Education for Liberty

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “if you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn.8:31-32).

All over the world today, nations are in a mess. They are in a mess because of sinful people and sinful decision-making, going back now for generations.

The most obvious instrument of mess-making, has been international indebtedness. Governments have been acting as though “deficits don’t matter.” They have been making this ridiculous claim one way or another, partially because they have been economically immoral, but also because of  the pressure from atheistic, socialistic and immoral electorates everywhere.

Neither charity or justice can exist in any country if they do not exist in the hearts and lives of the people.[1]

People everywhere continue to expect greater government handouts, as though it was their birthright, but complain as though someone were slitting their throats, if everyone’s taxes are raised to meet the cost of those handouts.

“Tax someone else. Not me! Tax the rich- they can afford it!”

But even with immoral, socialistic, graduated taxation on richer people, there still isn’t the capacity for tax payments to meet the costs of expenditures. Thus most of the nations of Europe are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Those that are not may be dragged into the abyss by those that are. The United States has clearly passed the point of no return, but just doesn’t care to admit it.

So in the next decade or so, the financial birds let loose over the last forty years will be coming home to roost with a vengeance, and there will be a lot of social pain around the world. That pain will be good and necessary, in the long-term. It is a part of the learning process for us all.

Along with this, the writing is on the wall for bureaucracies. Many disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina at New Orleans in 2003, the Patel hospital fiasco in Bundaberg, Australia in 2005, the Victorian bushfires of 2009, and the bureaucratically induced Brisbane flood of January 2011, attest to that.

Bureaucracies everywhere are inflexible and uncaring: “Morality? People? What are they?”

If people suffer as a result of bureaucratic incompetence, so what? It’s irrelevant. The bureaucrat will still come to his air-conditioned office on Monday morning, and get paid each fortnight. Nothing seems to change, even after a disaster.

For those who think bureaucracies can help you in education, bureaucracy will not keep you in the long-term, even when you make huge sacrifices. For a Christian person, that’s a big price to pay. Bureaucratic approval may provide a financial life-line to a collapsing Christian institution, but the benefit is only temporary. The institution quickly learns where the easy money is: in placating the bureaucracy, not in serving the customer. As North has commented,

Never underestimate the power of a government subsidy to affect people’s logical processes.

When people discover the golden honey-jar called “tax-payers’ money,” everything else becomes irrelevant. This is the fatal error so many “Christian” educational institutions make. It may destroy them. Why?

Pagan kingdoms implicitly want unconditional surrender from their enemies.[2]                    

 The institution that blindly follows the money trail is about to learn a hard lesson (if it wants to learn anything, that is).

There was a young lady from Niger,
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.
They returned from the ride with the lady inside,
And the smile on the face of the tiger.

 

Our Experience:

In 1990, Sue and I decided to commence homeschooling our children. I had become convinced that this was a legitimate option in 1984, after I attended an Abundant Living seminar in the US.

Why did we do this? We believed that homeschooling was a legitimate option, and the best one in our circumstances.

Did we get permission from a bureaucracy to homeschool? No.

Were there some potential problems and risks? Yes.

Did we consider them? Yes.

Did we really think we were being responsible? Yes.

Do we now regret that choice? No.

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences (Susan B. Anthony).

As a believer in Jesus Christ, I would rather mix with and identify with a godly bunch of dissidents as Moses did (Heb.11:23-29), as Gideon did (Judges 6-8), as David did in the cave of Adullam (I Sam.22:1-2), and as Jesus did, than be well-fed, but silenced and intimidated in King Saul’s court.

Why? Because separation is crucial in serving God.

Morecraft has pointed out,

God identifies Himself as the God who separates His people from other peoples. Therefore, separation (including Christian intolerance of other religions and gods) is a basic principle of Biblical law, with respect to religion and morality.[3]

This has been God’s way, from the beginning:

God separated His people from the surrounding cultures in the Old Testament era. He separated Noah from the pre-flood world. He separated Abram from both Ur of the Chaldees and Haran. He separated Israel from Canaan during Israel’s sojourn in Egypt. He separated Israel from Egypt’s masses by putting them in Goshen. He separated Israel from Egypt completely at the time of the Exodus.

All of these separations were essentially separations from pagan gods and pagan cultures. But separations from did not imply retreat and impotence. These separations were established by God in Israel’s history in order to give God’s people confidence concerning Israel’s future. The covenantal separation from other nations established the possibility and the requirement of Israel’s dominion over those nations.[4]

Education is a deeply religious issue, for all of life is deeply religious. If Christians think they can make God honouring choices, and somehow easily placate educational bureaucracies, they may have some hard lessons to learn about those bureaucracies.

God requires unconditional surrender from mankind. He does not offer terms of permanent peace on anything other than full, unconditional surrender. God’s dealings with the Egyptians and the Canaanites were about to demonstrate, for all the world to see, just how unconditional His terms of surrender are… The Canaanites understood this when Israel crossed the Red Sea, as Rahab told the spies (Josh.2:9-11).[5]

 

Conclusion:

God promised His people liberty, but the price of liberty is always obedience to Him. For those who refused to leave Egypt at His command, there was only slavery.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (II Cor.3:17).

 What is it that you want your children to learn, most of all? The true liberty of Jesus Christ, or slavery?

 

 

[1] Rousas Rushdoony, “Deuteronomy,” 2008, p.401.

[2] Gary North, “Moses and Pharoah,” 1986, p.185.

[3] Joseph Morecraft, “A Christian Manual of Law: An Application of Deuteronomy,” p.75.

[4] North, p.135.

[5] North, p.181.

 

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