“To control the future requires the control of education and of the child. Hence, for Christians to tolerate statist education, or to allow their children to be trained thereby, means to renounce power in society, to renounce their children, and to deny Christ’s Lordship over all of life.” ~ R. J. Rushdoony
As the school year begins again, a sad fact remains that too many professing Christians continue to sacrifice their children to a godless education by sending them to public school. Many of these same people bemoan the sorry state of our culture and the fact that the future is not bright. They fail to realize that their lack of obedience to the clear mandates of Scripture is what fuels the continued demise of our society.
In the July/August 2015 issue of Faith for All of Life magazine, Mark Rushdoony points out in “The Legacy of Public Education,” that this legacy has not been positive. He notes that among the byproducts of government education are stagnation, regression, a contempt for liberty, a lack of excellence, ignorance of economics, and the absence of independent thinking. The progressive secularization of the culture results as children systematically are instructed devoid of Christian influence, content, and meaning.
However, the state school’s persistent attack on the family ranks as most detrimental. Rushdoony states,
It is the paternalism of the government educational system that is, perhaps, its most objectionable feature, because it injects a governmental authority into the family regardless of the content of what is taught. When Indian fathers tried to hide their children from their forced deportation to boarding schools they were, at times, tied to a post until the child was surrendered. The issue was one of authority. The government employee of the public school acts as the uber-parent and his responsibility is first and foremost to the government. As I write this, there is news of a Georgia mother of an honor roll student being arrested and placed in shackles because her child had twelve absences, seven more than allowed. When a civil authority becomes tyrannical, the police power then becomes a tool of oppression.
If push comes to shove (as it frequently does these days) the family is always treated as subordinate to the state, who hands the children over to yet another state agency, Child Protective Services. Control is presumed to be the state’s, and the parent must seek its permission to reclaim custody.
The government school, where children are monitored by civil employees, has been the necessary facilitator of this tremendous power grab by the state. Compulsory education has, then, not too surprisingly led to compulsory vaccinations, to mandatory reporting, and to compulsory health care including abortion counseling and services. The state claims increasing authority over the family but does not accept the corresponding responsibility. Over and over we hear complaints of the lack of discipline and delinquency problems in the schools answered by blaming the home: “We got the students this way; it’s not our fault.”
Yet there are those who have not bowed the knee to statism. They are the dedicated families who stand against the intrusion by governmental bureaucracies by assuming their God-given role as the primary educators of their children. Rushdoony points out,
[T]he opposition to the secularists has not been by the large, institutional church, but by individuals and smaller Bible-believing churches. The homeschool movement has demonstrated that there are millions who have not bowed their knee to the Baalim of our day. The dynamic of the Christian resistance to statism is the individuals who have said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” It is likewise with those courageous pastors who sometimes have to fight their own members, church boards, and denominations to proclaim that, not the state, but Christ is King.
The government school has been the single greatest mechanism of America’s degradation, but the answer is not to fight it but to let it die a natural death. Its funding mechanism will continue to fail it.
The fight we face is a positive one for the Kingdom of God and His Christ. If the public schools collapsed today we would have a cultural mess, one comparable to that created by the collapse of the U.S.S.R. We must build for the future, and today we have a core group dedicated to doing just that. There is hope because Christ is on His throne and the Father has promised to put all enemies under His feet. One of those enemies is government education.
When parents provide a truly Christian education for their children, they not only are ensuring that their offspring hear the truth of God’s Word and its applicability to all areas of life and thought, that they preparing them to take their place as cultural ambassadors representing Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. This is the means to a reconstructed society.