Article by Christopher Klicka, Senior Counsel of HSLDA

The Battle for Our Children's Minds

THEME: God has delegated the authority and responsibility to teach and raise children to the parents first. Parents can delegate their authority to teach and raise children to someone else, but they can never delegate their responsibility to teach their children to anyone else. God will hold parents responsible for what education their children receive (whether from teachers, books, projects, or peers). To whom much is given, much is required.

A. The raising of children is delegated to parents by God:

  1. Psalms 127:3-S (Children are a gift of the Lord, a reward, like arrows)
  2. Gen. 33:5,48:8-9, Isa. 8:18, Heb. 2:13 ("Children whom the Lord has given me")
  3. Matt. 22:21 Render to Caesar that which is Caesar's; to God that which is God's)
  4. Training of children was not delegated to the state. The only Biblical accounts of state education were coerced: i.e. Moses, Joseph, and Daniel.

B. Children, however, are still considered by God to be His (Therefore, children are a gift of stewardship and parents do not own the children):

  1. Ezekiel 16:20-21 ("You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols..."
  2. Isaiah 29:23 (Jacob's children were "the work of My hands...'.)
  3. Psalms 139:13-16, Job 10:8-12, Isaiah 49:1,5, Jeremiah 1:5, and Luke 1:41, 44 (God's claim to unborn children)

C. God has given us certain conditions we are commanded to meet when raising children (part of our stewardship responsibility):

  1. Ephesians 6:4 (Fathers are to bring up their children "in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.")
  2. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (also see Deuteronomy 4:9, 11:18-21) We are commanded to diligently teach our children God's commandments and principles all the time. Sunday school is not enough - children in public school are taught to think as non-christians thirty or more hours a week.
  3. Psalms 78:1-Il Teach God's principles to your children all the time so they will teach their children and so "that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God.")
  4. Exodus 13:8, 14, Joshua 4:20-22,24 Teach your children what God has done)
  5. John 21:15 ("Feed My lambs" and "feed My sheep")
  6. Proverbs 6:20-23 (Children's responsibility to obey parents' teachings who in turn, should be teaching God's principles)
  7. Psalms 1:1-2 Meditate on God's law day and night); Proverbs 23:7 ("For as a man thinks, so is he")
  8. II Corinthians 10:5 (Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ)
  9. Isaiah 54:13 ("And all your children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of your children.")
  10. Jeremiah 10:2 ("Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of heathen nations.")
  11. Colossians 3:1-3 ("Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is . . . set your mind on things above, not on the things that are on the earth.")
  12. Matt. 16:23 (Peter, thinking like a humanist, told Jesus he wouldn't have to die. Jesus said "Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me: for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
  13. Matt. 22:37 ("You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and foremost commandment.") How can our children love God with their mind when public school trains their minds to ignore God?
  14. Luke 6:40 ("Everyone one after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher" -blind leads the blind into the pit)
  15. Romans 12:2 ("Be not conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.") Public schools conform children to pattern of world.

D. Good versus bad "socialization" of children:

  1. Proverbs 13:20 ("He who walks with wise men, will be wise but companion of fools will suffer harm")
  2. I Corinthians 15:33 ("Be not deceived; bad company corrupts good morals")
  3. Hos. 4:6 (People are destroyed for lack of knowledge; for forgetting God's law)

E. Content of true education:

  1. Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 1:7 ("Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge")
  2. Proverbs 2:6, 9:10 The Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge, and understanding)
  3. Colossians 1:16-17, 2:3 (All things created by Him and for Him, he holds all together.) James 1:5 (In Christ are all treasures of wisdom)
  4. II Timothy 3:16-17 (All scripture is profitable for instruction)
  5. II Tim. 2:15 (Study to show yourself approved to God, rightly dividing the Word)
  6. James 3:13-18 (Wisdom, ~ from above, is earthly, natural, demonic. Wisdom from above is "Pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy & good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.") Whose wisdom are your children being taught?
  7. Psalm 119: 97-101 The goal of education is to train children in God's law so they can govern themselves, be wiser than their enemies, have more insight than their teachers, understand more than the aged.)
  8. Matthew 18:6 (Whoever harms one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for Him that a millstone hung about his neck and he drowned in the sea) Are we harming our children if we send them to public school?

Thoughts to remember: God's truth and His principles are the foundation of all knowledge: children must not only be taught to believe as Christians but also to think as Christians; God's principles must be taught to children in a comprehensive manner on a daily basis; God's truth speaks to every academic discipline. Does modern public education even come close to these commands?