No doubt, certain people will be offended by what I have to say. If you think you are one of them, please stop reading right now. If you do read on, don't bother to comment and tell me about all the things you didn't like.
The original letter will be in italics and red font, while my comments will be in italics and black font. All bold statements had the emphasis in the original and were not added by me, except when noted otherwise. All spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammatical errors were in the original - and yes, there are very, very many.
Dear Parents and Students,
We believe that it is the God given commission of the Church, "the pillar and ground of the truth'' to teach our children that they be not tossed to and fr0 by every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men(like evolution, New Age and Satanic "Mother Earth", and "Mother Nature" teaching, etc.) but rather grow up into Him in all things. [Eph.4:14,15] We believe that it is the Church's God-given task to teach and train believers to grow up in the Lord in "All Things". We believe that the Church in the New Testament epistle's is a
While education in academic subjects is certainly not the first or main goal of teaching our children, it is nonetheless an important goal, one that takes second place to teaching a love for God and the things of God. Shouldn't a preacher's command of the English language be excellent? Shouldn't he at least know the basics of grammar, such as when to use 's (to show possession) vs. -s (to show plural)? What about habitually using commas wrongly, and capitalizing nouns that ought to be lower case? The list goes on and on - I counted a total of 15 errors in this first paragraph alone. The only other explanation for such poor English would be to say that this letter was written in a hurry, but that brings us to the question why a subject such as this would be addressed in such a hurried and careless manner. As you read on, please know that I have only corrected a few of the worst mistakes in the text below - if the error was grievous and made it hard to understand the true meaning of the particular sentence.
We believe that God in His ultimate wisdom provided the setting of the
Also, if the Christian school is equated with the church, why does it cost money to attend? After all, the services on Sundays and Wednesdays are free, as they ought to be. Why aren't the school expenses covered by the tithes and offerings? Maybe God DIDN'T design for church schools to exist. After all, if that WERE God's perfect plan, then wouldn't He have made sure to mention how to fund such an endeavor if tithes and offerings alone are insufficient? God only commands us to tithe. Yet parents are supposedly obligated to send their children to this place of education and pay for it in order to be in obedience to the Bible? The truth is that a school is a business, not a general assembly of the local believers.
But what about these verses that I found in the Bible:
Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 11:19 And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Don't these verses sound like the children are with their parent(s) from the time they get up until the time they go to sleep, being taught in the house and when out and about?
Here is another verse I found:
Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
Again, the command is only to educate our own children and grandchildren. "Thou" is a singular word, talking to just one person in particular as opposed to "you" which is addressing any number of people at the same time. This is very well illustrated in Deuteronomy 11:19 above, where the entire nation of Israel as a group ("ye") is commanded to teach their children individually ("thou").
Several points on this:
(1) I have yet to find where the Bible says that children are on loan from God (the author of the letter erroneously used "borrowed" instead of "loaned"). Based on Psalm 127 I thought they were our heritage. I thought they were a reward. Even logically, this point doesn't make sense. Yes, we are commanded to teach our children about the right ways of the Lord. But what if people decide NOT to raise their children for the glory of God? Will he send the "heavenly CPS", take the children back, and give them to another family?!?
(2) I didn't know that Albert Einstein was raised by God-fearing parents but still grew up to be an atheist all because he was home schooled. In fact, I don't even know whether or not he was home schooled - maybe he was because he flunked out of the public school for being such a poor student. Rather, I think his parents were unbelievers, and if he did go to school it would not have been a local, independent, fundamental Baptist church where he could have gotten saved. Seems like the parents were the deciding factor, not whether or where he went to school. Besides, Einstein was one of the last great scientists who again and again said that all science points to the fact that there IS a God. I am not saying he was saved, but no modern scientist would even dare say that any more.
(3) Again, no verse proving this supposed design of God for children's education.
(4) Sticking your child in a school all day to be taught and cared for by others while mom goes off to work IS hiding your talent.
As children come to the Academy, in the setting of the local church, there are a multitude of blessings that come their way. First of all, they are provided an opportunity to establish a close lifelong relationship with their Pastor and the Pastor's wife. This will be a major strength to them as life moves along and they make decisions of who to marry, job decisions, and in times of trials and tragedies.
So are people who do not go to school not "provided an opportunity to establish a close lifelong relationship with their Pastor and the Pastor's wife"? Again, I feel bad for the average adult church member. If homeschooled children lack this relationship I venture to guess it is because of being ostracized due to the fact that they are home schooled.
They will also benefit from each member of the body of Christ who volunteers his or her time in the process of education. Children will learn from people who have not just perhaps gone to school themselves but more importantly, have real life experience in the subjects they are teaching. This is extremely effective and influencial in their lives and greatly increases and edifies the
They also benefit from the Godly influence of their regular daily teachers. These are people from the local church, whose lives and examples help them perhaps go on to serve Christ themselves. Because they are set in an environment with others besides their "'mommy and daddy", they gain ability to deal with one another's differences and learn to work with others. They learn to in honor prefer one another. They learn to not live for self and become loners, but rather to daily be interested in the needs of others. They learn to listen and obey authority in addition to and other than their mother and father. They learn to have to obey and suffer the consequences if they do not. They learn that other authority will probably not baby them as most mothers often fall into the trap of doing. They learn to have to toughen up, sharpen up and obey right away and soon realize that a little pouting will not change their punishment, but rather a change of behavior will keep it from coming their way in the future.
