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Train Up a Child

Our children belong to the Lord, and they must be reared and educated in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony,
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California Farmer 250:7 (Apr. 7, 1979), p. 30.

When Ben-hadad, King of Syria, invaded Israel with a great army, he surrounded and besieged the capital, Samaria. King Ahab was cooped up within the walls with only 7,000 fighting men.

Ben-hadad then laid down the terms of surrender: the gold, silver, wives, and children of Ahab had to be delivered to him. The purpose of this demand was this: the surrender of wealth would leave Israel helpless in terms of future resistance. The surrender of the wives would humiliate Ahab before his people and break his power. But the final and greatest demand was for the surrender of his children. This was common in antiquity and into modern times. The children would be taken for re-education in terms of an alien faith and morality. When they were returned to succeed to the throne or authority, they often served an alien power.

When Prussia established state-controlled education, its purpose was similar. The modern mood was leading the common man to question the powers that be, and man was becoming a problem to the state. How to control the people was thus the greatest question. One solution was to build straight streets over which cavalry could readily charge, and which cannons could sweep, in order to prevent popular resistance. Another solution was to take over schools from the churches and use them to brainwash future generations. James G. Carter, Horace Mann’s associate, openly stated that the goal of state control of education is people-control.

Children thus become alienated from their families and the faith. Conflict between teenagers and parents is a very modern phenomena, unknown previously except in rare cases. It is a product of anti-family education.

One of the reactions to this has been the rapid growth of Christian schools. Proverbs 22:6 declares, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This is a God-ordained responsibility. Our children belong to the Lord, and they must be reared and educated in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


R. J. Rushdoony
  • R. J. Rushdoony

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965. His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.” He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

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