A Chicago pastor recently announced that he and his church wanted to start an all-boys Christian school, beginning with first through eighth grades.
The Christian Post reported:
T.J. Grooms, an assistant pastor at Chicago’s New Beginnings Church, homed in on his church’s desire to create an all-boys Christian school for students in the first through eighth grades.
Grooms said that the school would encourage students to embrace “the Kingdoms Culture.” He added:
We need to make a concerted effort to win our young men and to train them as being the heads of their families, understanding the importance of manhood, not when we see them as a teenager but instill into them those ideas and those principles in their formative years.
Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for biblical worldview and strategic engagement at Family Research Council, believes that every church should do what New Beginnings Church is doing and start a Christian school.
He acknowledges that not all churches have the resources to do so, but adds, “Not every church is big enough to sustain their own Christian school, but every church is big enough to be part of one.”
In Backholm’s new downloadable brief, “Why Every Church Should Start a Christian School,” he gives several reasons why we should advocate for educational freedom and why we need more Christian schools, explaining how our education system has developed over the years:
In the late nineteenth century, America wasn’t just majority Christian, it was majority Protestant, so public schools were effectively Protestant schools. Prayer and Bible reading were common.
As a result, Backholm writes, Catholics started their own schools, to train their children in the Catholic faith. This led to a state-by-state campaign to pass Blaine Amendments, which kept any government funds from going to public schools.
But as schools became more secularized, Backholm says,
The Protestants did not respond as the Catholics did to being outsiders. Despite losing control of the education provided in public schools, Protestant Christians sent their kids to the public schools anyway. Today, though 70 percent of Americans claim to be Christians, 90 percent send their kids to public schools.
He does not see this as a good trend:
Nearly 90 percent of children raised in Christian homes spend 30 to 35 hours a week in public schools typically run by people who do not espouse a biblical worldview.
Sometimes that worldview is overtly anti-Christian, and parents are often shut out of their children’s education. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler, in an article about the Parents Bill of Rights Act of 2023, says this is deliberate. He explains:
From the beginning of the federalized emphasis on public education, it has been a deliberate attempt to try to limit the influence of parents throughout the entire project.
Mohler cites the educational influence of “the American pragmatist philosopher, John Dewey, also a founder of the American Humanist Movement.” The Humanist’s motto is, “Good without a God.”
As a progressive, Dewey believed in progress through science, professionals and experts, who would shape society and move us closer to a utopian world. The progressive movement also believed in eugenics – culling out people with bad genes.
Dewey wanted “the assimilation of children from different ethnic and religious backgrounds into one homogenous unit,” Mohler writes, adding that this uniformity was to be “homogeneously secular.”
While many teachers are Christian and many do excellent work, schools have become more secular. They are controlled by unions and politicians, and they are often deeply opposed to Christianity and parental rights.
Many schools teach that some students are permanent “victims,” while others are irredeemable “oppressors”; push a false history of the United States; promote sexual experiences based only on “consent” and a child’s “right” to sexual pleasure; teach a false ideology of sexuality and gender; and hide information, books and curricula from parents.
Backholm explains that Christian schools and parents may now have access to more state funding, due to a recent Supreme Court decision:
As a result of the recent Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue Supreme Court decision, vouchers and tax-credits can now be used to send kids to Christian schools. This gives Christian parents an unprecedented educational opportunity to move their children from a harmful school environment into an ideal one.
He explains that states have programs that Christians can take advantage of:
Today, 26 states have some form of voucher program, education savings accounts, individual tuition tax credits, scholarship tax credit programs, or special needs program that allow parents to use education dollars at private schools.
Backholm encourages Christian churches to consider this opportunity, with this plea:
We have delegated the formation of our children’s hearts and failed to show them something aspirational to love. Even when we are the primary influences in their life, this is difficult. If we aren’t, it’s nearly impossible. But now we have options.
He acknowledges that this will take planning, passion, funding, knowledge and hard work.
So what do you think? Is this a worthy effort to help children?
Should every church – or several banding together – get behind a new educational effort and open Christian schools across the country?
Related articles and resources:
Family Research Council: Why Every Church Should Start a Christian School
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