says that one should not use the public school system, I cannot say that sending your child to a public or private school is a sin." I also think the Bible means exactly what it says, but nowhere in the Bible does it forbid going to see X-rated movies, but they clearly defy anything godly. If you're going to wait for a verse that says, "Thou shalt not send your kids to public school," you won't find one, but there are verses that say the parents are to be the teachers of their children.

I rest my case.

July 26, 2009 at 8:48 AM

Katie, I have no idea what you, or your family have been through, and I am in no way judging you or your parents. That's not my job. However, I do wish the churches would help provide more Christian schools for those who are not capable of homeschooling or help with homeschool resources etc. And I also think it is really sad that the Christians weren't the ones helping you and your family.

I tried to say I heard your heart on what you were saying; I wonder if you read my entire comment?

I feel as though you were maybe judging me when you put:
"In many situations, homeschooling families have become so conscientious and get so caught up in how to shelter their own family and keep them from unbiblical dangers that they neglect those directly around them in need."

What I'm about to say is in no way trying to brag or say "look at everything I do" but I do want to make it clear to you that I don't sit around at church and home eating bon-bons judging people!

One thing I and my family are very passionate about IS reaching out to the lost.

A few things we do are nursing home ministry, a girls ministry at our home, my dad does prison ministry (we've even had prisoners over for dinner many times!) And my sisters and I go out on the streets passing out tracts sharing the gospel with YES, public schoolers!, and perhaps some carnal homeschoolers too. Not to forget... gang members, atheists, alcoholics, etc....

I'm not saying we can never witness to people by any means! The point I'm trying to make is I don't think it's biblical to send out children to be around sin almost 24/7.

The Bible says we are in the world, but not of the world and I honestly could never send my children to public school one day unless that was my last and only option. Those are my convictions and I don't judge yours. It's between you and the Lord.

I'm sorry if you've come across judgmental, legalistic homeschooling families. I know how you feel. Our family get's judged wrongly, many-a-times from both sides! But that doesn't mean we have to throw the baby out with the bath water.

July 26, 2009 at 9:43 AM

Whoops, sorry for repeating a couple of the things Joshua said...It looks like he submitted his comment while I was writing mine!

July 26, 2009 at 9:51 AM
This comment has been removed by the author.
July 26, 2009 at 2:03 PM

As I'm reading these comments, I have not once found an answer to Daniel's original question: "is it a sin to send your children to public school." It's extremely dangerous and not our place to start calling other people's so called sins. Very interesting how this conversation turned out and really proved to me how dangerous it really is. There is no answer to Daniel's question. God has always treated his people in different and unique ways. He reached John the Baptist differently than he reached Paul who was Saul. God uses any situation. It's not our call.

July 26, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Hey John, I wasn’t going to reply any more at first, but I found a really good verse that I think goes well with this discussion. James 4:17 says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” As I have said in my comments several times and as others have also suggested, no one can judge someone else for why they may do something and call it sin; that is for God to do. I’ll also say this again; the ultimate decision rests between the parents and the Lord and Katie also talked about having humbly knelt before God regarding this decision and seeking His will. According to James 4:17, I would say it is a sin to send your kids to public school IF AND ONLY IF the Lord has shown you that it is not His will for you. If you know that it is wrong and in your heart you feel that public school is not what God wants you to do with your kids, then it is a sin to place them there. If not, it’s not a sin. For me, I feel that if I were to send my kids to public school then I would be sinning because the Lord has shown me that my kids’ education needs to occur in the home. That may not be the case for someone else and though I personally may not agree with it, I still need to respect that decision because it’s not up to me to judge someone else. I have friends/acquaintances that are public schooled and I don’t think they are any less “Christian” for doing so. As Katie talked about, we need to humbly kneel before God in this matter and see where God is leading. If we find His will and go against it, it is at that point that it becomes sin. Does that help answer your question?

July 28, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Hey guys,
I wanted to weigh in on this one. Sorry if some of this is a little repetitive of what's already been said by various others. I think this is an interesting question, and not one that can really, truly be answered. I believe everyone’s situation is different and there can really be no definitive answer. Who's to say who has the means to homeschool and who doesn’t?

My mom started homeschooling me in kindergarten, “out of fear of the public school system.” She then had to put me in public school for various personal reasons. Was she sinning when she put me in public school? Absolutely not! She and I both agree that she would be wrong to have continued homeschooling me, out of fear, at a time when she really couldn’t handle it. Three years later, after praying about it, considering it, and seeing God make things possible super quick, she pulled me out and started homeschooling me again, this time for the right reasons – because she felt God was calling her to homeschool, and even more than that, enabling her to homeschool at that time, and not before.

Another point: different people flourish in different environments. I just graduated from homeschooling and for me, I believe homeschooling was definitely the way to go. My younger sister, who is much more outgoing than I am, homeschooled from kindergarten to 7th grade. Then in 8th grade she, personally, after much prayerful consideration on her part and talks with our parents and other strong, Christian adult mentors, made the decision to go to public school. She says she was called, and that she didn’t want to go to public school, she was terrified of public schoolers, she basically fought God about this. There was absolutely no pushing from my parents. She even laid out a wool fleece for God, testing Him, making sure it was really God saying this, and God answered her with a resounding “yes!”. I believe, if God is telling you to do something, and you refuse, that’s a sin. So, were my parents sinning when they let her go to public school? I don’t think so. They really weren’t so gung-ho about the idea either, but they also felt God was calling her there, and they followed His call. She is going to be a sophomore this school year, and I personally see her growing in her walk with the Lord. As Katie said, she is having to research her faith so that she can
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” - 1st Peter 3:15
I never asked as many deep questions as she asks, and I truly believe God is using this season in her life to help her grow spiritually. As a homeschooler I was never seriously challenged the way she is on a daily basis. I grew up surrounded by Christian friends, and I was lucky enough to be challenged a little by them, but I’ve come to realize this: if a person is continually sheltered from the real world, how will they ever be able to be a light in it? How can there be light, if there is no darkness for it to shine in? We are called to be in the world, not of it, but this doesn’t mean we should shun and condemn the world, as well as isolate ourselves from it.

