Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Monday, May 16, 2005

A Good Question

Why do Christian parents send their children to schools with syllabuses controlled by our secular government; schools with teachers who are largely pagan and immoral, and expect their children to turn out understanding the world as God sees things?

Giving an education which ignores God's role in every subject is not neutral. It is taking an anti-God stance. When parents send their children to state schools, are they not saying to their children that there are some things in our lives in which God does not need to play a part. Is it any wonder that Christians by and large are compartmentalizing their faith, seeing it as increasingly irrelevant to large sections of their lives. A generation holding to a weak brand of 'fluffy-brained' Christianity will be the result of this systematic brain-washing we are forcing upon our children.

We are told that we are in a battle. Tell me; what battling nation would send their new recruits for training in the nation they are fighting against? Surely this is folly! Our whole lives must be set apart to our God. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How can we expect this to happen for our children, when they are constantly, actively and passively taught in the classroom that God is irrelevant?


  • I will be sure to pass on to my husband (who attend state schools his whole life) that you consider him fluffy brained. I will also pass your kind and thoughtful comments on to his parents that they have contributed to the compartmentalizing of his faith, I am sure they will appreciate your opinion.

    By Anonymous Anita, at 1:50 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Are you saying Scotty is wrong?

    By Anonymous Dan, at 2:16 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • looks like you got a battle on your hands, homie?

    but then, if we take our (albeit lax) influence out of state schools altogther, where do they get a chance to hear the gospel, see christians taking a stance?

    obviously as parents you have to make sure your child is equipped enough to deal with the secular system, but i'd take one or two strong christians in the midst of that situation, than a whole school of kids locked away from the world.

    you've got to meet people on the level that they're at, not where you would like them to be.

    what the weeman thinks.

    By Anonymous carl, at 2:22 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • to specify some more,
    i was more refering to high school kids, i agree with scott in thinking children do need spiritual teaching early on.

    my main point is i would hate to see no christian influence in schools at all. however small it may be.

    By Anonymous carl, at 2:31 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Carl, perhaps that influence can be left to Christian teachers in state schools?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:35 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • I just think his opinion is narrow minded and rude and unthoughful and unkind and so on and so forth

    By Anonymous Anita, at 2:41 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Hey looks like a bit of fun and games going on here.

    Carl, I see what you’re getting at but think you’re looking at it the wrong way. Children especially pre high school are taking in everything they’re told. Their not at a stage yet where they can challenge ideas and philosophies and because of this they are at a point where they don’t influence others and should not be expected to be a tool of evangelism when their own eternal destiny is not fully known (it’s obviously known to God, but not us). And as someone has already mentioned this should be left to adults.

    And I find it sad that this post striving to challenge us in our thinking on education has been taken so personally and out of context. Scott, I believe, is trying to point out the dangers of educating children in the state system. I was educated in the state system and I think I’ve turn out ok. But this shows more the grace of God than any benefit of State education.

    Yes, I would argue Scott is very narrow minded as all Christians should be. And as the Word of God is the only true truth why would we not be?

    By Anonymous Jono, at 2:45 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • I know that Scott is neither rude nor narrow-minded by nature, and he is perhaps one of the most thoughtful and kind people I know. Hence, I was able to understand and agree with his statement, recognising that although it was a generalisation, it was nonetheless valid.

    I myself attended state schools for all of my education, but take no offence at Scott's statement and am thankful for the other influences in my life (Bible, Holy Spirit, friends, family etc) that meant I was wary of what I was being taught in a secular environment, and was also equipped to counter it.

    Most other people have not been blessed with such luxuries, and are sitting ducks.
    This, I believe, is Scott's lament.

    By Anonymous Dan, at 2:52 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • I didn't say Scott was those things, I just said his opinion was.

    By Anonymous Anita, at 2:55 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Not everyone can afford private schools....Bradsblog

    By Anonymous bschneider5, at 3:05 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • looks like somebody hit a nerve.

    i'm in full agreement with scott's idea about children.
    i guess i was coming from a more evangelistic viewpoint then a spiritual growth one.
    i did the state schooling thing too, and as part of a group of christians, managed to have an impact in our (small) owaka community, and see souls saved.
    i guess what i want to ask, is would the same thing happen if there wasn't the same christain influence in a state school?

    nothing but love from over here.

    By Anonymous carl, at 3:08 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • shot weeman,

    It's cool to see that you were able to have an influence down there in Owaka. I guess if you're a parent you need assess whether the risks outweight the benefits. In situations like Rewa High, there are alot more people and alot more holes for people to fall through. But even that's not all bad as some of the boyz were able to be a strong witness thru rugby and the like.

