Rev. Ron Hanko
Christian education, properly understood, is not
the teaching that is done by Christian teachers in the state schools. We
are thankful for such Christian teachers and believe that they stand as
one of the last bulwarks against the flooding in of secularism,
lawlessness, and the breakdown of family, and society today. But
Christian education means more than having Christian teachers in state
Christian education is education that is completely
and consistently Christian. It is education that is Christ-centred and
Bible based. It is education that is controlled not by civil government
but by Christian parents. That is not to say that a Christian school is
merely a glorified Sabbath School. It is and ought to be a school which
teaches the same subjects that are taught in the state schools, but all
form a biblical perspective and with a Christian emphasis.
A Christian school is a school in which history is
taught as HIS-story, the story of God’s dealings with the nations. It is
a school which teaches science in light of the fundamental truth that
the universe in which we live is created and ruled by God. It teaches
mathematics never forgetting that mathematics "works" because God is a
God of order and harmony. It teaches reading so that the students can
read the Bible as well as other books, and judge all they read in the
light of Scripture.
A Christian school is a school in which the teachers
are all men and women of sound minds, filled with the Spirit of God, who
can be examples of godliness and holiness to the students, and who will
not teach the filth and false philosophies of the world in which we
live. In such a school not only the instruction but also the discipline
are controlled by the teachings of God’s word. In it the students are
brought up "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 4:4).
Put very simply, a truly Christian school is a school
in which Jesus Christ is King and Lord of all that is done. This is the
kind of education we believe this province and this country need. We
invite all those who are of the same mind to join with us in the work of
providing such education for our children.
The Need for Christian Education
Are Christian schools necessary? We believe they are.
We believe they are necessary because only through
Christian schools and Christian education can Christian parents fulfil
their calling to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition
of the Lord.
This calling does NOT belong to the civil government,
but to parents. Search the Scriptures and you will not even one passage
that suggests that the civil government has any calling to instruct the
That calling, which God has given to parents, does
not end when the child walks out the door in the morning to go to
school. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 makes it very clear that it is a full-time
calling: "And these 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 in the way, and when thou liest down and when thou risest up."
Nor is the calling to bring our children up in the
word and fear of God, and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
Jesus Christ, fulfilled by a few hours of religious education each week,
especially when that religious education presents Christianity as just
one other religion among many and teaches many anti-christian values and
Instruction of children in the home and bringing them
under the ministry of the Word in the Church are not our whole calling
as parents. Home, church, and school must work together: "A
three-fold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Sadly, the
third strand of Christian education in Christian schools is usually
lacking today. So the cord is broken, and our children lost to the
influences of the godless world in which we live!
The spiritual well-being of our children is at stake.
Psalm 78:1-11 tells us that the failure of Israelite children to keep
God’s covenant and their refusal to walk in His law was due to the
failure of their parents consistently to teach their children the Word
of God. The distressing days of the Judges came about because there had
come a generation which knew not the Lord nor the mighty works He had
done for His people. Shall we not learn from these examples?
Is Education Neutral?
Those who oppose the idea of Christian education
often argue that Christian schools are unnecessary.
Their first argument in support of this claim is that
the state schools are not opposed to Christianity but are neutral. The
schools themselves and the government which supports them often use this
same argument to justify their existence. Is this true? We do not
believe it is.
We believe that any organization that is not actively
promoting Christian teachings and values as an organization is actually
opposing them. Jesus Himself says this: "He that is not with me is
against me; and he that gathered not with me scattereth abroad" (Matthew
12:30). We believe, therefore, that in spite of some Christian influence
the basic philosophy and aims of the secular schools are anti-christian.
They are scattering rather than gathering our children.
For example, a school which teaches evolution in the
science classes is not neutral. In teaching that the human body is
merely a product of evolution, our children are taught that their bodies
are their own to use or abuse as they please. This ignores the Bible’s
teaching that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit (I
Corinthians 6:19). Such teaching is therefore not neutral.
Another argument against Christian education
recognizes that we live in a corrupt world, but insists that it is good
for our children to be exposed to the world around them, even from a
very young age. But this is no the teaching of scripture. Scripture says
that it is our calling to be spiritually separate from the wicked world
(II Corinthians 6:14-18).
It is especially important for our children, who are
compared in Psalm 128 to young olive plants, to be protected from evil
influences. No young plant can be immediately exposed to the elements
and to the full heat of the sun and be expected to live. Nurture
(Ephesians 6:4) is not exposure.
For the sake of the children themselves, then, and
for their spiritual good, we as Christian parents must provide the
protection of Christian schools for our children. Only in that way will
we be faithful to them and to God who gave them us.
Who Should Educate Our Children?
