The “Church”

Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-02-15.

He who is not for us is against us. Jesus said so.

We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. Please understand that while it is our responsibility to tell the truth, we must never lose sight of the fact that our enemy is not made of flesh and blood and that we ultimately have the choice to conform and compromise or to stand on principle. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: John 19:15

I heard a sad story the other day. A particular church group had been through a gruelling year of personal failures and calamities that truly questioned the soundness and effectiveness of its supposed “Christian” teachings. Incredibly, at that church’s AGM that year, the treasurer got up and announced that in spite of having had to wade through some rather difficult waters, aside from seeing leaders go down in shame along with people left injured along the way, the “church” had had its best year ever! I assume this to be the normal expectation of a church treasurer, but is this perhaps indicative of how many “churches” are measuring success? If this is their focus, how does the modern institutional church view education?

In times past, when government acknowledged the Christian heritage of the country, bureaucracies were smaller, decentralized and not nearly so autocratic. Churches were free to do what they were supposed to do and were more likely to influence the government than the other way around. Schools were also free to recite the Lord’s prayer, to recite the Bible and to expect Christian behaviour. Often, the local church and school were so intertwined that it was hard to delineate the end of one and the beginning of the other. Everything seemed to work to the benefit of the citizens. Such was certainly my experience from, oh, so long ago!

Times have certainly changed. Today, nearly every church, school and society has been incorporated as an entity that answers to the government which dispenses permission to exist and directives on how to behave. Government has been empowered such that all things must be approved through an ever growing secular bureaucracy. When the state takes on the nature and responsibility of the God it desires to replace, it becomes all powerful. When it becomes all powerful, even things that belong to God, like the church, come under new management, as directed by the king. When this happens, those institutions which should be vigilantly defending the things of God seem to develop a new focus while losing sight of their true purpose. As a consequence, the “church” seems to have, unfortunately, evolved from the body of Christianity to the building of churchianity, from equipping the saints to filling the coffers, from going about God’s business to becoming a business about God.

Whereas the training and teaching of children has always been the responsibility of parents as per the authority given them by God, education, (as in government mandated compulsory attendance to some form of government approved school) has usurped this freedom, in much the same fashion as what has happened to the church. This has had the negative effect of forcing both churches and Christian schools to look to government for approval and support rather than to God. There exists a sense of dread that, should either do anything to displease this new “lord”, the authority to exist and/or the ability to either access funds directly or issue tax receipts for donations will be lost. This replacement of faith with fear has resulted in these new “government agencies” not only sanctioning and advancing, but defending things approved by government as though they were ordained of God, including the public education programming and processes that makes no mention of God, Bible or Christianity.

As a consequence of the church’s desire to accommodate government demands, home educators often find it difficult to receive encouragement, support and direction through the local church. In fact, there is a greater likelihood of being persecuted than encouraged for determining to do what God has directed parents to do. This is not to say that all church organizations are like this. However, one must remember that if it is not wise to bite the hand that feeds you and if the church is going to look to government for its “existence”, it had better not challenge assumed government ”authority” or risk corporate death. Even though taken out of context, “Render unto Caesar” is often used to justify this activity of self-preservation. Did this natural instinct for institutional preservation before Caesar not also motivate the Pharisees when they resisted Jesus during his earthy ministry?

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