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Taking the Offensive

By Andrea G. Schwartz
August 06, 2008

During the summer, my husband visits other churches due a conflict between the summer schedule at our church and his work schedule. He repeatedly engages the pastors in discussion when filling out the new visitor card provided asking the question, What is the church’s position regarding parents sending their children to public schools?”

One email response stated,

“At this point the church does not have an official position. Some of our pastors send their kids to public schools, others to Christian schools. It is up to the individual’s conscience and what the Holy Spirit shows them.”

My husband countered,

“I am not surprised by your response. I am concerned, as all Christians should be, with the welfare of the children of Christian households. After all, those who oppose the faith seem to understand that whoever controls the education of the young also controls the future.
Are you familiar with the books of Bruce Shortt or Samuel L. Blumenfeld? Both men have written powerfully on the topic.
If health problems from smoking warrant a warning label on a pack of Camels, then certainly “sin issues” from public schools warrant some direction or warning from the shepherds of the flock. I am assuming many in your congregation have school age children. Therefore, this is not purely an academic exercise.

The response came back,

I appreciate your heart in this matter. We try to keep our parents abreast of what the public schools are teaching and how they might respond. We try to allow room for those who are convicted that their kids need to be separated from such influence and those that feel that it is their job to influence the public schools. Each school and district is different as well as each child. The key, we believe, is teaching our parents to be intentional in their parenting and to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance as to whether they protect their kids from the culture or engage the culture but not be of it. It is not a black and white issue, but definitely needs prayer and education.

My warrior husband persisted:

Thanks for your response.

I am not sure I understand what being an "intentional" parent means in this context. I imagine it might mean to make informed and responsible decisions when these decisions will have a profound effect on one’s child. For the future's sake I hope it is not a shallow out. Lord knows the public schools need missionaries.

I realize many parents feel they have few options and face a desperate situation. As for parents who have other options and still send their children to "engage the culture" in this arena, it is an appalling sin if they are using "the Spirit led me" to cover their negligence. For example, it is really not too different from the husband who says the "spirit" is leading him to divorce his wife (for non Biblical reason.). Children, and their families, going intentionally into such a conflict of faith are likely as rare as they are brave. However, if these parents really mean to send their children in as missionaries what courage they must have -- what incredible faith!

Christian history records many who gave their lives for the faith. It is not always the "safe" or "wise" path that we are called to. Missionaries often face and endure incredible hardships from disease and much more. Those who endure have seen God's hand at work.

I would think these remarkable parents who have been “led” to send their children to public school would likewise have incredible stories to relate as to how their child, often alone, took on the powers of Satan in situations where those in charge had a size, power, age, educational and legal advantage over them. What bravery to challenge those who by the grades they give can seemingly dictate future options for the child.

It must be awesome indeed to be young and in a situation where the “history" books have been revised to exclude, slander or belittle men and women of faith. To be in that position at a young age and to be taught (and graded and tested) as a FACT that we came from a great explosion and somehow life "occurred,” then evolved to our current state, and that the Living God had nothing to do with it. This is a challenge for which many graduate students and tenured professors pale.
Additionally, the indoctrination includes "learning" that families can have two or more dads or moms and that sexual preferences in gender are a matter of opinion. Further, that one can change one’s gender and being sexually active at a young age is normal and healthy. Subjects like how to use a condom, situational ethics, and evolutionary perspectives that we are nothing more than animals and answer to nothing higher than ourselves are standard fare. Having to show up daily to political correctness, the outlawing of the 10 Commandments on school grounds, and making sure that the Bible remains at home because it is a “taboo" book, surely amounts to a considerable burden. And, having to evangelize in the midst of censure if Scripture is quoted on school grounds to the teachers or other children, public thanks rendered to God at a graduation ceremony, or group prayer recited before an athletic event. Realizing that they might need the protection of a lawyer from one of the Christian legal associations for any of the activities listed above truly demonstrates what a tremendous task such families are undertaking!

WHAT COURAGE, WHAT FAITH for such a tender and impressionable age. What sacrifice for parents who launch their young child into this arena (designed by the culture’s brightest minds and darkest souls who hate and despise God) that works tirelessly to undercut the Christian faith and the structure of the Christian family.

I wonder how many “missionary minded” parents actually schedule the time to equip their children to evangelize the lost in the midst of homework assignments, sports teams, music lessons, dinner preparation, shopping etc. etc. and effectively counter the poison that they’ve been fed all day long?

It’s time that those of us who “get it” to challenge our brothers and sisters who apparently don’t. The best missionaries will be those children who are taught from a young age that every area of life and thought is subject to our Creator/Savior. Then after they've been given a truly Christian education (in all subjects) will they be ready to engage the culture, qualified to do so. Would we let grammar school and high school aged students perform cancer surgery? Why then do we assume that they are equipped to sever others from the carcinogenic hold of sin?


Topics: Church, The, Dominion, Education, Family & Marriage

Andrea G. Schwartz

Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven FamilyThe Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your HouseholdEmpowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom ServiceWoman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected]

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