SFL Back To School Day 6: A Mandate

This notion of a Biblical mandate for Christian school is hardly unique to fundamentalists but the idea of the necessity of alternative Christian education is so inseparable from the fundy culture that it’s worth noting here anyway. To demonstrate the point here’s an excerpt from Dr. Charles Walker in a pamphlet entitled “Is Christian Education A Biblical Mandate?”

 

118 thoughts on “SFL Back To School Day 6: A Mandate”

  1. As a principal of a large Christian school, I completely disagree with Walker. Christian education has its place in our world, and it’s a good place, but it is not for everyone and it is definitely not mandated by God. Training up your child in the way he should go does not necessarily include educating them at the local Christian school. Some of the strongest Christian kids I know are public school kids; I wouldn’t want to change them for anything.

  2. Doesn’t a biblical mandate usually have some sort of… oh, I don’t know… Bible verse to back it up? I mean, the Judgment Seat of God is a great guilt inducer, but surely there’s a proof-text or two you could throw out to drive your point home further. Eph. 6:4 is a good one.

  3. Is it a Biblical Mandate? Of course it is. Why? Because Dr. Walker said it was. No need to show any actual Biblical references. Just take his word for it. After all, he has a “Dr.” in his name.

    The arrogance of claiming something is Biblical without bothering to show in the actual Bible where it says that never ceases to amaze me. Maybe he has some verses somewhere else in the pamphlet that he thinks prove his point. But when you make a blanket statement about something being Biblical you should be USING the Bible right there.

    1. Nope, you didn’t misread it. That was my first thought as well. Three sentences in and he is trying to make the case for his argument by attacking the other party. Nothing like labeling people as rebellious and questioning their devotion to God. Grrr!

    2. It’s ungracious and illogical, presumptuous and arrogant. It sets up two options as if those are the only alternatives. It refuses to acknowledge that Christian parents may still be godly and yet come to a different conclusion that he has.

  4. I surfed on over to the American Assoc. of Christian Schools website. I figured that this guy probably got his doctorate out of a Cracker Jack box like most fundy doctors. Unfortunately, he is not listed on the website. However the executive officers are both BJU graduates.

    I found this gem as well
    “In 2002 AACS president Carl D. Herbster was one of five evangelical Christian leaders who signed the “Land letter” to President George W. Bush, outlining their theological support for a pre-emptive invasion of Iraq as a just war”

    The Iraq war seems oddly unrelated to Christian Education.

    1. Anyone that has no qualms about claiming a Biblical Mandate for christian education, should see no issue at all with claiming a “theological justification” for preemptive war. Why not?

  5. A Christian education doesn’t have to take place at a Christian school. A Christian education can and should be taught by parents who love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls and minds and teach that same Biblical worldview to their own family.

    1. Absolutely, Presbygirl. That’s what I was thinking. I do believe Christian parents are obligated to provide a Christan education to their children, but that education does NOT have to be done in a building, M-F, from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Parents can talk of Biblical things when they rise up, when they go to bed, when they walk by the way.

    2. The unfortunate thing in the fundy lite circles I traveled in and still take the occasional sojourn is that they would agree with this statement about Christian education not being just Christian schools, but in practice public schooling would be not encouraged, it would even be denigrated from the pulpit, followed quickly by a mild disclaimer that it might be ok “according so the way some people interpret the scriptures” – subliminal message man style.

      Biblical Mandate? Pshaw, As if!

      Interesting that he doesn’t have scripture or even a biblical principle here, just bluster and fear-mongering about the judgment seat. What about what Jesus is going to say to these men who treated his Word like toilet paper and wiped it in their man-created feces of a philosophy of power and glory hounding.

      1. “Bam! Sanctified!” ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Fear mongering… and Dr. Walker presnts a fine example of it. The bonus is that HE gets to define all the terms according to his prejudices. Not sure I would want to be in his robe and wings at the Judgment.

  6. That fine Christian/Biblical edumacation he got has him saying unequivocally there is a Biblical mandate for christian education and spelling words like “truely”. Apparently the mandate is to be stupid & call everyone else ignorant?

  7. “Let your light so shine before people just like you (but not as awesome as you), that they see your good works, and glorify you with honorary doctorates in the future”

    No. Seriously. That’s what it says.

  8. Don’t. Get. Me. Started. Christian school was one of the worst decisions my wife and I ever made. During the time our two younger children were there (these children, now adults, no longer believe), the administrator stepped down because of an affair; their choir director had to resign because of serious marriage problems; a teacher’s husband was jailed because of a financial scam, and my son lived with several years of harsh treatment from teachers and fellow students. Not to mention the tens of thousands of dollars we spent to pay for all of this. Biblical mandate?! I know there are some fine Christian schools, and this one has gotten better, but they can also do tremendous damage.

