[18]   Family (2): Education & Children

STORY: Public opinion surveys almost always show that people with more education are generally more liberal than other people of the same age. One main reason is that college and university students are influenced by the liberalism of their professors. In effect, universities act as a factory that produces liberal students, include your own 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.   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 Bible took the institution of the family for granted because it is the natural order intended by God so the Bible does not explicitly promote it.

b.   Relationship between husband and wife:

·         The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. The husband has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to place herself in support of the servant leadership of her husband even as the Church willingly places herself in support of the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve together in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. (Eph 5:22-25)

·         In a marriage lived according to these truths, the love between husband and wife will show itself in listening to each other’s viewpoints, valuing each other’s gifts, wisdom and desires, serving in partnership to impact the culture redemptively, honouring one another in public and in private, and always seeking to bring benefit, not harm to one another.

c.   Children in the family:

·         Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. They should teach their children spiritual and moral values and lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honour and obey their parents. (Eph 6:1-4; 1Ti 3:4)

d.   Family as a demonstration of God’s perfect plan for family and birth:

·         The institution of family demonstrates God’s supreme intelligence in design.

·         The mysterious link between both parents and the offspring [half of the genetic makeup (DNA) from each parent] is an important element in parental love.

·         The blood relations and physical and psychological resemblance shared by the siblings create a permanent link and close personal relationship.

·         Children strengthen the marriage bond. The permanency of such bond reflects the will of God that a marriage vow once committed should be permanent.

82.  Who has the responsibility of education of children?

a.   Authority in 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. But the responsibility or the controlling power stays with the parents and is never relinquished. When conflicts arise, the parents always have the power to make the final decision.

·         Some liberal judges have tried to take away the right of education of children from the parents. They wanted to stop parents from “imposing their narrow religious views from their children.”

In R. v. Audet (1997), the Supreme Court of Canada reaffirmed that the parents are the primary educators of their children. A teacher's authority is a delegated authority, and not inherent. Parents can revoke that authority, and their right to do so was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in Adler v. Ontario [1996].

b.   The secular humanist agenda is to use the schools to instill their values to our children.

·         A humanist says, “Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is 16 tends to lead toward the elimination of religious superstition.”

·         A radical liberal says, “The Left can’t survive politically without a public school system to spread leftist attitudes.”

·         Another humanist writes: “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school 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?”

c.   School work:

·         Christian children and youth who attend public schools should be exempted from assignments and activities which conflict with their Christian values (for example, an essay promoting the exclusion of God from the society). We should ask for alternate assignments so that the student’s academic standing not be jeopardized.

d.   Protection of our children:

·         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.

e.   Influence of the father:

·         Usually, the mother spends more time with the children and has great influence over the children, but the role of the father is always underestimated.

·         Research shows that paternal involvement in bringing up the child can greatly impact a child in many areas: management of emotions, academic achievement, verbal communication, problem-solving skills, and the development of empathy.

·         Kids between 13 and 17 say that, next to their peers, their father is their most important role model. [Peer pressure, termed the “terror of the peer group” by Dr. James Dobson (1Co 15:33) is a major influencing factor on behaviour that children need to deal with, and often need to resist.]

·         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.”

f.    Children born out of wedlock:

·         Unfortunately, there has been a trend toward more children born to unmarried women. 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.

·         Many children in single parent homes are found to have lower academic achievement and with antisocial behaviour.

83.  How should Christians view home-schooling?

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

(1)  that homosexuality is a perfectly acceptable alternative lifestyle;

Children forced to accept homosexuality

In 1997, Surrey School Board banned books about same-sex marriage from kindergarten and grade 1 (allowed in grade 2 and upwards). The ban was overruled by the British Columbia Supreme Court. The ruling was later overturned. However, the Supreme Court of Canada heard the case in 2002 and ordered the school board to reconsider its decision, meaning that the Court may force the Board to include those books if the Board does not voluntarily do so.

(2)  that abortion is a matter to be decided not by the church or by the state, but solely by a woman and her physician;

(3)  that the Christian religion has absolutely no place in education, although “New Age” and various African and Eastern religious practices are taught; (The Bible is banned not only because of its religious nature, but it cannot even be examined in its historical or literary context!)

(4)  that there are absolutely no concrete ethical or moral rules, and that all problems must be considered on a case-by-case basis (ethical relativism or “situational ethics”);

(5)  that there is really no good or evil, and that the concept of “sin” is outmoded;

“Value-free” curriculum

In university, students in education (future teachers) are taught that words like “good” and “bad” have no place in class. Therefore, smoking should not be described as “bad”; instead, students should only be taught that smoking can cause health problems like lung cancer. They are then given the freedom to choose.

(6)  that the highest of all virtues are compassion and tolerance (political correctness), above all other virtues;

(7)  that students should feel good about themselves, irrespective of whether they perform well.

Feeling good more important than good performance

In a 1989 study, grade 7 students from 6 countries were given a difficult mathematics test. The performance is best in Korea, followed by Spain, Britain, Ireland, Canada, and the US. After the test, they were asked to rate their performance compared to 5 other countries. The most optimistic were the American students (68% rate themselves good) while of Koreans were most pessimistic (only 23% rate themselves good).

b.   Secular humanism is the official philosophy (religion) of the education arena. Official objectives of the US National Education Association include:

·         to completely ban Creationism from the schools,

·         to put in place permissive sex education,

·         to insure that abortion on demand remains the law of the land,

·         to include ‘homosexual orientation’ as a protected civil rights category,

·         to vigorously oppose tuition tax credits and homeschooling,

·         to gain complete control over the school libraries [the purpose is to ensure that only humanist books are allowed and any book with mentioning “God’ is banned (as demonstrated in the news)].