Homeschooled children are exposed to many people besides their "mommy and daddy". They are called siblings. They are called adults that they meet when they come along on errands throughout the day. They are called repairmen who come to the house. They are called coworkers and bosses when Dad takes them to work. There are many benefits to not being cooped up in a school room all day waiting for the slow kids to finish their assignments. The only distraction in that case is to play with other kids (since the teachers are busy). The Bible says that "foolishness is bound in the heart of a child", so wouldn't it be better for children to interact with mainly adults and not only other children (i.e. fools)? It is an old argument and one that has been disproved many times that homeschooled kids have the social competences of wood lice. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
Maybe this man is speaking from personal experience when he writes that mothers tend to go soft in punishing wrongdoing, but I think it is just rhetoric. There is NO SCHOOL in the world that would dare discipline a child the way a loving parent would, because they are not the loving parent. Love is the prerequisite to correct discipline, as outlined in Proverbs 3:12, Proverbs 13:24 and Hebrews 12:6. I love my children more than a "hireling" teacher. The hireling would be afraid to administer correct discipline because God never designed them to, and the law wouldn't allow them to.
They learn to participate and have team spirit and to not quit when it is something they don't particularly enjoy doing. They learn to choose proper friends and are in an environment whereby they can fall spiritually and yet not fall apart. Proverbs 24:16 states, "'For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again..." Under the daily refining of the Word of God, they learn to come to the Lord for strength to rise up and go on for Jesus. As young impressionable children and teens, they learn the team concepts in sports, and gain strength from teammates and coaches who are fellow church members rather than from teammates who are lost and curse and educate them in the ways of the world as they compete together. They see the other team as someone they can be an example to and witness to after the game, rather than participate with teammates who are lost and whose minds are filled with the stench of this world. They learn to get up in the morning and get to school as an appointment, similar to how it will be someday when they have a job, rather than rolling out of bed and gradually getting to things when it is convenient.
So being "in an environment whereby they can fall spiritually and yet not fall apart" is an advantage? Whatever happened to "make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof"? Just because the Bible states the fact that a just man will fall and rise up again, does that mean God wants him to fall in the first place? Is someone not a just man if they don't fall seven times? Are children grown men, physically or spiritually? Doesn't the Bible call new believers "newborn babes"? And yes, children even just because of their age are new believers.
To say that the children there are "Under the daily refining of the Word of God" is only true if that's what you call a short devotional in the morning. In our family, we read the Bible out loud for about 30 minutes per day, and then I work on Bible memory with each child individually at a rate where even my preschooler far exceeds what is expected of the students in this particular school.
Most homeschool families, especially those with many children, have rather rigid daily schedules, and getting up early to get work done is pretty universal. It is a Biblical concept to rise early and work hard, and you don't have to go to school to learn to do so. This point was especially humorous to me because this particular pastor is ALWAYS late for EVERY appointment, and his wife dropped the kids off late for school more than any other mom, while the homeschooling ex-principal and his wife were the most reliable, organized, and punctual people you'd ever meet.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, they learn that they are a part of the Body of Christ, and must do their part, and fulfill their God given task as a "'joint" within the Body. They learn that God gave them their local church for them to fully participate in as an important part of the body. As a child 6 days a week(5 in school, plus Sunday), their life will be totally involved in the church and in the things of the Lord. This will give them more often than not, a strong love and attachment to it, and to the "work of the ministry", that will last a life-time. If you realize that your children are not really yours, but are simply borrowed to you for you to make sure that they are trained up in the way of the Lord, then you must see that God's most important institution for the preaching and teaching of the truth, is the
This phenomenon is not unique to this school, but rather is pretty universal. Remember Dr. Bob Gray for Florida, who was arrested for molesting girls in his church school? What about Pastor Domelle from California who not only abused his own adopted daughter for years but also other disabled girls in the school? What about the son of Dr. Jeff Owens, who worked as a janitor at a public school, where he raped a girl? He had been charged in a similar case before but there was not enough evidence to convict him in that case. The list goes on and on.
With this in mind,
Our founding fathers did not want this to happen to
At [name of school] we share these foundational beliefs of our founding fathers and it is our goal to raise men and women who when called into positions of leadership will be true leaders, and available to serve in our republic. We love
The "problem" is that if women were to obey the verse in I Timothy and stay home, have babies, and raise their own children instead of pursuing a career, who would be available to teach in the Christian school? Most church schools are staffed almost completely by women, women who do not have a baby or young child as commanded in the verse (if they do, it is raised by daycare and not the mother). Women who usually are practicing birth control in order to limit the size of their family to a few children. Women who are not keeping their own vineyard (Song of Solomon 1:6). Women who don't even like their own kids enough to want to spend the day with them, but who are put in charge of watching and educating dozens of other children.
We believe that this is best accomplished by teaching young people to first of all be true followers of the Lord Jesus and His precious Word. To accomplish this we have several goals that must be understood as our priorities. If you as a parent or guardian do not understand these foundational guiding principles, which are the core of our goals, you will find it difficult to understanding [should say: understand] why we do what we do.
As you read on please understand that we wish it to be known that our vision and our venture, our motive and our message is all to THE GLORY OF GOD. It is for Him and with eternity's values in view that we are doing what we are doing.
Since this is the end of the letter, I am still scratching my head about the "as you read on" part. Read on about what? The greeting at the end?!? This again just shows how little careful consideration went into writing this letter.
Your Friend and Preacher
[name of pastor]
Now that we have left fairytale land, let's look at the REAL reasons why churches like to operate a school:
- Money: That's right, these schools want more money coming it. While not all schools make a profit, they are staying busy and trading dollars.
- Control: Control over church members by way of school rules and dress codes. Control over the students' minds through mass education. Control over disgruntled members who don't want to leave the church in the middle of the school year.
I rest my case.