The reputation of home educating Christians has been badly hurt over the past few months by the news of sexual misconduct among two prominent leaders. Their sin was grievous and ought to serve as a warning to homeschoolers to “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever…” (Psalm 146: 3-6)
Idol worship will always disappoint because we cannot fulfill our desire to worship with a fallible creature rather than our infallible Creator. Heidi St. John says it well in Don’t Turn Away: Trouble In The Homeschool Movement:
The bottom line? Unless we begin to study the Bible for ourselves rather than blindly following the teachings of charismatic personalities, we will continue to see these kinds of abuses happen….
The moment we begin to trust that God really can finish the work in our children that He began through us will be the moment we will truly learn to trust God and stop leaning on formulas. If you ever listen to a teacher or minister who directs you beyond the grace and love of Jesus alone, run. Our hope is in Jesus. No where else.”
Unfortunately, the news of these scandals seems to have been embraced with a certain, dare I say it, glee among Christian non-homeschoolers, ex-homeschoolers, and anti-homeschoolers. In my news feed, I see these articles being shared with prefaces like:
- “And this is why I’m not a homeschooler….”
- “This is what worries me about homeschooling. It’s just too big of a temptation to be legalistic…”
- “Another reason I’m glad I don’t homeschool….”
In no way do I defend or justify the terrible actions of two homeschooling leaders (and I’m sure there are more) who are paying dearly for their sin, but may I just say that exploiting someone else’s mistakes to make yourself feel better about your own choices is a dangerous way to live?
Homeschoolers do this, too. How many times have we read a news article recounting sexual abuse between a public school teacher and their student or a school shooting and commented with, “This is another reason why I’m so glad we homeschool.”?
Remember Jesus words to those who trusted in themselves and despised others, “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:10-14)
Choosing not to homeschool (or to homeschool) because a homeschool leader (or a public school teacher) has fallen into sin is the same as not going to church because the church is full of hypocrites.
We simply cannot make a vitally important decision about our child’s education based on how well or poorly another person performs. You can find outstanding public school teachers and outstanding homeschool leaders, terrible public school teachers and terrible homeschool leaders. Man is not the measure of all things; using a human being as the ultimate test for making decisions is idolatry.
The reason we go to church even though it is filled with hypocrites is because we believe this is God’s will for us (Hebrews 10:25; Romans 12:5; 1 Peter 4:10; Hebrews 13:17; Luke 4:16), and if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15; Psalm 40:8).
The reason we homeschool or send their children to school must be because we believe this God’s will for us. He has plenty to say on education and parental responsibility. Study the entire book of Proverbs, Ephesians 6:1-4; Luke 1:17; Psalm 127:3-5; 1 Timothy 6:20-21; Luke 6:40; Psalm 128:1-4; Deuteronomy 6:5-9, 11:18,19; Psalm 1:1-2; Deuteronomy 32:46; James 4:4; Colossians 2:8; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Samuel 28; 2:2; Psalm 78:1-7; Galatians 4:2; Ephesians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:11,12.
If we do not make our decisions based on Scripture, we will be disappointed. Homeschoolers will fail us. Private school teachers will fail us. Public school teachers will fail us. We are all sinners and no one is immune to temptation.
God is Light, in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), and He has given us this command and promise, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.” Jeremiah 7:23.