I'm asked this every once in a great while. Not often, mind you, but usually from people who are wanting to do it themselves but just can't decide. I'm never prepared...and even if I was, I never have enough time to explain. So, here...for anyone who wants to know:
1. My first reason is because I believe it’s what God wants from us, as Christian parents. To start with, in Duet. 6 God says, “Hear, O Israel: The lord our God is one Lord” And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates….Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage…Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you…”
This is just a starting place but it’s a big starting place. When you read those verses, it’s clear that the WAY God wants His people to instruct their children in His ways is NOT something accomplished by a little something in the morning and a little something in the evening. Look! His commands, His Word, His ways should be lived CONSTANTLY and taught continuously as is indicated by “when we walk by the way…liest down…risest up”. We can’t have a stretch of 6 hours a day, 5 days a week where teaching about God and the Bible is expressly prohibited…and your children KNOW that their God-loving parents are sending them to a place where they are not for God! And if it is not for Him then it is AGAINST Him, right? That clearly would NOT fall into the meaning of this passage. Look, too, at how His words are to be placed in our awareness: "for a sign on thine hand, frontlets between thine eyes…write them on the posts of thy house,” etc. Did He literally mean that’s where you put it? Put it there and then go on with life as usual? For our purposes, He’s saying that He wants us to be continually in mind of His words. Now, it certainly helps to have God's Words written everywhere, but for our children, it needs to be coming out of the mouth of their parents all day so that THEY, in turn, learn how it is a part of our all day, every day. This cannot happen in a school setting. And I’ll say that even in my experience at a Christian school, that did not happen.
But, you know, also from this passage I see that God is putting this responsibility on parents. Let me try and make a little analogy here. If I go on vacation and leave my pet with you, asking that you take care of it for the week, and you decided that you didn’t want to do it and so you sent my pet to someone else’s house for the week, would I not be a little…taken aback to say the least, when I returned? Or, perhaps if I left a dear friend my house key and asked her to check on my house every day while I was gone, but instead she gave it to someone that I decidedly did NOT ask to tend my house, would I be tickled about that? Not only someone I didn’t ask, but someone who’s life’s purpose is to oppose me?
Perhaps you do not see public schools in this light (opposing God). You, perhaps, do not see that they oppose God, or that, at least, not in YOUR public school. If that is indeed the case, let me point out a few things. First, you know that they MAY NOT (as in, do not have the permission to) teach about Jesus Christ. Many Christians don’t seem overly bothered by that but it is alarming and offensive. Imagine if your children were taught that they cannot discuss their parents or any moral teachings that come from their parents. If YOU were banned from the school, would you feel comfortable sending your child there? If so, you hold your relationship with your child far more lightly than you ought!
You also know that they do not teach creation as a fact. They often teach the theory of evolution (which has still not been proven, people) as a fact OR teach it without saying it’s a theory and then blow it out of the water as impossible (as should be done). No one teaches creation science in schools, showing how things might have gotten the way they are by using Biblical accounts. And evolution is loaded in their science books…”millions of years ago”, “Jurassic period” (indicating millions of years ago)…it’s dropped here and there all the time even when it’s not directly talking about evolution. And NO one says “Okay, kids, when they say millions of years ago, we know that this person is coming from the evolution view point…what we believe probably happened in this situation is that during the flood…” Nope, they don’t get a bit of that. What’s a kid to think about the relevance of God when they get pure trash thrown at them, often in very subtle ways, that Mom and Dad aren’t there to help pick through. And you know…Mom and Dad shouldn’t HAVE to pick through trash…their kids should be with them getting the wholesome goodness of a God centered worldview.
More on this subject coming soon (hopefully).