The Bible & Education

From discoverchristianschools.com.

What the Bible Says About Education

          The first part of this answer has to do with the role of the parent. The parent is the God-appointed leader and teacher of a child. This should come as no surprise to anyone, including a non-Christian. The overwhelming task of raising a child is in the hands of the parents.

          Ps. 127:3: “Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.”

          Eph. 6:4: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

          But teach them what? Clearly, God has a great deal to say about this. And before that question is answered, another /files/Images/Photos/200324858-001.jpgmust be dealt with: “What or who is the most important thing or person for the child to know?” The answer is, “God is the most important person for a child to know.” The goal of Christian parents is for their child to know God in a personal way and to know all about God. Nothing could be more important.

          With those two simple facts in place as the foundation of our discussion, we can now look at what God has to say more specifically. God says that the education of children and youth is a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week process that must take place from birth through maturity. Note the Deuteronomy passage below and the context. God is instructing His people how to live as they prepare to go into the Promised Land. Critical to the life and health of His people is the teaching of the Word of God by parents on a daily basis in every situation.          Deut. 11:18-21: “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking /files/Images/Photos/200325696-001.jpgabout them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”

          Proverbs 22:6: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

          As you can see above, the education of children and youth must be based on God’s Word as absolute truth.

          Matthew 24:35: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

          Psalm 119:89: “Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”

Big Ideas to Consider:

1. There are basically two kingdoms: a kingdom of light and a kingdom of darkness. It seems strange to have those who walk in darkness educate children of light. It doesn’t fit.

2. If Jesus Christ is Lord, then He is Lord of all. We cannot divide things into secular and sacred.

3. All truth is God’s truth, and God’s Word sheds light on our path. Only in His light can we see light. Education is not focused on possibilities but on certainties found in God’s Word.

4. Deuteronomy 6 tells parents that, in all they do, they should provide a godly education 24/7.

5. Three key institutions that shape a child are the home, the church and the school. Children are served best when all three institutions point them in the same direction.

6. Only an education that has the liberty to address the whole child — social, intellectual, emotional, physical AND spiritual — reaches the possibility of excellence.

7. The best preparation for effective service is to be well grounded in one’s mind before direct engagement of the culture.

Is There A Difference Between Public and Christian Education?

 

You already know the short answer to this question.  You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t.  But what are the differences?  How far-reaching are they, and how might they affect your children?  These are the real questions, and we’ll attempt to answer them here.  

 

 

The Myth of Neutral Education

 

Most educators, and far too many parents, have bought into the myth that education can be “religion-neutral.”  They’re convinced that teachers can train the mind without shaping attitudes, behavior or spiritual beliefs.

          The company line goes something like this: government schools will supply the raw data — the “neutral” facts — and parents can add the value system at home.  

 

Here’s the problem.  Even in schools that try their level best to achieve academic objectivity — and there are precious few of them — the goal is never reached, because neutral education is impossible. 

 

In Romans 12:2, Paul observes the vital link between what we learn and what we become.  All of us, your children

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

included, are transformed by the renewing of our minds, a task made impossible when the primary impetus for that renewal — the Bible — is either not taught at all, or else reduced to a history book.

 

“The school system that ignores God teaches its pupils to ignore God,” writes Gordon Clark.  “This is not neutrality.  It is the worst form of antagonism, for it judges God to be unimportant and irrelevant in human affairs.  This is atheism.”

 

The Agony of Apathy

 

For argument’s sake, let’s say that educational neutrality is possible; that teachers can create a sterile environment — an educational vacuum, if you will — in which

“In just one generation, most Christian students will graduate from (public) high school and begin their lives operating from a pagan worldview.”

The Nehemiah Institute

the mind is stimulated while the spirit remains unaffected. Even if a school could achieve that end, the Bible clearly urges you not to send your children there.  In fact, the strongest indictment against neutrality comes from Jesus Himself.

