By Stacey Mattish
How necessary is Christian education? Does the Bible support, or even encourage, this ministry? Why do we even have a Christian school? It’s not like Christian schools have always been around, so why do Christians seem to think, suddenly, that they are necessary?
Many people here in the United States think that the purpose of public education has alway been to simply teach people to read and write: to give an education. The first compulsory education act, according to FindLaw, was passed in Massachusetts and was called The Old Deluder Satan Act of 1647. The purpose of establishing public schools throughout townships in Massachusetts was to teach children to read so that they could read the Scriptures and not be drawn away from the Lord.
Up until 1925, most of the readers and primers used to teach reading and the alphabet in the public schools were based on the Bible and Scripture verses. In 1925, evolution entered the school system in Tennessee; and in 1948, the Supreme Court outlawed having a time of prayer in the public schools. School Prayer in America records the rest of the movement to remove God from education. 1962 saw prayer being made illegal, 1963 removed the reading of the Bible in class, and 1980 removed the 10 Commandments.
In the 1970s the Christian school movement began in earnest, responding to what was happening in the public schools. The emphasis of these classrooms was putting God at the center of every subject. After all, He did create all things. Teachers with a heart to instruct children both in academics and the things of God entered into a new ministry.
When asked about why I believe in Christian education, I often point people to Psalm 1. In it God says:
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
As a parent, I have an option to put my children under the teaching of the godly or the scornful: Which way will I choose? In Deuteronomy 6:6-9, God tells parents to teach their children His laws and about Him all day long, in every facet of life. Christian education fits that model. With the help of other godly people, I can “train up my children in the way of the Lord,” and receive a blessing from God at the same time. Is Christian education really necessary? I’ll let you decide.