Contend Earnestly: A Pause On Schooling Before We Continue

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Pause On Schooling Before We Continue

This has been very interesting so far and has been one to where I hope that those who have commented will go back and look at my original post on why this series it being put up. I am not putting this up to convince anyone of a specific way to school their children. I am not sure why it has come across this way or why people aren't reading my qualifiers when they go through my posts or understand how much I know many different home, private or public schoolers and many have done it for wrong reasons and right reasons.

Again, my reason for this is not because I haven't made up my mind on what I will do for my family, but is to show the different perspectives on schooling to aid others in what they will do or why they are doing it. This is the whole reason, and I stated this in my original post. I want myself and the readers to always get to the reason of "why" more than the means of "how". Also, for whatever reason, poeple don't believe me that when I have said that my family will be public schooling and this is the choice for my family, they take that as an attack on home schooling. Not true at all and I have said this so many times I don't know what else to say.

My choice and your choice in all we do should also first be looked throught the lens of on glorifying Christ and then from there, taking that and seeking God's will on how to do that most for you and for your family.

Like someone said, I have many home school children in my church and I love them dearly and have enjoyed watching their mission for Christ. What I have also found interesting is that some of them have read my posts and have believed them to be spot on and enjoyed them thoroughly. I am not questioning the means of what people are doing, I am hopefully driving people to the why of what they are doing. If you read this blog, heard me teach or preach that is what I have always tried to do, get people to look into their heart for why they are doing things.

The reason is because we can make things that God has created and commanded to become meaningless idols that God detests. We can make our children idols, we can make money an idol, we can make our possessions an idol, we can make studying/reading/memorizing the Bible and idol, we can make praying an idol, we can make serving others an idol, etc. The real question sometimes has nothing to do with the outworking that we all see, but the inward of what our works are doing...glorifying God or glorifying the flesh.

David says this specifically about something he commanded...which is sacrifice and meal offering, yet says that God did not desire these. Why? Because the heart was not focused on the glory of God, but just focused on the means of sacrifice and forgiveness. Notice that David's focus is on the will of God.

Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired;
My ears You have opened;
Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God;
Your Law is within my heart.”
Psalm 40:6-8

Again, the reason for these posts is not to start a fight, to divide or to "stir up trouble". I have simply laid out what I have seen, read, spoken to others about and my convictions of the Scripture on the reason to home school and some of the cons that could come up if you decide to do so. If one were to see that I said that "these could happen but won't always happen" they would see that I was being balanced with warning.

The last post received 36 comments. I put up 4 of those and most of the comments were made by homeschool advocates. You will notice that most public school advocates just stayed silent on the posts, but have emailed me privately because what they have seen on the blog is what has happened privately and they are exhausted in trying to show the reasons of why they are convinced that public school is where THEIR family has been put to be on mission for the glory of Christ.

I have also had the priviledge to speak with Todd privately and we both decided to remove our comments towards each other for reasons that are going to stay between him and I.

I think people also forgot that this is a series in which I will show the cons of private and public school as well and the challenges that those parents will face as well. This isn't a series on homeschooling, it just happened to be the first post.

I will also say that if I am attacked personally, I have tried to just stay out of that, because I don't want to go into ad hominem attacks and get emotional with others. For those who think I am being dramatic or have some sort of matyrdom complex, I have had many others read the posts, the comments and one other place that comments were being made and they were amazed to see how I was treated and how this subject was handled by a certain few.

This is what I am asking as you comment and make your voice heard. Please read the qualifiers that I put out there. Know that this isn't a book or a polemic against or for any type of schooling. These blog posts are to start someone in understanding some basic things and understanding of choosing God's glory above everything else. I am not going to tell someone how to school their kids, but continue to support them as they support the cause of Christ's glory.

Also know that those that you are talking to are real people, making real decisions and will probably be in heaven alongside you praising Jesus.

I have found it interested that I have been told that I am "ignorant" "a secular humanist throwing God on top" and someone who is "divisive." I have taken these charges seriously and have asked others that I know who love Jesus, will tell me if I am being retarded in my thinking, if I am being overly critical, or if I am being a biased jerk, they have all came back with the same

I pray that the rest of the series will be challenging and fair and that all those involved will again, read the intro to understand why I am writing these. I have already gotten great response from others who have said that it has helped them understand the reason behind the decisions they make and not just the means that should be considered. That really has excited me to hear that.

I will also put one final note. I have said that I will "never homeschool." I will say, that is exaggerated and has been something that has hit me well. I believe in doing God's will and believe that homeschooling is a viable option for families, so I could never say "I will never homeschool." Point taken.

It also saddens me to see people say that they would rather talk to homeschoolers than public schoolers, that Christians don't belong in public schools and the exaggerated comments made against public schools. It saddens me because I also have many students who are public schooled, and they have read the comments and feel as though they are stupid, pagan and God haters for going to public school. Not only students, but teachers that are Christian have felt this way as well. They aren't commenting because they do not want to get in the fray and start a fight...this is also why my comments have been few after my posts. I am not here to battle. I am here to contend earnestly for the faith and for the glory of God, not for a specific way to school a child.

