By Roy W. Lowrie, Jr., Ed.D. (1974)
1) The church is to be based upon Christ, God’s revelation, but education should be based upon humanism, man’s reason.
Christian people admit that God has revealed Himself in Christ, upon whom the true church is based. Also, there is an admission that the Bible is God’s revelation to man. Unfortunately, however, many of those same people isolate Christ from education and reject the Bible as the cornerstone upon which the philosophy of education should be based. Many Christians who are totally committed to Christ and to the Bible as foundational for the church, do not react against an educational system which rejects this same Christ and the same Bible as foundational.
Some Christians accept the humanistic approach to education, which is based solely upon man’s reason and which rejects completely the possibility of Divine revelation. The rejection results in secularism, drawing a large circle around educational philosophy and deliberately placing Christ and the Bible outside that circle. God has said that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of both knowledge and wisdom. That is the truth for the church, and is equally true for education.
The secular approach to education does not come from God. Unfortunately, our American emphasis upon the separation of church and state also fosters the separation of Christ and education.
2) To be properly adjusted throughout life, children should attend public schools or other private schools, not Christian schools.
All too many people assume if you send your children to Christian school they will be so sheltered that they may well be maladjusted when they get out into the world. This is a straw argument which is refuted by follow-up studies on Christian school graduates. To illustrate, the school of which I am headmaster has graduated 15 senior classes. Careful follow-up has shown that the graduates are not maladjusted persons. They are well adjusted successful people.
At the same time, it is not the goal of the Christian school to produce students who are so well adjusted to the world that they are conformed to it. The objective is the transformed, renewed mind which begins with the new birth and is developed by studies in which the Bible is central in both learning and living. If more children had Christian education, the battle of the church against worldliness would be more successful, for the major cause of worldliness is obvious: A worldly education under teachers who do not know God and who do not teach His Word.
3) Children should attend public schools or non-Christian private schools to be witnesses for Christ.
It simply is not true that a school should be chosen for the opportunities it affords for witness. A school should be chosen on the basis of its teaching, for students go to school to learn. Strangely, some Christians see this at the college level of education, but many Christian do not see this on the elementary and secondary levels. To prove that a school should be chosen for its teaching, assume that you are a minister of the gospel. A young man in your congregation is called of God to prepare for the ministry. He seeks your counsel and asks you to recommend a seminary to him. What seminary comes to your mind right now?
If an evangelical seminary is what you recommend, you believe that a seminary should be selected for its born again teachers who are committed to the authority of the Scriptures. Otherwise, you would have recommended the most liberal seminary you know so this young man could witness to his teachers and to his classmates. If Christian education is valid on the seminary level, by what rationale is it wrong on the elementary and secondary levels where children are most impressionable and defenseless? Why is a Christian college or seminary right and Christian elementary school wrong? If Christian education is valid at one level of education it is valid at all levels.
Christian school students have opportunities for witness in school and out of school. All students are not saved. Also there is such a thing as witnessing to Christians, encouraging them in Christ. Christian school students are not isolated, but have many friends and many contacts in their local communities. Christian school does not cut the nerve of witnessing.
4) Non-Christian educators are more competent than Christian school educators.
Although the children of the world are sometimes wiser than the children of light, it is not true that Christian school teachers and administrators are in the second rank of their profession, education.
The academic performance of students after they graduate from Christian school proves that they have been properly prepared. Christian school personnel are professional educators. They are hard working, dedicated persons who take seriously the responsibility to provide a sound academic education. Christian schools have objective proof of their standards and performance. They stand the light of evaluation very well. The education of your children is the most important decision which you will make on their behalf. Now more than ever, it is important that your children receive a Christian education.