Recovering from Public School Education
- Monday, October 01, 2007
I have an infirmity in my spiritual life, and I have spent 20 years trying to regain my health. During my years of public school education, my soul became infected with the disease of worldly philosophies. Yet, if anyone could have graduated from the public classrooms unscathed, it was I. I was set up for success.
I truly loved the Lord and was more Biblically literate than most. I had a stable family with parents who cared about my emotional, spiritual, and physical welfare. I escaped the moral morass that keeps parents awake at night praying that God will preserve their children's souls. My high school years could be projected on a screen for all to see, and there is very little of which I would be ashamed. I took advantage of opportunities offered me in school and had a long list of awards and accolades by the time I graduated. The light of Christ shone through me enough that my classmates voted me "Most Likely to Become a Nun." I was also valedictorian of my high school class and suffered persecution for wanting to state the name of Jesus in my graduation speech.
So why is it that I feel ensnared by my education? It wasn't because I lost my Christian testimony or fell into deep sin or worldly behavior. Instead, I succumbed to a more subtle malady. The worldly philosophies and values that were taught day after day by my teachers, textbooks, and classmates sank deeply into my heart and mind, influencing my entire outlook on life. It has taken the Lord 20 years to begin to teach me to think biblically.
Kevin Swanson, in his book Upgrade: 10 Secrets to the Best Education for Your Child, makes the following argument in favor of sheltering children: "The acid test determining whether a child is ready to be subjected to an environment hostile to his own worldview and faith is found here: the child must be prepared to confront the world, to wrestle with principalities and powers, to cast down imaginations that oppose the knowledge of God, and to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ . . . If [a child] is not prepared to cast down the imaginations of egalitarianism, God-eliminating evolution, materialist socialism, relativism, environmentalism, atheism, pluralism, or sexual 'freedom,' then he should not be subjected to a steady diet of it. Many children cannot even define these terms, let alone cast them down." (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Pulishers, 2006)
Kevin was referring to the passage in 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 which tells believers to take every thought captive and cast down every imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. This sums up well the problems I encountered in my education. I was not prepared for the daily spiritual warfare to which I was exposed. As a result, I was spoiled "through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8). Thankfully, God in His mercy continues to renew my mind and straighten out my thinking.
I graduated from high school as a feminist. If you had asked me if I was a feminist, I would have denied it. I did not hate men or think that men and women were equal in every way; after all, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. But I did not have any idea of the roles God ordained for men and women. I wanted a career more than almost anything else in life, and I was taught that this was what I should work toward in school. I wanted to be a successful businesswoman in some field. I longed to leave home every day, wear pretty suits, and make lots of money.
I looked down on those who invested their lives in running a home and raising a family. When I was still a student, my sister got married, and some talented homemakers hosted a very lovely bridal tea for her. I remember sneering inside that those women did not have anything more important to do than make chocolate-covered cherries. Needless to say, I did not spend much time learning the skills I would need to run a home. I was too busy pursuing career skills the world told me were more valuable.
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