Learning is often described as a change in behavior. Therefore, we measure learning in terms of performance or results, not by the number of hours spent in a classroom. This is perfectly biblical, and Scripture often defines “hearing” as “responding to God’s word in obedience.” This is why James writes, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). If we think we’ve received a biblical education because sound waves have bounced off our ear drums, we’re deceiving ourselves. True education changes the way we live.
The Ten Commandments and Christian Curriculum
This action-oriented view of education is assumed when God commands the Israelites to instruct their children in the law (Deut. 4:9). Obedience to God in every area of life is the goal of education.
In summary form, this means a truly Christian education produces Christian citizens who:
- Worship the Lord alone, having no other gods in His presence
- Refuse to worship God by any standard other than the standard given in Scripture
- Guard their lips and their lives, lest they blaspheme with their words or take the name “Christian” unworthily
- Rest in the finished work of Christ, assemble with God’s people one day a week, and work diligently the other six
- Honor and submit to legitimate earthly authorities (i.e., parents, civil magistrates, church elders), insofar as they agree with Scripture
- Understand and cherish the sanctity of human life and apply that understanding to euthanasia, abortion, and healthcare
- Submit to God’s design for men, women, and marriage
- Respect private property and refuse to steal
- Live with integrity and in faithfulness to God’s covenant
- Take every thought captive to Christ and feel genuine gratitude for the provisions of the Lord.
For this reason, any truly Christian curriculum centers around God’s word. It should also teach the social and political ramifications of His Word, as a proper application of the Scriptures to the civil sphere is essential to a just society.
Government Schools and the Ten Commandments
Far from teaching the Ten Commandments as the word of God, which is binding on all people in all ages, public school teachers are forbidden from proclaiming the excellency and supremacy of the God of the Bible.
Scripture doesn’t permit this practical polytheism: “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:1-3).
The public school system teaches that all religious perspectives are equally valid. This is, of course, for the sake of tolerance, but God isn’t tolerant of other religions.
This tolerance rejects the God of the Bible. Public schools say, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. They say, “Let’s accept one another,” while waging war against Christians who proclaim the unqualified crown rights of Christ.
The civil government takes the “moral high ground” by denying the absolute claims of the covenant Lord and claiming “neutrality” as though they are above religious spats. But in doing this, the government breaks the first commandment. Public education teaches children that the God of the Bible is one god among many. It teaches children to despise the Lord and catechizes them in confusion.
Public School is Anti-Christ
Many Christians believe that, at some point near the end of history, a man Scripture calls the “antichrist” will arise to deceive the masses. But here is what the apostle John teaches about the antichrist: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)
In the name of tolerance, public schools proudly do exactly what John condemns: deny the Father and the Son. This means parents sending their children to public schools are sending their children to be tutored by the spirit of antichrist 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year, for 13 years or more. Inconceivable. Tragic. Inexcusable.
What Should Parents Do?
Families must find a way to provide their children with a Christian education. Education by the civil government is not an option. Scripture places the responsibility of education on parents (see Deut. 6:7; Eph. 6:4). For this reason, homeschooling is the most biblical form of education, as children also learn to imitate their parents from constant, daily contact and job shadowing.
On occasion, it may be necessary for parents to delegate the education of their children to Christian schools, co-ops, or other parents with knowledge and expertise in different areas, and these valid options require prayer and wisdom. However, while home education can be especially conducive to a genuinely Christian education, there’s nothing magical about children being in the home. The point is to give them an education that is distinctly Christian and faithful to God’s word in all areas of life.
A truly Christian education equips children for God-glorifying, diligent, and successful lives. If we aren’t teaching our children the Scriptures, the blessings and benefits of homeschooling are forfeited. But we should educate our children at home and we should teach our children what the Bible teaches about the trinity, the doctrines of grace, the gifts of the Spirit, the Church, marriage, child-rearing, work, calling, economics, and justice. Why? Because education is warfare. Our children may be safely in our quiver today, but when they’re older, we’ll fire them into the world to conquer it and proclaim the victory of Jesus Christ.