Thursday, August 9, 2012

thoughts on education

Question.  What happens when we sequester our children in an institution where only Christians are allowed in?  Or, on a more troubling note, in a school where we only welcome Christians of a very specific type?  For someone looking in from the outside it’s easy to pass that off as outright bull-headed arrogance or snobbery, but personally I think it may have more to do with fear than anything else.  People, in general, are afraid of what they do not know.  And it’s probably safe for me to say there are a significant number of Christians who know very, very little about anyone outside their comfortable, relatively risk-free cliques. 

Of course, out of love for our children we care about their education, but I also think as parents we can trust God to help us teach our children discernment and wisdom, qualities that may help them sort through whatever garbage and gems are fed to them by the North American education system.

That said, I don’t think it’s wrong to send our children to a Christian school, indeed it may be helpful, but if we’re going to send them there it better be because of our faith that we're free in Jesus to do it.  Personally, I’m convinced that having an institution (church or otherwise) dictate to me where my children must go to school is absolutely absurd.  The last thing I want is to be a slave to that master.  I’ll not be coerced by some churchy authoritarian figures acting as if they themselves are gods, intimidating and forcing people into doing what they want.

In September our daughter will start grade one at a nearby public school.  There are children from a variety of backgrounds—Agnostics, Sikhs, Christians, Atheists—who attend there and I believe they’ve all been beautifully created in the image of God.  I hope to get involved at the school, especially after our youngest starts going, so I get to know the students and some of the other parents.  Getting to know people, no matter their upbringing, is a joy and to love them is an even greater joy still.  I look forward to it.

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