Secular Education and the Uprooting of Education – Part Five

The Church: Deceived and Defeated?

Many Christians have seen the dangers and have tried to retreat to alternative means of educating their children. However, currently it is a sacrifice, since those who pay for education end up footing the bill for both the public and the alternative schools. In the case of homeschooling, it is also a sacrifice of time. But many are deceived into thinking that their children will survive public education with their faith intact, and in fact strengthened by the interaction with the world. This is a gross underestimation of the power that is now in the hands of anti-Christian forces in the classroom.

The Diabolical scheme is clear. The Enemy means to keep the next generation from knowing the truth. To do so, from an early as possible age, hand children into the care of teachers who deny revelation, for as much of the day as possible, thereby ensuring future generations know even less about God and His loving plan for His creation

Pastor Voddie Baucham, Jr., put the matter succinctly: “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.”40

Count the number of hours we lend our children to be discipled by persons with an anti-Biblical worldview! No wonder we find ourselves in such a mess. The problem that blossoms in lower education is based in the root of higher education that has abandoned both truth and virtue.  

Opposition to Alternatives

Private schools provide one alternative, but these are now under stress – both economically and legally. Previous Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had called for federal funding to help the more than 160 private schools that had closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The attempt by Secretary DeVos to get additional aid to private schools was blocked by U.S. District Judge Friedrich in response to lawsuits filed by pro-public-school advocates and the NAACP.

In the past few decades many Christians have also pivoted to home education, partly in response to Marxist indoctrination in public education. With this pivot and popularity, the secular humanists have found another target to attack. In their May-June 2020 issue, Harvard Magazine unleashed an attack on homeschooling in an article titled “The Risks of Homeschooling.”41 The article, written by Erin O’Donnel, profiled the ideas of Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet, faculty director for the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program. To be sure, some of Bartholet’s concerns were legitimate: the danger of child abuse (which also occurs at a disheartening rate in public schools) and the need to make sure that children obtain a quality education. Bartholet chose to ignore bullying, poor academic performance, rates of violence, and other problems with public schools.  But Bartholet zeroed in on what appeared to be her primary ideological concerns: “Surveys of homeschoolers show that a majority of such families (by some estimates, up to 90 percent) are driven by conservative Christian beliefs and seek to remove their children from main-stream culture . . . it’s also important that children grow up exposed to community values, social values, democratic values, ideas about non-discrimination and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints.”42 Bartholet paints Christian beliefs in opposition to what she desires to be taught. 

Bartholet also noted that some European countries ban homeschooling. After all, outside of those “six or seven hours a day” (more like eight or nine, plus homework), can’t parents influence their children enough after they come home from school? Her propaganda characterized loving parents, who sacrifice to home educate their children, as dangerous authoritarians: “The issue is, do we think that parents should have 24/7, essentially authoritarian control over their children from ages zero to 18? I think that’s dangerous . . . I think it’s always dangerous to put powerful people in charge of the powerless, and to give the powerful ones total authority.”43

Concentration of power is, indeed, dangerous. But studies show that biological parents are vastly less likely to abuse their own children physically or sexually than are unrelated adults. And it is not hard to discern, behind Bartholet’s hand-waving, a religious agenda which, from a Christian point of view, might be described as a wolf’s agenda.

An Epidemic of Ignorance

Poor Biblical literacy is the heart of the problem. Multiple print copies of the Bible sit in our homes and scores of digital versions are at our fingertips. Yet biblical illiteracy grows. Atheist TV personality Bill Maher, who was raised as a Catholic, succinctly sums up the situation with this stinging rebuke: “To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click ‘I agree.’”44

You may recognize the words, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” (Hosea 4:6), but be less familiar with two sentences later in the same verse: “Because you have rejected knowledge … and since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. The more they increased, the more they sinned against me.” Our lack of Biblical literacy is an active rejection, not a lack of access to knowledge. This active rejection is reflected in our comfort with sin and in apathy towards the future that our children face. It has led to apathy towards discipleship and the abdication of our institutions that now do the discipling.

A Failure to Protect

“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

A mother puffin letting her chicks fly for the first time, must beware of arctic foxes. A mother wildebeest crossing a river must watch out for crocodiles. Should not we be even more keenly aware of the fact that the Enemy is after our children? He calls that negligence “enlightenment” and “progress”; his slogans fill classrooms and brainwash the next generation. We have seen the work of many anti-Christs in modern times, sub-contractors to the builder of altars upon which the souls of youth have been sacrificed. May we heed the admonition of Jesus recorded in Matthew 18 and Luke 17, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”  A proper foundation of a Biblical worldview must be in place to protect our children.

Resulting Apostasy

The failure to shepherd and protect the next generation is not a novel error. “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). We read in the Book of Judges how the Children of Israel, who had witnessed the work of God with their own eyes, served Him during the time of Joshua and for a time after. But then: “There arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals. And they abandoned the Lord, the God of their fathers” (Judges 2:7, 10-12).