    1. Actually, I question whether there is more than a handful of fine Christain schools. To this day, thirty- plus years after I got into education, the ones I come across still seem to be led by the unqualified, who are steeping their innocent students in legalism and hypocrisy. ๐Ÿ˜•

  9. I think that the choice of schooling falls under the category of Christian Liberty; that is, as long as the options are legally allowed (different states and countries have different laws), then it is not sinful to pick one form of education over the others (whether that form be public, private, religious private, or home).

  10. Strawmen and Non sequitur arguments abound.

    Why do they have such a difficult time with Christ-centered education when the public school refuses to admit the existence of Christ and denies the infallibility of the Bible. (sic)

    This is a question isnโ€™t it?

    There is an assumption that the unidentified โ€œtheyโ€ have a universal problem with so called Christ-centered education. Christ-centered by whose definition? What does it mean to be Christ centered? Does that mean that there has to be some outward sign that Christ-centeredness is practiced here? Why is it that there is this idea that we have to practice some monastic ritual in order to be Christ-centered? Why is it that we cannot be Christ-Centered wherever we go? Isnโ€™t that what Scripture proclaims in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11

    wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral peopleโ€” not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindlerโ€”not even to eat with such a one.

    that we are in the world but not of the world. Is Christ so weak that he must be kept separate from our dealing in the world?

    Scripture says: โ€œMaster, which is the great commandment in the law?โ€
    Jesus said unto him, โ€œThou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.โ€ So why canโ€™t we teach our children to love the LORD in this manner and teach them how to be a light in the world instead of hiding their light away under the bushel of the โ€œChristian sub-culture?

    Their loyalty to the ole public school alma mater is greater then their loyalty to the martyred Son of God.

    Howโ€™s that for non sequitur? What does oneโ€™s affiliation with a school have to do with oneโ€™s loyalty to the Son of God? Woops, loyalty is not in the King James at all.

    To consider the seriousness of the parentโ€™s response to this question , one only needs to view himself in the presence of God at the Judgment seat of Christ giving answer for the way he reared his children. Undoubtedly at the moment every Christian will agree: Christian education is a Biblical Mandate.

    Why wait on the Judgment Sear of Christ? One already has the Judgment seat of Dr. Charles Walker. His appeal to authority is very authoritative. Can you say leading questions, poisoning the well and Delphi method?

    I believe parents will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and answer for blindly following the isolationist practices based on religious manipulation and not faith. How much will those who practice such manipulation have to answer for at the same Judgment?

  11. I am ashamed that this is associated with the word “education” at least as much as I am ashamed of it being associated with the word “Christian”. Spelling errors aside, I see ad hominem fallacy, false dichotomy, fallacy of the undistributed middle, faulty presuppositions, and a “conclusion” that is entirely unrelated to the supposed argument put forth. Why is it that so many fundie “doctors” haven’t even taken a basic course in logic/argumentation? Frankly, if this represents the DIRECTOR of this so called Christian education, I want nothing to do with it.

  12. Christian Education sancitifes all who participate. teachers are sanctified bor the sacrifices they make to teach there; the Administration is sanctified for providing this safe haror from the evils of puublic education; the students are sanctified for attending and “toeing the line” regarding the outward apopearance of keeping all the rules; the parents are sanctified for spending thousands of dollars a year for sending their children to this sanctified school irregardless that the education is sub-par… they are sanctified for sacrificing their children’s education in order to be sure they keep them from them unspotted from the world.

    *deep breath* **heavy sigh**
    I don’t know, was that too subltle?

  13. As Tikatu mentioned, this clown was on staff at an organization promoting Christian schools when he wrote this piece. Follow the money and you will find your answers.

  14. I’m surprised this article uses “christian school” so liberally. No “independent fundamental baptist KJVO christian school”. The fundy church i used to go to was very intolerant of non-fundy christian schools…they were comparable to public schools…sometimes even worse…

  15. If Christian education is biblically mandated, then shouldn’t it be “free” just like church…they could even take an offering during chapel if need be.

