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A Biblical Philosophy of Education

April 5, 2007

The purpose of education, like everything else, is to glorify God (Rom. 11:33-36; Rev. 4:11; Col. 1:16).  There is one God and He is Who He says He is, so the One we must glorify is the God of the Bible.  This One God is (Deut. 4:39; 6:4) Creator (Gen. 1:1, 27), Holy (Lev. 11:44), Jealous (Ex. 20:5), Omniscient (Ps. 139), Judge (Heb. 12:23; Is. 33:22), Loving (1 John 4:8, 16), and Savior (Jonah 2:9; Ps. 18:2).  God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Three in One (1 John 5:7; Matthew 28:19, 20).  God is only glorified by what He says glorifies Him (Jn. 4:24; 17:17), so in order to glorify Him, all education must conform every standard, activity, program, policy, technique, strategy, and content to the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Mt. 4:4).

The mission of education is to be make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is the mission of God Himself (Jn. 4:23; Lk. 19:10; Jn. 6:37-40; Gen. 6, 11, 12).  It is the mission that Jesus Christ Himself called for (Mt. 28:18-20).  Being a disciple of Jesus Christ means learning and practicing the truth.  The truth is the Word of God, the Bible, by which Jesus Himself was sanctified (Jn. 17:17).  Satan opposes the truth (Jn. 8:44) and there are terrible consequences for disobeying it (2 Thess. 2:12, 13).  The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the source of truth (John 14:6).  Success in educating a child requires a deep, personal, and saving knowledge of the Scriptures for the teacher and the student, the child (2 Tim. 3:15).

God has ordained the church as the propagator and protector of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15; Jn. 14:15, 21, 24) of which Jesus Christ is the Head (Col. 1:18).  At the same time, parents are responsible to train their children in the truth (Deut. 6:4-9; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4; Prov. 7:1-3).  We can conclude from these Scriptural truths that the proper combination of parents and the local church will teach the truth to children.

To be disciplined in the truth, children need the repitition of the truth (Deut. 6:7-9; 11:19) and physical punishment is a primary means of enforcing its practice (Prov. 22:15; 23:13, 14; 13:24; 29:15; 19:18).  Disobedience must be dealt with Scripturally (Mt. 18:15-17; Eph. 5:11; Gal. 6:1).  Children require the right models of discipleship, so their teachers should be saved, Godly, serving members of the church (2 Tim. 2:2; Heb. 11:1) and their companions should not be able to influence them in sin and worldliness (1 Cor. 15:33; Prov. 22:10, 24; 2 Thess. 3:6; 1 Tim. 6:5).  There should not be worldly things (Rom. 13:14; Ps. 1; Rom. 12:2; James 4:4), lies (Ps. 40:4; 101:7), corrupt communication (Col. 3:8), or anything wicked (Ps. 101:3; 1 Peter 1:14-16) that influences.

The children or young people need the opportunity to practice truth:  hard work (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Tim. 2:15), obedience to authority (Heb. 13:17; Tit. 3:1, 2), evangelism and discipleship (2 Cor. 5:18; Mark 16:15), God ordained roles of manhood (1 Tim. 2:8; 5:8) and womanhood (Prov. 31), and praise (Col. 3:16).

The Lord Jesus Christ must be the ultimate and supreme model of discipleship (Luke 2:52):  “Wisdom”–Intellect (Proverbs 1:7; II Timothy 3:7; I Corinthians 3:18,19), “Stature”–Physical (1 Tim. 4:8; 1 Cor. 9:27), “Favor with Man”–Social (James 2:1-12; 1 Tim. 4:12, Dan. 6:4; Prov. 17:27), and “Favor with God”–Spiritual.  Everything should have a standard of excellence in Christ (Philip. 1:10; Mk. 12:30; Eccl. 9:10).  Goals must be set that would lead to being like Christ in every way both daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and for our whole life (Philip. 3:12-14).

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Categories: Brandenburg, Education
  1. April 5, 2007 at 5:55 am

    Good start to the month’s postings, I would say.

    All of the principles you espoused are completely correct, of course. Let me say from the outset that my wife and I are zealous home-schoolers for the same reasons you mentioned in the post.

    I agree that the church is the “pillar and ground of the truth”, and I also believe that parents are the teachers (good or bad) of their children.

    In my opinion a couple of problems arise with church-schools:

    1. God ordained parents, not churches to teach the children. The church’s responsibility as found in Titus and 1 Timothy is to teach the parents how to teach their children.

