Homeschooling. So Great a Salvation?

Share

educationIt might be amusing to some (and disconcerting to others) to know what happens behind the scenes here on PS23. My Facebook messenger feed is virtually continuously buzzing from conversation, ranging from what’s new in theology, politics, current events, church life, and what my wife cooked for dinner. The latter inevitably morphs into a conversation about food, and the proper preparation thereof (especially as it relates to BBQ or coffee). Disagreement will exist, and then the expected “sticker war” (Who knew that language is de-evolutionizing to pictography? For that we might have our degrees revoked). But there’s more than just fun to our PS23 thread. We also challenge each other’s thinking, think through issues, and every now and then, “assign” a subject to, well… whoever gets stuck with it.

facebook stickers

That’s not what happened this time.

I volunteered… not because I thought I’d do the best job, au contraire! I volunteered because this is a subject very dear and personal to me, and while I am confident that there are other contributors on our blog who could write more adequately on the subject, I simply wanted the opportunity to work through it.

I have beloved friends on both sides of the issue. I’ve had the unique opportunity to have worked in all three educational environments, public school, Christian school, and home-school. I know friends who were brought up under varying philosophies of education, but who hasn’t? That is hardly substantiation that I can speak authoritatively to the issue.

Where I can speak authoritatively, however, is when I rightly divide the Word of God. I take the reality that when we speak we “speak as those who speak God’s words” very seriously (1 Pet. 4:11). That means where God’s words, go, I go. Where His words stop, I stop. But many forsake the same consideration when they address the emotionally charged subject of homeschooling. In fact, the issue has divided many a church – to the point that an entire movement has been born to promote a specific philosophy of education over another (something R.C. Sproul warns against here).

It goes both ways.

I once heard of a now-pastor who assertively told his classmates a few years ago, “I personally don’t think you can be home-schooled and be a Christian.” I searched all over the place in the Bible for where it said that… and I finally found it – in My Opinion 3:16. Actually, that kind of attitude is rank legalism of the worst kind. There are so many problems with the ridiculousness of that kind of assertion that it’s not even worth going there.

But there is another form of legalism of late, more subtle, but equally condemning.

It’s poised in the question, “Do you home-school?”

Now, if that question is being asked out of sincere curiosity, I have no objection. I have no problem with home-schooling per se. As I said, I have very dear friends who home-school their children, and they’ve done an outstanding job. But I also have friends who home-school and they’ve done a terrible job, whether at actually educating (it gets harder when the kids’ get older), or fulfilling other God-mandated responsibilities (such as a husband’s responsibilities to his wife or a wife to her husband’s) or in serving the church (FYI, volunteering your time in your Christian co-op is not the same as serving your church, and having “church” with your family doesn’t amount to fellowship with the body of Christ either).

Where I have objection is when home-schooling is imposed on other parents as though it were a biblical mandate. In many situations, parents who home-school put pressure, even tremendous pressure on parents who don’t as though home-schooling is the final solution to their child’s sinful heart. Others generate a culture of fear… “If you don’t home-school, don’t you know what will happen to your children?” It’s even worse when it’s picked up from an overheard conversation. “Did you hear about so-and-so’s kid? Well, you know that would never have happened if they home-schooled.” It’s also bad… and I might even say really REALLY bad, when a child is experiencing bullying for maintaining his/her convictions and testimony in a public school environment, and the parents are told that they need to get their kid outta school pronto or said child might be permanently scarred for life.

Now, many home-school families with good theology cringe when they hear those sorts of objections, and rightly so! It’s indicative of HORRIFICALLY bad theology! And they hate getting lumped in the same group. I would too. However, such families are the exception to the rule. For instance, I remember attending a Christian home-school conference of about 2,000 or 3,000 people and the attitude was pervasive, so much so that when one of the keynote speakers (a big time advocate of homeschooling and the FIC movement himself) tried to confront some of these attitudes, parents literally stood up in infuriated objection that it was actually a problem.

I remember another discussion between a seasoned pastor and a lay-elder, holding a conversation much like the one presented above. “What did they think would happen when they sent their kid to public school!?” said the pastor. The irony was that the lay-elder sent all four of his children to public school and three of the four served in full-time vocational ministry while the other served as a lay-teacher in his church. dispicable me stickerAnd yet, the pastor home-schooled his children, but they walked away from the faith and three of them had children out of wed-lock. Is that indicative of a wide-spread problem? I think so, and I think that it exposes some of the nature of the problem, which is why home-schooling is just as dangerous as Christian or public school education.

Not only that, but in some instances, home-schooling is actually presented as a biblical mandate. Those kinds of conclusions are the consequence of an immature faith, and bad hermeneutic.

So, in the coming weeks, I wish to evaluate home-schooling from a biblical perspective – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to take a hard look at many of the verses used to promote home-schooling, and even the erroneous theology and presuppositions that are often present as well. I have two weeks ’til then, so I value your input and contributions on the subject in the meantime!

