Scott & Sarah Kennedy

Monday, May 30, 2005

Who's Job Is It Anyway? - part one

We have considered the question 'Why Schools', and have discovered that for the Christian, all things in life should come under the glorious banner of gloryfying God. We found that the primary purpose of education therefore was to enable our children to bring glory to God in their lives.

But if the purpose of education is an important question, a question of almost equal importance is, who has been given the mandate for this job.

As we think on this, we must really be careful not to let worldly thinking slip in. Our answer must be a God-given answer, not a cultural or pragmatic one. How can we find out who's job education is according to God? We must look into his word.

Now funnily enough we find that the Bible gives absolutely no information on schools. We cannot find a mandate from the Bible for schools as we know them. Michael Drake, a New Zealand principal of Carey College puts it this way:-

"The school is a pragmatic institution, permitted but not required. The home, the church and the state are institutions ordained by God with specific functions, but the school has no such mandate."

The Bible makes it more than clear, that the role of education of children, is first and foremost the responsibility of parents. Deuteronomy 6:4-14 lends support to this idea. Moses is reminding the people of God's law for them, and in verse 4 - 14 he lays out for parents how and when they should be reminding their children about the law of God. It comprehensively covers the whole of life. Now one of you may object, saying "It's impossible to teach the law of God through the child's whole life."

This objection is common, but what I think it shows a lack of understanding of the law of God. The law of God and his truth impinges on every single thing that we do in life. God his law and truth is not outside any single activity that one can think of.

Ephesians 6, also gives insight as to how children are to be trained. In verse 4, we are told that fathers are not to provoke their children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Now you might think to yourself "How can I bring my child up in the training and admonition of the Lord in Maths, or History?" But I ask you; who made this universe? Who created the order of this world? Who is the God of Maths? And again; who is the sovereign God who controls all history? Our God is God of everything.

Part of bringing our children up in the training and admonition of the Lord is to show them that there is nothing that God is silent on. We must not exasperate our children, by telling them there is a God over all, and then sending them to be trained by people who deny God's existence and shut him out from learning; people who have a larger time frame than we to train them. My parents never taught my little brother that Santa Claus was real. They taught him from an early age that they bought James presents, and not a man in a red suit. Their reasoning for this, was that if they told James he was true, later when they told him "Actually Santa Claus isn't true", that would put doubt about other things in his mind. For instance "Is Jesus true?" Now, I think this is a pretty sound idea, and I'm sure many of you do too. But how many of us transfer this kind of thinking over to our children's schooling? Fathers, we must make sure we do not exasperate out children, by telling them the importance of God in everything, and then having pagans tell our children He doesn't exist.

Fathers, God says that we are responsible for bringing up our children in the training and admonition of the Lord. God holds that we, not schools are responsible for this. So if we get it wrong, it's not the schools we can blame, but ourselves. Some say that when our children get home from school, we can go over what they learnt that day, and then teach it from a Christian perspective.

I raise three objections to this line of thinking.

1. Why bother re-teaching them? Would it not be a better use of time to teach them correctly in the first place?
2. Pragmatically, who actually would do this?
3. Some of the things our children will learn at a secular school are not going to be as outright as evolution, and the subtlety will escape them, and we will have no chance to correct the error.


Post a Comment

<< Home