A priority for parents who care!
Children today face more powerful influences on their values, beliefs, and thinking than any previous generation. While their grandparents, in most cases, grew up in a society that was based on an acceptance of Christian values, their parents were educated in a period that rejected Christian values and emphasised the right of individuals to make up their own minds about what is right or wrong.
Children today are powerfully influenced by computers, the mass media and by secular school teaching. Secular thinking rejects God’s authority and allows the individual or the peer group to decide what is right or wrong.
Thus children are given freedom their parents did not have and many experiment in drugs and a variety of sexual activities and have access to an unprecedented range and quantity of information including much that is pornographic. This is having a devastating effect on children and on society.
Parents have a choice.
Christian schools offer powerful assistance to Christian parents who want to educate their children to resist the pressures of the world and to grow to be effective Christian citizens who will influence the world for God. While we cannot control what happens in society, parents do have a choice about which school their children attend and what happens in their own home.
Why are Christian Schools needed?
Over the last 40 years New Zealand has changed from a Christian society based on biblical values to a secular society based on humanist ideals and values. These are strongly promoted by the media and by the secular teaching found in most schools.
The church has been taken by surprise and is struggling to provide an adequate response. Yet this should not be the case.
Over 150 years ago, Roman Catholic Archbishop Vaughan warned the Protestant churches that accepting government schools would give us Schools which the church knows from experience will, in the course of time, fill the country with indifferentists not to speak of absolute infidels. He went on to predict that the state schools would be seed plots of future immorality, infidelity and lawlessness, being calculated to debase the standard of excellence, and to corrupt the political, social and individual life of future citizens. Today it is clear that he was correct. While we can’t change our history, or unmake bad decisions made in the past, we can make the right decisions now. The Church needs to sponsor schools where Christian parents can send their children with confidence.
About 30 years ago small groups of Christians began to realise what was happening to our society and to once again start educating their children in Christian day schools. Graduates from Christian schools are already having positive effects, but sadly only a third of Christian families are sending their children to Christian schools. This means that two thirds have not realised the full significance of what has happened in our society over the last four decades, and thus are not adequately protecting their children. Parents who choose secular schools for their children often comment, “A State School did not hurt me and I don’t see why it should hurt my children” or “If we get all the Christians out of State schools what will happen to our society?” Both of these reflect serious misunderstanding of the nature of schooling and its effect on children.
Children are initiated into society at school
Jesus said (Luke 4:40) A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. Parents who themselves survived a secular school education as effective Christians, are only a small portion of the children who came from Christian homes. If this was not the case Christianity would have the same place in our society as it did 40 years ago. Whilst not all the children from Christian families that attend secular schools today will lose their faith, a majority will have their Christian values, beliefs and way of life seriously undermined.
It is a sad commentary on Christianity today that often there are not significant differences between Christian and non-Christian young people in their attitude towards premarital sex, drug use, belief in God as creator and many other areas of thinking. Jesus told this parable: Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? Many young people are falling into the ditch of unbelief and faithless living because they are being taught by the spiritually blind.
What will happen to our society?
Some ask “What will happen to our society if we take the Christian children out of secular schools?” While children in secular schools might act as salt there is also the ever-present danger that they will lose their saltiness and as Jesus warned if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. (Matthew 5:13). If our young people lose their saltiness how can the next generation salt our society? We should not fool ourselves into thinking that in sacrificing our children on the altar of state education we can somehow save our society. It has not worked in the past and the bible does not instruct us to give to our children the role of evangelising the lost through attending a secular school. It is adults who have the role of evangelising the lost. It is the responsibility of parents to bring their children up in training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Children who have an education “of the Lord” will grow up to become effective witnesses to Christ, and people committed to change their society.
It is time that churches and parents realise that they need to do more for their children than send them to the nearest school with the best reputation. They need to be prepared to make the financial sacrifice to give them the quality education provided by a Christian school. What use will it be to your child if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? What can you give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)
(All quotations of scripture are from the NIV)
Written by R J Frisken
New Hope International Limited
PO Box 171 REGENTS PARK NSW 2143 Australia
Phone +61 296441962 Fax +61 2 9738 5795
Mobile +61 0407 075 341