May God be praised.


Anonymous said...

My comment that I would rather talk to a homeschool kid than a public/private school kid wasn't a slam against public/private school. Just reality. I know many public school kids well; they are nice kids, but they only interact well with their peers. Not surprising because they spend much of their time with kids their own age. But when I talk with the homeschool kids, they know how to interact with adults because they do so frequently during the day. They are also super with younger kids - again, because they interact with a variety of ages during the course of their school day. That is a reality of homeschooling; the kids are generally delightful to be around, no matter who/what age they are with. Not a slam against public school - goodness knows, many of us adult type people are the product of public schools, and we generally turned out rather well! It's just the thought that perhaps for many families, homeschooling might be a better way to go.

Seth McBee said...

whether you meant it or not...think if a public school kid read this at our church...guessing they would take offense.

There are many things I could point out from experience with homeschool kids that I know are not a product of the schooling, but of the parents.

Many good things, many bad things, but in the end, I know that from the homeschool kids I really enjoy being around and know to be outstanding young men and women have more to do with their parental upbringing than their schooling.

Same is to be said with a public school kid. I know that as I see them interact with others that are their peers or adults, what I have noticed, it isn't the schooling, but the parental upbringing and also just personality.

This is why I think it is a common misconception to say that homeschool kids are social misfits.

But, to state how you did, I am glad that you are anonymous.

I just can't believe you can state this and just expect those that are public schooled to be cool with it and not feel like it is a "slam against them."

And by the way...your "reality" as you state it, isn't always true for the majority or correct to make conclusions on. This is why when putting up posts on homeschooling I have tried to focus people less on their experience with people they have had encountered, but to go to the heart of the issue.

cyrycyry said...

Just a couple of comments, before you move on completely - I have been out of town, so just heard about this...

1. Christians don't agree on lots of thing, ie. denominations, versions of the Bible, MUSIC!, and yet over 90% all make the same educations choice, and cannot show Chapter and verse where that comes from -

2. Even missionaries do not get to go out on the mission field without having extra training specifically for that - and these are adults

3. If you have a sick child and a healthy child in the same room, the sick child doesn't catch health.

4. A fish doesn't know it is wet - the curriculum determines the worldview - the subtle ways they undermine God and build up other religions. It is difficult to sort out the impact.

5. We are losing the battle for children of Christians - the statistics that Barna has are proof - can that have something to do with the above 90%?

6. When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one that yelps, is the one that got hit.

Thanks for all the opportunity to exercise my free speech!

cyrycyry said...

Oh, gosh, one more thing, a questions?

If you were thinking of sending your child to a Muslim school to be salt and light, would that make any difference?

Seth McBee said...


Your first comment...don't understand what you are getting at...but I am public schooled so you will have to forgive me ;) (totally messing with you)

But I really don't know what you mean.

I again don't think that the ends justify the means. I believe we need to go to Scriptures (which some public/private/home school people do well, and others do very poorly) to understand how we can glorify God in all our decisions, and in our schooling ones. I don't care what statistics say, especially from Barna. Plus stats don't tell the whole story of what is going on...but I think we both know that.

I also don't believe that curriculum determines the worldview but the family does through training the child through the Scriptures and continually challenging them with understanding why they believe Jesus is king and deserves our total worship and not just cramming it on them and making them repeat what we say...not saying you, or that homeschooling does those in any way...

Your last comment is what we would call reductio ad absurdum. Asking about putting a child in a Muslim school is like asking why a homeschool person doesn't just put their kids in a bubble.

If I said that, which I don't believe, isn't helpful nor a true outworking.

Public school is not about preaching religion, not even the secular humanist one. Are there some teachers who desire to teach that way? Of course. Does this make me be careful? Of course.

Anonymous said...

As for the comment on "I would rather speak to a home schooler than a public schooler"... I am a youth worker in our church with over a 150 teens. My estimation is that over 60 of them are home schooled with another 60 private schooled and the remainder attending public school. I can tell you that the vast majority of our behavioral problems are with the home schooled kids in our teen group. Now I have been in youth ministry for over 10 years now, and I can say that this is the first time I have said this- as it seems to be a new trend.

I am convinced it is due in part because the human interaction with their "authorities" ie teachers are being substituted more and more with video professors. I see a massive problem with regards to respect for authority ie the youth pastor and youth workers in the teen group from our home schoolers. The vast majority of teens that are chatting, passing notes or texting during the service or worship time is home schooled and I believe that it is contributed to by a lack of accountability throughout the day with an actual teacher/parent vs a video, where they can do other things while its in play.

Please don't misunderstand my statement- I love our home school kids, and believe it is a real and profitable option for the right families, but feel it necessary to point out my observations of the most recent years of working with our teens.

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