What Happens Without Government Schools?

In a previous post I called for parents (specifically Christian parents) to remove their children from the government school system. I realize that this may be a radical concept for many. Anytime we are confronted with something that is different than what we are used to, we can be tempted to write it off as over-the-top and absurd. One thought that many people might have is this: What would we do without the government school system? I hope to briefly address that question, while pointing you to a resource that will help you think about this in a more in-depth manner.

Civil Government’s Role

First of all, the foundation of this is God’s Word. When we are talking about the government school system, we are talking about the civil government doing something which it has no role doing. Any statistics, emotional appeals, or anecdotal accounts must be subjected to God’s Word. The Bible makes it clear that the role of the civil government is to punish evildoers—”for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well” (1 Peter 2:10)—not education. As Dr. Joel McDurmon says, “In no place in Scripture is it even intimated that civil government should have any hand in this [education] process.”

Did We Always Have Government Schools?

The fact that many people find it so difficult to envision a society in which the civil government is not in charge of education is proof positive that the government school system has failed to teach the true history of this land and the principles of freedom found in the Bible. Once again, I cite McDurmon:

There is no reason why civil government should have education as one of its functions…or even have regulatory oversight over education. In a free society the primary focus of leadership in education would always and only be the family and secondarily the church—and anyone whom the family freely decides to hire. And this is the ideal of freedom that is found both in the Bible and in [the] Christian founding of this land—and through the founding years of American history up until…the 1830’s.

He goes on to note, “In fact, as late as 1860, throughout all the states, there were only about 300 public schools…compared to over 6,000 private institutions—and that’s not including the vast majority, by the way, who were homeschooled.”

Clearly, the idea that we need the government school system is erroneous at best. Not only does God’s Word give no basis for it, but our nation was not founded with it. I urge you to watch Dr. Joel McDurmon’s video on this topic. He explains how it used to be in America and how, contrary to modern opinion, the education was high quality.

What happens without government schools? Ultimately, if we seek to honor God’s Word and limit the civil government to its proper place, the answer is blessing. We cannot continually expect God to bless a system that is doing what He never intended it to do. Are there many more questions that need to be addressed? Yes. Will it take a long time to get rid of the government school system? Most likely. But, for starters, let’s seek to understand our nation’s history and what God’s Word says about this. If you are truly interested in learning more, stay tuned, send me your thoughts, and watch Joel McDurmon’s video.

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An Appeal to Delaware Parents

There was a recent discussion concerning an obscene book in a local public school district (Cape Henlopen). One of our contributors at Restore Kent County has already sent a message to each member of the school board at Cape Henlopen School District urging them to stand by their previous decision to remove this book from the recommended reading list at the school. You can read her letter here (it seems the book will indeed remain off the list, for now). However, this issue raises more serious concerns, especially for parents of students in the government school system in Delaware.

My appeal in this post is to Delaware parents, specifically those parents who profess to be Christians. My plea is for you to remove your children from the government school system as soon as possible. Let me give you three brief reasons for this, along with two viable alternatives.

  1. Parents Are Responsible For Educating Their Children

God’s Word clearly lays the responsibility for educating children on parents. Parents are instructed to bring up their children “in [the] instruction and information of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, GNV). Too often we have relegated the “spiritual duty” of instruction to Christian parents, while giving the secular school system the much broader task of indoctrinating our children with a comprehensive worldview. But all of life is to be brought under the instruction of Christ’s Lordship. Parents are responsible for ensuring that the education their children are receiving is specifically Christ-centered and Christ-exalting. Anything less is to fail at our duty to bring up the next generation. When we allow the government school system to indoctrinate our children with anti-Christian views of history, economics, literature, health, ethics, sexuality, and science (just to name a few), we have effectively given over our children to the state. The home is central in any godly society—a truth that the government school systems are not interested in teaching—and parents must take full responsibility for teaching their children the importance of the home.

There are few statements today about the opportunity and the obligation of a Christian home in a republic. Yet there is no single element in America which contributes more significantly to the success of Christian Constitutional government. It is in the home where the foundations of Christian character are laid. It is in the home where Christian self-government is learned and practiced. Yet, the Christian American who is aware of the particular challenges to America’s Christian character and to the Constitutional form of government still inclines to political education outside the home. Thus, while parents are active politically, educationally, religiously, it becomes necessary for other agencies—the school, the church, the community—to pick up the responsibility for making home the first sphere of government in the republic. Needless to say they cannot substitute what only the home can provide. (Rosalie J. Slater)

Furthermore, education is as much about catching as it is about learning. This is why Jesus said, “The disciple is not above the master: but whosoever will be a perfect disciple, shall be as his master” (Luke 6:40, GNV).