    I guess the main concern for me (and maybe scott) is the fact that our society (and our schooling system) is moving further away from it's christian base and getting to a point where having a christian worldview is concidered wrong. And that's not somewhere where uneducated minds should be. learning

    By Anonymous jono, at 3:24 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • word.

    By Anonymous carl, at 3:25 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Jono I have not taken this post out of context at all I have taken it very much in context. Is the post a joke? Is that the context?? Have I taken it seriously when I should be laughing?

    I have taken it personally because it is personal. Telling people that their kids are going to turn off fluffy brained because you send them to a state school is personal.

    Anyway I will be quiet now, but this post has not won me over to the benefits and blessings of Christian Education at all.

    By Anonymous Anita, at 3:31 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Well i'm going to disagree. how can you say you have not taken this out of context when you claimed scott considered hamish fluffy brained?

    i never read that in his post at all.

    Neither did i see anything about how Ham's parents have contributed to the compartmentalizing of his faith. And I may go as far to say that hamish might be offended that you think his faith is compartmentalized.

    By Anonymous jono, at 3:47 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • just for clarification

    " And I may go as far to say that hamish might be offended that you think his faith is compartmentalized."

    Was intended as a joke... as i realise you probably don't think that.

    Just what you wrote implies that.

    probably sounded alot harsher than intended

    By Anonymous jono, at 3:56 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • I was being sarcastic, now who is taking stuff out of context. Thanks for the clarification on your previous comment - it did sound harsh.
    Anyway I am supposed to be being quiet.

    By Anonymous Anita, at 4:21 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Hmmm, ..teachers who are largely pagan and immoral? Ouch. Can you smell the generalisation?!?
    Please, make your point but don't get nasty. It demeans you.

    "Giving an education which ignores God's role in every subject is not neutral."

    Er, which God is that? Yours or Allah?
    I'd like to see you explain to a standard class of children (some muslim) that a Christian God made them. That's neutral.

    "It is taking an anti-God stance."

    No, its taking a neutral stance. Its teaching kids the basics of the world they live in, how it works. When you grow up they can study religion and decide for themselves. (Assuming you believe we have any sort of 'free will')
    Would you like to be educated in a school which told you that you were created by Ra, the Sun-God?

    "When parents send their children to state schools, are they not saying to their children that there are some things in our lives in which God does not need to play a part."

    Yes, yes, yes. There are SOME things which God does NOT need to play a part, and probably DOESN'T WANT TO.
    Have you ever considered that God might have CREATED evolution, physics, the whole shebang so it could run itself - a self-maintaining machine - to let he focus on the big issues?
    Who wants the tedium of creating every raindrop, managing the el Nine effect, or handling the infinitessimal chemical reactions that are occurring throughout the universe at the atomic level in order for it all to function?

    Anyway, thats my piece. Take it as you will.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:24 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Dan,

    looking at the battle analogy
    do you really think that it is a childs role to be reseaching tactics of the enemy? i would suggest an Army which used this idea is not very smart as it is well know that being undercover is a very tricky assignment and can lead to an agent gaining loyalties and taking on values from the opposition. It should be highly trained operatives that fill this role. not children.

    By Anonymous jono, at 4:32 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • anonymous... what is neutral?

    By Anonymous jono, at 4:34 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Wow, interesting discussion! From a personal point of view, I went to secular high schools and although i take full responsibility for all my actions and am not trying to blame-shift, i certainly believe that this had a huge impact on all the massive mistakes i made in my life. I got in with the wrong crowd and my christian convictions were not strong or founded enough and I just got into all the wrong scenes/habits etc. I agree that the parents need to assess where the child is at, and i was definitely not ready to face the world in the form of a state high school. I do believe that we actively need to be the salt & light in the world and that if your child is walking very strongly with the Lord in a personal relationship, with deep and lasting convictions, that sending them to a state high school where they can evangelise is not a bad idea. However my parents probably thought i was strong enough when i wasn't, so I dunno. Look at people like Scott & Lou, Carl, Hamish etc etc etc, they are all very strong christians and went to state high schools.

    By Anonymous Crina, at 4:44 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Anonymous:

    The is only one God. And hence there is no neutral stance on anything.