Canadian Education Association

* Strong, vibrant publicly funded education and learning systems as the cornerstone of a democratic society characterized by equity and diversity.

c.   Exclusion of religion and tradition in textbooks:

·         A comprehensive study of 60 social studies textbooks (grades 1 to 12) done for the US National Institute of Education concluded that “Religion, traditional family values, and conservative political and economic positions have been reliably excluded from children’s textbooks.”

o        not a single word of the more than 1.5 million total words referred to any religious activity in contemporary American life.

o        the words “marriage,” “wedding,” “husband,” and “wife” did not appear once

o        of the 23 “role models” held up as examples to modern youths by the sixty texts, only one was a conservative. Not a single contemporary role model was a white male, of course no Billy Graham.

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 ridicule or embarrassment if too slow, or too religious

·         not exposed to negative peer pressure to violate his Christian value system 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 and interviews by a wide variety of organizations (some of them quite liberal) reveal that homeschooled children score higher on achievement tests, are superior in their breadth and depth of 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; also Pr 12:1; 15:5; 19:18; Heb 12:7-8,11).

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.

Physical discipline and antisocial behaviour

A survey of 807 mothers of 6-9 year olds found that 44% spanked their child at least once in the preceding week, and 10% spanked their child three or more times. Two years later, the children that were spanked most often were also more likely to exhibit antisocial behaviour, such as breaking things deliberately or being disobedient at school.

Even so, the study could not conclusively prove cause and effect between spanking and antisocial behaviour.

In addition, there may be a reversal of cause and effect, i.e. those who were spanked most often were already the ones with behavioural problems.

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. In January 2004, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that physical discipline should be retained. However, they also placed new retrictions.

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?

a.   Children may be abused by people of authority, including parents, guardians, teachers. Therefore, supporting children’s rights appears to be a worthwhile action.

b.   However, many people who actively support children’s rights do not aim at welfare of children. They want to eliminate the influence of the parents on their own children, thus emphasizing children’s rights against parental rights.

c.   The way for the society (based on secular humanism) to achieve absolute control over our children is by offering them absolute freedom. “Children’s Liberation Movement” is to make all children, no matter how young, completely autonomous. They do not really desire freedom for children -- they merely want to transfer control from parents to themselves. They push for “A Child’s Bill of Rights” which includes the right to self-determination, right to educate oneself, right to sexual freedom, right to political and economic power.

An ultra-liberal document: “A Child’s Bill Of Rights”

1.  THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION.  Children should have the right to decide the matters which affect them most directly.

2.  THE RIGHT TO ALTERNATIVE HOME ENVIRONMENTS.  Self-determining children should be able to choose from among a variety of arrangements:  residences operated by children, child exchange programs, 24-hour child-care centers, and various kinds of schools and employment opportunities.  Parents are not always good for their children ...

3.  THE RIGHT TO RESPONSIVE DESIGN.  Society must accommodate itself to children’s size and to their need for safe space.  To keep them in their place, we now force children to cope with a world that is either not built to fit them, or is actually designed against them.

4.  THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION.  A child must have the right to all information ordinarily available to adults -- including, and perhaps especially, information that makes adults uncomfortable.

5.  THE RIGHT TO EDUCATE ONESELF.  Children should be free to design their own education, choosing from among many options the kinds of learning experiences they want, including the option not to attend any kind of school.  Compulsory education must be abolished because the enforced threatening quality of education in America has taught children to hate school, to hate the subject matter, and, tragically, to hate themselves.

6.  THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT.  Corporal punishment is used impulsively and cruelly in the home, arbitrarily in the schools, and sadistically in penal institutions.

7.  THE RIGHT TO SEXUAL FREEDOM.  Children should have the right to conduct their sexual lives with no more restrictions than adults.  Sexual freedom for children must include the right to information about sex, the right to nonsexist education, and the right to all sexual activities that are legal among consenting adults.

8.  THE RIGHT TO ECONOMIC POWER.  Children should have the right to work, to acquire and manage money, to receive equal pay for equal work, to choose trade apprenticeship as an alternative to school, to gain promotions to leadership positions, to own property, to develop a credit record, to enter into binding contracts, to engage in enterprise, to obtain guaranteed support apart from the family, to achieve financial independence.

9.  THE RIGHT TO POLITICAL POWER.  Children should have the vote and be included in the decision-making process.  To become a constituency they must have the right to vote.

10.  THE RIGHT TO JUSTICE.  Children must have the guarantee of a fair trial with due process of law, an advocate to protect their rights against the parents as well as the system, and a uniform standard of detention.

d.   The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supports “A Child’s Bill of Rights” during the International Year of the Child in 1976. The lesson: beware of wolves in sheep’s skin (Mt 7:15).

e.   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. Christians should expose the real agenda behind the push for children’s rights and oppose it.

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

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

Domination of liberals in universities

In 2003, a Gallup poll in US reported that of those age 18 to 24, 29% consider themselves to be conservatives, while 30% consider themselves liberals. Yet, a survey of university professors found that only 15% said they were conservatives, 30% said they were moderates while 55% considered themselves liberals.

In 2000, among Ivy League school professors: just 9% voted for Bush; 3% considered themselves Republicans and 57% considered themselves Democrats.

b.   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.

c.   Since most university courses are taught through a lens of liberalism, young people who do not have firm foundation on moral teaching will be unconsciously influenced by liberal tendencies and eventually adopt liberal thinking contrary to the Bible. This explains why the only education group in the US with a majority supporting same-sex marriage is the group with post-graduate degrees.

d.   Therefore, the urgent need is to help Christian children establishing firm moral and Biblical foundation before entering college.