 

“He who is not with me is against me,” He said (Matthew 12:30 ).  Schools that strive for neutrality are nothing more than apathetic or lukewarm.  And when you place your children in that kind of environment, you’re sending them to an institution that, in the Lord’s own words, should be considered an enemy.

 

It’s worth noting that the founders of America ’s public school system, John Dewey and Horace Mann, openly

Only 9% of born-again teens believe in moral absolutes.  Where are they being fed the truth-is-relative propaganda?  Public schools.

The Barna Research Group

expressed their hatred of Christianity.  They freely admitted to being “against” Jesus.  But even when public schools try to straddle the religious fence, they always fall down.  And they always land on the side opposite God. 

 

This can’t help but have an adverse affect on your children.  If you administer healthy amounts of damage control, you may be able to reduce the negative impact.  But you’ll never eliminate it.  Because when fable replaces fact in the classroom, when relativism replaces absolutism, it not only dishonors and displeases the Creator.  It deceives those who follow Him, all the more when the recipients of such propaganda are young, impressionable students.

  

Two Kinds of Builders

 

Jesus placed all builders into one of two groups; those who build on a solid foundation and those who don’t.  Herein lies the primary difference between Christian and public

“An education that trains the mind without training the moral sense is a menace to civilization rather than a help.”

J. Gresham Machen

education.  One builds its academic house on the unwavering truths of God’s Word; the other on the shifting sand of moral relativism. 

 

The results are predictable enough.  Christian schools teach students to understand and live all of life with an eternal perspective, while maintaining a daily, personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

 

Government schools, on the other hand, teach children that God is either irrelevant or non-existent.  Jesus Christ, if mentioned at all, is said to be nothing more than a good, moral teacher.

 

From these philosophical differences spring forth many practical ones.  For example, public schools teach young people that man landed on the moon.  But Christian students learn that space travel would have been impossible unless both man and space had been created.

 

These disparities are significant, but at the end of the day they all stem from a foundational difference of opinion.  By sending your children to a Christian school, you’ll be moving them into a house built on a foundation of absolute truth instead of absolute relativism.  And years from now, when the strong winds of life blow in, that strong foundation, together with your own positive influence, will combine to help keep your children from falling, and in the end, to stand.

 

“For over one hundred years, Americans have been running a gigantic experiment in government schools, trying to find out what a society looks like without God.  Now we know.”

Douglas Wilson, author of Excused Absence

Why Should I consider

Christian education?

Ten Reasons Why You Need To Pray About It Today.

 

             Finances.  Location.  Perceived academic deficiencies.  These are just some of the reasons parents spurn Christian education in favor of its public school counterpart.  We’ve addressed these and other concerns on our “FAQs” page.  (Click here to read about some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Christian education.)  But here we’d like to offer you ten solid arguments in favor of Christian education.  There are plenty of others, both biblical and practical.  But these are the most compelling. 

 

 

1.  God’s Word is taught

 

The place to start is at the beginning, with the first nation, the first educational system.  When deciding how to manage your children’s education, it only makes sense to ask the One who invented education.

 

“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul …. And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.”  (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)

 

What we have here is a clear biblical mandate to saturate our children’s minds with the Word of God.  It’s a difficult task under any circumstances, but virtually impossible in a public school setting.  Once

“I advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount.  Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt…I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of youth.”

Martin Luther

inside those doors, children spend 30 to 40 hours a week being told that God, if He exists at all, is no longer relevant.  No matter how spiritually grounded your child may be, the repetition of such destructive ideas can’t help but have an adverse affect.

 

The harsh reality is that our Supreme Court kicked God out of the public school system more than 40 years ago.  A generation later, scientific naturalism and a host of other anti-God values are not only being taught in American classrooms, they’re being championed.

 

Christian schools offer a refreshing, biblical alternative.  Not only is the Bible taught for what it is – the inspired Word of God – but it forms the foundation of all other texts.  In math, in social studies, in biology, all academic roads lead to God, in whom all knowledge has its origin.  Your children won’t travel that road in the local public school.   

