The Compelling Case for Christian Education
There are a number of common questions people ask about Christian schools. The following is intended to address some of the most common ones:
What’s the point in even thinking about a Christian school when I already know I can’t afford it?
Answer: You may come to the conclusion that you know that your child should be in a Christian school buy you simply cannot afford it, even with sacrificial changes in your spending. Do not lose heart! Take a moment to review our Financial Assistance Policy. We have seen many examples of God’s provision for families in some amazing ways. We encourage you to schedule an Education Success Consultation to discuss your financial situation with our administrator. With God, nothing is impossible!
Aren’t the academic programs and choices better at a public school? Won’t my child’s education be more well rounded?
Answer: Consider the implications of the following quote from Paul Tough’s book, “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character” Boston: Mariner Books,2012. Print. Page 150: “Over the past few years, it has become clear that the United States does not so much have a problem of limited and unequal college access; it has a problem of limited and unequal college completion. Among the thirty-four member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation, or OECD, the United States still ranks a respectable eighth in its college enrollment rates. But in college completion – the percentage of entering college freshmen who go on to graduate – the United States ranks second to last, ahead of only Italy. Not long ago, the United States led the world in producing college graduates; now it leads the world in producing college dropouts.”
The issue in America is not that we need better programs and choices. We need better character. America’s educational leadership in the world is deteriorating. Lack of character development is the issue. The Word of God is the answer and remains the guiding light in a quality Christian education.
At Illinois Lutheran, we believe providing academic choices to families is desirable, but we do not try to compete with the breadth of programs offered by public schools. We believe academics are very important, but without strong character development the child’s ability to succeed as an adult will be unnecessarily thwarted. The Word of God, not human opinion or the latest “expert”, is the final authority on character development. We are striving to integrate its precepts into everything we do.
I am a homeschooling parent. Isn’t that the best way to meet my Biblical responsibilities?
Answer: Some parents feel led by the Lord to homeschool their children. In that case, the parents remain responsible for the development of their children. However, Illinois Lutheran provides opportunities for parents to supplement their homeschool instruction with academic and elective classes, as well as extracurricular activities such as athletics, music, and drama.
Will I be sheltering my child from the “real” world?
Answer: There is a common misconception that Christian schools shelter children from every temptation and sinful exposure. That is not true, nor is it even possible. All children come into the world with a sinful nature, and are prone to selfishness, anger, malicious talk, coveting, etc. All of us are exposed to many of the worldly influences that all children are exposed to in movies, books, television, the internet and more.
At Illinois Lutheran, we seek to prepare our children to impact the world for Christ, not to shelter them from the world. We accomplish this by bringing the Word of God into every circumstance of a child’s life in order to build a Godly foundation and critical thinking. Hence the goal is to produce adults that have been trained for godly living and thinking in a world full of temptations and their own weaknesses as a fallen human being.
Shouldn’t our children go to public school to be salt and light in a lost world?
Answer: There is no doubt that Christians are called to be salt and light in the world. But we need to better understand what this means in relation to our children.
To bring Christian influence into a dark and sinful world we must first be authentic, born again Christians. You must ask yourself, “Is my child a born again believer?” If the answer is yes, the next question is, “In what way can my child be salt and light?” Is my child so rooted in their faith that they can have an impact for Christ in their school? Can they effectively explain the gospel? Can they disciple another believer, teaching them how to walk in a relationship with Jesus? Can they defend the faith when under attack? Can they withstand the bombardment of secular teaching, thinking and acquaintances? Can they do seven plus hours a day without any harm or influence to their Christian values and beliefs?
In the vast majority of cases, the answer would be no, and if the answer is no, then your child cannot effectively be salt and light in a hostile environment. And in the rare case where the answer may be yes, you are putting your child into an environment that is not Christian in philosophy and is exposing them to daily teaching that replaces God in every subject and every area of life. How many young Christians can carefully discern that they are being taught worldly ways of thought?
You might ask, why is it so difficult for them to be “salt” and “light”? It’s really quite simple – they are children. Children are to be raised up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They are to be carefully instructed in the things of God while the “clay is soft” (hearts and minds easily influenced). This is the very process God ordained, that they might become salt and light. Their primary calling is to be a good student that grows and matures into a disciple that bears fruit (salt and light).
That brings us full circle back to the Christian parents’ responsibility. We are called to protect and nurture our children in the ways of Christ so that they can grow up to be world changers for Christ – no longer little saplings, but instead, strong oaks for the Lord!
My child attends a public school but has a Christian teacher. Isn’t that good enough?
Answer: We thank God for Christian teachers who are called to serve in the public schools. However, they are not allowed to teach about God which puts them in an incredibly difficult situation. They are trying to be an influence for the Lord, but the most important tool that they have they are not allowed legally to use – the Word of God.
Children and adults alike must learn and be changed by the Word of God. It is the very basis of all truth and a reverent fear of its Author (God) is foundational to growing in wisdom. In John 17:17 Jesus prays for His people and says, “Sanctify them by the truth, Your word is truth.” Christians grow and become more like Christ as they hear the Word of God. Yet the book of truth and its author have been expelled from public education. This is why Christian education is so critical in our generation.
I went to a public school and turned out “fine”. Can’t my child do the same?
Answer: We will never know where you might be in your Christian walk today if you had daily study of the Bible in a Spirit filled community of faith from Kindergarten through high school! There is no benefit in such speculation. But we do know that the Word of God is ignored in the public arena and teachers are forbidden to teach it. Yet to us it is the power of God to transform a life and that is exactly what it does in the heart of a young person as their beliefs and values are being formed. In the public arena their values are being shaped by humanism with God being irrelevant. If you believe the Word of God should be systematically used in the development of your child’s character and values, Christian education is your only option.