Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Do Not Destroy the Work of God for the Sake of [Education]

So we're homeschooling this year.

And I really didn't want to write about it.  I'm doing this very reluctantly.  Because for heaven's sake, the world doesn't need one more blog post about Christian schooling choices.

But I decided to go ahead and write about it because
1)  People keep asking about what we are doing for school this year and

2)  Because it seems that there is an (unhealthy) idea that pastors and missionaries are somehow more spiritual and thus must be more spiritual in their schooling choices and thus must be emulated in their schooling choices.  I know this because I have been guilty of doing this with other pastors and missionaries, even though I am one myself.  And the thought that people are somehow looking at my choices as more spiritual because of my profession makes me nauseous.

So anyway.  Let's just get one thing clear.  I am not making a statement by homeschooling my kids.  We are doing it because it's what works best--for our schedule, our kids, our ministry this year.  

Of course, our family is benefiting from it.  There are a lot of benefits to homeschool.  But our family is also missing out on other good, stretching and strengthening things by not being in a traditional school.  Definitely.

I actually have some pretty strong opinions about education.  I've taught in both private and public schools.  For 10 years, I've been able to have a part in the formation of Haven of Peace Academy.  When we get back to Tanzania, I am going to join the board of governors at HOPAC.  I am passionate about education.

But I don't like to write about it.  I have read so many blogs, too many blogs, about this war going on among Christians over the subject of education.  And it gets nasty.  And we feel guilty and we feel judged and we feel arrogant.  Blech.

One man considers [one form of education] more sacred than another; another man considers [all forms] alike.  Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.  

Why do you judge your brother?  Or why do you look down on your brother?  

You want my statement?  Here's my statement:
Pray.  Research.
Know your kids; know yourself; know your options.
And most importantly, what is often overlooked:  Know your calling, your purpose, your ministry as a family.

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.  

I have seen godly kids emerge from all types of education.  I have seen ungodly kids emerge from all types of education.  God is sovereign, and there are no guarantees.

As for one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that [no form of education] is unclean in itself.  But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.  

All of us as followers of Jesus need to be thinking like missionaries.  It's not only those of us in Africa who are called to the Great Commission.  All of us are called to make sacrifices for the sake of the gospel.  And sometimes that sacrifice will mean homeschool, and sometimes private school, sometimes public school, and sometimes even boarding school.  All involve different kinds of sacrifices, and all can reap different kinds of rewards.

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  

(Romans 14)