What should the Christian home school movement be doing in the new millennium? First and foremost, it should be reaffirming God's curriculum. If we want to understand what that curriculum is, all we have to do is read Genesis 1:26-28:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.
What does this mean? It means that God created man to be like Him, not to be another god, but to be like God, with creative powers and intelligence that no other creature possessed. The ability to have dominion meant that man would be superior to the animal kingdom, be separate and apart from it, and be able to make use of it for his benefit. To replenish the earth and subdue it meant that man was to become a farmer, a horticulturist, a gardener, a true conservationist. He was to treat the earth as his possession, a gift, to be nurtured, cared for, and from which he could gain nourishment and wealth. He also gave man the power of language, which was not given to any animal. It was the power of language the power of definition that permitted man to take dominion and convert God's raw materials into food, clothing, and shelter.
God then did something quite significant. We read in Genesis 2:19-20:
And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field.
In other words, God made Adam into an observer of the natural world, a scientist, and a lexicographer an expander of language, a maker of dictionaries. This was God's first step in educating Adam, to make sure that Adam knew he was not an animal, that he was apart from the animal kingdom, with gifts that permitted him to dominate the animal world. In other words, man was created by God to be a scientist, explorer, inventor, and educator of his children.
God, in His creative and loving magnanimity, programmed man's brain with the innate faculty of language. That is why every child learns to speak his own language virtually from birth, so that by the time he is ready for some kind of formal education, he has developed a speaking vocabulary in the thousands of words. The gift of language was the necessary and indispensable instrument for dominion.
That, in sum, is God's curriculum, a curriculum profoundly in opposition to the humanist curriculum that now permeates American public education. There has been much talk about what happened at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. The government believes that guns were the cause of the problem and, therefore, the confiscation of all guns in America is their logical solution.
But there is no doubt in my mind that the cause of the murders at Columbine is the Satanic curriculum that still permeates that high school, a curriculum that embraces death education, sex education, multiculturalism, sensitivity training, transcendental meditation, values clarification, drug education, psychotherapy, Eastern religion, suicide education, and, most importantly, evolution. Evolution teaches children that they are animals, that they were not made in the image of God but in the image of a monkey. Why, then, should we be surprised when children begin to act like animals?
What the Christian home school movement must do in the new millennium is exactly what it has been doing since the movement began: reaffirming Biblical religion and morality, maintaining its independence from government, building its strength, educating children with the knowledge that they were made in the image of God, promoting the idea of educational freedom, and producing the future leaders of America.
The Christian home school movement draws its strength, its purpose, its vision from the Bible from Deuteronomy in which parents are commanded to educate their children in the knowledge and admonition of God. It is important to love God but also to fear Him. One of the reasons why so many youngsters today have no fear of authority is because they have no fear of God. Christian home schoolers must transfer the basic precepts of Deuteronomy from one generation to the next. That is the only way that Biblical religion can influence the future. That is why the public schools work so hard to stymie and block that transfer. The humanists do not want Biblical religion to influence the future. They want Biblical religion to be relegated to the dead past, like the dinosaur.
To give you an idea of how deeply the humanists despise Biblical religion, let me quote an essay from the Humanist magazine of January 1983, written by a young humanist scholar by the name of John Dunphy:
I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of educational level preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of love thy neighbor will finally be achieved.
Mr. Dunphy won a prize for that essay. It represents humanist thinking as clearly and bluntly as anyone could state it. The humanists mean business. Read the two Humanist Manifestos if you want to know their complete program. They talk of humankind's future, not just America's future, not just the future of their own children. They're talking about your children and their future. And they're doing a great job of converting lots of Christian children who attend public schools. The two killers at Columbine were converted from their family religions to Satanism. There is hardly a Christian family in America that hasn't lost a child to humanism or Satanism or nihilism.
But thank God, you've removed your children from those proselytizers of the new faith: in which there is no God, no sexual restraints, abortion is allowed and encouraged, morality is situational, ethics are relative. Look at what is going on in today's public schools: the killings, the sexual promiscuity, the drug trafficking, and the suicides. That's what humanism is doing to American youth. The sad thing is that parents, many of whom go to church on Sunday, are letting it happen.
Need I say more about the importance of the Christian home school movement as a positive force for America's future in the new millennium? And that is all the more reason for home schoolers to maintain their independence from government. As you have discovered through your own experience, government is not needed in education. Home schooling parents have proven that they can educate their children very well without government bureaucrats and certified teachers breathing down their necks. They have learned what the early founders of this country knew: that parents, for the most part, are the best educators of their own children.
Now, I must say that there was a time when the public schools did adhere to Biblical morality. For example, when I was in elementary school in New York City in the 1930s, the principal read the Twenty-third Psalm at the opening of each assembly. That reading had a profound effect on me. Most of you know it by heart:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
If children hear that Psalm often enough, and repeat it to themselves, it will leave an indelible impression on their hearts and minds. But a principal in a public school can't read that Psalm or any other Psalm anymore. But home schoolers can. That's the difference. That's the advantage your children have over those trapped in the public schools. And that's why your children can enter the new millennium with a tremendously optimistic view of the future. Their cups run over with the love and protection of God, and the love and protection of their parents. They will walk down the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. How great America would be if all its children were led down that path!
