Child Sacrifice

As an objection to Christian education, I hear that parents want their children to be salt and light in the public schools.  In Matthew 5 Jesus tells his audience to be involved in the world so that the salt and light is clearly seen.  When they see your good works, says Jesus, they will praise God. 

The assumption of Christian parents is that they have Christian children who are able to carry this out.  Jesus is obviously addressing people who have reached spiritual maturity.  What I see is the thrusting of children into the public sphere before they are disciples.  They are not salt and light because they haven’t got the maturity. 

Of course, mature Christians should redeem the public schools and make them the Christian bastions of truth that they once were.  However, before leaping into public education ask yourself whether the one being thrusted actually IS salt and light.  If the child is mature enough to shine, if the adult is truly a disciple, there is a case for letting their light shine before men so that they may see the good works and praise their father in heaven.  If the child is still just that, a child, do not be surprised when the good intentions backfire and the child falls away through an internal conflict that was never anticipated. 

There is no neutral instruction.  When is a child salt and light enough to counter the hedonism, naturalism, postmodernism and nihilism that they will receive?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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5 Responses to Child Sacrifice

  1. TheWorshipCafe is a new community of online believers coming together to discuss the things of the Lord. Please come by and say hello sometime. We would love to have you! In Christ Jesus,’t forget to subscribe! )

  2. Anonymous says:

    hhhhmmmmmmm… (I am thinking & processing as I type) – I believe that it depends on the child whether or not they are mature enough to be salt and light. What age group are you talking about? Are you talking about elementary children? My daughter and her friends that have graduated from NCA have been salt & light at the public high school they now attend. You would be so proud of Kelsey, Nick & Christina. Kelsey totally challenged their biology teacher the other day, to the point where the teacher was extremely frustrated. (They are learning about evolution). So, I believe children of any age can be salt and light, it depends on the child.

  3. JACovert says:

    I have often thought about this. Where am I going to put my kids in school? Growing up I was home-schooled til 5th grade then I went to a Christian school through 8th grade and then to a public high school. I think back to my parents who love the Lord and wanted nothing more then to have their children find this love. My mom was a stay at home mom, because she wanted us boys (3) to not only learn the academics while we were home-schooled but also to be educated spiritually. Then each of us took a turn in the Christian school and my mom still came and picked us up each day and spent the afternoons and evenings with us, unemployed. My mom never worked growing up and I can’t tell you the truth and wisdom each of us, kids, learned from that woman, as one whose love for the Lord was vibrant and alive. My parents are respectable people who did their best to raise their children up in the Lord. My experience aside. I dated a girl for just under a year before I came to Moody. There are 4 siblings in her family and neither one of them spent a day in a private school. They are all some of the most solid and God honoring people I have ever met. They were salt and light in their schools. I can’t help but think of the Campbells and then think of my eldest brother who is not walking with the Lord after all my parents Godly training, the Christian education, the Christian surroundings etc. Is there a right and wrong formula to education? Must we go through a checklist and the end result be children who love and obey the Lord, who are salt and light? No. God has a plan for my brother as well as each person and it does not always matter how intentional you are with their education. Sometimes people just choose to refuse God’s ways. I think that when I have to make this decision many variables will be considered: age, child’s own maturity, their friends, etc. But most of all a seeking after the Lord through prayer to do His will.

  4. Thefroo says:

    I have definitely thought about this a lot. I was put into a Christian private school until 8th grade. I was forced to go to another school because of “grades”. When I was in 8th grade I was not mature enough to take on all of those world views. Because I plan on getting married in the next couple years I have been thinking about this subject. I don’t really want to home school or put them into a public school all the way because then they are brought up in the world. Private school is very slim because a lot of the schools are “Christian” but don’t really integrate the Bible very well. Also, private school is very expensive and I know that I probably wont have that kind of money being in ministry even if I did find a private school that I liked. Being home schooled is very good but it also shelters them from the world and when they do get into the world most of the time they aren’t mature because they never had to experience self control or anything like that so they freak and do whatever they want. I have heard countless stories about that very thing. I know that Christ does tell us to be salt and light but if my children are not mature enough to handle it then we can’t lay that heavy burden on them. What I plan to do is home school or something like that until about 3rd to 4th grade depending on my child. Then put them in public school so that they can still be challenged by the world. I believe that the problem isn’t in the school’s. Obviously, the school is the problem in a world view way. However, the parents need to keep a good handle on their children. We become so busy that our children don’t become important to us. Having a good open relationship with them is so important that we can’t neglect that or they will go down and have problems.Gods fool,Justin

  5. alexgoreham says:

    It was not until I graduated from high school, was I able to see how many lies the Devil spreads in high school. I believed a lot of those lies. And my first year at Moody, I had a hard time not believing the lies that i lived by for so many years. I liked going to all public schools. I was introduced to a lot of “worldly” concepts and it opened my eyes up. Parents need to teach their kids about about Christ and how life really should work.

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