Private Christian Schools (Part 1)

Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-03-14.

If these schools are “private” and “Christian” why are they insisting on “public” and “secular” programing?

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. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)

Bible Reference: 1 John 4:1-6

It is hard to imagine how any thinking parent could ever believe that government, displaying no allegiance to God or his word, but rather openly hostile towards biblical teaching, could possibly have their children’s best interest in mind. However, it happens all the time. For some reason, the fact that government cannot give birth to children escapes their notice and through a lack of knowledge regarding scriptural directives, parents not only validate and empower the government’s claim to authority in education, but try to emulate its leadership by creating Christian versions of the same thing, something called Private Christian Schools.

Now to be fair, schools do have their place. In countries where illiteracy is high, they have a very important part to play in enabling children to function in the modern world. In our country, where most parents have at least some level of literacy, parents could and should do as directed by God and educate their own children at home. Even so, there is no doubting the fact that not everyone can do so. In a perfect “Christian” world, those that could, would be there to help those that couldn’t or shouldn’t. However, as you may have already noticed, this is anything but a perfect world!

So why have Christian schools? In my opinion, the biggest reason for the creation of Christian schools is the unquestioned normalization of what we have all come to believe as “education happens in schools”. Christian parents who think this way simply carry forward the idea, but within an assumed Christian context and environment. Since we are in an imperfect world where everyone is left to fend for themselves, Christian schools can be a real asset and a positive alternative to public schools, if indeed the leadership, staff and program are…well,… Christian!

Unfortunately, when unfunded, private schools struggle with the high cost of running a school and the need to properly recompense teachers and staff. Few parents can afford high tuition, therefore private schools usually end up seeking help from government. However, this help comes with “strings” attached. Knowing that increasing the amount of government programming used makes things not only easier, but potentially more profitable, it is easy to see how the secularization of “Christian” schools can be accelerated with increased government funding. Once on this path, the private school leadership starts to become increasingly focussed on survival, consequently developing a willingness to do anything demanded of them by bureaucrats, in exchange for continuing existence and support. Attempting to meet the government program with a collection of Christian resources often leads to completely adopting the public program and all of its directives. Private schools can become so much like public schools, they need only apply to become a part of the public system and disappear completely as “Christian” alternatives. Sadly, a true story.

I have always wondered why any Christian school would want to meet this government mandated secular programming at all, never mind trying to Christianize it! If God had given government authority in education, I would understand. However, the prevalent idea that government has something important to say about the training of children is more of an unquestioned cultural “habit” than of reasoned Christian thinking. I suspect this is likely due to a similar misunderstanding of the authority of government within the Church, since it too seems to have placed government ahead of God for it’s existence and survival.

Not every Private Christian School has sold its soul to the devil, but there are few, if any, which do not acknowledge government as in control of all things educational. If we think about it, what is supposed to set private Christian schools apart is that they look to God as the provider and director of all things, including the training and teaching of children. To say that Jesus is Lord on the one hand, then look to government for provision and direction makes a mockery of what a Christian education should entail. Why are Private Christian Schools looking to government for direction and support? Could it be because our culture has developed a greater fear of government than faith in God, when it comes to education?

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