Contend Earnestly: 10 Steps to Become a Legalist: Step 4

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

10 Steps to Become a Legalist: Step 4

Before I start to have some fun with this post, I must ask that you have a sense of humor here. I am going to step on a lot of toes here. But, it's fun and I don't mind. I will mainly be focusing on home schooling vs public schooling. I was personally public schooled and I still have all my faculties and didn't sell my soul to the devil...although I was close a couple of times, but his offer wasn't quite good enough. I know many on both sides of this issue, so have at me if you will...and let's have some fun...and if you get a little mad at me, sorry, get used to it if you read these posts because they hit a lot of people in places they don't like. Including myself. Without further adu (however you spell that little word, remember I was public schooled)...let's do this and watch the carnage.

Step 4 is that you must raise your children like I do! This is a must for any parent. You must know that how you raise your children is absolutely correct and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, especially when you decide to keep them at home to learn on the couch as school starts at half past noon. You must get very dogged about this one. You must understand that homeshooling is the only way to raise your children, especially with all the little demons running around out there. I mean what would happen if they actually came in contact with a person who is a pagan? These pagans might touch them and infect them with the disease of "God hate."

You must understand that public schools are the devil. You must understand that there is no way that your child will be able to go through that and come out a Christian, but will be a flaming liberal. If you have to use Scripture to prove your point. My favorite is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, it is the Shema. It states (I'll put it in red so it looks more official):

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

How can a parent be diligent with their children to teach them this if they go off to school all day with the crazies? Remember that the time before school and also the time after school doesn't count, diligence can only happen between the times of about 7am to 3pm, according to my homemade Jewish calendar. It's right beside my wife's dress that she made from our old curtains. This (the time of diligence) just happens to be the time they will be at school! Also note that you can just ignore the other facts that are spoken in Deuteronomy, such as the dietary laws in chapter 14 and the ceremonial feasts in chapter 16. Also, don't worry, you don't have to write things on your forehead or put Bible verses on your front door, although most people that I know beleive that "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord" should be a staple on all front doors of believers. Why don't you have to do this? I don't know...cause I said so? Will that work? Sometimes ignoring Scripture works especially if you want to be a good legalist. Just say it with authority with a furrowed brow...that usually works.

Oh, and if your wife does all the schooling at home, that is okay too, even though no Jewish family would agree with you when applying Deuteronomy 6. The Jews took this to be the man's responsibility to do this, but the man is at work all day, and remember, diligence can only happen between 7am to 3pm, so the father obviously can't do this. So ignore that no Jew in the time of the Bible did it like this, and let the wife do all the teaching.

I just can't believe that anyone would want to send their kid to public school. I mean...there are non-Christians there. They might talk to your child. So, if your child happens to go to a public school, tell them to just run screaming if they see one of these people called, "non-Christians." Those kinds of parents that send their kids to public school must not care for their kids. It's not like they can read the material ahead of time, meet with teachers and be involved in any way. That is just crazy. Plus, the PTA really stands for Parents and Teachers for Anarchy.

And if any of these people bring up how Daniel went and had a secular education you should just say that was a one time occurrence and Daniel was lucky that Nebuchadnezzar liked him so much. Daniel wasn't really a light in the darkness, but it was like a Red Sea occurrence. You aren't going to tell your kid to try and part the Red Sea just because Moses did it, are you? Well, maybe you would if you think public school is okay.

We didn't even get to talk about Samuel going to get educated by Eli and that most Jewish boys would go to the synagogue to learn at the age of 7. I mean, how can your children learn Math unless the Math teacher is a Calvinist? 4+4=TULIP

Just remember that homeschooling isn't just a way for the legalist, but it is THE ONLY least if you are a Christian who loves your children.