Share
  • acha648

    for most of history most humans were homeschooled…

    only now do we send ours kids to schools where they are taught to submit to the devil
    this ain’t the 1800’s

    schools exist as a means of satanic indoctrination

    is it legalism to say one should not send their kids to public school in a Nazi Germany like state?

    is it legalism to say genuine christians would be wise to not send their kids to swedish schools where from age 3 they are taught that there is no difference between male and female?

    please…

    • Can’t say I agree with a lot of your assertions… “for most of history most humans were home-schooled.” That’s factually not true since for most of history they weren’t “educated” in the manner that we are speaking. Additionally, they were also often sent out of the home to work, or do apprenticeship. In Israel, children were sent to synagogues to be educated (which included Jesus).

      “Schools exist as a means of satanic indoctrination…” A bit of an overstatement isn’t it? Contemporary education as it exists is actually a direct result of the Reformation – the Reformers, who established schools so children could read their Bibles, understand God, and work for His glory. This doesn’t deny the reality that public schools teach Satanic ethics, but the question at hand is, how should we respond?

      Are you inferring that we are actually in a Nazi Germany-like state? Perhaps in the future we will be, but certainly not in the education system at large in the States.

      “Is it legalism to say… between male and female?” Of course not. But is it legalism to say it is sinful to send your children to public school? Or Christian school? Besides, that’s the nature of this post. My intention is to point out that we need to understand that homeschooling will not save, but we still need to aggressively pursue our children’s hearts with the Gospel as Bridget has shown she does by her comments above, and that parents have the liberty to evaluate what is best for their children in training them to fear the Lord. It just might happen, that a good way to do that would be to shepherd them through a system that is hostile to Christianity while they still live under your household in order to prepare them for when they enter the working world or higher education. At the very least, that’s worthy of consideration.

      Colossians 4:6; Ephesians 4:29

      • acha648

        the parents took responsibility for educating their kids for most of history

        sending them to a third party was a new thing

        and since when did home schooling mean kids do not work or go out of the home?

        Overstatement?

        The education department promotes murder of the unborn
        genderless marriages
        sex changes
        soon genderless toilets
        homosexuality
        fornication

        and ensures this is taught to all kids
        to say they are not satanic is an understatement….

        and if you are fine with sending your kids to be taught a satanic curriculum by a third party

        you surely must be fine sending your kids to say a Nazi school, if you were living in Germany

        of course homeschooling will not save
        no human system saves

        God saves

        but that is Gospel 101
        we sinful humans can do nothing to save us or others

        legalism?
        so you do not think it is sinful to send your kids to be taught to
        rebel against the bible
        rebel against parents
        support murder
        rebel against Gender roles
        rebel against sexual morality

        so you want your kids to conform to the sinful ” working world”
        or conform to enter sinful ” higher education”

        education is key to establishing one’s life

        let us not pretend that teaching your kids that sin is okay is not in contradiction with Godly Fatherhood

        if one is willing to subject their kids to a certain sinful teaching
        the should be willing to subject their kids to another sinful teaching ( genocide etc)

        as all sin, is sin in God’s eyes

        does the father give his child a stone when he asks for bread?

        looks like you want to endorse the giving of stones ( or vipers in this case) to your child
        so they can learn to live as a viper among the vipers of the working world

        • Jason

          Here’s a picture of Matt and his kid’s school. 🙂

          • acha648

            you guys are way wiser
            and far more educated than I am

            However I do see an inconsistency

            Christians are so opposed to Sharia Law
            opposed to the islamic state
            why?
            If you are willing to send your child to be taught by individuals that endorse murder of the unborn
            you should be willing to send your child to schools that teach and endorse sharia law
            say a school run by Isis?

            we have to be logical and consistent

            it is interesting that other religions that worship false Gods are more serious about how their children are taught than Christians
            take India for example
            80% Hindu
            11% Muslim

            Muslims refuse to send their kids to Hindu schools
            All boys are also sent on saturday to be taught by their religious leaders

            no compromise
            even though adapting and learning to compromise with Hindu’s will enable them to live better and enable them in the WORKING WORLD

            but they don’t care
            they are more concerned about molding their kids with their God’s teaching
            than adapting to this sinful world

            so if you are fine with sending kids to schools teaching your kids that murdering unborn individuals is a right
            you also should be fine with sending your kids to schools teaching that
            it is okay to beat up your wife
            one must murder those who do not believe our religion
            etc

            both murder of the unborn and murdering others are sins

            be consistent…

          • You missed the point of Jason’s satire.

