One of our madates is to promote a biblical worldview and another is to call our Nation back to its Christian heritage.  These aspects come together in this series of articles on education.  Education is one of the most powerful forms of idolatry in our culture today.

Our nation’s children are squeezed through the educational ‘sausage machine’ regardless of their academic capabilities or natural gifts in other areas.  Their success is mostly governed by results in endless standardised tests.

They come out the other end branded for life as failures or successes, depending on their academic achievements; at worst, proud and arrogant because of their success, or suffering from low self-esteem because they perceive themselves to be ‘second-best.'  Unhealthy competition, division and rivalry abounds.

As a nation we've believed the lie that ‘fulfilling our potential’ automatically means gaining the highest academic qualifications possible.  We've bowed to the god of education, feeding the lie that it opens the door to power, control, affluence, prestige and fulfilment.  Knowledge, we’re told, is the key to happiness.

This is far from God’s perspective!

The body is not made up of one part but of many . . . God has arranged the parts in a body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be . . . God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other (1 Cor 12:14-25 (part)).

Education feeds the mind, but not the spirit, unless it is truly rooted in God.  The original lie in the Garden of Eden was that man could have knowledge apart from God.  The seeds of humanism were sown then, and we've reaped them ever since.  Although our first universities had Christian foundations and education was seen as the task of the church, Greek thinking was also rooted in the education system – particularly the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle.  During the Enlightenment (18th and 19th centuries) the worldview in the West became increasingly ungodly as the scientific, rational approach to knowledge took precedence.  The Bible is very clear, however, that it is:

Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3).

Is education neutral?

Is education neutral?  Far from it!  Sadly our education system is not neutral, and certainly not Christian.  It has an agenda and worldview diametrically opposed to the values and worldview of the Gospel.  Even Church of England schools no longer offer a distinctively Christian education.  In the main, the state system, despite the many brilliant, dedicated and committed Christians who are called to serve there, has become increasingly humanistic and anti-God.  The secular humanistic worldview at best sees God sidelined to RE and assemblies; he is believed to have no relevance to maths, history, geography, etc.

Tragically the church has lost many of her future leaders in their teenage years because they have been bombarded with worldly and anti-Christian values daily during their school life.  There’s a relentless evil, idolatrous spirit at work in the earth seeking to capture the hearts and minds of young people.  It’s gaining momentum right now.  In the 1980’s the Holy Spirit challenged many Christian groups nationwide to take responsibility for the education of their children and as a result there are now dozens of distinctively Christian schools across our land. 

The challenge of the post-modern culture

Today, a generation later, we have a different cultural backdrop.  Secular humanism is still rife, but Christianity has been marginalised far more than when the original batch of schools were first launched.  Now, a new pagan spirituality is growing rapidly and globally.  It is generally accepted that all faiths lead to god.  A multitude of spiritualities are being embraced, each considered to be as valid as the next.  Creation is worshipped and honoured rather than the Creator.  The basic tenets of orthodox Christianity are under attack on every level.  In the UK, our society shapes its values more by those of media and pressure groups than by Judaeo-Christian ones.

We face an enormous challenge.  The world we live in is in a constant state of change and uncertainty.  Attitudes and values are transient.  We live under pressure from target-driven institutions, growing social unrest, threats of unemployment, and so on.  We are increasingly being thrust into a global world with global issues and global pressures.

The situation we see is a clear indication that we are heading towards the end-time scenarios revealed in the scriptures.  And this necessitates a new approach to education, for our young people need to be prepared and equipped to face the battles the scriptures warn us about.  Today’s education has to be relevant to today’s and tomorrow’s situation, with an eschatological understanding.  It is important to train troops already facing end-time battles.

Academic prowess has a significant part to play in educating the next generation, but not at the cost of equipping them to stand firm in their faith, maybe even at the cost of their lives . . . 

One of the most powerful forms of idolatry in our culture today is education.  Our nation’s children are squeezed through the educational ‘sausage machine’ regardless of their academic capabilities or natural gifts in other areas.  Their success is mostly governed by results in endless standardised tests . . .

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Diminishing Christian freedom

23rd June 2015 1:47 PM

In Germany, the Churches failed to train the younger generation to recognise the lies they were being fed and to make a clear stand against them; indeed, the Churches didn’t equip their members, young and old, to stand against the abuses that were developing around them.  This should be a sober lesson for us . . .

Targeting Christian schools

9th December 2014 10:27 AM

. . . Now, no school is safe.  Ofsted inspectors, instead of critiquing a school on the basis of how well it is outworking its vision and providing a good standard of education across the board, now have to police the promotion of Equality Law concepts . . . 

The power of a small minority

18th September 2014 9:11 AM

Up until now, teachers, pupils and parents have been a protected by a ‘conscience clause’ in law. That is about to change.  Academies, free schools and independent schools in England will all be affected by proposed new Government standards, which insist that the rights defined in the Equality Act 2010 must be ‘actively promoted’

When is a parent not a parent?

12th December 2013 9:13 AM

What are young children taught?  Rather than being nurtured at home, able to imbibe family values and a unique sense of identity within a family unit, they are, in effect, institutionalised.  The creed of the State is what they learn . . .

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