If you want to be a legalist and send your child to public school this becomes a little more tricky. But, all you have to do is continue to see that those that homeschool seem to be born in a bubble and have their hair combed by someone stuck in the fifties. Make sure that you over analyze things and always come up with the excuse that "how can Johnny know how to handle himself in the world if he is not in it." Remember that everything happens between 7am and 3pm and you will be well on your way to understanding how this plays out. Also, learn the following phrase and you will be good, "I don't want to shelter my kids forever." You must get that phrase down if you are going to be a legalist with a child that goes to public school. It is essential. here is the truth of the matter. You can quote any verse you want at me, but none of them tell me to homeschool my child. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is my favorite passage because most take it way out of context and act like the parents can't be diligent with their children if they are going to school. Now, will parents who send their kids to public school have to be diligent? Yes, of course. I know of a parent who reads every single one of the books that will be on her child's reading list for the upcoming year. She meets with the teachers and principal. She is completely involved. She is also MORE involved than most of the homeschool parents I know. I have homeschooled kids coming to me and asking about some whacked out doctrine that they just learned from their home school teacher on video or at their co-op. So, it goes both ways. You can be either really diligent in both circumstances or just plain lazy as well. Don't assume that if you sit your kid in front of a DVD player with a teacher while your child is in bed all day that you are being a diligent and loving parent. Also, if you allow your child to go to public school don't assume that asking, "how was your day" is being diligent. Because usually your kid will usually leave out that he went to history class then skipped Math class to smoke marijuana and make out with Sally behind the bleachers.

Can we please remember Daniel. Can we please remember Samuel. Can we please remember that God has plans for everyone. Some he desires to be homeschooled, some he desires to be a light to the public school. Did you know that when your child gets out of high school and goes to that private college that their are non-Christians there and also profs who don't believe in the Old Testament? Then what? Do you know that your child might work for an atheist? Did you know that Jesus was amongst the roughest people around? Now, are we to be more careful when the children are in our houses? Yes, of course that is why we must be diligent with them to teach them the Shema. Diligence doesn't only come between the months of September to June from 7am to 3pm each day though.

I always laugh when I find that some are homeschool only people. I really can't believe it. I also laugh when I find people who are public school only parents and say that the homeschoolers are "sheltering" their children. Both of these logics are far off. Remember, I am not saying that if you believe in homeschool or public school that you are a legalist. It is when you start putting this yoke on others fiercly is when you start to the be "crazy uncle Ron." Why don't we let the Lord work in the hearts of parents on how they should raise their children and what they connotate as "diligence." I will probably send my child to public school and be on top of things. I want my child to be there to give Christian insight, to show that Christianity is still "in." That it is still here and growing. That God didn't go away and die like Nietzsche would have some believe. I am also not going to throw my child into the den of wolves and say, "good luck, be a city on a hill." I will be diligent and teach them the ways of the Lord and ask him to share that with those that have very contagious disease of paganism. But, I will tell him to watch out when they sneeze.


Anonymous said...

I agree, if you send your kid to public school they won't be able to pray.

David Shaw said...


Good stuff. Being a Christian public school teacher for twelve years I have heard everything you wrote about from both sides. I agree public schools have many many issues but so do other "institutes" of learning. In fact last Wednesday night after church I was in a conversation with someone who believes that home schooling is the only way to go. They mention the godlessness in public schools as a reason to abandon them. I mentioned to her that here in the state of Oklahoma it is law that each public school start or end each day with a moment of silence to pray or engage in other silent acitvities. What is interesting is that the hour that the school I teach in has this moment of silence there is not one student out of the twenty-seven that I have during that time that prays. Not one. The problem of prayer in or out of schools is not solely with the school, it lies manly with the kids and their parents. In reality most don't care if prayer is in school or not by their decision not to pray.

What I find interesting is that those who use the Deuteronomy passage you referenced against sending their kids to public schools won't use it to keep their kids out of a Sunday School class or a Children's Church program that is not taught by that kids father.

As I said earlier there are many many problems in public schools but God put me there as a light to those in darkness. I will obey His desires as I want those who educate their kids at home or in private schools to do.

Poop is Emergent Too said...

Hmmm...My comment disappeared so here goes again:

This is a hilarious post! We would tend to be the public school legalist :) My wife teaches in a public school, I coach in one, my daughter attends one...but the funny thing is that even though this is true, in our church we have several home schooled kids (who are now adults)..that are just of amazing value to the kingdom. They even allow me to tease them! So it is all good.

Seth McBee said...

David...Good points

Poop (D?)..sorry brother...your name is poop until I get more info...:)

It is funny when the homeschool kids let you mess with them. I think the only way that they allow this in my situation is cause I make fun of us public school kids just as much.

It is good that everyone can see that I was trying to draw out the legalist in us all with this post and looks like so far everyone is having fun with it...still waiting for the lashing though...I am sure it will happen.

Poop is Emergent Too said...

I'll answer to wife calls me Dave, and others call me Pdavidy (my raps name combining pastor and dave in honor of Pdiddy...)But poop is livable...only in this context!

Rob Bailey said...