        • Colossians 4:6; Ephesians 4:29

  • Bridget Kephart Stone

    Well, this is a hot topic among Christians today. I for one never
    envisioned myself homeschooling when I first became a parent simply
    because of the evangelistic passion the Lord has given me. However, as
    my children got closer to school age and I was working in the public
    school part-time as a social worker, God began to change my heart on
    where they would soon attend school. My first thoughts were by high
    school they will have to be in Christian school b/c of the anti-Biblical
    agendas and attitudes that were be taught and practiced by teachers and
    students. So, the time came for my first to go to school. She went to
    kindergarten in our public school. It was fine, however, b/c of my
    employment i the school I was privy to some of the inappropriate
    nonsense that went on in her classroom, such as a fellow student
    flipping the desk and screaming profanities on several occasions. The
    child lived with grandma b/c parents were in jail and on drugs….common
    theme today. She finished the year and we prayerfully decided to send
    her to a Christian school for 1st grade. I then had to work full time to
    make up the tuition difference. This also ended not as I envisioned b/c
    this school not only had “Christian” students but those who were kicked
    out of public school as well! There was however one like minded teacher
    in that school who I got to know. She knew my heart’s desire was to
    raise godly children. She told me they would not get what they needed at
    this school b/c not everyone had the same passion for teaching God’s
    Word and investing His Word into their lives. She suggested
    homeschooling! I was shocked! Never did I consider this option, nor did
    my husband. However, both of us wanted to submit to God’s will and we
    began to pray that summer before 2nd grade. Btw my daughter did finish
    1st grade at that school. We never acted in fear in our choices, but
    prayerfully looked to the Lord for direction. I knew I could not take on
    this endeavor without my husband’s support and I decided he was the one
    to make the final decision as leader of our home even if I didn’t
    agree. As summer closed, he told me that he wanted to go forward with
    homeschooling and we would reevaluate every year. Well, all I can say 7
    years later is what complete blessing and privilege to be a homeschool
    mom! Not only have my children thrived academically, but spiritually I
    have been privileged to have ALL day with them feeding them the only
    TRUTH that matters in this life! We start with Bible and throughout the
    day pray for needs of others, search the scriptures when conflicts
    arise, encourage each other in the Word, etc. I for one went to public
    school and was not raised in a Christian home, but by the grace of God I
    am saved! Homeschooling is clearly not the way to salvation. Can you
    homeschool and have unregenerate, rebellious children…yes. Can you do
    public school and have children in ministry…yes. God is the one who
    calls and saves not man. BUT, what a difference it would have made in my
    life had my parents raised in the Word and homeschooled…..I wouldn’t
    have all the “baggage” and “scars” of a sin filled environment. Has the
    Lord healed me, cleansed,me and freed me of the past…yes and AMEN!
    But, I am called first to serve and love God, then my husband, then my
    children, then church ministries and evangelism of the lost. The
    greatest ministry to my children is to teach them minute by minute.
    After year 2 or 3 we knew this was not longer a yearly evaluation but a
    lifelong commitment. Now for Scriptures….Deut 6:6-9; Jeremiah 10:2;
    Proverbs 13:20; 1 Cor. 15:33; Psalm 119:97-104; Psalm 1; Romans 12:1-2,
    just off the top of my head. In conclusion, is homeschooling for every
    Christian…not sure about that. But, what I will say is I completely
    believe that having a child home gives parents the opportunity to invest
    or sow God’s Word into their lives in a far larger capacity rather than
    at the end of a long school day with lots of homeschool, tired, hungry
    kids and baths then bedtime. Do I think your house needs to be order to
    take this plunge into homeschooling…I think yes. Be a good steward and
    manage your money so you can live on your husband’s income, discipline
    and train your children in love when they are young 2yrs and up in
    obedience to the Word so when they are school age they will continue to
    obey as you teach them, wives manage your homes well (Proverbs 31:27),
    serve and respect your husbands, submit to them, etc Do things have to
    perfect to start this homeschooling journey…no! We will never be
    perfect until glory, but if the Lord is calling you to homeschool is
    this a biblical endeavor…yes! John 15:5 was my “mission verse” when i
    started….as I remain in Christ, keeping God first I would bear fruit.
    We have to be realistic when we look at what is going on in public
    schools today…they are flooding our children’s minds with anti-God
    propaganda. I will close with Number 11…the Israelites are complaining
    and just witnessed God’s wrath as He consumed some of them with fire.
    Moses pray and fire was quenched. 11:1-3 Then verse 4 says “Now the
    mixed multitude who were among them yielded to the intense craving, so
    the children of Israel also wept again…” Oh boy! They just saw with
    their eyes the wrath of God b/c of their complaining. Then pleading with
    Moses to pray for God to stop the fire. And the next verse the
    “mixed-multitude” (defined as non-Israelites that came from Egypt with
    them) yield to the intense craving and then follows God’s chosen people! I think an application from this passage is obvious….that the mixed-multitude’s influence is powerful. That is why I choose to homeschool 🙂

    • Great Bridget! This is VERY thorough and well thought out! So far as I have observed, you and your husband are doing an excellent job raising your children! Thanks for putting your time into this!

  • Pingback: The Bad Fruit Of The FIC Movement - ParkingSpace23ParkingSpace23()