Saturday, April 29, 2006

Another Misinformed Pastor

HT: Spunky

Dr. Jim West, Baptist minister who helped compose a letter in support of the public schools wrote this sad blog post.


This was my response to him, which he chose not to allow in his comment box:

Your post here presupposes a lot of falsehoods about a lot of homeschoolers.


You wrote: "It fears; it lives in fearfulness, and it has forgotten that "perfect love casts out fear". The theology of homeschooling calls for a withdrawal from society because, at its heart, it does not believe. Not really. Not that God can change people and thereby change society through the Gospel. And finally it supposes that society, social structures, and God ordained offices are evil."


You are making a gross assumption as to why parents choose to homeschool and list these reasons: fear, disbelief in God’s ability and sovereign power, and that all homeschooling parents believe that social structures are evil.


I would ask you why you think this way? Do you know many homeschooling families? What is this presumption based upon? I would offer that you are writing out of ignorance of what is true and beautiful of many homeschool families—that they are homeschooling out of faith in the power of God, and no fear of man. I would offer that the very reasons we homeschool have to do with the nourishment of that faith in young minds and the belief that God has absolutely directed our family to this place.


I do not fear the local schools nor do I fear the local teachers nor do I even fear the state. God is sovereign and in power over all of these offices. I do not believe that we as Christian parents should allow our children to be taught what is absolutely contrary to God’s infallible word: that there is no God, or that man is the measure of all things. God has given parents the responsibilities to train them up in the way they should go and to rise up and walk by the way (see Deut. 6:1-7, but especially 6 and 7: "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.")


How is this to be done when they are being taught by those with no true wisdom or knowledge? Who has the words of life and who is commanded by God to teach our children? Is it the godless public schools? No. Are you advocating that the parents you minister to send their children to schools that teach material that is based upon an ungodly worldview? Would true Israelites send their covenant children to be taught the laws of the Philistines?


You offer that all homeschooling parents are somehow fleeing the world and living in fear of the government, not trusting a mighty God to work in His mighty way in our lives and in the lives of our children. I say we are preparing the world’s next leaders.

All I can say is that I am so thankful I have the leadership in my church that I do. Homeschooling may not be the answer for everyone, because there are some very good solid private Christian schools, but in my opinion, this response to homeschooling is naive at best and utterly foolish at worst. Yes, I realize this may be an unpopular stance, but I have to be honest and say that this idealogy is dangerous to the body of Christ. I am not hiding under a rock here as we homeschool, and I am not living in fear. We just believe we are called to be here with our children, raising them and training them in the truth for God's glory. Will the public schools do that?


takingthechallenge said...

Very well said!! I'm glad you shared what you wrote.

Dan B. said...

Too bad that a pastor of all people would take a stance such as this--I have often asked those who make the "salt and light" argument, do they spend the hours necessary to give proper biblical instruction to combat certain secularizing elements in the schools? Most do not answer because it is simply impossible, especially where both parents are working.

I completely agree with Voddie Baucham's take on this issue, stating that biblical instruction and education really cannot be separated--to take admonition from Scripture: "Train up a child in the way that he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it." I don't see how public school with its aims and influences, has any compatibility with this verse. No one can be salt and light until they are equipped properly and understand it, in my opinion.

Keep making this stance--sorry again that the pastor didn't post your reponse.

(by the way--wanted to give you another suggestion on something to read with your children--the "10 Boys/Girls Who Made a Difference" books by Irene Howat might be something to check out--maybe for your eldest? not sure. They're about heroes of the faith, like Augustine, etc. )

lynan said...

I found his post to be quite warped. Were the apostles ages 5-18? haha. And I've never found myself homeschooling out of fear. ugh.

HeartnSoul said...

I wish I could write as well. I'm sending that pastor's post on to our prior pastor for his input too.

He quotes Luther:

Thesis 21. A theologian of glory calls evil good and good evil. A theologian of the cross calls the thing what it actually is.

He is sincere but deceived. lol aren't they the ones calling good evil?? I pray the Holy Spirit will cause all who hear and read his words to have a check in their own spirit at it's mirrored subtle deception.

Dan Phillips said...

I'm not the same as Dan B. above. I'm glad you brought this to my attention, and have posted a lengthy response of my own.



PreschoolersandPeace said...

If I fear anything, it's that he is responsible for having encouraged the families under his care to put their children under our godless educational system for the better hours of their day. That's a millstone if I ever saw one...

Dan B. said...

Kate--to clear up the confusion, I'm the Dan B. at http://reformedesq.blogspot.com.

I'm glad that DJP stopped by to your blog, though--his response is worth reading as well.

UndertheSky said...

Boy, am I glad I am not the only one who thinks his blog post is off.

I really appreciate all your thoughts!



Heather J. said...

I wrote the following to the author:

Since you obviously respect Luther, how would you respond to this quote of his in light of your statements: "I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth."?

We shall see if he posts my question or his response.