Have Christian Schools Turned The Tide?

by Ronald E Williams
In the past ten to fifteen years, we have witnessed dramatic growth in the area of Christian Education. Churches and pastors who had never given serious thought to being involved in the Christian School movement are now daily teaching their youngsters in their own school.

The complete victory of godless humanism in public education has left most Christians with no alternative but to assume responsibility of their children's education through the church school, or at home for those responsible and disciplined enough to do so.

As Christian schools began popping up across our nation, many were led to believe that this was the "missing Ingredient" for our youth. Surely we would now see a flood of consecrated youth, zealous for souls and the cause of Christ graduating from these Christian schools. Undoubtedly we would have more applicants for missions, the pastorate and other areas of full-time ministry. A distinctive Christian education would surely produce a new wave of holy living and desire for the separated life that would strengthen our local churches.

The starry-eyed optimist of ten years ago has had to alter his expectations. I have noted no revivals breaking out traced to the graduates of our finest schools. If there are, I would surely be thankful, but I am unaware of any. There are many good and godly youngsters coming from our Christian schools, but these schools have not been a magic answer to an age-old problem.

I remain convinced that the home and the parents of the child are more instrumental in determining a child's character and spirituality than whether or not he has gone through a Christian school.

Whereas I am convinced of the necessity of Christian education, it cannot nulify the destructive, chilling effects of a carnal, lukewarm home. An illustration of this is seen in the lives of some youth, who, though they are, through no fault of their own, kept in a government school, grow in grace and develop Godly character because of their own Godly choices and/or the strengthening influence of their charactered home.

On the other hand, we have received multitudes of troubled youth from Christian homes into our ministry who have been students in some of the finest Christian schools in our land. Despite their Christian education, they remained cold, hard and worldly. Such students know Christian vocabulary, terminology, doctrine and theology. They outwardly conform to long lists of rules and expectations, but inwardly they have a hard heart. Polished on the outside, they inwardly are carnal and worldly. This puts us in mind of Matthew 23:25-27 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness". Also, I Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth: for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart". Where have these youth learned this duplicitous life-style? I believe from their home.

Many youngsters have learned from their parents how to openly and outwardly espouse fundamental Christianity and privately live as they choose. Such a life- style produces a hard heart. Though the Holy Spirit challenges such a heart with the "foolishness of preaching", conviction of sin, and solid Bible teaching; these things are only affirmed in the mind and no repentence or change of life occurs.

How can a mother, who mocks her Christian school's standards by wearing pants, pants suits, etc., (even to pick up her children after school), ever expect her daughter to stop wearing pants in private? How can a father who fits his Christianity into his life only when it is convenient, ever expect his son to not also choose a religion of convenience? How can a home thoroughly desensitized to the awful wickedness of sin through its television, music and worldly life-style ever expect its children to be holy and separated believers?

Pastors and youth workers grieve over these children. They are bright, they learn, in fact they learn a great deal. They outwardly conform, but don't expect them at the altar during the invitation at the next church service. Don't expect them to give testimony of how God is changing them from glory to glory. What you can expect is for them to be thoroughly engrossed in: boy-girl relationships; the latest clothing and hair styles; having fun; self-seeking pleasures; friends outside their home; worldly mindedness; and resisting a New Testament Christian life-style. You see, they have learned from their parents. "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing". A luke-warm heart learns how to accommodate religion and resist the Holy Spirit.

Tragically, they do not see their deep spiritual need "... and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked." (Revelation 3:17) Do not expect your school and church to accomplish in the life of your child what must first be accomplished by his parents.

We must be aware of a principle currently working in many fundamental homes. Let me explain. Scientists in the field of immunology long ago demonstrated the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing certain diseases. What did they do? They took actual disease-producing germs and attenuated (weakened) them. These were then placed in a vaccine which was given to children by injection. The defense mechanisms of the child's system attacked these foreign proteins and formed antibodies, thus preventing the child from contracting the disease. To put it plainly, when children were given a weakened form of the real thing, then they never got the real thing. Thus real mumps, measles, diptheria, pertussis and tetanus are not contracted when children get a weakened form of them. Do you see this principle? If you give your children a weakened form of New Testament Christianity they will never get New Testament Christianity! Parents, as you see hardness in your children's hearts, a desire for the world, wrong friends and wrong goals, and a sassy, reluctant obedience to your authority; it is because you have allowed it, nurtured it and produced it by your example. Moreover, you are just beginning to experience the grief and heartbreak that will later come your way from your children.

If you see sprouting seeds of this poison, what can you do? We must do what Christ told four of the seven churches in Asia Minor in Revelation two and three. Ephesus, Pergamos, Sardis and Laodicea were each told to repent. To all seven of them he said, "He that has an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches". Do you have the ear to hear what is happening to your family? Do you have the discernment to see the need?

Ninevah repented when her king sat in sack cloth and ashes. (Jonah 3) Jacob and his family finally returned to Bethel when he caused them to put away all their strange gods. (Genesis 35) Noah's family was saved because he obeyed the Lord and demanded it of his sons. Abraham produced a Godly child because he was a faithful father. (Genesis 18:19)

On the other hand, King Ahaziah ". . . did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother, and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin." (I Kings 22:52) Parents, our testimony must be as King Amaziah. The Holy Spirit records this about his son, good king Uzziah: "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his Father Amaziah did." (2 Chronicles 27:2)

by Ronald E Williams, Director
Hephzibah House
508 School St., Winona Lake. IN 46590
(219) 269-2376
Reprints may be obtained from Hephzibah House.

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