The Silent Killer: How Public Schools Are Damaging Your Child’s Christian Faith

Posted: May 15, 2014 in Christians & Culture, Education, Politics

educationBefore you read any further, please know this post is not meant to condemn Christian parents who send their kids to public school. Every family is facing different life circumstances, and I am not in a position to levy judgment against anyone. That being said, I strongly believe there are serious problems for Christians to consider regarding public schools. So while I am not in a position to judge your specific situation, I do think these concerns should not be shrugged off as some extreme and unreasonable position. They are legitimate concerns all Christian parents should consider and allow to shape their educational decisions.

Now when I mention that public schools are damaging the faith of our children, you probably assume I am going to discuss the moral evil and ungodliness of the public education environment. Perhaps you are thinking I am an overprotective parent worrying endlessly about the safety of my children and the threat of bullying or violence in public school. While these are valid concerns for any Christian parent – or any parent for that matter – they are not the “silent killer” I am referring to. My concern is the myth of a neutral education – the absence of God from the entire public education process. Let me unpack this.

The goal of education (from a Christian perspective) is comprised of three parts: (1) the cultivation of an understanding and love for truth, goodness, and beauty, (2) understand how to view each subject in light of a Christian worldview, and (3) the development of godly character. Notice that each of these goals requires God and his truth as their foundation. Truth, goodness, and beauty can only be objective and learned if God is understood as their source. Truth is that which corresponds to reality, and teaching a reality void of God is not to teach the truth. Likewise, beauty and goodness must have an objective source (i.e. God), or they become mere speculation and opinion. The same dilemma befalls the other two goals, as subjects become nothing more than facts and formulas to be learned and character development is reduced to managing the classroom.

The public school, by definition and force of law, is void of God. God has no part in math, biology, history, art, music, and language. In this setting, children are learning all they supposedly need to function in life, and God seems to play no part. Now for Christian kids, this places them in an awkward position, as their life becomes compartmentalized. They have their private spiritual life (church, personal time, and individual morality); the rest of life is secular, if not anti-Christian. So it is not that schools are actively teaching atheistic doctrine to children, but by removing God from every aspect of the education process, a practical atheistic life is being cultivated. To make matters worse, we teach and preach to our children how God should impact their life, yet they spend ½ of their waking hours learning how life has nothing to do with God.

As you can see, the root goes much deeper than having prayer or devotionals in the classroom. The secular, anti-god mindset pervades every subject, as students learn that God has nothing to do with most of life. Consequently, there are two outcomes. First, the quality of education received is greatly diminished, as truth – God’s truth – is not being taught. Current teaching methodology pushes facts to help students function vocationally, not a true understanding of God’s created order. Second, the Christian faith of these students is stunted, if not crushed. Remember, a person cannot serve two masters. He will serve one and hate the other. So one is either robbed of a true education or one is robbed of God.

While these are strong words, I believe they are true and much needed for our day. We need reform, especially among Christians and their thinking on education. We speak often of what a Christian church, home, or relationship should look like, but it is time we begin thinking about a vision for Christian education.



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