It seems that American society has drifted into a turbulent sea without anchor or sail, and there is scarcely a safe harbor in sight. Nonetheless, there is hope. It would be easy to lay a large share of the blame at the doorstep of the public school system, and we would be right. But let’s look deeper.
American civilization was not born in a bed of roses; it was weaned in a rugged and hostile environment. The early settlers had to battle an untamed wilderness just to keep body and soul together. They certainly did not have government to fall back on to educate their children, or anything else for that matter. They took seriously Moses admonition to the Israelites to obey God’s law in subjecting their children to a godly education:
Modern American Christians have lost that vision and adopted a contrary Myth: A neutral public education is adequate for our children’s basic academic needs.
Our MythBusters investigation found opposing evidence from the Book of Scripture and the book of history.
Initially we found this admonition in the book of Deuteronomy: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And the words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).
The Pilgrims fled not only from persecution in England, but later from bad influence on their children in Holland. They recognized that education was anything by neutral. These tender seedlings were not yet ready to contend with the enemy in the gates (seats of power), but their parents realized that they were a heritage of the LORD. They were like arrows (weapons of war) in the quivers of their fathers, and their day would come to take their positions in the multigenerational war for the kingdom of God (Psalm 127:3-5).
Under the New Covenant, the apostle Paul admonished Christian fathers to “bring them [their children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). When the Prophet Jeremiah told God’s people to “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jeremiah 10:2), he was not telling them to turn a blind eye toward their evil doctrines and practice, but recognize them for what they are, and do not follow them.
We discovered this excerpt from a prayer by early American Puritan leader Cotton Mather:
And, O thou Saviour, and Shepherd of Thy New-English Israel: Be Entreated Mercifully to look down upon thy Flocks in the Wilderness. Oh, give us not up to the Blindness and Madness of neglecting the Lambs in the Flocks. Inspire thy People, and all Orders of men among thy People with a just care for the Education of Posterity…Save us, O our Lord JESUS CHRIST. Save us from the Mischiefs and Scandals of an Uncultivated Offspring; Let this be a Land of Light, unto Thou, O Sun of Righteousness, do thyself arise unto the World with Healing in thy Wings. Amen. [Emphasis added]
So how did we get from where we were then to where we are today? Not only does the unconverted man in general look for escape mechanisms, but Christians have that tendency also due to indwelling sin. As even Peter, James, and John fell asleep as Jesus prayed in that desperate hour (Matthew 26:37-41), so the church has been slack in its responsibility at various times and places through history. We have a heavenly treasure, but it dwells in earthly vessels.
The ancient Greek philosophers not only had a great impact on the church and the world in medieval times but also on early America and right down to the present. These humanistic notions always find fertile ground in fallen human nature.
Plato’s abstract never-never land of surrealism has driven elements of the Christian church into pietistic escapism. “Why polish the brass of a sinking ship?” This led many evangelicals to abandon ship around 1925 at the time of the “Scopes monkey trial.” Although prosecutor William Jennings Bryan won the case in the staged trial of John Scopes, the creationist position was publicly trashed by the ACLU.
Case Closed: Public education is not neutral, but decidedly anti-Christian. We cannot allow the public education system to continue ransacking our children’s hearts and mind and replacing the Christian faith with the false notions of a non-existent neutrality. There is no demilitarized zone in this battle for their souls and our culture. It’s time to fight back!