In this article Doug Wilson answers arguments made by Christians why children should be kept in public school.
- To engage the culture.
- The sovereignty of God
- No other means of education
Wilson answers each of these objections:
To objection 1:
“…engaging with culture wisely is something that requires training. So the issue is not whether we want soldiers who are ready to engage with culture, but whether our army is going to provide those soldiers with training in boot camp. More than that, will we provide them with guns and ammo? To change the metaphor, Nairobi requires salt and light also, but you don’t put your seven-year-old on a plane to go there. The reason you don’t is that they are not yet equipped.”
The sovereignty of God, which means that God will determine if our children are saved despite anything parents do one way or the other.
“…to use [the sovereignty of God] as an argument against the use of scripturally appointed means [to train our children] is to teeter on the lip of hyper-Calvinism…The issue is whether God has required us to use particular means. Of no authority whatever is any particular line of reasoning from the bare fact of God’s sovereignty. If God is sovereign, why pray? Why preach? Well, we should pray and preach because it was the sovereign God who told us to.”
No other means. There are those who can’t afford to educate their children any other way, sometimes due to income and other times due to the absence of a spouse. Here Wilson gives two answers. One (a) to the single parent, and then another (b) to those who can’t afford it.
a: In such circumstances, it is the responsibility of church communities to help out. At Christ Church, we baptize infants, and every time we do, the congregation takes an oath to help these parents in “the Christian nurture of this child.” In Baptist churches, something similar can be done when children are dedicated, or when they are baptized later on. Regardless of denominational distinctives, Christian churches carry a responsibility to help parents in the momentous task of Christian nurture.
b: I wish I could say that Christian fathers rarely put monthly budgetary issues ahead of their children’s educational welfare — but it is not true. There are unfortunately many instances when it all comes down to the money, and not in the right way. There is no way to build a Christian educational alternatives without sacrifices — and people won’t make sacrifices when they don’t understand the issues. And getting someone to understand the issues when understanding them will cost him a thousand dollars a month is frequently a tough sell… Teaching children to love Christ with all their heart, soul, mind and strength is expensive. So is feeding them — but we still do it.
It’s a great article, written in the unique style of Doug Wilson. It is worth the time to follow the link.