  1. The Public School System is Anti-Christ

All education is essentially religious. If you’re sending your children to the government school system, you are not sending them to a neutral institution. No matter how much we would like to believe that good, godly teachers can salvage the schools (and I do believe there are godly teachers sprinkled throughout), they cannot override the humanist foundations that pervade all such institutions in America. Because all education is essentially religious, operating from a life-and-worldview—and the public school system is operating from a decidedly humanistic worldview—the government school system is indoctrinating children with an anti-Christ religion. American Christians have made a grave error in thinking that education can be neutral.

  1. Immorality Abounds in the Public School System

As is evidenced by the aforementioned controversy concerning a book promoting fornication and homosexuality, the government school system is rife with sexual deviance and illicit content. “Be not deceived: evil speakings corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33, GNV). To think that we can counteract the ungodly influence and indoctrination our children receive for eight hours a day is not wise—it is prideful. While we may like to think that our child’s school is not as bad as the rest, many parents are finding out that no school district is immune from the rotten, corrupt root of secular humanism.

What Can You Do?

In a truly free society, all education would be private—never government-run on any level. Thank God for His mercy because we are able right now to pull our kids out of the anti-Christ government school system. This is something you can do right away. As often as we can, we seek to give practical advice based upon biblical principles—and this is probably the most basic and practical step you can take (if you haven’t already) to honor Christ as a citizen of this state.

You have a couple options:

  1. You can homeschool your children. This is the option my family is taking. It will take some sacrifice and hard work, but it is well worth it. (And the socialization myth is just that, a myth.)
  2. You also have the option of finding (or working to establish) a distinctly Christian school—a school in which all administrators and teachers would be required to confess (and be held accountable to) an orthodox confession of the Reformed Christian faith.

A combination of these two options (depending on age of child) is also a sound route.

For generations before the civil government took over the education system, we had private education here in America. Such a system produced the men who penned our founding documents—academic slouches by no stretch of the imagination. We are now paying (with our tax dollars) for a massive, anti-Christian education system. The first step to be free from this is to remove all our children. We must delegitimize the system and seek to bring about private, Christ-honoring education.

Removing our children from the anti-Christ government schools is by far the most important (and most simple) step in freeing ourselves from the tyranny of an anti-Christ civil government. You may not be able to pull your kids out of the public school system tomorrow, but do everything you can to make this their last year in an anti-Christ institution. I cannot overemphasize the importance of this—the future of our society is being shaped and molded by an ungodly educational system. The sad part is, no one is forcing us to send our children there—we are doing it voluntarily. Maybe it is because fathers and mothers like the idea of “free daycare” and want the mother to have a “career” outside the home. There are others, perhaps, who find themselves in a bind when it comes to determining education options in lieu of the government  school system (single moms, for example)—contact us if you need help thinking of ways to transition your kids out of the government school system. (Also, for a helpful video on this extremely important topic, click here.)

In closing, I am simply making an appeal at this point for parents to remove their children from the government school system. Teachers who are trying to honor Christ in the government school system should do so until they are fired or can no longer stay there with a clear conscience. I would like to see the end of the government school system, but I know that won’t happen overnight. What can happen overnight, however, are Christian parents removing their children from the system. That would be the first step in the right direction. In the meantime, I urge teachers who are still in the system to speak the truth about Christ and call for submission to biblical standards.

The god of the government school

When I briefly wrote on the goals of education, I did so very superficially.  Those goals (along with some other unmentioned ones) are the ones most parents would relate to.  In my last post, I went a little bit deeper, looking at the goals and motives of secular humanists—the movers and shakers behind government schools.  In this post I want to further evaluate why a government education in America is intrinsically a religious, anti-Christ education. 

We need to understand the roots behind our government school system.  Douglas Wilson writes, “Government education in American cannot be understood apart from democracy.  And the rise and fall of secular education in this nation cannot be comprehended without understanding the rise and fall of democracy.”  He goes on:

The nature of this rebellion [i.e. the rebellious idea of government schools] was democracy—the rule of demos, the people.  The people en masse were thought of as having final authority—over traditions, kings, customs, historic loyalties, and churches.  We have grown accustomed to thinking of our democracy as a good thing, and it surprises us to learn that the founding fathers of our nation were deeply suspicious of democracy and tried to place whatever restraints on it they could.  They established a constitutional republic, not a democracy, and it is a sign of our current ignorance that we do not even know the difference between the two.

The government school system is a socialistic system that places faith in man.  The idea is that “all people have a right to an education, and it is robbery to deprive them of it.”  If the state can educate the child in their worldview, he/she will buy into the system and further propagate it.  Government schools have thus become a “central and essential part of the American civil religion.”  There is actually no such thing as secular education.  All education is essentially religious.  As Doug Wilson writes:

Consequently, the attempt to establish secular education was really an attempt to supplant one type of religious education with the education of another competing religion.  The pretense of neutrality was exactly that—a pretense.  God was to be toppled, and a new god, the god demos, was to be honored in His place.  This revolution was possible because the Christians of that time were confused about what was actually happening.  Tragically, this confusion remains with many believers down to the present.