Judges tells how Israel habitually slid into apostasy, provoking divine chastening. The nation urgently appealed to God in times of crisis, moving the Lord to raise up leaders (judges) to deliver the people from foreign oppressors and restore the land to peace. But as a summary of the book explains: “Israel quickly forgot the acts of God that had given them birth and had established them in the land. Consequently, they lost sight of their unique identity as God’s people, chosen and called to be … the loyal citizens of his emerging kingdom. They settled down and attached themselves to Canaan’s peoples together with Canaanite morals, gods, and religious beliefs and practices as readily as to Canaan’s agriculture and social life. …. They stopped fighting the Lord’s battles, turned to the gods of Canaan to secure the blessings of family, flocks and fields, and abandoned God’s laws for daily living.”45

One sees, then, that apostasy and back-sliding consist less often of denying God’s existence (atheism), than of forgetting or ignoring Him. At the same time, we also forget the Enemy of our Souls and the wiles by which he deceives nations.

A Time to Act

Karl Marx wrote a devotional commentary on abiding in Christ that was based upon the fifteenth Chapter of John’s Gospel. He wrote it on August 17, 1835, when he was seventeen years old. At that time, he was attending the Trier Gymnasium and fulfilling the Gymnasium’s religious graduation requirement. What makes this devotional commentary so significant is its stark contrast to his fame and later writings.  It was during his university years that he totally rejected Christianity. He had accepted the philosophy of Hegel, Schelling, and Kant and their arguments against the proofs for the existence of God. His youthful training had left him ill-prepared for the onslaught of skepticism that he encountered during his university years.  Karl Marx traveled down the road from “Only He can save us” to “Religion is the opium of the people.” 

During his philosophic studies at the university, he accepted the validity of the arguments against the existence of God. In an appendix to his doctoral dissertation, Differences Between the Democritean and Epicurean Philosophy of Nature, he summarized his satirical proof of God existence, “However, what does all this say except that to him to whom the world is irrational, and who is therefore himself irrational, God is? Or irrationality is the existence of God.”46

His point was that all arguments for God’s existence are logically incoherence; and, therefore, all arguments for God’s existence depend upon irrationality. If all arguments for God’s existence were true and were dependent upon irrationality, then it follows, Q.E.D., that irrationality is ultimately the ground and proof of God’s existence.

Now if God does not exist and humankind has not achieved utopia, it seems reasonable that man must save himself.  So, it is no wonder that a passionate person like Karl Marx would seek to elevate the human race to a new stage of human development and prosperity.  He believed that his philosophy of communism provided an intellectual framework that could guide humanity to an age of cultural and material prosperity.

Let us know ponder an excerpt from the pre-university Karl Marx.  “To be sure, even when we study the history of the individual and the nature of man, we always see a divine spark in his breast, an enthusiasm for the Good, a striving for perception, a longing for truth—but the sparks of the eternal are smothered by the flame of lust. The enthusiasm for virtue is stifled by the tempting voice of sin, which is made ridiculous when the full power of life is felt. The striving for perception is replaced by the inferior striving for worldly goods; the longing for truth is extinguished by the sweet-smiling power of the lie; and so man stands, the only creature that does not fulfill its goal, the only member in all Creation not worthy of the God that created him.”47

The change in Marx is reflected in the change many “young Christians” experience when entering higher education.  It is time to take back discipleship in education.

George Orwell’s Cesspool

“For two hundred years we had sawed and sawed and sawed at the branch we were sitting on.  And in the end, much more suddenly than anyone had foreseen, our efforts were rewarded, and down we came. But unfortunately, there had been a little mistake: The thing at the bottom was not a bed of roses after all; it was a cesspool full of barbed wire . . . It appears that amputation of the soul isn’t just a simple surgical job, like having your appendix out. The wound has a tendency to go septic.” George Orwell – Notes on the Way 48 Many ask, “How did we get this way?”  It has been a slow multigenerational discipleship model, rooted in the educational system, designed to teach the teachers a new paradigm in opposition to revealed truth.  The question that we need to ask, “How do we get out of this barbed wire cesspool?”

The problem is vast and seems insurmountable, to restore truth and thereby restore Godly character.  We are at a critical juncture in history, with some saying the west is past the “point of no return.”  Is there hope?  Or are we doomed?

The systematic failure of secular education is calling us to facilitate a new education ecosystem. Education has become the source of postmodern darkness because the church has ceased being the light. Yet, the church has the obligation as well as the capacity to disciple nations in the ways of God.

Therefore, this revolution seeks to reform education by also reforming the church. The local church must become the community that enables every student to learn to serve God and neighbors as “Priests and Kings”, partnering with educational and financial institutions to make the world’s best education available to everyone – rich or poor, smart or challenged, believers or skeptics.

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