And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2Timothy 3:15) Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge. (Proverbs 19:27)
HALF OF A CHILD'S EDUCATION is finished by the time the child is five years old, according to some professionals. A native Chinese pastor told us in chapel that the Chinese language is not hard: even the children speak it. Indeed, by the time a child is five years old, he or she can recognize several thousand words. Add to that their knowledge gained about objects, people, food and issues of comfort and discomfort. That’s a lot of education.
When they turn six, we get into compulsory school attendance. Who is going to teach the child? What is going to be taught to the child? What kind of school companions is the child going to bond to and copy? (This is going to be a little longer than usual.)
WHERE DO YOU THINK MOSES GOT HIS KNOWLEDGE and determination to live for God and defend his own people? Remember his mother, who was hired by Pharaoh’s daughter to nurse the little boy in the basket found on the Nile river? I suspect Moses’ mother taught him up a storm while he was with her. She nursed him a long time and then we can suppose that she continued a relationship with him as he visited her through the years.
Today, many Americans think of the education of children as being in a building down the street, owned, regulated, and staffed by the state government. At the same time, there is a surge of realization that there are viable alternatives to the public school.
I ATTENDED PUBLIC GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS, GRADES 1-12 Most of those schools were staffed by Christians. I was privileged to attend the Homesteads High School in Crossville, TN. (Grades 7-12). The quality of teaching was outstanding and most of the teachers were Christians. Brother Joselyn came on Thursdays with a flannelgraph story. He was the nicest man who ever smiled while he told young people about the coming judgment of God upon unrepentant sinners and about the love of God who sent His Son to die on a bloody cross.
WE ARE HEARING A LOT THESE DAYS ABOUT SCHOOL CHOICE so that parents can be more effective in helping their children get a better education, kindergarten through high school. All states have compulsory attendance laws that will, hopefully, result in some kind and level of education. Back in the 1800’s when compulsory attendance laws were being written, they knew they could only require school attendance. The problem: you cannot teach a child against his will. That is why we have compulsory school attendance laws rather than compulsory education laws.
One in four children in America grow up without being able to read. I recommend that you check out the eleven facts about literacy in America at this web site. https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-literacy-america . If you search Google, you can find a lot there.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND EDUCATION ARE NOT ALWAYS THE SAME THING.
Thousands of high school graduates cannot read at the first-grade level. Many cannot read their diplomas. Many more cannot write a sentence. These deficiencies show up when students study for a driver’s license or apply for a job or try to enter the military. It is generally conceded that the State has a compelling interest in requiring that all children be taught: reading, writing, basic computing (math), and something about the history of their country.
THERE IS SUCH A THING AS BAD EDUCATION that causes children to become biased against “the words of knowledge (the Word of God).” Our Founding Fathers knew a lot and believed a lot about the importance of children being educated. Some of our Founding Fathers left their written testimony of how important it was to teach children about God and the Bible. They feared that the nation would descend into chaos if children were not taught character based upon the Bible. John Adams said in a speech on October 11, 1798: Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
THE FIRST SCHOOLS IN AMERICA WERE CONDUCTED IN CHURCHES. The first teachers were the pastors of those schools. The first textbook in those schools was the Bible. (Yes, they taught reading from the Bible. Later, they taught from the McGuffey Reader.)
At that time, the English language was still settling out and the King James Bible was used as the reference point for the definition of words. The King James Bible was also the reference point in matters of law. If there was a question concerning law, the Bible was consulted along with British Common Law to determine the more precise meaning of the law. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton Universities were all established for training pastors in the Bible and associated subjects.
During the early period of American history, it was customary for responsible parents to teach their children reading, writing and how to count and figure. Then, if they wanted them to “get an education,” they sent them to school somewhere if there was one and they could afford it. That practice produced what some historians call: “the most literate time in American history.” Dr. R. A. Rushdoony, of California made that statement to the pastors in North Carolina while we were contesting the State of North Carolina. The statement meant that a higher percentage of the population could read than at any time since.
America has many minimally educated people, but the percentage is not as high as it was when our nation was being founded in the 1700’s. A great number of people in America today cannot read at all. They cannot read road signs or a menu in a restaurant.
While our government consisted of Thirteen Colonies, an ongoing debate was taking place among the people. The Federalist Papers was a series of widely distributed articles on the formation of our new government. It is reported that farmers would fold the paper and stick it in their pockets and read it while they let their mules cool and rest in the fields. Those farmers had been educated by their mothers when they were children. They could read about the issues of the day and voted to establish the state and federal governments of our country because they could read.
