Education (part 56)
Experience demonstrates the truth of this folly as Christians have tried to strike a bargain with the world. The thought is that we can give our children a first-class, neutral education and then we can fill in the gaps. America is reaping in its churches and families what it has sown in it compromise with government schools. While there are notable exceptions, we still must ask: are churches and families stronger or weaker in their authority and influence after generations of government education?
Children are easily influenced and must be educated in the context of God's righteous standards. Paul uses the picture of a child when he warns that we are not to be like children, "tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine..." (Eph. 4:14). Jesus taught us, "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher" (Luke 6:4). [What does this say about the teachers of our day?] Nineteenth century theologian, Robert L. Dabney wrote:
As a man, it is presumable he will act as he was taught while a boy. Of course then the grounds of obligation employed with him in school should be the ones he is to recognize in adult life. In the State school a non-Christian standard alone could be given him. He cannot be expected now to rise to any better; he may sink to a lower, seeing the ground then given him had no foundation under it…
In fact, Americans, taken as we find them, who do not get their moral restraints from the Bible, have none. If, in our moral training of the young, we let go the, "Thus saith the Lord," we shall have no hold left. The training which does not base duty on Christianity is, for us, practically immoral.
Consider these admonitions from Dr. Cornelius Van Til:
The first step in making progress in our program of Christian education should be a deepening of our conviction that the program we have set for ourselves must be carried out.
We need ministers who believe in Christian education not only after a fashion but with all the passion of their souls. We need ministers who not only say that Christian education is a nice thing, a sort of luxury, but who say and show with their deeds, that they believe Christian education to be the only education that is fit for a covenant child.
All of us must stand together as one man. In this day when boundaries between the believer and the unbeliever are so generally wiped away we should seek to mark those boundaries anew and mark them well. We should seek to mark these boundaries not with chalk that disappears with the first rainstorm that comes, but we should try to mark these boundaries with indelible ink on the hearts of those who believe.
We not only claim our rightful place among the commonwealths of education but we have a definitely imperialistic program. No mere Monroe doctrine will suffice. We are out to destroy—albeit with spiritual weapons only and always—all our competitors. We do not recognize them as equals but regard them as usurpers. Carthage must be destroyed."