Whose children are they: a modest proposal for Governor Pence...

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Before he died twelve years ago, my brother Nathan was furious over the refusal of our United States Immigration and Naturalization Service to grant political asylum to Chinese couples who, if they returned to their homeland, would be forced to murder their unborn children. Those who have followed the one-child policy of China's Communist dictators implemented in 1978 know such horrors are commonplace. One friend of mine who's an academic at another university got a phone call from a former student in China whose wife had become pregnant. China's apparatchiks were going to murder their unborn child, so my friend arranged for the man to...

get an academic appointment at his university right away and the man and his wife and children were able to flee China for two years. My friend is now the happy godfather of a wonderful little boy. Such are the Corrie ten Booms of today.

It's not just governments murdering children physically. Children today are also murdered intellectually and spiritually by school teachers trained and certified to serve as government ministers of propaganda. But again, parents seeking asylum in these United States of America run into a brick wall. Take Germany, for instance: concerning education, the children of our European ally are viewed as state property. Fathers and mothers are prohibited from educating their sons and daughters, Biblically. Homeschooling is illegal, for instance, and so Christian parents flee their German homeland seeking asylum in nations where they are free to raise their children in the Christian faith. We have members of one such family in our congregation and we've posted on this before.

The past couple of days there have been a number of news pieces about a Christian homeschooling family from Germany denied asylum by the Obama administration. The parents got a lot of press attention. Finally the Obama administration caved, praise God!

But keep your eye on the ball. One swallow doth not a summer make. The battle for our children is going to intensify in the coming years and Christian parents who are wise will be planning and preparing for the day when homeschooling will be illegal here in these United States, also. One day soon teachers lacking certification as government ministers of propaganda will not be permitted to teach any of the state's children. When that day arrives, Christians will face desperate choices already faced for decades by their brothers and sisters in Christ living in a number of nations across Europe.

We haven't been on guard and we'll pay for our slothfulness. For decades, our bloodthirsty civil magistrates have worked to protect our minor daughters' ability to murder their unborn child without our knowledge and the church has been silent. No riots. No protests. No letter campaigns. No sermons. No books. No conferences on God's calling to parents—not the state—to be the natural sovereigns of their children.

What to do?

Take the administration of Governor Mike Pence here in Indiana, for instance. Gov. Pence could be using his Republican majority to legislate greater protections for parental control of the education of their children. Instead, this good Christian man is working to bring more of our state's children under government control. Right now he's spending his political capital in an effort to expand public education to pre-Kindergarten children. Yet this will only further facilitate parents' abandonment of their children. Thus grows the control of the state over the Christian home and family.

I realize this is not Gov. Pence's intent, but such accretions of authority have an inexorable logic that any student of government can recite all day until the cows come home. Gov. Pence tells us more governmental control of children is simply a matter of compassion, but he's wrong. Bad parents don't need big brother to facilitate their crimes against their children. They need the civil magistrate to bring his authority to bear upon them in a way that forces them to provide for their own. God gave these parents their children and He will hold them responsible for their stewardship of their children's bodies, minds, and souls. Gov. Pence knows this and should act in a way that doesn't make it easier, but harder, for parents to betray and abandon their own flesh and blood.

In his Christianity and Liberalism written almost a century ago, Machen excoriated Nebraska's civil magistrates for prohibiting Christian parents from controlling the education of their children. More recently, novelist Larry Woiwode (Beyond the Bedroom Wall) wrote1 of his battle with North Dakota propaganda ministers over the education of his own children. Despite his years serving as a professor and his international reputation as a novelist, North Dakota refused to allow him to educate his own children. And what about you?

The Homeschool Legal Defense Association has done yeoman's work, but it's only a drop in the bucket. What needs to happen in these United States is not a consolidation of free market economics or the passage of progressive tax policies or paydown of our national debt. This is simply to fiddle while Rome burns.

What's truly important is that we all set about passing legislation to protect our freedom of religion by passing laws protecting our freedom of conscience as Christians to live in our churches, homes, families, and businesses according to God's Perfections and His Moral Law. And such protections must start with our freedom to do the one thing most important to every Godly father and mother: to raise our precious covenant children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

If Gov. Pence is truly zealous to help the children of the state of Indiana, he'll seed legislation that will make Indiana the safest state in our nation for Christian parents to train up their children in the way they should go so when they are old, they will not depart from it. The key to our nation's future is the education of our children—everyone agrees with that statement. So let North Dakota and Pennsylvania be North Dakota and Pennsylvania. Then, let the Indiana legislature pass laws making parents' religious freedom to say "no" to the indoctrination of their children foundational to state law; let Gov. Pence sign that legislation into law; and let Indiana be Indiana! Ten and twenty years later, watch what happens as our great Hoosier state becomes better known for being a bastion of religious freedom than the Kinsey Institute, the Indy 500, and Bobby Knight.

And as an added benefit, Indiana will be demonstrably better than any other state of the union in producing well-read, engaged, and tolerant—which is to say, liberal-minded and well-educated—citizens.

Governmental ministers of propaganda never do a good job educating children. Give them as much money as you want or have, all the studies show that it's money thrown away. What matters is the family of origin. Why not have one state in the union that builds on that simple fact, and unapologetically?

Every Christian citizen of these United States should agree that protecting our sons and daughters from the intensely religious secularism of state-certified educators, instead exercising our freedom to raise our Covenant children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, is the cornerstone of religious freedom. Without that freedom, our First Amendment is a sham.

So watch Indiana and see if we become the shining light of the First Amendment across these United States. If so, move here and let the experiment in education begin. Not schooling, but education.

Education cut off from theology is the pure ignorance that leaves us with young men and women of the church whose deepest commitments are stylistic, whose heroes are not Gregory, Bernard, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Machen, Lloyd-Jones, and Murray, but Driscoll and Keller.

  • 1. Acts, Larry Woiwode, 1993.
Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!