There is no neutrality here.  Your child will either receive an education that honors God or an education that dishonors God.  It is not a question of if the education is based on worshipping something, it is a matter of who will be worshipped.  Man is essentially a worshipping creature.  We will all worship something.  Education is essentialyl about directing that worship.  And our government thinks it a right that every child receive an essentially religious, anti-Christ education.

Undoubtedly, the government school system has some very clear presuppositions and motivations.  The basis of such an “education” is to indoctrinate students with their religious views (the god of demos) and further the state’s goals.  When you look at their abysmal failure in such a basic thing as literacy, you see where their motives lie.  (Not surprisingly to me, our government schools are even horrible at teaching students how to read—if you doubt this, ask me and I will give you the data.)  Instead of trying to address the real issues, they continue to throw money at the problem.  I could go on.

The education (the knowledge, judgments, definitions of maturity, worldview) that a child in a government school receives is all based on these motives.  Humanists think that if children are only educated, then they will be “good citizens.”  If we truly understand the nature of mankind, we will see the flaws of such thinking.  All such education in the government school is education apart from God and Christ.  Therefore, anything learned is learned in the context of suppressing the truth.  If you don’t think this a serious thing, read Romans 1:18-32 and think about what God gives people as a consequence of suppressing the truth.  Here is what Doug Wilson has to say about that:

The system of education we have in this country is unworkable.  Why do we keep trying to make it work?  The answer is that God has turned us over to our folly.  He is the one who gives us statutes that are not good (forced bussing, whole language instruction, Outcome-Based Education, sex education for tots, ad infinitum).  We complain under these judgments, but complaining is not the same as repentance.

By considering what I have written here (and in my previous post), I hope you are being realistic about what sort of education the government school is peddling to our children.  Public education is education for the god demos.  In my next post, I will begin to examine what sort of education we should be giving our children if we are seriously following Jesus Christ in all areas of our lives.

(Note:  All quotes taken from The Case for Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson.  I would be happy if you decided to simply read that book instead of reading my blog posts on the issue of education—he is a very gifted writer and goes into greater detail than I ever could.)

Let’s be honest about government schools…

We should not be ignorant of the underlying motives and ideologies that lie behind the government school system.  To be truth seekers, we must be cognizant of what is going on around us.  The desire to get rid of God and teach “reality” apart from him, known as secular humanism, is central to the main thrust of government schools. 

Secular Humanism is an attempt to function as a civilized society with the exclusion of God and His moral principles.  During the last several decades, Humanists have been very successful in propagating their beliefs.  Their primary approach is to target the youth through the public school system.  Humanist Charles F. Potter writes [in 1933], “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism.  What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?”

John J. Dunphy, also a humanist, wrote the following (in 1983):

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—utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to carry humanist values into wherever they teach.  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.

Well, how have these secular humanists been doing?  Pretty good I’d say.  These two quotes demonstrate remarkably the reality of the government school system.  Every American school is indeed a “school of humanism.”  You may think your child’s public school is “better than the rest,” but it is still, by definition, a school of humanism.  If you are going to send your children to public school, at least be aware that you are giving them over to a system whose underlying motive is to teach contrary to God and his law.  This becomes even clearer when we observe the fact that the government schools have embraced evolution and same-sex “marriage” (along with other sexual immorality).  This is very consistent with their secular humanism.  What you need to realize is that such a worldview affects all of education.  To send a child to a public school is thus to give them a distinctly anti-God education.

So there is an overview of the motives behind the government school system, now let’s briefly consider one aspect of their means:  the 8-hour school day.  Consider the sheer amount of time that the government school system has to make a significant impact on your child.  Monday through Friday, at least half of your child’s waking hours will be spent being indoctrinated with anti-God, humanistic teaching.  That is pretty considerable.  Many Christians seem to think that there is a huge division between that which is “sacred” and that which is “secular.”  This leads them to be more than willing for their kids to spend 40+ hours a week being indoctrinated by secular humanism in the school, but makes them very averse to having their children spend just one night a week worshipping and learning about God with Muslims, or Mormons, for example. 

The government school system is in a great position to influence your children.  Eight hours a day, under the “supervision” of teachers who must teach secular humanism and no morality.  Consider what Tim Conway says about the danger of bad influences on children: 

The Bible says that the good morals that you instill in your children are going to be corrupted by corrupt influences.  And you can say, ‘Well, I regulate that.’  You don’t regulate it for eight hours if you send your children off, outside of your control—and you have to admit you don’t have control…Just because you won’t let them spend the night or run around with the people after school, does not mean for eight hours during the day, five times a week, they’re not being exposed to those influences that you don’t want them to be around outside of school.  And yet they are.  You know they are.

You still may not think it is such a big deal.  For now, at least, know this for certain:  the government schools have an agenda to poison the mind with secular humanism and they have eight hours each day to do so outside of parental control.  If you were mainly sending your children to school for the purpose of anything other than an education then perhaps this would not be so relevant.  Be aware of the motives and the means.