    And why shouldn't he get nasty?
    Is his statement any less nasty than the secular humanist telling him in a patronising, demeaning manner that Who he believes in is simply a figment of his imagination? That Who he is trusting in for salvation is just a hoax? That he himself is just glorified pond-scum?

    "There are SOME things which God does NOT need to play a part, and probably DOESN'T WANT TO."
    - Really?
    "Who wants the tedium of creating every raindrop, managing the el Nine effect, or handling the infinitessimal chemical reactions that are occurring throughout the universe at the atomic level in order for it all to function?"
    - Tedium? My goodness, if only I were able to do a fraction of those things listed ...!!! The intricacy, and delicate balance in the weather! The beauty and wonder of the snowflake - each one unique.
    Where is there any tedium in this world, but in the mind of he who is too blind to see the infinte power and glory of the Designer, Creator and Sustainer this wonderous and fearful universe in which we live?
    It's exciting stuff!!!!

    By Anonymous Dan, at 4:49 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Oh, and apologies for such a long comment. This is just such an exciting and heart-felt topic for all of us, i think.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:33 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Man, i just have to make a comment cos everyone else has. Good on you Scott for writing stuff that makes people think!

    I, for one, went to a Christian school that was extremely conservative & strict and that put me off christians entirely. But I know there are a lot of great Christian schools out there which I would love to send my son to. Then I went to a full on hugely secular state school and went off track.... But it was the Christians in that state school that brought me back to Christ. In fact about 80% of my class ended up as Christians as a result of a few girls (was a girls only school) and of course the work of the Lord in that place. So I agree a bit with everyone. Just to be complicated....!!!!

    By Anonymous Michelle Willis, at 7:41 PM, May 16, 2005  

  • Anonymous:

    It is a shame that you remain anonymous - it is as if you did not consider your comments worthy of publishing.

    I wasn't refering to you when I was talking about secular humanists - I don't know you from a bar of soap, you do not even offer us your name. I was refering to secular state education;
    a system that is far from 'neutral'. Take for example the religion of naturalism that is preached there. That the material is all that exists.
    They preach evolution. They preach that man is the highest lifeform in the universe.

    I'm not sure that this is the appropriate forum for such a discussion, but I'd love to continue it with you.

    By Anonymous Dan, at 8:45 AM, May 17, 2005  

  • Hmm wat to sure is an interesting discussion you've started up Scott! but a good one too.

    I know i have been blessed to have been able to go to a Christian school and to have parents that fully support christian education (not pointing the finger at any1 so dont get worked up any1!!!). My years at St Andrews (it will always stay that in mind, not Manukau Christian School or watever) were good in that it helped me to develop a good christian worldview which was also helped by goin to church and having great Christian friends. So when i went to MH in 6th form, and the huge jump that was, going from a complete christian environment to a completely secular one (pretty much) wasnt easy and it did take a bit of gettin used to but yeah i think i adjusted alright to it and tried not to be like every1 else. I made sure i hung out with both my Christian (and non-christian friends). It is actually uni...not a state highschool that is actually i feel far more challenging to be in and where u can so see Satan at work. Every single paper that i'm taking this semester, the lecturer has somehow found a way to subtly (or not so subtly) dismiss Christianity in every way possible. I think i value my education during my younger years at St Andrews and the christian worldview i have so much more now that im at uni more so than when i was at MH. (hope that makes some sort of sense!)

    anyway, you all have made some valid comments and i think i'll leave my 2c worth here.

    By Anonymous Silla, at 12:28 PM, May 17, 2005  

  • Good on you Scott! I see you caused a bit of a stir. I, for one, see the total value of a Christian Education and when (read if) I have kids, I want them to go to a Christian school. Although I understand Carl`s point about witnessing etc. my priority when (read if) I become a mother is to see my children come to faith. If I put them in a state school because I want them to be a witness and they fall away from the faith then it rather defeats the purpose. My Christian education has helped me in so many ways. Yes I did go to a non-Christian highschool, but if I had my way, I would have stayed at the Christian school. Christian education is not keeping your kids in a vacuum, it is showing them that God is in everything and that education is never neutral. It is building a foundation which they can use to be effective Christian witnesses in the workforce or wherever God may lead them. Big ups to my bro Scottie! I feel that the personal comments were rather unnecessary, coz anyone who knows Scott knows for sure that he is kind-hearted, selfless and a good guy. Thanks Dan for what you said!

    By Anonymous Lou, at 2:05 PM, May 17, 2005  

  • Right on Lou :)

    By Anonymous Silla, at 4:44 PM, May 17, 2005  

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