Can We Send Our Children To Government Schools And Still Honor God?

publicprivate-ruyfklThe first time I heard about ‘homeschooling’ was from my childhood best friend. She let me know she would be homeschooling her children. I am fairly certain I looked at her like she had a third eye.

Some time had passed from that conversation and we were sending our children to government schools. During this time we came into our faith, joined a church and were introduced to many homeschooling families and homeschooling in general.

Then a book crossed my path called Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto. It was enlightening and convicting.

“It is absurd and anti-life to move from cell to cell at the sound of a gong for every day of your natural youth in an institution that allows you no privacy and even follows you into the sanctuary of your home demanding that you do its ‘homework’.” ~ John Taylor Gatto

It took two years of laying the ground work and an endless amount of inquiry but we removed our children from government schooling and began homeschooling.

I didn’t fully grasp it at the time as to the ‘why’ we were homeschooling beyond the understanding of the Biblical imperatives as a parent, the documented benefits and even the general clichés but as a Christian I knew there was more.

“In the absence of biblical conviction, people will go the way of culture.” ~ Sally Clarkson

I wanted to understand the crux of why government schools are not an option for Christian families. I had this relentless niggling that this wasn’t simply a matter of Christian liberty.

“If we continue to send our children to Caesar for their education we need to stop being surprised when they come home as Romans.” ~ Voddie Baucham

This is not to advocate that homeschooling is the only option for Christians but rather to commend privatization of education to include homeschooling, co-ops, churches, private schools, etc.

If you skim the rolodex of your mind as to the ‘why’ we should or shouldn’t send our children to government schools most of the responses are based on outcomes or circumstances. The idea that our standard for right or wrong stems from either a desired outcome or an undesired consequence reduces truth to be relative. That’s pragmatism. That’s not to say all pragmatism is wrong. However, Biblical truths are not determined by testing what works and what doesn’t. We are to be obedient to God and His Word; the outcomes are up to Him.

“The end does not justify the means if the means are wrong.” ~ Kevin DeYoung

This is a blind spot within the Christian community. The place where Christians who are faithful in many areas are inconsistent when it comes to government schools.

I know because I was one of them. The inconsistency taints our stance, perhaps even makes us hypocritical, when we decry socialized medicine or feminism or unlawful taxation or expanding government or government welfare or abortion yet willingly hand over our children to be partake with earnest the largest Socialist program in the country.

I am still in the process of unlearning and relearning. So this isn’t said from some lofty soap box but rather from a position of exhortation and even pleading if necessary.

“Non-Christian education puts the child in a vacuum. The result is that child dies. Christian education alone really nurtures personality, because it alone gives the child air and food. Modern educational philosophy gruesomely insults our God and our Christ. How, then, do you expect to build anything positively Christian or theistic upon a foundation which is the negation of Christianity and Theism? “ ~ Cornelius Van Til

I no longer defend privatizing education from an outcome or circumstance basis. Because it’s not about outcome or circumstance, it’s about obedience. OBEDIENCE is the crux of why government schools are not an option for Christian families.

“I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.” ~ Martin Luther

What is the premise of government education?

Government is a minister of justice instituted by God; NOT A MINISTER OF EDUCATION. Public, tax-funded, government controlled education by definition is Socialism. Godless, Christ-hating, anti-biblical, anti-Christian, Secular Humanism, Statism.

That is the root of government education. Doing what it was designed to do. Unbiblical from the core to the conclusion.

Therefore, it cannot please God. Government schools outright repudiate God’s law. It is at enmity with Him, His Word and His people.

“It is absolutely impossible to separate religious ideas from the great mass of human knowledge…where these are not positively implied they are virtually denied.” ~ A.A Hodge

There is no neutrality.

“Parents sin in the same way when they omit true religion from the education of their children. Perhaps the thought is that their children cannot be converted while they are children, and so they think it of small consequence where they go to school in their tender years. But it is not so!” ~ Charles Spurgeon

Yet, somehow we as parents make the flawed conclusion that we can send our children to government schools and still honor God?

“Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God”  ~ James 4:4

We wouldn’t send our children to an hour of Wiccan Sunday School but rigorously defend sending them to roughly fifteen thousand hours within the corridors of an institution that will disciple them under a system that unapologetically opposes God?

“The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” ~ Luke 6:40

What do you call that which opposes God? Sin? Rebellion? Wickedness? Evil?


“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” ~ Isaiah 5:20

We have clear guidance on our Christian response to that which opposes God considering how often the Bible speaks of such.

Sin – 400x.
Rebellion – 22x.
Wickedness – 61x.
Evil – over 500x.

“If you’re God’s child, obedience is not an option, to treat what has been command as a personal choice is to put yourself in God’s position.” ~ Paul Tripp

Christians who are awestruck by government schools teaching evolution or having books normalizing sexual immorality or collaborating with abortion providers, or not allowing prayer in school or implementing a common curriculum or usurping parental rights or anything of this sort ought NOT be awestruck.

“Thinking that education is something different from discipling our children is a sure sign that we have been ‘educated’ by the state. Education is discipleship.” ~ R.C Sproul Jr.


“It is a fact that unless children are brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they, and the society which they constitute or control, will go to destruction. Consequently, when a state resolves that religious instruction shall be banished from the schools and other literary institutions, it virtually resolves on self-destruction.” ~ Charles Hodge

I understand this…now. But it wasn’t until it was plainly and unabashedly stated that God revealed my faulty thinking.

This is my intention. This is not written to badger or bind anyone’s conscience but rather to speak with clarity, sincerity and urgency.

This is not to minimize the implications and devotion it takes to educate our children apart from government schools. It’s certainly not the way of the world – but that’s the point. You may become the one who is stared at as though you have a third eye. You may encounter doubt and criticism, possibly from within your own family. I get it. But the incomparable rewards of obedience outweigh the challenges.

Nonetheless, it took me two years to follow through and my only regret is that I wasn’t obedient sooner.

“The whole range and content of education must be God-centered; that is, God must be the unifying principle and the interpreting principle of the whole curriculum.” ~ John Murray

Yet, if God, His Word and His Spirit do not convince; human effort is moot.

Still, we must continue to contend out of obedience, not outcome, knowing the Lord in His Sovereignty must draw the veil. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9; Acts 9:18; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 2:14)

And may it be reassuring, all that God requires in our obedience He has already provided in Christ.

“The covenant of grace naturally calls for Christian education…Christian parents are in duty bound to give their covenant children a specifically Christian education…to train [their] children for their high dignity as members of the household of God, to teach them a due appreciation and the right use of the covenant blessings, and to qualify them for their covenantal responsibilities.” ~ Louis Berkhof

For further study please consider the following:

The History of Compulsory Education

Indoctrination Film

Why Christian Kids Need A Christian Education by Doug Wilson

John Taylor Gatto


Homeschool Foundation exists to financially assist Widowed, Single, Special Needs, & Military Families


Find your local Christian Homeschool Network

Homeschooling Grandparents

Homeschooling Widows

Homeschooling Single Parents

Homeschooling Special Needs

Reformed Education Resources

Puritan Network FREE Homeschooling Curriculum


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