Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-03-21.
Why are many Private Christian Schools believing that government controls education?
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: Matt 15:14
Today, nearly every Private Christian School in Alberta either uses the government’s approved curriculum or a combination of things that meet the directives of government programming, including not only Christian, but non-Christian resources as well. In fact, it is not uncommon to see Christian schools advertising their adherence to public programming as incentive to have the children attend them. I believe this is largely the result of two things. There is a deeply seated belief that government sets the standard for education and most people have bought into the idea that government accreditation is required to successfully progress to the post-secondary level. Both reasons are in error! Government has no God given authority in education and there are much easier approaches to post-secondary pathways.
Here is an important question. Does scripture not direct us to avoid being conformed to this world? If this is the advice we get from the Bible, would it not be expected of a Christian school to avoid using the government’s worldly curriculum? Why would or should any “Christian” school, ostensibly created to direct students to God even be tempted to follow what is designed to lead us away from Him? While we may hear believers talk about the need to defend the Christian faith against worldly influence, we present a Christianized version of this worldly wisdom! Why not just use Christian programming and never mind aligning or lining up with the secular government program at all? Are we so lacking internal direction that we need outside intervention? Really, if one thinks about it, offering parents a Christianized version of worldly programming while offering to “clean it up” of its secular-socialist messages is like promising fresh water from sewage. Why bother to even pretend to meet it? The answer… ultimately, is money! It is really disgraceful how many former good Christian organizations have compromised their way into eventually becoming part of the problem by joining the local public system through the pursuit of it!
I am sure there must be Christian schools using Christian curriculum, taught by Christian teachers under the leadership of Christian folks who wholeheartedly desire to prepare students belonging to Christian parents to function in what used to be a more Christian world, without having to resort to “Christianizing” a secular program, but our experience of last year indicates that they are few and far between, if they even exist. My concern goes beyond the failure of Christian schools to those who, through extension, are connected to them. Because most home educators share a Christian world view, most find it desirable to register through a Christian school, either directly or through a third party “provider”. Does it really matter which school parents are registered with? Actually, it does.
From a Christian perspective, a school or provider’s motivation for offering a home education program is vital. If motivated by anything other than pleasing God, the directive will always be towards man’s system, which has always desired to replace God. Rather than informing parents of God’s expectations and provision, most Christian schools will do what is most expedient for their own success by advancing what could easily be a false promise of parental and student well-being. Since these schools know little of what a true Christian education should look like, ministry often becomes overshadowed with marketing where providers outbid each other for clients. Could this be a classic case of the blind leading the blind?
As a consequence of being directed to man rather than God, many home educators end up trying to outperform the school rather than focussing on God’s directives. Think about this. If the private Christian school through which a home educator is registered is either compromising the faith or seriously challenging it, are the parents being well served? If the Christian schools through which most home educators are registered are increasingly becoming secularized, is God-centred home education in trouble? Should private schools go down, the only choice home educators will have will be public institutions, which may show an interest in the potential income, but are unlikely to support Christian education. But then again, could this motivation also be what drives Christian schools to register home educators?