At times, Christian are faced with a decision regarding what type of education to pursue for themselves and/or their families. The choice we will examine is between Christian schools and secular schools. Is one better than the other? The answer is not necessarily found in comparing the quality of the education but in the belief systems that are at the foundation of each. We will examine both types of education as they relate to the belief in God and their use of facts.
Difference 1: Belief in God
In general, secular education is based upon the assumption that there is no God; or if there is a God, then that God has no real impact on, or relevance to, daily life. Secular study of science, for example, assumes that everything “just happens” as a result of natural laws and interactions. One event triggers another, but (it is claimed) there is no ultimate planner and/or power guiding the process.
In contrast, Christian education assumes that God is, that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, that “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:3 KJV). Christian education is further based upon the firm conviction that God continues to guide events “in heaven and on earth” according to His perfect plan, “for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6(b) KJV).
Difference 2: Use of The Facts
In Christian education, proven, empirical facts are facts. Mathematical equations, for example, are exactly the same. There are differences and Christian education does not hide them. Over the past century or so, some topics have been heavily “edited” to reflect a secular viewpoint. History and some branches of science have suffered from a biased reporting of “facts,” including hiding or ignoring some details, and skewing the perspective from which others are viewed. The skewed perspective has altered and/or distorted the interpretation of some evidence. True Christian Education rejects such distortions.
Ethics and morality represent one extremity of these distortions. By rejecting the ultimate authority of the Creator, adherents to the secular perspective are left with no absolute foundation of right and wrong. Standards become fluid, so that “what’s right for me” may be different from “what’s right for you.”
When the Church accepts the standards of the secular world, it is left with confusion and instability. Consider the following illustration of this dilemma. For a number of years, respected pollsters have reported that the manifestation of ethics and morals doesn’t differ significantly between individuals who classify themselves as “Christian” and those who describe themselves as “not religious.” Specifically, the pollsters report that the sexual practices of the two groups have proven to be basically the same. Even though a permissive lifestyle has become common, the Christian faith has historically embraced strict scriptural standards of sexual purity and monogamy.
True Christian Education seeks to provide a superior grasp of all facets of knowledge, anchored firmly on the foundation which our Creator has supplied in His inspired Word. One could conclude that, for Christians, a Christian school education could keep them grounded in their faith in God. It could also shelter them from the skewed and altered versions of empirical facts that at times are associated with secular education. The decision should not be taken lightly but made with prayerful consideration.
By Phil Herr
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