Do you need to send your child to a military academy? Perhaps so! But maybe not the kind you think or for the reasons you think. A military academy is not just to teach discipline, but also to train for battle. And while Christian education would not qualify as a military education in the traditional sense, perhaps it might fit under a different light. You see, one look around will confirm this biblical truth: we are all involved in a great war of epic proportions. Eternity for our children and the world around them is at stake, and the enemy is too eager for their souls to treat their childhood so casually. Yet an unequipped soldier, young or old, will be unprepared to stand against the enemy.
This very thought begs the question, “What kind of a war is it?” It is in fact a spiritual war fought for Truth. Since the beginning, it always has been. The original question of the garden was a questioning of God’s Truth and the offer of a different truth (“Has God indeed said?”). It is always a war for Truth, and thus the chief weapons of the enemy are lies and deception. Interestingly, what gives these weapons their power is not merely his possession of them, but rather our lack of examining them. Most often these weapons slip too easily into our lives because their authenticity is casually assumed. To be honest, evaluation takes time, thought and careful examination, and often we race through life so fast, we don’t slow down to do so. And it is here we fall to the same tactics the enemy has used since the beginning- whether this causes us to think wrongly about ourselves, how it directs our parenting, the way we treat our spouse, or the habits we maintain, all of these can become traps that ultimately get us to doubt the Word of God, the Character of God, and the Truth of God. This is a serious battle and necessitates an insightful response. Paul gives us a hint in reminding us about the nature of this battle, “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh”. This is a war for Truth. It indeed is a spiritual battle.
War of ideas.
From the earliest years of America, the classrooms have been seen as a mainstay for the establishment of society. Early school founders saw it as their role and responsibility to foremost train students to be moral and godly. Even today, ideological control of the classroom is deemed essential to the shaping of society. Consequently some of the primary battle grounds are classrooms and libraries and lecture halls. As a man thinks, so he is. So, the critical question begs, what are we teaching our children to think? All classrooms provide “military” instruction into how and why this war is being fought. They inform us about who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. They inform us about which ideas are true and need to be defended and which ideas are false and need to be opposed. The questions we have to ask ourselves are: who is providing our children’s instruction and whose side are they on? For this war of worldviews is fought in the marketplace of ideas. And for most of us the foundation for those ideas is laid in primary grades, and then reinforced through secondary education. There has been a deliberate but covert attempt to banish God (or probably more accurately Christianity) from our schools and to replace Him with secular humanism, the beginnings of which are seen over one hundred years ago. Consider this quote from Bertrand Russell,
“The social psychologist of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for more than one generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.”
Ideas have consequences
As we look around at our society, we see a country whose foundational truth is that there is no Truth! We find a culture in which evil is called good and good is called evil. Where the primary virtue to be embraced is tolerance. Practically, this tolerance works itself out as the assumption that everyone should be able to do whatever they want without being “judged”. Thus, anyone who claims to know the Truth is labeled intolerant, hateful, bigoted, ignorant, or uneducated. Increasingly, the goal of our educational system has been to deny Truth and reeducate our children to accept the new tolerance- the “black snow” mentioned above. Our culture has redefined tolerance as the acceptance of all views as equally valid. In fact, tolerance means the willingness to tolerate views or opinions we don’t agree with. Ironically, the new tolerance means just the opposite. In our present educational system, all views are tolerated except the view that there is but one Truth. This irony should not be easily lost - that in a dizzying full defiance of their own ideology of “tolerance,” Christianity is considered the one view that must not be tolerated.
Truth is the Weapon against Error and Evil
But as Christians, our currency is Truth, our weapon is Truth, and our foundation is Truth. But what is Truth and where do we find it? Truth is ultimately revealed by God in the Bible. Without that gold standard, we end up just arguing about opinions. One of the most poignant questions of all time was asked by a skeptical Roman named Pilate, when he asked Jesus sardonically, “What is truth?”. We as Christians have had Truth revealed to us in the God-man Jesus Christ. It is recorded for us in the Book about Jesus Christ- the Bible. As parents, the question we must continually ask ourselves is: “Are we teaching our children the Truth or the claims of the culture?”
Do our children need to attend a “military academy”? Yes! Indeed we all do! Not the traditional military academy, but one that helps us know Truth based upon the Bible and to identify the lies of our culture. Many of us have been influenced by Marxism, humanism, Darwinism, or pop psychology even more than we realize. The reason a Christian education is so essential is that it provides a Christian worldview to counteract the lies of a hostile culture. A good Christian education helps us to know Truth and to identify and counteract the subtle lies of the enemy. A good Christian education prepares us with Truth for the great spiritual battle.
Doug and Jennifer Neef
Dr. Doug Neef, M.D. is a board member of the Newton Bible Christian School.
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