Church/School Issue Revisited

by Tammy Drennan

We’ve had several comments recently expressing the unlikelihood that churches and Christian organizations will ever become a force for freedom in education.

They are too tied to the opinions and money of public school employees within their congregations and membership, not too mention the grousing of parents who think that God wants their children to be reared by the state because they pay taxes.

I wish I could say, “No, you’re wrong! Churches will rise to the occasion. Christian organizations will stand for independence!” But we all know that would be incredibly naïve.

Here’s the latest example. In the Feb. 1, 2008 Citizen Link put out by Focus on the Family, the organization decries a Massachusetts court decision that allows schools to expose young children to pro-homosexual stories and books.

At the end of Citizen Link’s short summary of the situation, they offer resources for parents facing such a problem at their children’s schools. I fully expected to see links to private and home schooling resources, but no. Not a one. Instead, there were the usual links that offered to help parents fight the state system and make it bend to their will.

James Dobson has, once or twice in the past, called for parents to remove their children from public schools. Why not this time? Who knows. Maybe he took a lot of flak for the other times. Maybe no one did it, and he decided it wasn’t a realistic strategy or that he’d just look foolish doing it again.

But before we lose hope, the seeds of education independent of the state do lie within the Christian ethic. And there are churches running schools and assisting homeschoolers. There are churches that place children before profit.

Billy Graham is credited with this quote: “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”

With a little help from concerned individuals (you and me), maybe the spines of a few more churches will be stiffened. Then a few more.

Here’s an idea. Print up a few of the articles on this site (or from some other source) that you consider most compelling, and send them to a dozen churches or organizations this week. It’s a step that could change the lives of many children and families.

Obviously, churches and Christian organizations are only part of the independence equation, but they are an important part, by virtue of their sheer numbers and influence on parent decision-making, if nothing else. Their lack of support for independence hurts children and families and their overt support of state schooling contributes not only to the deterioration of civil and decent society but to their own demise and thus the good they could do, if they so chose.

There is always hope, but we must act.

Related Articles:

The Last Great Christian Surrender

School: A Church Solution

4 Responses to Church/School Issue Revisited

  1. wintertime says:

    Follow the money! ( to a solution!)

    Harvard has a $35 Billion dollar endowment. Most of the Ivy League schools as well and many state colleges and universities have endowments in the ***Billions**! ( Yes, that is a “B”!) Even Exeter the elite prep school has an endowment close to a billion. There are colleges and universities throughout the nation with endowments in the multi-multi-millions!

    Conservatives ( Christian and non-Christian) could endow private scholarship foundations that could give private vouchers to private schools. These foundations could inspect and certify the schools and the curriculum. They could even provide testing to see that students were progressing.

    We are a wealthy nation. Every child in this nation could have access to an outstanding education that was based on constitutional, free market, and the Judeo Christian principles upon which all freedom is based. Not only are we as a nation capable of educating our own children, we could likely do this for every child in the world. We are that wealthy.

    American children could have the best educations ever available since the dawn of humankind. It is possible, if Conservatives ( Christian and non-Christian ) ***wanted** to do it.

    Government school employees with money to put in the collection plate may explain why churches are not stepping up to rescue their children from the government schools,,BUT,,,money can also be a solution!

    Conservatives ( Christian and non-Christian) **could** if they **wanted** provide plenty of money to follow! If there were enough money to follow perhaps churches would rise to the challenge of opening private schools.

  2. wintertime says:

    Also,,,please read my response to the essay “Christian Surrender”. It also applies to today’s essay.

    Thank you for you very interesting blog.


  3. wintertime says:

    One more thing:

    I believe that ministers ( being products of the Prussian model of brick and mortar schools) are overwhelmed by the cost and complexity of opening a school.

    We must do all we can to educate our ministers about micro-schools, mini-schools, homeschool cooperatives, dame schools, one room school houses, virtual schools,,etc. With today’s technology an **excellent** education can be obtained at a fraction of the cost of the traditional Prussian model, brick and mortar school, and without zoning, insurance, and regulation red tape.

    Christian teachers could be a tremendous resource for these innovative education models. As these schools grew in strength, non-members could be invited in ( provided that it did not overwhelm the culture of the schools). Imagine! What a wonderful missionary opportunity! The Christian teacher could do so much to mentor parents in good parental habits, and in creating a learning centered home. The Christian teacher could have the satisfaction of being true missionary by introducing these parents to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  4. tdbwd says:

    Dear Wintertime,

    Thanks for your great thoughts and remarks. I agree that with some imagination churches could create all manner of alternatives to state schooling. I’m working on a project that addresses that issue (many of the very things you mentioned in your response above). I’ve been dragging my feet on it a bit, but you’ve inspired me to get busy. Thank you.

    Tammy Drennan

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