Covenant children and education
We rejoice in the number of Godly Christians that our Lord has raised up to be missionaries as educators in the state-controlled public school system in our land. We regard these teachers as Daniels and Shadrachs, Meshachs, and Abednegos-refusing to bow down before a system that has denied the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and substituted another.
We pray that the Lord would protect them and give them grace to be faithful in not compromising the truth in the event of persecution by an adversarial bureaucracy.
The Lord God comands parents to bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Many people in the church of our day do not understand the implications of the Covenant (Luke 22:20, Hebrews 13:20-21). Specifically, that Christians are a chosen people (I Peter 2:9) are in a solemn and holy relationship to God, bound to Him by His cords of love and mercy and obligated to love and obey the Lord Jesus Christ as He has revealed Himself in Scripture (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 12:1-2, John 14:15).
God has specifically included the children of believers in His covenant community (Ezekiel 16:20, Acts 2:39, 1 Corinthians 7:14) and commanded that they be brought up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 20-25).
Deuteronomy 6:1-11 and the book of Proverbs clearly define the duty of Christian education of covenant children to involve and encompass every aspect of life, continually. All education and instruction is to presuppose a Christian world-view.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only source of life and truth in this universe.
There is no neutrality in this universe.
God declares His wrath upon anyone who would deny Him by seeking to think independently of Him.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6
The state controlled public schools in our day have denied the Lord Jesus Christ by:
1) Removing the Bible from classrooms (contrast this with Deuteronomy 8:3; Hosea 4:6; Psalm 1).
2) Removing a Biblical philosophy of education from the curriculum (contrast this with Colossians 2:3-8; and Proverbs 1:7).
3) Training the teachers to teach as if Jesus were not the source of truth and life (contrast this with Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 8:35-36).
4) Removing the Lord God and the praise of His glory as the goal of education (Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 10:31).
5) Denying the importance of prayer to be able to seek God as a class (Psalm 14:1ff; 2 Chronicles 7:14).
6) Implying and acting as if the state is the owner of children rather than parents under God being the responsible party for the education of children (Ephesians 6:4; Ezekiel 16:20-21; 1 Corinthians 7:14; Matthew 19:13-15; Romans 13:1-6).
Our nation is reaping the terrible wrath of God for neglecting the covenant duties of teaching our children.
Elders must have the Biblical qualifications of a godly life in some measure present in their lives, whereas the members should have these godly qualities present (1 Timothy 3:1ff; Titus 1).
And the Lord God places the command of passing on the faith to the fathers
Therefore be it resolved that presbytery:
1) Call each Session to study the Scriptures (including these specific Scriptures), concerning the Biblical command to give our children of the covenant an education that is based upon the Bible and is Christ centered and Christ honoring.
2)Encourage each Session to read the enclosed portion of the sermon by A. A. Hodge, that was preached in Philadelphia, in 1888. See Appendix #1. Also please read the Humanist Manifestoes I and II. See Appendix #2.
3) Encourage Sessions to examine for themselves the curriculum of the public schools, by going to the respective state-controlled public school offices asking for books from several grades (such as 1, 6, and 8) and reading and analyzing them in light of the Word of God. Seek to answer the following questions:
1) Is the curriculum teaching children to seek God as the source of truth or man as the source of truth? OR What is the source of truth in education?
2) Is this curriculum's goal to bring every thought captive to Jesus Christ or to encourage man to think thoughts independently of Almighty God and His revelation of Himself in Holy Scripture? OR What is the goal of education?
3) What is the source of the solution to the problems of individuals and society put forth in the curriculum? Is it the Lord Jesus Christ and His truth-the Bible, or is it man individually or corporately as the messianic state, that is looked to to solve the problems of our culture? OR Who is the Savior of individuals and our society that the curriculum purports?
(An analysis along these lines, we believe, will clearly show that Biblical Christianity is no longer the philosophical basis for our public school curriculum, but rather humanistic anti-Christian thought.)
4) Call all its respective churches to teach faithfully the Covenant and its implications concerning Christian Education-from the pulpit and by the godly example of all her elders.
5) Encourage all its elders to continue or begin to give their children a distinctly Christian Education either in their own home or by delegating this responsibility to someone else with the sanctification, integrity, and competency to accomplish this God-given task.
6) Call our churches to teach and give example to all members and those who visit our churches concerning these vital truths of the Covenant and the giving to God's Covenant children a distinctly Christian education.
We humbly beseech the Lord of glory to have mercy
on us for neglecting His Covenant and for giving His Covenant
children to the state-controlled public schools of our day. We
ask the Lord to forgive us and grant us His blessing as we seek
His face and turn from our wicked ways, that He will hear from
heaven and forgive us and cleanse our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Adopted by Westminster Presbytery on July 18, 1998.