In her original comment Michelle said “…these kids are in no way strong enough or grounded enough in the Lord to be able to overcome the temptations there!” My response to that is this: if these kids really are seeking God, He gives them this promise.
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will NOT tempt you beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out, so that you can stand up under it.” – 1st Corinthians 10:13
God knows each of our individual limits. He knows our weaknesses and He promises that when Satan tempts us, He will give us an alternative route.

July 28, 2009 at 7:03 PM

This is not to say that every Christian will always see the alternative to sin, but to say that my God is faithful and quick to forgive when I realize my sin and ask for His forgiveness, and most of all, He’s not going to send us into a situation that we can’t handle. As for the kids who “lose their faith” you really have to wonder if they ever had faith in Christ to begin with. Were they really trusting God, or were they living off their parents faith, because that’s what everyone else was doing and, on top of that, their parents expected it from them?

About the whole like-minded people thing, I think the verse this comes from (2nd Corinthians 6:14) can so often be misinterpreted to mean don’t even be friends with a non-believer. Consider, however, who Jesus hung around with. Jesus didn’t hang around with only church people. In fact, he called them hypocrites and rebuked them for their “holier than thou” attitude and sinful ways! We’re talking the Pharisees here, the people who were heading up the church. Instead Jesus hung around sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes because he came to save those who needed saving, and who would be receptive to his salvation. He could never have reached so many people with the good news of his salvation if he had just stayed at church. In the same way, if we as Christians only make friends with Christians, how can we ever even hope to reach people successfully? I hate to break it to you, but going out evangelizing, you’re probably not going to make great life-long friends. Jesus also had these twelve guys who followed him wherever he went: his disciples. These were the people he was fellowshipping with; the ones he was “yoked together” with and with whom he had the closest relationships. In the same way our closest relationships should be formed with Christians of good character, just make sure these are not your only relationships. Jesus loved people to a relationship with himself, he didn’t argue them into belief, nor should we even attempt to. But following Christ’s example we should love them into the kingdom of God.

This brings me to another point: while homeschoolers generally get stereotyped as socially awkward kids who either wear denim jumpers, or do school in their pajamas, we as Christian homeschoolers all too easily fall into the trap of stereotyping all public schoolers as evil punks, when in fact, there are a lot of great kids that go to public schools. I know that most public schoolers are not seeking God, but we can’t stereotype them all like this, without coming off as close-minded, self-righteous goody two shoes without a clue. Just please, don’t generalize them, as it does no one any favors.

July 28, 2009 at 7:04 PM

What it all boils down to is this: for the last few generations our society as a whole had not done a very good job of raising up its kids. (Not generalizing, just stating the facts. Look at the degradation of America, this is not the America that our founding fathers envisioned.) Training up a child begins at home, and all too often parents leave the training up to the public school system, not even realizing that children, and really people in general, are always learning something. The public school did not start out as a bad place. Children used to learn to read using the Bible in public schools. However, some group of people got it into their heads that this was unconstitutional and by using the Bible we were forcing our religion on them. Since then, it’s all gone downhill, but that doesn’t necessarily mean public school is a bad place. God can use places that we consider bad for his good and perfect will. Whether it’s at school, or at home, the training up of a child is never done. The root of the problem lies not in the public school system (although it has a ton of flaws, and is in no way anywhere near perfect), but in the American home. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of families who are doing it right. I would say all of us discussing this have probably all been raised in a good, Christian home. But the majority of Americans leave the teaching of their kids to a corrupt public school system that has, sadly, almost completely abandoned Christian values. But ultimately the problem is with the average American family, not the public school.

I also hope to homeschool my kids when and if I ever have any, but if one of my children was to tell me he/she felt God was calling them to go to public school I would not be able to say “Absolutely, no way!” this whole issue requires, as Katie and Josh both said humbly kneeling before God, and asking His guidance and protection. Just as God calls some to distant lands to be witnesses for Him, He can also call them a little closer to home, to a place such as the public school system.

Also, keep in mind God gifts people differently. Some He calls to teach, and others He does not choose to gift that way. Only He knows why He gifts people certain ways, but if someone was unable to adequately teach their child, wouldn’t that be selling the kid short and not doing justice to the beautiful mind that God gave him/her? Would that be a sin?

Just thought I'd put my two cents in. I think Josh did a pretty good job of explaining it, in much more condensed form than me. Sorry I'm wordy. :)

July 28, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Alexis, I find it kind of confusing that you agreed with Joshua and so strongly disagreed with Michelle, when Joshua and Michelle, in essence, were saying the same thing just in different words...

July 29, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Sorry I was confusing. Looking back I could have made what I meant by that more clear. Basically I think he summed it up pretty nicely in his last post. However, I do disagree with some of the things in his earlier posts. Does that make sense?

Basically I think the conclusion that most of us have come to is this: when considering how to school your children, much prayer is needed.

July 29, 2009 at 11:38 AM

Post a Comment