The most powerful argument for Christian education is
the fact that it gives Christian parents full control of the education
of their children. This is according to God’s own command to parents. To
them, and to them alone belongs the responsibility for bringing up their
This is clear from such Bible passages as Genesis
18:19, where God says of Abraham, "For I know him, that he will command
his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of
the Lord;" Deuteronomy 6:7, "And thou shalt teach them [God’s
commandments] diligently unto thy children;" and Ephesians 6:4, "And, ye
fathers … bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
Nor will it do to argue that this only applies to the
religious education of our children. All the education of children ought
to be religious, and our calling to bring them up religiously does not
end for six or seven hours when they leave for school in the morning.
There is not the least suggestion in the Bible that
the civil government has any responsibility to educate our childe. When
we give them our children to be educated we are abdicating our
responsibilities as parents.
Nor does the church have this responsibility, though
it does help us fulfil our responsibilities. Parochial, that is,
church-controlled, schools are not the answer either. Parentally
controlled schools, in which the teachers and the curriculum are all
chosen by the Christian parents who send their children to the schools,
are the only thing that will allow us to fulfil our responsibilities.
But are we not denying parental education if we have
hired teachers for the education of our children? Not if the teachers
are Christian men and women chosen by the parents and answerable to the
parents. Then the teachers can and do stand in the place of the parents,
as they ought to.
We believe, therefore, not only in Christian
education, but also in parentally controlled education. We believe that
is God’s command for parents, a command that they may not disobey. May
God move many parents to take up once again their calling to bring up
their own children!
Is Christian Education Worthwhile?
Even if we agree that Christian education schools are
necessary, there is still the difficult and daunting task of actually
setting up Christian schools. The sacrifices required of parents in
terms of money, time, and commitment must not be minimized. The cost
alone is enormous. In fact, it is probably the cost of Christian
education more than anything else that led to the demise of nearly all
the Christian schools that once existed in this country.
Is Christian education in Christian schools worth
such a high cost? Ought parents be asked to make such a huge commitment
not only in money, but also in time and effort to the cause of Christian
education? We believe that Christian education is worthy of our best
efforts and of the greatest sacrifices, especially when its benefits are
What are the Benefits of Christian Education?
The first and most obvious benefit is that out
children receive a thoroughly biblical and Christian upbringing. The
importance of this is seen in Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the
way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." That
is God’s sure promise and our only hope for our children in this corrupt
world in which we live. How can we be sure that our children will not
depart from God’s way (as so many of them are doing today) when they are
trained for over six hours a day, five days a week, ten months of the
year, in other ways, even in ways that the ought not go?
Another obvious benefit of Christian education is
that our children are sheltered, as they ought to be, during
their formative years of their life form many evil teachings and
influences. Not only we but we and our children are commanded in
Scripture to "come out from among them and be separate" and to refuse
even to touch the unclean thing (II Corinthians 6:17). To those who do,
God promises to be a Father and have them as His sons and daughters. As
much as we desire that for our children, by so much let us come out and
be separate in this matter of Christian education! And when the cause of
Christian education looks to be beyond our resources and strength, let
us remember that "our help is in the Name of the Lord who made heaven
Christian Education and the Church
Christian schools are essential for the future of the
church of Jesus Christ. Without them the cause and kingdom of Jesus
Christ as it is represented by the church will continue to decline.
Those who love the church that Christ bought with His own blood ought,
therefore, to love Christian education also.
Church and school depend on each other because
parentally controlled Christian education is part of their calling that
parents have to bring up their children in the fear of the Lord. Only
when parents fulfil that calling to the utmost of their power can the
The Christian school is an extension of the Christian
home is one of the most powerful influences we have for producing
Christian young men and women. God Himself promises that He will bless
the godly instruction of children, but the church alone cannot do the
job. At best it has the children for only a few hours a week, and that
is not enough to counteract all the other things that influence our
children, especially if they are in the care of the unbelievers and
exposed to ungodly influences for the greater part of each day.
Believing that Israel was the church of the Old
Testament, we ought to take words of Psalm 128:6 to heart. The Psalm
speaks of a godly home (of which the church is an extension) and ends
with a wonderful promise concerning both that home and the church: "Thou
shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel
Children who are taught in the unbelieving world and
by the unbelieving world will seldom be a blessing to the church of
Jesus Christ. Even if in time they come to faith in Jesus Christ, they
will be beginners in the faith, having learned little or nothing about
the Christian doctrine and of the Christian life. And how few of them do
turn from the ways of the world! How could it be otherwise when they
were raised in and by the world for the better part of every day!
Can we allow such a situation to continue to ruin the
church and the loss of our Protestant Reformation heritage? May God
grant us stirred up spirits to do the work of training our children
every day and all day in the fear of the Lord!