[18]   Family (2): Education & Children

Background:

In North America, enrolment in Christian schools has risen 10% per year during the last decade and has more than doubled.

81.  How does the Bible view the institution of family?

·         A family is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption. God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society.

·         The husband and wife are both created in God’s image are of equal worth before God. A husband is to assume servant leadership. The love between husband and wife will show itself in listening to each other’s viewpoints, valuing each other’s wisdom and desires, honouring one another.

·         Children are a blessing from God. They are to honour and obey their parents. (Eph 6:1-4; 1Ti 3:4)

·         The institution of family demonstrates God’s supreme intelligence in design, such as the link through genetic makeup, physical and psychological resemblance, and permanency.

82.  Who has the responsibility of education of children?

·         The education of children and youth is the responsibility of the parents (Dt 6:5-9; Eph 6:4). Part of that responsibility may be delegated to either the church or public institutions of education. When conflicts arise, the parents always have the power to make the final decision.

·         The secular humanist agenda is to use the schools to instill their values to our children. A humanist writes: “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism…. What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”

·         The most effective way to prevent the secularization of children is to build a solid Christian moral and spiritual foundation at home and at church. Most of all, children must be committed to divine protection through prayer. No one can look after the children all the time, except God.

·         Research shows that involvement by the father in bringing up the child can greatly impact a child in many areas: management of emotions, academic achievement, verbal communication, etc. Recent research has shown that fathers actually seem to have absolute veto power over the homosexual development of their sons. A counsellor for hundreds of homosexuals said, “I have never met a homosexual male with a loving, respectful relationship with his father.”

·         In the US, 1970 figures show that 6% of whites, and 38% of blacks were born to unmarried women. In 2002, it has risen to 29% for whites and 68% for blacks.

83.  How should Christians view home-schooling?

a.   In public schools, children are compelled to learn the secular humanistic views, such as:

·         that homosexuality is a perfectly acceptable alternative lifestyle;

·         that the Christian religion has absolutely no place in education;

·         that there are absolutely no concrete ethical or moral rules (ethical relativism);

·         that the highest of all virtues are compassion and tolerance (political correctness).

b.   Secular humanism is the official philosophy (religion) of the education arena.

·         to completely ban Creationism from the schools,

·         to put in place permissive sex education,

c.   Exclusion of religion and tradition in textbooks:

·         A comprehensive study of 60 social studies textbooks (grades 1 to 12) concluded that “Religion, traditional family values… have been reliably excluded from children’s textbooks.”

d.   Because of the growing anti-theistic influences developing in public schools, the church should support those parents who decide to put their children in home-schools.

e.   Advantages of home-schooling:

·         not influenced by humanist philosophy, situation ethics, sexual deviations as alternative

·         not exposed to negative peer pressure to violate his Christian values on sex, drugs, and violence

·         receive the proper training in Christian values

·         learning can be speeded up or slowed down according to individual students’ learning ability

·         enjoy personal attention of the parents

·         Numerous studies (some by liberals) reveal that homeschooled children score higher on tests, are superior in knowledge, and are more adaptable and sociable than children in public schools.

f.    Possible shortcomings of home-schooling:

·         require extra financial and time commitment from the parents

·         need to follow existing well-developed homeschooling curriculum

·         need to coordinate extracurricular activities

·         Children who were brought up in a protective environment will need to eventually face the challenge from the secular society.

g.   A good alternative of home-schooling is attending private Christian schools.

84.  Does the Bible support physical discipline of children?

a.   Physical discipline of children is a Biblical model (Pr 13:24; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15).

b.   Alternatives can also be considered in disciplining, such as confiscation of allowance or brief period of isolation. In any case, disciplinary actions must be non-excessive, infrequent and administered without anger. An explanation to the child that the discipline is for his/her own good and is done out of love may also be necessary.

c.   Some people have attempted to prove the negative consequence of physical discipline but there is still no conclusive proof.

d.   The Canadian Criminal Code allows teachers, parents/guardians to use non-excessive physical discipline. Humanists have attempted persistently but unsuccessfully to obtain blanket prohibition of all physical discipline through litigation in courts.

e.   Parents need to encourage positive behavior, ignore trivial problems and to be responsive to their child. Parents must avoid using undesirable methods of discipline which include harsh punishment and negative demeanor such as using insults towards children.

85.  Should Christians support children’s rights?

·         Children may be abused by people of authority. Supporting children’s rights appears worthwhile.

·         However, many people who actively support children’s rights actually want to eliminate the influence of the parents on their own children.

·         The way for the society (based on secular humanism) to achieve absolute control over our children is by offering them absolute freedom which then transfers control from parents to themselves.

·         What children need is love not rights. Christians should support ways to eliminate cruelty and inhumane actions against children but never give a blanket support for children’s rights.

86.  What kind of education do young people receive in college and university?

·         Professors in Canadian and American colleges and universities are predominantly humanists.

·         For a young person, there is a time when he/she affirms his/her own independence, becomes skeptical about what was taught, re-evaluates position on truth, accepts or rejects past beliefs. This often happens when young people attend college or university. That is why ideas they receive in universities have so much impact in their lives.

·         Since most university courses are taught through a lens of liberalism. This is why the only education group in the US with a majority supporting same-sex marriage is those with post-graduate degrees.

·         The urgent need is to help children establishing firm moral and Biblical foundation when young.