 2.  God commands us to teach kids through the Word

 It’s a sad but true irony: public schools, the self-proclaimed shapers of the human mind, have chosen to ignore the God who created the human mind.  To their chagrin, they have robbed themselves of their most valuable “textbook,” and the only available source of absolute truth.

 

 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” writes Solomon.  “And knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10 ).  As students pursue the knowledge of math, biology and music in

“The school system that ignores God teaches its pupils to ignore God; and this is not neutrality.  It is the worst form of antagonism, for it judges God to be unimportant and irrelevant in human affairs.  This is atheism.”

Gordon H. Clark

a Christian setting, they’re chasing after the knowledge of God.  And the by-products of such an endeavor – wisdom and understanding – are the God-given rewards for which every good student strives.

 

God expects you, as a Christian parent, to plant and nurture His Word in the hearts and minds of your children.  This is best accomplished in settings where home, church and school all send the same message, teaching God’s truth with clarity, conviction and consistency.  And while the benefits of such a commitment are often realized much later, here’s one you’ll notice in relatively short order.  An education that uses God’s Word as its foundational text does more than produce spiritually-mature Christians.  It makes them wiser and more knowledgeable.  It forces them to be better thinkers.  And isn’t that the goal of education in the first place?

 

 3.  The school shares your values

If you’re like most Christian parents, you’ve taught your children about God since the day they were born.  You’ve taken them to church, read them Bible stories, sung “Jesus Loves Me.”  Imagine their shock and dismay when they’re thrust into an environment in which God is hated, ignored, or both.

 

Even the best public schools are prohibited by law from reinforcing the values you teach at home.  They either compete against

“To commit our children to the care of irreligious persons is to commit lambs to the superintendency of wolves.”

Timothy Dwight

them or disregard them altogether.  And because you care about the mental and spiritual development of your children, you may spend countless hours trying to bridge the philosophical gap between Christianity and humanism – a gap that would never have existed had they attended Christian school. 

 

By entrusting your children to educators who share your values, you’ll have more time for ball games and bike rides and meaningful conversations.  Instead of debriefing your children, you’ll be getting to know them.

 

4.  Safety

 With thousands of students roaming their halls and taxpayer dollars funding their bankrolls, public schools can only go so far in the area of discipline.  The result?  More frequent occurrences of theft and physical violence, not to mention course profanity and open rebellion in the classroom. 

   

Simply put, Christian schools are a safer place for your children

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonistion of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

to receive an education.  While not devoid of problems – even severe ones like drug and alcohol use – they are far less likely to occur, and far more likely to be met with firm disciplinary action.

 

In addition to physical well-being, Christian schools offer a much safer emotional and spiritual environment.  Verbal insults and hazing, things that go largely overlooked in a public school setting, are less likely to be tolerated.  And the politically-correct, socially-tolerant attitudes that pervade secular classrooms never see the light of day at distinctly Christian institutions.  Anti-Christian behavior such as homosexuality and abortion is exposed for what it is, which helps guard your children’s minds against the licentious attitudes fostered by popular education.

  

5.  Academic Achievement

 Contrary to popular opinion, students at Christian schools consistently out-perform their public school counterparts.  Their standardized test scores are way above the curve, and they’re better prepared for college upon graduation.  Even in the areas of math and reading, subjects that are “less spiritual” in content, students at Christian schools have proven their superiority. 

 

The sad truth is, despite their claims of excellence, our nation’s public schools are far less academically rigorous than they once were.  Only 67 percent of all public school students entering ninth grade

“A truly Christian education is possible only when Christian education underlies not a part, but all, of the curriculum of the school.  True learning and true piety go hand in hand, and Christianity embraces the whole of life – those are great central convictions that underlie the Christian school.”

J. Gresham Machen

graduate with a regular diploma four years later.  United States competency in math and science lags behind a host of other countries.  And despite the vast amounts of government money being funneled to public education, our SAT scores continue to slip. 

