Part of the series Feedback
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2014-01-20.
A question was asked about the need for government testing in light of two quoted scripture references.
We do not claim to have all the right answers but based on our present understanding of the scriptures, we will do our best to bring a little clarity to your queries.
Bible Reference: Mark 12:17
Since we deal with a very large number of people coming with diverse understandings with respect to the interpretation and application of scripture, we are careful to word things such that we leave room for this diversity without appearing too offensive or defensive. Therefore, please understand that it is not that we advocate a noncompliance with government as much as a compliance with biblical directives. When it comes to the welfare of our children, we must determine whether God or government sets the agenda.
If we believe government has the authority regarding the education of our children, then we would be wise to adhere to the state’s standards and to comply with it’s desire to test the children in ascertaining whether or not this standard is being met. One should, however, question what the purpose of testing would be if there are no consequences for failing to meet the state’s criteria.
If, on the other hand, we believe that we bear a responsibility under God’s authority respecting the education of our children, then we are free to determine whether or not testing is in the best interest of the child. Considering that the state’s programming is based on a secular humanistic philosophy and that all testing produced by the government will be evaluating a child based on this foundational perspective, should lead us to seriously question the objective behind the need for testing. If our aim is to simply train the mind, as any program (think of the word in light of computers!) is meant to do, testing may make sense. If our aim is to direct a child to recognize God and His purposes and to advance His Kingdom, then testing becomes unnecessary as God will see to it that the child is properly prepared in keeping with the abilities and callings. No man made instrument is capable of doing this.
Therefore, refusing to allow our children to be tested is not an act of defiance against the government, as much as an exercise of the God given parental authority we have. For the most part, government understands this and makes no effort to force the issue as clearly seen in the existing home education regulations. What direction the government will choose to take in the upcoming, new Home Education Regulations, remains to be seen. Whether mandatory testing is included or not, our response should still be determined by our knowledge and understanding of the truth in God’s word with respect to the training of our children and the faith we exercise through it.
Hope this clarifies things for you.