    Don’t get me started on how much my kid’s IFB school cost…$4k per child! And this was in spite of the fact that there were less than 50 kids in the whole school…so that meant combined classes of 1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, etc. When you consider that they also encouraged us to be fruitful and multiply, it was nearly impossible for most members to put their kids in the school because of cost. Instead it became a school for the rich and those who wanted to keep their kids out of the public schools, and most of them dropped out by Jr. High. I hard to say it but my kids have been out of the Christian school and we still have $20k in debt remaining from the loans we incurred trying to keep them in the school. Ugh!

    1. In order to follow this so called “command” to send the kids to the Christian school many parents had no choice but to send the wife out to work which was disobedience to another “command” that the wife ought not to work outside the home. Of course if you were on staff your kids went free so again everything is paid for by those with real jobs in the secular world. ๐Ÿ™„

  16. As far as his fear-mongering at the end, I’d like to share with him these lyrics from Third Day:

    “What are you going to do when your time has come
    And your life is done and there’s nothing you can stand on?
    What will you have to say at the judgment throne?
    I already know the only thing that I can say:

    I trust in Jesus,
    My great Deliverer,
    My strong Defender,
    The Son of God.
    I trust in Jesus,
    Blessed Redeemer,
    My Lord forever.
    The Holy One!

    There’s nothing I can do on my own to find forgiveness;
    It’s by His grace alone I trust in Jesus!”

      1. I do love Third Day! But, isn’t that because I have bought into the satanic beat and rhythms of the world’s music? ๐Ÿ™„ Sorry… Sometimes I have these flashbacks…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. If Christian school is mandated for all Christian kids, how come there are no Christian schools in this state that could accommodate my two special needs children???? Are they not as deserving of a Christian education?

    1. Good question. I would have liked to have sent my child with autism to the Christian school around the corner and up the street from me (not IFB, BTW; it has an excellent academic reputation) but it doesn’t have the ability to meet my son’s special needs.

      1. I thank God every day for our public school…my autistic son has had amazing, loving teachers every year and they have the education and resources to help him progress. I only wish the volunteers in our church’s children’s ministries were half as helpful and loving (it’s not even fundy! Lol). His behavior gets chalked up to poor parenting and lack of discipline. Sad.

  18. Oh, Dr. Walker. His wife was my fourth grade teacher and one of my favorites from all the years of my education. His son was one of my professors in college (with an actual doctorate) and remains one of my least favorites from all the years of my education. We would occasionally take bets on how many times he would mention his dad during class.

    Dr Walker the Younger was completely preoccupied with a Biblically integrated education, and if that meant diagramming Bible verses in English class, so be it. I got marked down in my student teaching because I refused to force Bible lessons into a class on gerunds or Romeo and Juliet.

    If you make students get Bible lessons in every single class, they’re going to resent it.

    But Mrs Walker is really the best!

  19. Wow, it’s the old “cause I said so” argument. I can’t believe (well I guess I can) this is used in the field of “education.” Why do Christians complain that the world thinks their ignorant and then put out stuff like this? As an educated Christian this makes me so mad.

    John Wesley complained that most pastors of his day were dull, and some outright stupid. He argued that the clergy should be better educated than the secular professionals since we are attempting to teach them great truths. Christian scholasticism led all of the major universities until jerks like this guy turned the church leadership into a bunch of knuckle-draggers. They shun anyone who is sharp, and when they can’t defend their ideas, they just reply that “God said it” and apply some unrelated Bible verse.

    Number 1 threat to Christianity? Guys like this.

  20. Christian school education might not be a mandate, but for a Director of the American Association of Christian Schools, learning basic spelling should be a mandate. “Truely” and “judgement” are just unacceptable.

    1. I think it’s a judgment call on “judgement.” Some dictionaries list “judgement” as a variant. Certainly, Planet Fitness has chosen to spell the word that way and plastered “Judgement-Free Zone” all over their facilities.

    1. That’s just it. He doesn’t prove his point.

      Where does his logic end? What other government institutions should we abandon because they don’t claim belief in the almighty? Should we not use the water or trash services of our city because our mayor is a pagan?

      He just kicks into “you’ll give an answer to God” mode and nothing else he says needs to make any sense. ๐Ÿ˜•

  21. It would be beyond astonishing if the Bible contained a mandate for everyone to attend Christian schools rather than public schools, since:
    1. There were no such things as Christian schools when any part of the Bible was written, and
    2. The majority of people in Bible times never attended any kind of school.

  22. Mandate? Yes. Why? GUILT. Because God will look at you disapprovingly when you have to answer for the actions of another. Because even in heaven you’re still going to be called on the carpet for your sins, despite your (supposed) status of “forgiven.”

    I love how he insists there’s a Biblical mandate and doesn’t bother referencing, you know, THE BIBLE in answering the question.

