Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Another Pastor Speaks Against Homeschooling

[Update: I emailed Dr. Beam with the link to this post. He replied and said he would read it and respond to what I have written. Stay tuned.]

The issue of homeschooling is sure ruffling a lot of Baptist preachers feathers.

First, we had Dr. West telling us we didn't understand the theology of the cross for homeschooling. Now we have Dr. Tony Beam telling us not to "cut and run". He admits the schools are "in disarray and pagan to the core", but asserts our children must go to public school to be part of the redemption of the schools.
I would like to submit another scriptural argument for believers to remain in the public school for the purpose of redemption. In His final prayer for His disciples Jesus said, "I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth, Your Word is truth. As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world"(John 17:15-18). In this prayer, we hear the heart of Jesus as He intercedes for those who will have to live in and deal with
this world. He specifically asks God NOT to remove is from the world but to prepare us for engaging the world by protecting us from the evil one and sanctifying us in the Truth.
I'm not a bible scholar, but I beg to differ with Dr. Beam's use of this passage as justification for our children going into the public schools. Jesus' final prayer was for His disciples and yes, it could be extrapolated out to mature believers today. But certainly our children lack both the maturity and insight of a disciple and therefore it would be a bit of a stretch to include them in this passage. By doing what Dr. Beam advocates we would actually be running contrary to the very life of Jesus himself. He remained under the authority of his parents until the age of 12 and possibly further. That's what so confounded observers the day he was found in the temple courts listening to the teachers. Quoting from Luke 2:46, 51,

After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers...

(verse 51) Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Interestingly, even after this incident of obvious scholarly brilliance, he didn't stay with the teachers but left with his parents in "obedience to them".

Would you, Dr. Beam, declare that Jesus withdrew from the culture by not remaining with the teachers? Were Mary and Joseph wrong for removing him and not allowing Him to engage the culture? I hardly think so. He and His parents knew His time had not yet come. They knew their role was to protect Him until He fully matured. Eventually, Jesus grew into the man worthy to die on our behalf.

A young child's role is NOT as a redeemer. Their time has not yet come.

If you as a mature, well-discipled, Christian man would like to go into the schools and affect change, GO FOR IT! A scholarly man with your zeal to change the culture would be dynamic in the godless schools. Why spend your days preaching in a CHRISTIAN church, teaching on CHRISTIAN radio, or teaching at a CHRISTIAN college? Stop retreating from the culture into the comfort of the church!

Go forth! Charge to the front lines where the enemy is hitting hardest. Give up your personal ambitions and pursuits and become a TEACHER in the public schools. Charge in there with bible blazing and boldly tell them their redemption is near!

But please don't ask my children to go spend their childhood on the front lines, while you sit back in the cloistered offices of Christendom giving them their marching orders. That, to me, seems a little cowardly don't you think?

(HT: Daryl)

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