The government schools have been taken over by the enemies of Christianity. They have been taken over by behavioral psychologists. And there's a good reason why Mr. Dunphy wants to start proselytizing the children in preschool day care. The late Benjamin Bloom, behaviorist professor at the University of Chicago, architect of today's public school curriculum known as Outcome Based Education, wrote:
The evidence points out convincingly to the fact that age is a factor operating against attempts to effect a complete or thorough-going reorganization of attitudes and valuesThe evidence collected this far suggests that a single hour of classroom activity under certain conditions may bring about a major reorganization in cognitive as well as affective behaviors.
That is why so many parents, like those at Columbine High School, are at a loss to understand how their perfectly normal children can turn into killers or drug addicts or monstrous rebels. What they don't understand is that today's teachers are spending more time effecting a complete or thoroughgoing reorganization of their children's attitudes and values than teaching them the basic academic skills. Children are no longer students; they are patients undergoing psychotherapy. That's why they emerge from the schools with empty heads and high self-esteem, and hearts full of anger, frustration, and violence.
Now I make these points to strengthen your resolve to resist the pressure from those friends and relatives who think that what you are doing is wrong. As leaders in the Christian home school movement you must also warn home schoolers to beware of what the government schools will offer to get home schooled children back: free computers and books. God's curriculum can only be provided by Christian parents.
And it is important for the home school movement to maintain its independence, for without educational freedom, there will be no freedom for Christians or anybody else in America. Independence permits you to influence America in a Christian way through the education of your children who will absorb your values and pass them on to their own children.
Also, by asserting the independence of the home school movement, you are affirming the fact that education is primarily a parental responsibility. God has given us four forms of government over which He maintains sovereignty: individual government which must obey the Biblical restraints placed on individual behavior; family government which must observe God's laws pertaining to family life, particularly the education of children; church government, which must exist under Biblical precepts; and civil government, which must exercise its powers in accordance with God's law. The civil government may not rule over church government or family government. Yet, today, civil bureaucrats have replaced God's sovereignty with government sovereignty.
The Christian home school movement must become a power that can fight the politicians and legislators who are beholden to the teachers' unions. That means becoming lobbyists in every state legislature and governing entity. In California, it means gaining clout in Sacramento. After all, home schooling parents pay taxes and are voters, too.
Some years ago I advocated creating a Home Education Week in which home schoolers would visit the Governor and State Legislature and give the Representatives and Senators a cherry pie, reminding them of George Washington's legacy and the fact that he was home schooled. That week could also be used to educate the public as to the benefits they derive from home schoolers: lower taxes because home schoolers pay for their own children's education; better behaved children; a safer community; and volunteer services which home schooled children can render the community.
Home schoolers must also get involved in politics, because their freedom depends on what politicians do in the legislatures. There are by now some home schooling dads already sitting in some state legislatures and even the Congress. We need many more of them. Back in the old days there were more farmers in the legislatures than lawyers. Now there are more public school educators in some legislatures than lawyers. It is time for home schoolers to get into the act. Many of you would make wonderful legislators. Politics need not be a dirty business if practiced by believing Christians.
Home schoolers should help those candidates who are sympathetic to home schooling and educate those candidates who know little or nothing about the home school movement. Political activism should be part of your educational program, because it teaches your children how the American government works, and how it can be manipulated by the enemies of Christianity and home schooling.
Also, you should use the new technology to improve the effectiveness of God's curriculum. High literacy and books, of course, come first. Language and literacy are the foundation of computer technology and the Internet. The more literate you are, the better you will be able to use a word processor, desktop publishing, or create your own website. The Internet is proving to be a vital means of communication for home schoolers. Today, I can download tons of information about the home school movement if I want to. It's amazing how much information is now available on the Web.
But don't let that detract you from the task of raising a literate child for whom books, not the Internet, will be their joyful, intimate source of wisdom and literary pleasure. You can curl up with a book whose author speaks to you directly and enters your consciousness and expands your mind. You can't curl up with a computer. The Internet provides information, not wisdom. Get your children to love reading so that they will cherish books and build their own personal libraries.
The home school movement must also produce the leaders of tomorrow. I must give enormous credit to the intelligent vision of Michael Farris, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, who has launched Patrick Henry College. I can't think of a better way to advance the cause of education and freedom in America than by establishing a college where home schoolers can learn the ins and outs of our system of government and go directly to work, helping conservative Congressmen do their jobs better and more effectively. I urge you all to support Patrick Henry College in any way that you can. I predict that in twenty years it will become a strong and vital university, a kind of academic West Point for home schoolers seeking to return the American government to what it once was: a protector of freedom and not a wanton waster of the national treasure, turning the American people into vassals of bureaucratic overlords.
That, in a nutshell, should be the agenda of home schoolers in the new millennium. We stand on the threshold of exciting times, where the call of freedom now seems to be echoing worldwide. Interest in home schooling as an alternative to government coerced brainwashing is spreading across the globe, thanks to what you are doing in America. I have long stopped looking to Washington, or Congress, or a political party to bring America back to its Biblical values. But when I see what Christian home schoolers are doing, one family at a time, one child at a time, to rebuild our Christian heritage, then I realize that that is where the revolution is taking place. The fact that you have separated yourselves from the humanist, statist institution of public education, and proven that you can do a better job than the so-called certified professionals, means that you are the true revolutionaries.
You have risen to the occasion, acting in much the same way that our founding fathers did when they signed the Declaration of Independence and set out to separate themselves from the tyranny of George III. Indeed, the Christian home school movement is entering the new millennium with strength and confidence and determination to do God's work in America.