 

Christian schools are far from an academic liability.  In fact, in the aftermath of 2002’s “No Child Left Behind” Act, college recruiters are more likely to view public school transcripts with a skeptical eye.  The best colleges are likely to pay your children more attention, not less, if they attend a Christian school.  For more information, including some test score numbers that may surprise you, click here   

6.  Teachers love and fear the Lord

            Part of the reason why Christian students perform so well in the classroom is that they have a higher percentage of teachers who genuinely care about them.  Most of these dedicated men and women sacrifice greater monetary rewards to serve where they can do the most intrinsic good.

 

In addition to the passion they feel for their students, the vast majority of Christian educators love God with equal in

“For by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory” (Proverbs 24:6).

tensity.  And unlike some of their well-meaning public school colleagues, they are not prohibited by the United States government from making overt claims to that effect.

 

Teachers are a school’s heartbeat.  Its pulse.  They are also among the most influential role models in students’ lives.  And while you can certainly find Christian educators at a public school, the best of all academic worlds exists when everyone – the school board, the principle, the teachers and the parents – is operating under the same educational paradigm. 

  

7.  Individual Attention

 In addition to having a higher percentage of caring teachers, Christian schools can almost always offer more individual attention than public schools, many of which are overcrowded and hopelessly understaffed. 

 

Even in cases where the ratio is virtually identical, class size is not.  Christian school classes generally have fewer students.  They’re smaller, more intimate gatherings that encourage students to be participants rather than spectators.  Students learn how to think quickly, and gain valuable experience sharing their thoughts and opinions in a public forum.

 

“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

  

8.  Success after graduation

 Because Christian school students perform at a higher level in the classroom than their public school counterparts, it only makes sense that their options upon graduation are more abundant.  Therefore, they are more likely to be better prepared to handle the rigors of higher education.  They have also received the spiritual foundation they need to excel in areas of ministry, whether they are career or volunteer-oriented.

 

In addition to these practical advantages, there is at least one intangible benefit.  Students who have been grounded in the truth of God’s

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Word day after day during their formative years – both at school and at home – are better-equipped to handle discrepant ideas upon graduation.  Whether in a secular university or in the work place, young adults with a solid biblical foundation are far less likely to fall victim to the subtle lies of our post-modern culture.

            The question remains however, how do you define success?  Does success equal an Ivy League education for your child, or a certain salary level, or even a prestigious title?  Then again, how does God measure success?  A healthy marriage?  An understanding of biblical truth?  These are important issues to pray about.  

 

9.  Peer Pressure

 If only the Bible had told us that good company improves bad morals, many of us would have a welcome reprieve.  Unfortunately, the opposite is true.  Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33 ), the Apostle Paul tells us, and we can assume he was writing to a predominantly adult audience.  You can imagine what he might say to a

“Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

group of impressionable children and young teens. 

 

Make no mistake: your kids will be exposed to bad company no matter where they go to school.  Sometimes they may even be the bad company.  But in a Christian environment, they’ll be much less likely to find themselves surrounded by destructive influences, and far more likely to find positive ones. 

             

10.  The State of Public Education

 One final reason to consider Christian schools can be found by taking an even closer look at the alternative.  If you study the origin and history of modern government-sponsored education, you’ll find some

“The United States system of national popular education will be the most efficient and wide instrument for the propagation of Atheism which the world has ever seen.”

A. A. Hodge

alarming facts.  Its founders were atheists whose hatred of Christianity is a matter of public record.  Its current agenda – the propagation of humanistic ideals that render God irrelevant or non-existent – can be easily spotted in its curriculum.  

 

The Nehemiah Institute has put together a list of nine reasons why Christians shouldn’t place their children in secular academic institutions.  (Click here to read the article from the Nehemiah Institute)  It may be useful information as you consider the educational future of your children.