I'm way more dangerous to my kids at home than the government schools re to them. You see, the gov. schools claim to reject God, and then act like it. I claim to love God and His Word,and then act like I don't. It's only by the grace of God that any of them make it to age 5 alive, much less make it to Heaven. As far as our schooling philosophy, we give them whatever type of schooling is most convenient for our family. Scripture does not tell us that one way or the other will commend you to God. God's measuring stick is not success but faithfulness. Thanks for the post.

Unknown said...

Made me snort! Though being Pagan and a homeschooler I guess we're damned either way! LOL

Anonymous said...

It's ado.

Steve said...

This whole post doesn't count for anything because it wasn't written between 7AM and 3PM! ;-)

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Hey Seth. I agree that it is absurd to say that everyone should homeschool—but I would also say that it is absurd to expect a child to be "a light to the world". Expecting a ten year old to witness in such a situation seems to me quite unrealistic, not a little exploitative, and ultimately irresponsible parenting. How do you know that your child is saved at that age? How do you know that you have educated him well enough in the faith that he will be a light to others, rather than having that light extinguished by others? How do you know he won't just be an obnoxious self-righteous git who turns all the students off Christianity?

People may have good reasons for sending their kids to public schools, but I don't think that can be one of them.


Arthur Sido said...

In the spirit of these posts, it is true that there are some that are dogmatic about homeschooling not for the Kingdom's sake, but simply for the sake of homeschooling. Homeschooling becomes a badge, a holier than thou issue. But those folks are the exception, rather than the rule. Most homeschooling parents do so because they believe it is best for their children, and the most honoring to God.It is pretty hard to make a Biblical case for sending kids somewhere to be educated where the God they worship on Sunday is denied or mocked. There are plenty of fine, Christian public school teachers but the system itself is the problem.

Poop is Emergent Too said...

Bnonn: So you keep them home...and wait? At what age is a child expected to be light in the world? Keep in mind (perhaps you can teach it to your kids) That the concept of childhood is rather modern, and beyond that there is not age limit of the phrase "you are the light of the world..." Further, my children do not belong to me, they belong to God to use how he would see fit. Your concept that a child can not be expected to be light is counter to logic (I have an 8 year old and a 4 year old who are both great little witnesses)it is counter to scripture. If a child is not in fact saved as you suggest then it would be demonstrated by their lack of "being a light" as this is a statement and not a command "you are the light of the world," Jesus is stating a fact about all who know him. The command is not to hide the light. You are not raising a child to follow Jesus if you are not in fact raising them to be missional.

Arthur: You said "It is pretty hard to make a Biblical case for sending kids somewhere to be educated where the God they worship on Sunday is denied or mocked."...

No it's not. It's not at all. Unless you somehow deny that God has left his children is exactly such a world. Think about it, what is it we do on earth better than we could in heaven? Unless God for his glory has chosen to put us in exactly such a situation as you describe.

Beyond that: What about Daniel, as Seth has mentioned? Or Esther?


Seth McBee said...

R.D.: Thanks for stopping by, and you are correct...I pray that we would be faithful for the conviction that God has given to all of us in schooling our children.

Dom: glad to see you around...although you should be taking care of your wife ;). Hope the new baby is doing well. I would have to agree in part with Pastor David (poop is emergent too) as that we must understand that we are the light for the world and that would include our children. I would think that you being reformed would understand this more than someone like myself who is not a covenantalist. But, I do understand what you mean as well. When sending a child to public school, one must be ready to be very much on top of what is going on.

Arthur: I always love to hear from you, so thank you. I agree that as long as someone understands that schooling is the choice of the parent and not the choice of the Bible, then I am fine. As far as your wording that it is hard to find reasons in the Bible to public school your children, that isn't too difficult. We are to be in the world not taken out of it. We are to be lights to the world, etc. Jesus even went to the crazies at the temple at the age of 12 to speak with the authorities in religion. Now, I am not saying my sons will be Jesus, but he sets a pretty good example in this.

Dave (Poop is Emergent): I like your questions that you have posed, but your legalistic side on public schooling is peaking it's head out :). Don't worry, I get this way too, and have to constantly check myself. But, know that your statements are well meant and well put.

Thanks for all your input guys. Keep it coming.

By the way...reallyrobins...I would have expected more from you than correcting my public schooling...:)

Anonymous said...

Some pertinant info to consider when deciding which way to go.

Click on title of this post, or cut & paste:

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