Christian vs. Public Education



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Christian vs. Public Education Your baby is growing very fast and soon he/she will be ready to start their education. Here you are as a parent facing a tough decision. You’ve attended a private Christian school while your husband attended a public school. Are you going to send your child to a private Christian school or to a public school? Is Christian education really even that important? Are there any real significant differences? In this paper, my goal is to point out the differences between a private Christian education and a public school education. Choosing your children’s education is a vital part of their life.

Education will develop them in many areas and shape them into the person they will be for the rest of their lives. This is proved in scripture. In Ephesians 6:4 it reads: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. ” Also, in Proverbs 22:6 it reads, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. ” However, Christian education can also be used in a wrong manner. Many parents who are not followers of Christ, will place their children in a private Christian school to escape the negative influences that many public schools tend to have. Curlee) Even if Christian schools tend to stay away from many negative influences that other schools do have, this still is not the reason we have Christian schools. So why do we have Christian schools? I believe the answer to this question is simple- to learn more and become more like Christ. This also is proved scripturally. In Romans 8:29a it reads: “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son- Jesus Christ. ” Now, the next question arises. What is the difference between the purpose of a Christian education and that of a public education? On the website WhatSaithTheScripture. om, Tom Stewart breaks down the difference between Christian and public education into three areas, the first being the purpose of the education. The public school systems are primarily a benefit to the state. The former superintendent of public instruction for Pennsylvania said that the state must compel the children to attend upon the instruction provided for them. (EncyclopediaAmericana) For Christians, the purpose of a Christian education is to become more like Christ in the things we learn. Christ says in Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. Therefore, education that is not for Christ is against Christ. (Stewart) What will my children be receiving at a Christian school compared to a private school? The next area Stewart deals with is the content of education. Public schools administer mainly to the three R’s- reading, writing, and arithmetic. They use some socialization to fit the needs of a child to what our society will require. But society isn’t what is most important! Christian education also uses the three R’s, but does so while reaching far into scripture throughout the curriculum.

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In Matthew 4:4 it reads, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. ” This is what is most important!! The Word of God should be on every part of a schools curriculum as it says in scripture. This is the most significant difference in Christian education versus public education. Another question that might dig deeper into the last issue might be this- How do classes specifically differ? A couple of examples can be shown how Christian education differs. In history class, it focuses more on God’s role in mankind and shows the students how He shaped all the events that make up history.

The books not only give significant facts about the leaders of our world, but, also, their faith and the impact it had in helping them become leaders. Also, the books show how significant events such as the Great Wakening, fired-up Americans with the gospel and led to the growth of a Christian nation. Christian education teaches the students to see history heroes as being leaders for God. Another example of how a specific class is taught can be showed through science. Christian education emphasizes the handiwork of God in nature, as it says in Psalm 19:1-3, “The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. ” Christian Science books emphasize God’s role as creator and teaches the students how they must use the fruits of the spirit to resolve conflicts. (Paris) Who do I want to have control over my children’s education? The final area that Stewart deals with is the control of education. Public schools believe that the state must control and regulate education.

They prove this by using the terms such as these; “mandatory school attendance”, “contributing to the delinquency of a minor”, “teaching credentials”, and “minimum standards”. Galatians 4:1-2 reads, “What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. ” This is proving that in a Christian viewpoint, the parents should hold responsibility and control over their children’s education, not the church, the Christian schools, or the state.

Are there really any negative points to sending my children to a Christian school? Many parents find a lot of negative reasons in sending their children to Christian schools, such as- the cost of a Christian school is very high priced while you can go to a public school for basically nothing, my children will be secluded from many of the things in life that they should know, they could be criticized for being Christians and attending a Christian school. While Christian education is expensive, the things you will learn and the benefits of a Christian school compared to a public school can’t be given a price tag.

Everything you learn can be used to get through life in a positive fashion, no matter what trials or persecution you receive. What are the positive attributes in my children receiving a Christian education? You will be raised in a setting to glorify and praise God! A good Christian education will give a student an appreciation in all aspects of life. As it says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. It will give your child a great work ethic, not only in the work of the world, but, even more in the work of the Lord. II Timothy 2:15 reads, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. ” Christian school will give them a better ability to think critically and handle various situations in the appropriate manner. This is proved in Hebrews 5:12-14: “In fact, though by this time ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.

You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Moorings)” The list could go on and on, but, Mr. Wielenga only wants this paper to be 5 pages long, unfortunately. ( In my interview with Kenny Gradert, my brother and a theology major at Dordt, he laid out a pretty good opinion on what he thinks about Christian education.

He said that a lot of people think Christians are trying to separate themselves from the world or hide from it, but, he sees it as the exact opposite. Kenny beleives Christian education has the purpose of preparing young Christians to build a firm foundation before going out into the world. If this is done properly, it seeks to prepare young men and women with the necessary tools to go out into the world and further God’s Kingdom.

If you look at the matter historically, the foundation of Christian education (especially in our own CRC tradition) comes from the theology of Abraham Kuiper who emphasized Christian engagement with the culture around them. For Kuiper, Christian education was his plan for Christian cultural engagement which go hand in hand. So as you can see, there is a lot to consider when deciding between a Christian education and public education. I believe by sending your children to a Christian school, they will receive the REAL tools needed to equip them for living a truly God-centered life in a secular environment.

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