  23. The other day someone mentioned an IFB college in Peoria, IL. I live near there, so googled it. I came across a bulletin board called Online Baptist. Oh it is a piece of work. I found this one paying called “The Sin of Sending Your Kids to Public School”. Yes she even has KJV scripture passages to support her views. Here is a link: http://www.onlinebaptist.com/home/topic/13609-the-sin-of-sending-your-kids-to-public-schools/page__pid__271542#entry271542

    1. It would be interesting to know what they post in those closed topics at this online baptist link. Like the one for pastors and evangelists and their wives or the men only topics. Do they have something to hide? Why can’t everyone read those? Just curious.

      1. You are obviously wasting all your money. Whatever you have you obviously have too much of or it’s of too good quality. There’s no reason why you can’t dive into dumpsters behind restaurants and eat at soup kitchens several days a week. Besides, why aren’t you fasting more? Why are your kids wearing ill-fitting clothes that are only three years behind in fashion?

        Of course, then they will criticize you because you should be working more to afford the good stuff and you’re a bad testimony for dumpster diving. If you don’t have the good stuff then your deity isn’t blessing you for some sin in your life.

    1. Is there a Biblical Man Date? Why yes, yes there is. Its right next to the passage that talks about the proper rules for carrying on a Bromance. I think its buried in Leviticus somewhere, we will never find all the goodies in that book.

  24. question: is there a passage thfat says that we will stand before God and ‘give an accounting?’

    What about God’s jumbo screen that will display all our deeds and thoughts for all to see?

    I can’t come up with anything at the moment to support such teachings.

      1. Thought so…I knew the jumbo screen was bunk, but the whole “you will give an accounting for every misstep” thing I had a little question about.

        oh and the “what will you say when God asks why He should allow you in” You better have the spot on right answer to that one!!!!

        UGH.

  25. I went to a school in TN when Dr. Walker was Chief Overlord of the TN Assoc of Christian Schools (TACS). During TACS state competition, I distinctly remember EVERYONE (adults included) in fear of this man. I also remember him calling down students for misbehavior during an awards ceremony. All the adults kissed his butt, but everyone hated him. Great legacy.

    1. I must give an opposing opinion of Dr. Walker. I too went to a TACS school and remember him to be one who held high expectations for all those around him but also one who took very seriously his role in organizing Christian education. While I have moved away from fundamentalism I still hold Dr. Walker in great respect.

  26. I would consider this a Biblical mandate, and it has no mention of church or school………….. Looks like parental responsibility, not a made up fundy hierarchy.

    Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God) with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (NASB)

    I’m not against a real school education. We homeschooled, but quite possibly would not have if we lived in a different county. I teach in our church that parents have the job of teaching God’s precepts to their kids, and that it is not the church’s job. The sad part is I have God’s Word on my side, and some still say I am wrong. If we taught our children proper Truth, we wouldn’t have to worry that public schools would undermine their faith.

    Maybe the IFB should consider teaching Bible instead of a lot of “I said so”.

  27. I think I’ve got one that takes the cake. We had a staff evangelist from BJU visit our church while I was a senior in high school. I was staying at community college to earn an Associates before going to a Christian college.

    The staff evangelist made it a point to visit me and tell me that I needed to go to BJU — that was God’s will for my life. No joke, he took me to Psalms 1 and told me that God commanded me go to BJU and not in the way of the ungodly (secular college). I kindly pointed out that Scriptural principles are not commands. Besides, I was obeying my parents (Eph 6:1?) because they wanted me to go to community college. He proceeded to tell me to obey God (i.e. the voice of the evangelist) rather than my parents…good advice, yes?

    That Sunday, he preached a message against sin (of all kinds). He had “random selected” (hey, you over there!) come up and “represent” certain worldly ideas. He called me up by name to represent “foolishness.” As he is slapping my shoulder, he is berating “the foolish mindset” that does not heed God’s commands and tries to do things his own way. He specifically brought up worldly influences such as college education. What a coincidence that I would be the one that represented that foolish mindset!

    Needless to say, I did not go to BJU.

  28. The church I grew up in had this interesting and sudden shift in their idea of the “Biblical mandate” for education; when a bunch of the ruling junta and their family worked for the public school, the mandate preached from the pulpit (and worse, at youth group, where nobody could DO anything but feel guilty about their parents’ choices) was that Christian children should be in public school as a witness. After the junta started a Christian school (It wasn’t officially affiliated with that church, but the vast majority of attendees and teachers went to that church) suddenly all good Christian parents sent their children to Christian school.

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