October 29, 2018
Over the weekend FCS hosted the first Open House event for the 2019-2020 school year, and it was a great success. Yes, that is the correct year. In fact, several other private schools in our area have already had their first Open House of the enrollment season. A couple of weeks ago we hosted an event at which we invited students who currently are enrolled at other Christian schools in the 5th grade or in the 8th grade, to come on campus and check out our 6th and 9th grades. Our own 5th and 8th graders were also given the opportunity this past week to experience what it is like to be in middle school or high school. Many of these students and their parents attended the Open House on Saturday. Florida Christian School is an example of the right that parents have to choose how their children will be educated.
Over the past several political cycles there has been a growing movement around the country to use governmental power to try and silence the voices of those who hold positions that are in alignment with God’s Word, including Christian schools, that are not in line with a secular view of authority and truth. I believe that the rights of Christian families to choose a school which teaches the truths of God’s Word is a legitimate issue in the political climate we live in and that a movement to use legal means that will infringe on the right of any parent to choose a Christian education for their children is alive and well. Fortunately, over the past two years some of the reasons for concern have been delayed, but you can be sure that this issue has not gone away. For this reason, it is incumbent on all Christian school parents, to be aware of, and actively opposed to, all governmental action which would take away the right as Christian parents to raise their children in accordance to God’s Word, including the decision to place them in a Christian school which teaches the whole counsel of God’s Word, rather than practice so called “political correctness” which is not in line with God’s Word.
According to God’s Word, I believe that God instituted three distinctive authorities in our lives: the family, the church, and the government. In the Bible He ordained each of these to function simultaneously, each with its own purpose and function, but also with a mutual independence. As a result, the government or the church has no more right to invade parental authority than parents do to invade the government or church’s areas of authority. The rights and responsibilities, which God gave to each, have been taught to us through scripture. For instance, as Christians, we know that the Bible says, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance (law) of man for the Lord’s sake” I Peter 2:13-17. We also believe that if there should be a conflict between the explicit requirements of the Scriptures and the commands of the government, we must consistently hold to the superior authority of God. In Acts 5:28-29 the authorities told Peter, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” After being arrested and put in jail, Peter said to them, “We must obey God rather than men!”
I believe this concept is especially true with regard to the education of the children of Christian parents. As believers we must realize that God has committed to parents the high privilege and responsibility of training and educating their children in the fear of the Lord. Psalm 78:1-8, “O my people, listen to my teaching. Open your ears to what I am saying. For I will show you lessons from our history, stories handed down to us from former generations. I will reveal these truths to you so that you can describe these glorious deeds of Jehovah to your children and tell them about the mighty miracles he did. For he gave his laws to Israel and commanded our fathers to teach them to their children, so that they in turn could teach their children too. Thus his laws pass down from generation to generation. In this way each generation has been able to obey his laws and to set its hope anew on God and not forget his glorious miracles. Thus they did not need to be as their fathers were-stubborn, rebellious, unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.” A parent must not surrender the God given right of educating their children to any other institution, such as the government. Education is vitally important, the Bible is the ultimate authority, and parents are accountable to God for the instruction and discipline of their children. As a result, parents cannot in good conscience come under the control of any outside authority with respect to the education of their children. Whether they choose home school, the Christian school, a private school or the public system, ultimately it is the parent’s responsibility in the eyes of God. Here at FCS we are very grateful for the sacrifice our parents make to have their children prepared academically, and to fulfill the scriptural command to teach them Biblical truth.
I believe the time is coming when Christian parents may face the dilemma between the right as a parent to choose to educate their child in a Christian environment, or have to succumb to a government system which does not respect their Christian faith. Focus on the Family issued this statement regarding the rights of parents. “At Focus on the Family, we believe that children are a cherished gift from the Lord and that parents are the ones primarily responsible for guiding and preparing them for a life of service to God and to humanity. Parents have a God-ordained right and responsibility to determine what is best for their children. In the majority of cases, parents and legal guardians are the ones who are closest emotionally, mentally and spiritually to their children and the most in tune with their needs. Given their intimate knowledge of their children, they should have the protected ability to direct and give guidance concerning their children’s educational experience. This includes the ability to determine when, how and if their children are introduced to controversial sexual topics as well as other educational philosophies that may conflict with families’ deeply held Judeo-Christian values and principles. Protecting parents’ rights in education also protects a self-governing society by safeguarding against an intrusive government school system that could eventually infringe on religious freedom.” So as long as there are individuals in public office that will support our rights as Christian parents to choose how we educate our children, we need to support them.