(Tim) When I was younger, I used to say the homeschooling movement was one of the most encouraging signs in America, today.
Government has no business engaging in religious instruction, yet public schools do almost nothing else. Through the training and certification of government school teachers, education's oligarchs rule public schools with an iron fist and they are determined to wrest the minds and hearts of children away from their fathers.
My parents graduated from Wheaton College back in the forties and one of their friends went to Columbia University to get his doctorate. He reported Columbia's faculty and grad students were committed to using government schools to foment rebellion in the home, telling of a party in celebration of John Dewey's ninetieth birthday at which faculty and grad students discussed the utility of government schools for undermining parents' efforts to pass their religious commitments on to their sons and daughters. Their plan was simple: they would train public school teachers to serve as front-line missionaries for the godless paganism sold to the parents of government schoolchildren as "separation of church and state."
This and other things led to my parents working with several couples to start a new Christian school outside Philadelphia called Delaware Country Christian School. Mary Lee and I followed in their footsteps, joining with a few couples here in Bloomington to start Lighhouse Christian Academy. Before we finish educating our children we'll have used Christian schools, a Christian college, a public university, a secular college, public schools, home school, and a home school co-op.
What education do we think is best?
Government education is systemically corrupt and the corruption is intentional. I don't hesitate making this categorical statement despite the corruption not extending to every school district, school, principal, and teacher in your community or ours. In Wisconsin, the Superindent of our school district, the principal of our elementary school, one or two members of the school board, and a number of the teachers were members or attended the churches I served. Yet even there, for several years we had our eldest, Heather, in a Christian school in Madison one hour away.
CHRISTIAN SCHOOL EDUCATION
What about Christian schools? Sadly, Christian schools are often as bad as public schools--although in a different direction. In my files I have a letter several decades old, now, from my father to the board of Delaware County Christian School which likely ended his revered-father status there. Dad rebuked the board for disciplining a student publicly in such a way that everyone understood the school was more concerned about students' external conformity than their hearts. Among Christian schools, this sort of Phariseeism is common and it is deadly to the souls of our children. It leads a young Christian woman, for instance, to abort her unborn child rather than confess her fornication and receive the forgiveness of Jesus Christ and the celebration of the people of God over her repentance.
There are other failures typical of Christian schools, but there's one they share with home schools that's highlit by a controversy splitting home schoolers, their co-ops and conventions just now. Both Christian schools and home schools often are under no church authority.
HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION
Among home schoolers, few speakers are as well-known as Ken Ham. He's made his name opposing evolution and his ministry, Answers in Genesis, is synonymous with young earth creationism which may be the epicenter of this movement's doctrinal commitments. (And before I continue, let me say I'm no particular fan of Ken Ham.)
Recently Ham has been warning home schoolers to steer clear of a new curriculum being sold by Peter Enns of the pro-evolution BioLogos Foundation. Ham reports that, in the BioLogos curriculum, Enns "makes it clear that sin should not be discussed with young children because it will cause problems with their view of God." Ham further reports that Enns "doesn't believe in a literal Adam and literal Fall... yet sometimes describes Adam and the Fall in a way that he appears to believe in them (and) only later do you understand he merely uses these words metaphorically."
Yawn. This is nothing new for Enns. He was, after all, removed from the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary for not holding to the authority of Scripture (although he'd be vociferous in claiming he does and some men would support his claim).
What's interesting here isn't Peter Enns and his defective view of the Word of God written. Such men come along regularly and the only thing interesting about Enns is that he happened to pick a school to teach at where the trustees, administration, and profs are still men who fear God and wouldn't stand for his errors. I'm so thankful to Vern Poythress and Peter Lillback and all the others who did the hard work to expose Enns errors and remove him.
No, what's fascinating here is that home schoolers are not disciplining Enns and removing him and his BioLogos curriculum from their exhibit halls and workshop schedules. Rather, it's Ken Ham who's getting the boot and all the mothers are shocked because conflict is scandalous to them and they don't like anyone calling them to Biblical discernment.
This points to a danger of home schooling education. The reason home school conventions are giving Ken Ham the boot is that many home schoolers have forgotten that God calls Christians to submit to pastors and elders and Titus 2 women within the Church of Jesus Christ and it's the duty of those pastors and elders and Titus 2 women to defend and protect these homeschooling fathers, mothers, and children from men like Peter Enns.
Where is the Church in home schooling conventions and associations and co-ops? Where is the Church in many home schooling families? The Apostle Paul tells us the Church of the Living God is "the pillar and foundation of the truth" (1Timothy 3:15), but many home schoolers listen more carefully to Ken Ham and Peter Enns and their convention's plenary and workshop speakers than they do to their pastors and elders and Titus 2 women.
ClearNote Church has many home schooling families who do a superb job educating their children, my own grandchildren included. These families honor Christ's Church by submitting to the officers Christ has placed over them, so they're not wondering about Peter Enns false doctrine and they're not scandalized by Ken Ham standing up and warning home schooling dads and moms to protect their children from the man and his products. Those who honor Christ's Church and her officers would not kick a man out of their workshop schedule and exhibit hall, saying he's being divisive and arrogant and non-Christian when he's simply working hard to warn the ewes and their lambs away from soul-destroying error.
After all, this is the kind of warning the Apostle Paul himself gave all the time:
For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses... (2 Timothy 3:2-6).
Relationships are not the summa bonum of life. God is.
And He's given us the gift of His Church and officers to help our children become men and women of God. The Church and her seminary and pastors and teachers have spoken concerning Peter Enns so it's right for us to raise our voices and yell and use the rod and staff to keep the flock away from him.
Home schooling is wonderful as long as the father of the children is intimately involved in every aspect of the school and he himself leads his family to follow him in submitting to the Church and Her officers. As long as the home schooling husband leads the mother of his children to humble herself and learn from the Church and its shepherds; and she, in turn, leads her children to trust their father, elders, and pastor more than they trust Ken Ham, Peter Enns, or any other big-named home schooling convention speaker.
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(CORRECTION: Following publication, this post was edited to correct a mistake referrred to in comment Number 22 below.)