Sunday, May 14, 2017

Public Education: A Pagan System?

I was talking with friends recently and made reference to our nation’s "pagan indoctrination system," meaning the public schools. Several friends immediately got indignant, wanting to know why I was calling public school teachers "pagan." After all, many of those teachers are hard-working, child-loving people who sacrifice tremendously for the kids in their classes.

I quickly clarified that "pagan system" does not mean "pagan teachers." But I didn’t back down on my original claim – our public schools are a pagan system. Christian teachers are fighting an uphill battle to provide good education in a godless system that fights back against them. Here’s why I say this.

God’s System

When God created the universe, He put certain laws into place. The law of gravity is a good example. You can disagree with it, you can defy it, you can try to work around it, but it’s still there and it still governs the outcome of all our physical actions. Another law God put in place concerning human behavior is that a person who is unfriendly usually winds up with few friends. This God-ordained law is so self-evident that even non-Christians agree it exists.

But there are many other laws of human nature that people try to ignore. Just as there would be chaos and pain from everyone ignoring the law of gravity, we see the chaos and pain in our society from ignoring those God-given laws. One of them concerns raising children.

This law of human nature is that God created the perfect education system in the beginning: Families. When society as a whole operates as a support to parents training their children, that society tends to flourish. When society ignores and usurps the role of parents in their children’s education, that society will likewise see chaos and pain in the outcome.

Nowhere in the Bible do we see God giving authority for children’s education to the government, the community, or the church. But He gives it repeatedly and clearly to parents.

This doesn’t mean that parents don’t need help, encouragement and training in this task. But that’s the key – help parents do the job. Don’t take their job away.

  • Parents naturally have the most vested interest in loving and helping their children to succeed.
  • Parents know their children better than anyone else on earth, including "child education experts." 
  • Parents have the ability to spend one-on-one tutorship time with their children.
  • Parents are uniquely positioned by God to be a child’s best educators. 

Unless, of course, you mess up God’s system.

The Pagan System

Home education, properly supported and encouraged by the state and the civil community, is the best, least expensive, and most efficient way for children to be educated and integrated into the adult world. So there is only one reason why the state would want to interfere and get involved: Power.

He who controls the education process controls the eventual makeup of society. People who want to control society, therefore, have a vested interest in first controlling the education system. It’s interesting to note that every totalitarian dictator in modern history has quickly moved to take over his nation’s school system.

It’s easy to see the outcome of 100+ years of enforced government schooling in our country. We now have a nation that ranks below many other nations in basic academic skills. We have a society that, by and large, believes “diversity” is more important than excellence, so people are hired by race and gender quotas instead of skill level. Our nation is becoming a place where sexual deviancy is not only allowed by law, but encouraged and promoted in every level of society. Our culture believes that parents are outdated and authority is something to be flaunted. And of course, it goes without saying that the Bible is unwelcomed and even banished wherever possible.

Further, we now have a society that has no problem with murdering millions of unborn children. We have a culture that regularly produces teenagers and young adults who go on shooting rampages and commit suicide. We have a country that is narcissistic and materialistic, empty and shallow. Children grow up into adults who have no idea what functioning marriages and families even look like. Family units are disintegrating all around us.

This is the fruit of leaving our education system to be designed by government. This design is not God’s way – it’s the pagan way. And we’re getting pagan results: pain and chaos.

Return to God’s System

When communities and nations practice education using God’s system, blessings follow. It’s simply a law of nature that God put into place when he created the universe.

One of the most bright and shining times in our nation’s history occurred when home education was widely practiced. The Declaration of Independence (the first document of its kind ever produced in history) and the Constitution (which has become a model for nations around the world ever since) were produced by a society that was largely home educated. Missionaries who brought the gospel for the first time to dark places around the world had their start in our home-educated society. The financial foundation of the United States, which has become the wealthiest nation on earth, was formed on principles laid down by largely home educated Americans. Some of the brightest minds, the freest society, and the greatest rags-to-riches stories came from the first 100 years of America’s history – when society was largely home educated.

Using God’s system appears to have worked pretty well in America’s history!

If families were supported in their role of educating their own children, so much of what people complain about today would go away.

1. The quality of education would be far higher.  After all, parents have a much higher vested interest in their children's education, plus they have ability to work one-on-one with each child at the child's own pace. Studies have shown that even poorly educated parents who do very little "educating" still wind up with their kids outperforming institutionalized kids.

2. Diversity and cultural heritage would be preserved. All those cultural traditions that should be passed down through generations will have a much better chance of surviving intact - from religious beliefs to family stories to language to respect for elders.

3. Social responsibility would be much higher. You value what you pay for. When education is "free" you don't value it nearly as much as when you have to put something into it.

4. There would be much more individual independence and courage. Herd mentality or peer pressure or following the crowd - whatever you want to call it - is cut way back when a child is raised among loving family members rather than bullying, critical, immature peers. This has also been demonstrated by studies.

5. Many of today’s health problems would be significantly lessened by children being raised in a calm, loving, supportive home. The fast food diets of many American children stem from constantly being on the run with the schools’ schedules. Parents who prepare all three meals for their children are far likelier to create a healthy menu than school cafeterias. Stress from long schedules, school bullies, and peer pressure would cease to push young people into behavioral problems like ADD and depression.

These are just some of the benefits our nation would gain from going back to God’s model for education.

You can have good people in a bad system. There are many American teachers who genuinely love children and want to give them a good education. But good people in a bad system doesn't make the system good. The system intrinsically works against families and against God’s design for education.

The government, the community and the church were designated by God to provide supporting roles for parents to do their job. They were not given a mandate by God to usurp the parents’ job altogether. Our nation is going to continue experiencing chaos and pain until parents take charge of their own children's education instead of letting the state control it.

Home educating parents can already tell you of the blessings on a small scale that God has given their families when they followed God’s design. We need to pray for those blessings on a large scale for our nation, and work to support and encourage parents to take back their role in their children’s education.

Written by Heather Sheen

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