By Irven Lee
The training of children is a heaven assigned responsibility for parents (Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4). If young people misbehave at any time there are some who make comments about schools, the church, the scouts, etc., and about their failure to train the children. These influential institutions do often fail to exert the proper influence, but the shame of failure falls back into the lap of parents because children are given to them as a gift from God. They are carefully to train them to “keep the way of the Lord” and “to do justice” (Gen. 18:19; Psa. 127:3-5). There is special emphasis on teaching that will prepare the young to be servants of the Lord. The kingdom of God and His righteousness are of utmost importance.
In America today people who deny the deity of Christ and even the existence of God are having a shocking influence on children through television, textbooks, public schools in many places, and through any other avenues that are available to them. These “Humanists” have been able to direct Congress, the courts, and many departments of government. Much of our own tax money is used to finance abortion and to give instruction that tends to destroy respect for righteousness and parental authority. Too many of us have been asleep to this encroachment on the home and family as God planned them.
Some good people are waking up to the terrible dangers that surround us. In desperation some of these parents, in some states, are deciding to take their children out of public schools to train them at home. In certain states this can be done legally, but this is no simple solution to the problem. Will these children be properly trained at home? Industry is looking for chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineers. Families, of course, are not generally capable of giving these special skills in math and science. Computer skills are very important to American business and government, and training for this is also difficult. What do parents mean when they speak of training their children at home? Do they plan a very inferior education in a safer environment? Do parents have some plan that will include special skills in teaching math, science, speech, writing, music, and mechanics?
It is much easier, of course, to teach little people to read and to handle their level of number work, but is this done with dedication and skill in the home? It is my impression that some parents go on with their regular work and social life while they constantly say: “We must get down to more teaching soon.” Training that is worthwhile cannot be done in short sessions at rare intervals. Schools have hours of teaching for five days per week for nine months or more per year.
It is certainly true that many things are taught in certain public schools that should not be taught. It is also true that a great cry is going up from business and industry that public schools are failing far short in developing capable and reliable employees, even though they keep the children so many hours per week for so many years. Humanists are trying hard to teach “sexual freedom” and actual freedom from restraint and responsibility. This is enough to fill Christians with fear when they think of turning their children over to a public school for training.
We do have room to be thankful for Christians who teach in the public schools, and even for non-Christians who have regard for character and decent behavior. There are few who are in the narrow way that leads to life in comparison with the many who go the broad way that leads to destruction. In the earlier days in America, character training was considered to be a vital aspect of the teaching in every school. Even the textbooks in reading taught moral lessons, and teachers were expected to set the right examples in their own conduct and conversation.
If more parents will shout their demands for teaching reliability, integrity, honesty, purity, and sobriety there will be a return to more regard for these needs of young people. The atheistic humanists are having much more influence than their numbers would indicate they should. Christians have been too quiet. They could find many allies in this from the “moral majority” and other units of society that are against the ungodliness of the humanists. We could be wholesome leaven for the nation. It is righteousness that exalts a nation (Prov. 14:34). Even from the point of view of patriotism we owe it to our nation to be as light and salt.
Back in the decade of the sixties an aggressive Russian leader boasted that Russia would take America without firing a shot. He, no doubt, knew more about the activities of the Humanists than the average American did. Secular humanists and communists have very much in common. Both deny the existence of God and, therefore, deny the hopes and the wonderful words of life given through the Bible. Professing themselves to be wise they become fools (Rom. 1:22). They are without hope and without God in the world (Eph. 2:12).
So many who claim to have faith must not have much faith. We can observe their lack of Bible knowledge and their lack of zeal for righteousness. Some who are waking up to some very unholy influences in many schools are not awake to their own failure as parents to teach the sacred writings to their children. Is it possible that some who are thinking of taking their children out of school for home training are not even skilled teachers of the Bible?
Guardian of Truth XXX: 3, p. 74
February 6, 1986