    2. God did not ordain churches to mete out physical “correction” upon children, He gave that responsibility to the parents.

    Just thought I’d get the ball rolling….

    Art Dunham

  2. Kelly
    April 5, 2007 at 6:28 am

    “… their companions should not be able to influence them in sin and worldliness . There should not be worldly things, lies, corrupt communication, or anything wicked that influences.”

    Wow, if only ALL Church-schools could uphold this belief. So many times I have witnessed the exact opposite without penalty. These so called “church-schools” in some cases were no different than the local public schools.

    While I believe that the church is to teach the parents how to teach their children I also believe that it is the parents Ultimate responsibility on which type of education their children receive.

    In an ideal world my children would attend church-schools. However, the cost of such an education is cost prohibitive, not to mention childcare cost for the younger siblings ( I would have to work full-time or more)

    I do believe that under God’s direction church-schools would provide a Christ-centered environment and education but at what cost?

    Is the mother’s roll to be at home teaching and training her children or out in the “work force” providing for a church-school education?

  3. April 5, 2007 at 7:56 am

    Art, you are right that the responsibility for education rests with the parents, particularly with the Father. But that does not mean that the Father must stay home to educate the children. He may delegate the task to whomever he chooses — to his wife, to his sister, to his church. A widower probably needs the help of a godly church-school.

    You are also responsible to feed and clothe your children. But that does not require you to learn how to sew, or to take up farming. If you have the ability to home school your children and do it well, then you certainly can. But there are other reasons why churches should develop schools and the church members should help support it.

    In our church, nearly half the homes with children are divorced families. Amongst those who are two-parent homes, over half could not educate their children themselves. These families would be forced to enroll their children in a godless school were it not for the support of their local church.

    By the way, Kelly, one thing that a church should/can do for parents is to keep education costs down and to offer scholarships. We will not ever keep a church member out of the school because of finances. We work with the families to make sure they can afford to keep their kids in the school.

  4. April 5, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    I haven’t really gotten into the home-school, church-school, public-school argument yet, but I’m glad people are reading. I have found this to be the case with parents and other’s attitudes about the church school—the user mentality. I’ve been in this for awhile and the goal isn’t to cross the finish line first, but to get there and bring others with you. Jesus is a father to the fatherless and I don’t believe everyone can home school. If the church takes the responsibility to teach truth, then everyone in the church should share in that responsibility. It isn’t a home versus church school mentality, us-them, like the church is offering a service for consumers. It is a “we’re all in this together” mentality that wants to help everyone get the education that they should get.  Often it is this instead—“We’ll take care of our family and then the church will take care of those people who can’t do it themselves.”  Each family is a part of the church.  I’ll get into this more as this month goes along.  Galatians 6 applies—bear ye one another’s burden.

    As far as keeping a school pure, it is a must. We don’t operate like a business. We trust the Lord and this in the most expensive housing market in the country.  We are not to learn the way of the heathen.  The model for the class is the teacher, not other students.  We’ll get into this as we make comparisons this month.  The goal must be to follow Scriptural principles as much as possible.  I would think that’s what all of us would be thinking, but it is another thing to actually do it.

  5. Anvil
    April 6, 2007 at 5:04 am

    Pastor Brandenburg, knowing you’ll get into this more this month, I don’t want to get into this too deeply here, but is your post implying that if a church operates a school, then it’s not “bearing one another’s burdens” if a family in the church still decides to home school or send their children to another school they deem more appropriate for their situation?

  6. April 6, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    I am looking forward to the posts.

    May I say that my intention was not an “us” against “them” argument, but clarification of the church’s role in educating children.

    I am not opposed to church-schools, as long as they are properly run and are CLOSED schools. I would still home-school, however.

    I am also looking forward to the clarification of the “bearing one another’s burdens” principle. This should be interesting.

  7. April 6, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    I’ll look forward to talking about home, church, public, etc. It is sort of my assignment for the month, and I’ve got about three shots to do it in, and we’ll talk. Just to say, however, that I am for home-schooling, not opposed, even encourage it, but having a church-school does take a lot of effort. When someone has one, he has to believe in it. I think the whole church needs to have a conviction about having it, even if he is homeschooling. Also, and I’ll talk about this, every school must be a home-school as much as possible or it will fail. It’s a joy to have a church-school, but belief is what keeps one going. Thanks for the comments.

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