             

In Conclusion

 None of this is meant to be a criticism of parents who place their children in public schools.  Nor is it an indictment against well-meaning public school educators.  But the fact remains that public schools are not allowed to give your children the educational experience the Bible demands.  Regardless of what you may think about Christian school, we encourage you to seek God’s thoughts on the matter before choosing an academic home for your children.

 

To find a Christian school in your area, click here to go to the

School Finder feature of the website.

 

Stanford Achievement Test Series, 10th Edition

Spring 2005*

Christian School Students Score Above the National Public School Average at Every Grade!  

 

/files/Images/Subpages/Test graph.jpg

Public School results for the Complete Battery iGrade Equivalent

Christian Schools results for the Complete Battery in Grade Equivalent

  GRADE

  ABOVE NATIONAL AVERAGE

  K

  6 Months

  1

  7 Months

  2

  9 Months

  3

  1 Year, 9 Months

  4

  1 Year, 8 Months

  5

  2 Years, 2 Months

  6

  2 Years, 3 Months

  7

  2 Years, 3 Months

  8

2 Years, 6 Months  

  9**

  3 Years, 4 Months

  10**

  2 Years, 4 Months

  11**

  1 Year, 4 Months

  12**

  4 Months

*information provided by the Association of Christian Schools International

**Christian school students attain the maximum available score starting in 9th grade.  The graph/chart give the illusion that public school students begin to catch up during the high school years (in reality this is not the case).

/files/Images/Subpages/PEERS comparison.jpg

***information provided by the Nehemiah Institute, Lexington Kentucky

College Success And Beyond

 Because Christian school students generally perform at a higher level in the classroom than their public school counterparts, it only makes sense that their options upon graduation are more/files/Images/Photos/stk26916edu.jpg abundant.  Therefore, they are more likely to be better prepared to handle the rigors of higher education.  They have also received the spiritual foundation they need to excel in areas of ministry, whether they are career or volunteer-oriented.

 

In addition to these practical advantages, there is at least one intangible benefit.  Students who have been grounded in the truth of God’s

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Word day after day during their formative years – both at school and at home – are better-equipped to handle discrepant ideas upon graduation.  Whether in a secular university or in the work place, young adults with a solid biblical foundation are far less likely to fall victim to the subtle lies of our post-modern culture.

            The question remains however, how do you define success?  Does success equal an Ivy League education for your child, or a certain salary level, or even a prestigious title?  Then again, how does God measure success?  A healthy marriage?  An understanding of biblical truth?  These are important issues to pray about.  

Why Money Is Never An Issue

          This is a very real problem, and one of the most common parental objections.  Christian schools cost money.  A lot of money.  But before we get too carried away with fiscal concerns, we need to ask ourselves an important question:

            Do we have a moral obligation to give our children a Christian education?  If so, then God will do for us what He does anytime He gives us a command.  He’ll give us the means to obey it.  

 

          Statements like “God will make a way” or “If He’s called you, He’ll equip you” may sound a little trite.  But they happen to be true.  If you have a biblical mandate to provide your children with a Christian education – and

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” 

(Matthew 13:45-46)

all of us have to make that determination for ourselves – God won’t let a little thing like insufficient funds stop you from obeying Him.  Not if you’re committed to hearing and obeying His will in the matter.

          He may give you a raise.  He may show you how to cut a few corners.  But one way or another, He will make a way – because if educating your children in a Christian setting is a genuine responsibility, the financial cost becomes a genuine need.  And God has promised to supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19 ).

 

          There are other ways God may provide the necessary funding.  In some cases, churches have been known to assist their members.  Talk to your pastor and see if that’s a possibility.  And, of course, many schools offer financial aid to needy families or scholarships to academically-gifted students.  Contact the admissions department at your local Christian school. 

          At the end of the day, God may ask you to take a step of faith.  Then another.  Then another.  Pretty soon, you’ll be walking in a promise that’s been repeated so often it’s become the quintessential Christian cliché.  When God calls us to a task, He equips us to fulfill it.  The Red Sea was no match for Him.  The red in your checkbook won’t be, either. 

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