A CHRISTIAN HOME SHOULD MAKE SURE THEIR CHILDREN CAN READ AND WRITE, count money, balance a check book, etc. MAKE SURE your children know a lot about the Bible and DO ALL YOU CAN TO LEAD THEM TO THE LORD. The greatest reason our early American forefathers taught their children to read was, so they could read the Bible.
The big disappointment today is that many who can read, do not read their Bibles. You see, even among Christians, we are in a downward slide. Our population is ceasing to read…. anything. We are gravitating toward pictures. Some schools are reluctant to teach cursive writing. If you can’t do cursive writing, how are you going to sign a check?
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A GOOD CHRISTIAN SCHOOL. Increasingly, people are realizing this and doing what they can to put their children in a Christian school. These schools are not available in all parts of the country. Thousands of people cherish this practice enough to sell their homes and move to an area that has a Christian school.
Thousands of other people are engaging in teaching their children at home. That’s a tricky thing if you do that. It’s easy to be careless and let the children miss their education. But many homes are teaching their children at home. In fact, many people who don’t claim to be Christians are home schooling because they recognize the importance of giving their children a good educational foundation.
There are some concerned Christian parents who don’t make enough money to eat and send their children to a Christian school. But, I must remind us all that the power of prayer is strong and if that is you, then pray that God will show you what to do. Read the Bible to your children and let them have a part in reading the Bible. Pray with your children daily. Have your own school of prayer in your home, with your children. Go through the doors God opens for you.
IF YOU ARE TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN AT HOME, please make sure you are not cheating them. Make sure they are using a strong curriculum and that you are organized and time-conscious to get all the subjects in day-after-day. I have never doubted that an average mother can teach her mother at home, but I must be honest and say that you absolutely must be a disciplined and responsible person to get the job done.
In Jacksonville, Florida when I was a high school principal at Trinity Christian Academy, I learned that the occupation that had the most children in Christian schools in America was public school teachers. They try to keep their children in a Christian school through the first three grades to make sure their children learn how to read. I was stunned when I learned that. These public-school teachers know the score. If their children don’t learn how to read in the first three grades, they will be behind the rest of their school time. They teach in a public school and they’re afraid their own children will come up short.
When we were in a big lawsuit with the State of North Carolina that wanted to maintain an iron-grip on the Christian schools, I learned something else. Our Constitutional attorney, William Ball, subpoenaed the State Superintendent of Public Schools, Dr. Craig Philips, to testify under oath. Atty. Ball asked him if the public schools were a good example for the church schools to follow. He hesitated, stammered, hemmed, and hawed. Our attorney kept after him to answer the question. Dr. Phillips finally confessed that the public schools were not performing as he would like for them to do.
At this point, I must acknowledge that some public schools do a good job of teaching basic education. My observation so far has been that much if not most of those schools are in rural areas where the local community has a greater influence on the operation of those schools. There are some dedicated Christians who teach in public schools, but they are a small minority. I know some dedicated Christians who teach in public schools who are angels of mercy and light in their classrooms and private counseling. Their lives are a strong influence on the lives of their students.
At the same time, we must acknowledge that all teachers in public schools must teach from the curriculum and books handed to them and if they don’t, they will lose their jobs. Many Christian teachers in public schools have lost their jobs from their private counseling with students who come to them. In some rural schools, this may not be the case because from the principal down, the entire staff is made up of Christians. But, these schools are an exception and not the rule.
The official position of science books used in public schools is that evolution is scientific and factual. It is the religious dogma of public education. If I had the space, I would talk about the beginning of public education and the influence of Horace Mann and later of John Dewey at Columbia University. John Dewey signed the Humanist Manifest0 of 1933 which stated that they reject “the ghost in the machine” (that man has a soul). And: No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.”
I could talk about the doctrines and conditions of public education that have fueled the explosive growth of Christian schools and then of home schooling. Why do people pay taxes to pay for public education and then pay again to send their children to a Christian school?
I’m just reporting some things that you should know if you have school-age children or grandchildren. Parents are responsible not only to feed and clothe their children: we are responsible before God to educate our children in the Word of God and in the essentials of education for today. An old Jewish proverb says that if you don’t teach your son a trade, you are teaching him to steal.
THE PROPHET HOSEA LAMENTED: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. (Hosea 4:6) That’s a scary verse! Don’t you think? Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
FEBRUARY 19, 2018 – MONDAY
A.M. Numbers 1-2 P.M. Mark 3:1-21
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verses to Memorize:
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
Song for Today:
Standing on the Promises (1:49) (Class at Calvary Mem. Church)
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