This past week national attention was placed on the nomination of Amy Barrett to the Supreme Court. The not so subtle attack on her Catholic faith by those who oppose her nomination was based on their view that a person of faith could not fairly adjudicate issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. This perspective represents what is being taught in our colleges and schools all across our country and represents a growing trend, where governmental power is used to try and silence the voices of those who hold positions that are in alignment with God’s Word, but do not meet the current politically correctness test. The opposition that this judicial nominee is facing is exactly what children in this country face every day, from grade school through college. I would submit, that it is incumbent on all parents, to be aware of, and actively oppose all governmental action which would take away their rights as Christian parents to raise their children in accordance to God’s Word, including their education. This is exactly why Florida Christian School exists. Christian parents are assured that biblical truth is honored and taught at our school, and the same biblical principles this potential justice holds in regard to marriage and the value of human life are perpetuated in our classrooms.
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, and as it relates to interpreting the scriptures we are “originalist” 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 having to succumb to a government system which does not respect their Christian faith. The current display of senators rejecting biblical teachings and suggesting that following biblical principles disqualifies an individual from a public service position is a frightening trend and a slippery slope. At FCS 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.
A statement regarding this parental responsibility from Focus on the Family says, “Parents have the God-ordained right and responsibility to determine what is best for their children. 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 conflict with family’s’ deeply held 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.”
Robert Andrews, Ph.D.