Christian Students Belong In Public Schools
The public schools need Christian students. But only those students who are properly trained. Christian students should be in the public schools standing up for what they know to be true, backing up their arguments with evidence and witnessing to both their fellow students and faculty alike. But in order to make that happen they will need training. Only those soldiers who are trained for battle should go off to war.
The church makes a great effort to send missionaries throughout the world in order to spread God's word. But at the same time we are ignoring one of the largest mission fields in existence today. At a public school, for the first 13 to 14 years of a young persons life they are immersed in a naturalistic environment. Those students in the public schools who do not know Jesus Christ need missionaries just as much as any African native. I believe that the children of Christian parents should receive proper training and attend a public school.
I did not always feel this way. My wife and I home-schooled our own children. And I was once a teacher at a private Christian school. At one time I thought that it was best to educate a child in an environment where Christ is Lord - either at home or in a Christian school. But I now realize that there is a vast difference between education and training. I now believe that these conservative methods of education actually violate God's word. The Bible states that we are to be a light on a hill. By withdrawing unto ourselves for our children's education, whether at home or in private schools, we are in fact putting a basket over that light.
What the Church needs to do, both its leaders and its members, is to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. We should always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks for a reason concerning the hope that is in us. But this is precisely where we let our children down. When it comes to science I am afraid that most of us have no answer.
We live in an age of reason. Like it or not things are different now than they were in the past. Today science has replaced God as a source of truth for many people. It is going to take effort to provide a reason for the hope that is in us. The hope that this world so desperately needs. Every Christian parent needs to take the time, and make the effort, to become educated in science.
This does not mean that every parent is expected to get a PhD in science. I know from experience that science can be confusing and scary for some. And I know that many parents lead very busy lives. But I also know that, with a little effort, anyone can learn the basics of science. The child needs only enough science to provide a foundation. With that foundation, and some encouragement, they can take it from there. And help should always be available from the local church. But unfortunately, this is often not the case.
When I was growing up I had questions about evolution. I was raised in a Christian home by Christian parents. They taught me that the Bible was true. While at school I was learning something else entirely. I was learning that life had originated on its own. I was learning that humans had evolved rather than having been created. One day I asked my dad about this. He had no idea of what to say but he did see my concern.
My father took me to our local church to meet with the pastor. I can still recall being in the basement of the church just before an afternoon pot-luck. The three of us were standing next to a table decorated with plates and silverware. Concerning evolution the pastor told me: "Just don't believe it. It is from the devil". I have to admit that I went back to school very confused. Here was my teacher presenting all of this "evidence" supporting evolution and all my pastor could say was "Just don't believe it". I do not blame my father and I do not blame the pastor. They did not know any better. But they should have.
Budgets can be tight and bills have to be paid. This can be true for both parents and churches alike. I believe however that the leaders of the church need to make certain that their members are scientifically literate. Local churches very often have youth leaders, choir directors and the like. I think that every local church should also have someone who is trained in the sciences. This may be a volunteer or they may need to be paid. In any event every local church should have someone who can train the parents who can then train their children.
Christians need to be able to defend their faith. And every Christian parent needs to be able to adequately train up their children. That training includes the sciences. In my opinion the teaching of evolution has led countless people over the years to deny Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. We send missionaries to the four corners of the Earth to proclaim the Gospel - and rightly so. And yet we ignore one of the largest mission fields on earth - our public schools.