Why I want Christian schools to stay

I really hope to respect y’all in your opinions and beliefs, but just to try to explain why it would be important for me for my child to go to a Christian school – still taught with tolerance towards  people of other beliefs, but ultimately coming from the worldview that Jesus and God are real, alive and central to life.

I grew up in a culture that provided lots of barriers to believing in God (though am grateful to have been taught the Lord’s prayer and a few hymns at primary school, which not all children get nowadays). It was only when I sought and explored the subject in depth that I found faith – and I was obstinate enough to pursue this despite all the cultural pressure against Christianity. And I’m so incredibly glad that I did.

Raising children is such an awesome responsibility. We’d all, I’m sure, share the value that it’s vital that our children know the love of their parents and family. But for me also, one of the most precious things I could give a child is the knowledge and experience of God’s very real and present love for them – and confidence that it is real. If they choose to reject that I would absolutely want to respect their decision and love them regardless. But I wouldn’t want to give them the barriers that I had to overcome in my own faith journey.

However, while I think that would be my responsibility as a parent, I would definitely want to respect other people’s choices and how they choose to exercise their own responsibility. So, I think there should be a range of schools to choose from – faith schools and secular ones. I do not want to disrespect anyone – just explain why this would be so important to me, and why I am passionate that we should give schools the freedom to be ‘faith schools’ if there are people in the area who want this.

Nowadays, many people believe that religion shouldn’t be taught in school, or only as a distant, impassionate observer of different faiths. I disagree. I grew up in a secular home that held a similar viewpoint, coming to faith in my late 20s. I don’t think it is possible to create a neutral space where you really let kids choose for themselves. I think that we all teach, and raise children, from within a particular worldview, and there is no ‘neutral’ position. Personally, I wish I had grown up with a more Christian worldview.

And for those who consider religion to be negative, which is why they want it out of schools… I ask that they would be tolerant and respect my beliefs and opinions on how I would want to raise a child. I would hope to do that to them. The idea that we should force other people to have their children raised in a different worldview from their own does not seem fair to me. I think that atheists should be able to send their children to schools that teach this, if they so wish. I might disagree with their decision, but I wouldn’t want to force them to accept my views. I am concerned that increasingly a section of the population want to inflict theirs on me. As I’m a taxpayer, there should be no reason why I can’t get the kind of school I want, but atheists get their kind of school. And vice versa.

We live in a culture in which it is acceptable to make absolute statements such as “faith schools are harmful”. But if I expressed my beliefs in such an absolute fashion, almost certainly I would be called a bigot. In some ways that’s good for me because it causes me to question myself. But it seems to me unfair – and is one of the reasons why I think the idea of this ‘neutral’ space is a myth and not possible.

Some would point to faith schools that take a more extreme position. I consider extremism within religion to be a separate matter, and a very complex one at that, in our multicultural society. I don’t have the answers. I just don’t think a version of secular totalitarianism is the answer.

In summary, I would want a Christian school for my kids, because I think the ‘secular neutral space’ idea is a myth. You have to teach from within one particular worldview, imo. As I would want your choices to be available, I would hope others would respect my choices. We should do what we think is best – an naturally that will be different for different people, and different faiths. Though, those who want a Christian school aren’t always Christians – I know Muslims who would prefer it to a more secular school – and some people of faith would prefer a secular space. And lots of Christians would prefer something more neutral. But I don’t think one group’s preferences should be imposed on others.

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4 thoughts on “Why I want Christian schools to stay

  1. ‘One of the most precious things I could give a child is the knowledge and experience of Gods very real and present love for them.’
    Isn’t this proof that God probably doesn’t exist? The fact that you have to tell them about Gods ‘very real’ love?
    I still struggle to understand why it is people that tell people that God exists. It should make anyone come to their senses.

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    • You think that something doesn’t exist, if we have to be told it exists? That cuts out an awful lot of things. Love, quantum physics, anything you haven’t actually clapped your eyes on yourself? Not sure that’s a good argument.

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      • I am perfectly content in believing natural laws despite them not being able to tell me, as I am aware they aren’t conscious. If God exists I expect him to tell me before I am made to feel obliged to worship or believe.
        If you think God doesn’t have to explain himself because laws such as gravity don’t, then your logic is very flawed. I am extremely confident this argument is highly credible.

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      • You missed the point, and ignored the other examples… which do show the flaws in your argument 🙂
        However, what I would say, is that God does reveal his love, and his word, to people. Sometimes even when they have not been ‘told’, such as many of the converts in Muslim countries, where there are not many evangelists. However, we have to have an open and seeking heart. And this kind of heart is influenced by our thoughts and those that other people share with us. But, many, many people have had real experiences of God. If the question you ask is, why doesn’t he show Himself to me, or to my other friends, my answer is – I don’t know for sure, but I suspect God knows that you do not want to hear from Him, or to know Him. ‘Seek and you will find’ said Jesus.

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