It is a sad observation but many Christian parents have abdicated their God-given responsibility to educate their offspring in accordance with Biblical principles. When Scripture is ignored, mankind grasps at poor substitutes – which are doomed to fail and for which a hard price will be paid.
For many education is a neutral compartment of life, like a sport or hobby; it’s a matter of choice. In the realm of education the argument is advanced that two + two = four in whatever school you go to; this sole equation sadly becomes the overwhelming justification to send children to State schools! Their thinking is that as mathematics is ‘neutral’ all education is neutral. Wrong!
Two + two = four, every time, everywhere – for the simple reason that God made it so and sustains it! But education is not neutral. God created the Heavens and the Earth and all that they contain, it is impossible therefore for knowledge to be neutral. The source of knowledge is God Himself – The Lord giveth wisdom, Proverbs 2:6 – arguing that knowledge is neutral is a lie and presumes that God is irrelevant and that Truth exists apart from God!
The unregenerate exclude God from their thinking and this is reflected in State Education which is based on an unbelieving view of the universe and teaches from that perspective.
What of history? How can His Story be taught by excluding Him?
What of geography? Leave God out and you have evolution and uniformalism.
When fact is replaced with fable in the classroom, when Christian absolutes are replaced with relativism, the Almighty is displeased and dishonoured. Such is the case with State and Integrated education – both are intolerant of the absolutes of Biblical Christianity.
Christian schools are built on the Truths of God’s Word. State schools are built on the shifting sand of moral relativism. Integrated schools are built on an ecumenical pursuit of homogeneity.
Society was built on Christian Absolutes – the attributes of God (omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence; election, creation and providence are the outcome of His works). Society has rejected the God of the Bible and the basis of society is thereby undermined. If no God – then why obey His Word? Reject God’s creation and the poison of evolution is consumed and moral standards begin to mirror the beast of the field.
Martin Luther observed that: No-one should send their child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every organisation that does not unceasingly pursue the study of God’s Word becomes corrupt.
The State system of education in Northern Ireland began with1923 Education Act; the basic premise was that the school room should be neutral. For 25 years (until the 1947 Act) there was a battle to ensure that Protestant children would at the least be given Bible instruction. The 1930 Education Act convinced the Presbyterian Church to hand over its church schools; any concerns they had were assuaged by Lord Craigavon. He gave an assurance:- The only thing that could bring about the repeal of the 1930 Education Act would be a Sinn Fein Government coming into power.
Well we don’t have to wait for that! The ecumenical movement, the main political parties and 90% of the population are now in support of ‘Integrated Education.’
Whilst the Stormont Executive has yet to publish its ‘Integration Proposals’ a brief look at the Department of Education’s Revised Core Religious Education (prepared by the 4 main churches – Presbyterian, Methodist, Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic) and the NI Council for Integrated Education’s Statement of Principles reveal the same ‘definition’ of Christianity in terms of ‘Protestant and Roman Catholic’.
The principles of the Integrated schools invite Protestant and Roman Catholic ‘to come together’. Particularly ominous is number 8:- Children should be encouraged and helped to be open in social relations despite difference in creed, culture, race, class, gender or ability. Sounds a bit like ‘anything goes!’ Is this the environment that children from Christian homes should be placed?
Some years ago Pastor Brian Freer wrote that: our State schools are rapidly becoming spiritual slaughter-houses for our children. The scheme to produce a race of homogeneous godless children goes on.
Are we out of step with the world? Yes and we can say with Paul: I believe God, Acts 27:25.
David G Browne, Clerk of Session & Member of Bangor School Management Board