The Snare of State Religious Exemption Upon The Homeschooling Family
How often have we been told, time and time again, that we must register our children with the local public school in order to teach them according to Godís clear Commandment at home? Let us pause together to examine, more Biblically, this issue of state registration of Covenant Christian Children for Home Education.
Who Owns The Family?
This is perhaps the fundamental question of all time. The fact is, that to answer this question properly, is to pinpoint the fundamental problem most parents face. Who exactly has rule over the Family? Is it the Parent? The state? The public education system?
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."
"And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh thereof; and the rib which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh:Ö"
"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Ö"
In these verses, the Lord clearly shows Himself as the Designer and Creator of both the marriage institution and the institution of the Family unit. Notice the phrase, "and the LORD GodÖ".
Each action, which directly effected the installation of the Familyís establishment, was Divinely instituted and caused by God Himself. The word LORD, is the Hebrew word Jehovah, which carefully specifies that the Lord, is the Covenant God who is Eternal and Divine. The Hebrew word used for Jehovah corresponds to Strong'sí Concordance number 3068, Yehweh, and literally means Existing One. By use of this language, God effectively teaches that the Family is in unique relationship with God, and is established by an Eternal, Supernatural and Spiritual Covenant, as opposed to a natural, man made contract. Thus the whole of the Family relationship is one established upon a Divine foundation.
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church,..."
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord."
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right."
All these admonitions are couched in Covenant language. Thus, the precept, "what God hath joined together (i.e. in a Divine Covenant Bond) let not man (i.e. in the operation of a mere earthly contract) put asunder" is language of a Covenant Bond. (Parenthesis mine) It must be understood however, that this principle of Covenant Union, is one which is universal for all of Godís institutions. Nothing is to be put asunder that God has joined together. For instance, God has joined His eternal Church to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, man shall not put that union asunder. Why? Because that union is of Covenant. A second example may be seen using the Holy Scriptures, themselves, as an example. God has formulated the Holy Scriptures to be heard and understood and used as one cohesive whole, both Old and New Testaments. Man ought not pervert the Scriptures by putting them asunder by isolating or separating the Old and New Covenants, through piecemeal means or private interpretation. Similarly, the God ordained and Divinely established Family unit is not to be put asunder. But what exactly does that mean? Firstly, because of the Familyís Divine ordination, it is not to be separated from the bond of the Scriptures. The Scriptures must reign supreme in every area of life, as the regulative rule of each Family member. Secondly, all education is to be viewed and taught with Christ as the Hub and Focus. The Authority structure of the Family, and all its educational foundation, is to be Theistic, as opposed to Humanistic. The governing of the Family must be according to Godís Law directives. God must be enthroned, and not man. The foolishness and vanity of manís wisdom must be frustrated and Truth must be established in the Covenant Home. In Godís economy of Family establishment, He carefully sets the parents as the legitimate stewards of the Children. Never does God go outside of these perimeters, which He has set up, to allow the governing or educating of the Children by any one else. This is fundamental in our understanding of who owns the Family. But what of religious exemption? How has this put the Family Unity at risk?
How has this frustrated Godís original intention for the Family?
The Family At Risk
"And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him."
In Mark 12, we read of the tempting of the Lord Jesus by the wicked religious rulers. Historically, they were speaking of taxation and monetary rendering unto the state. Yet, when we realize that this discussion is representational of something far more important, we are able to better understand the lessons herein. The Pharisees had already made an ungodly alliance with the house of Caesar. They had effectively rendered the things which were Godís to the secular anti Christian state. Christ turns the debate around, pointing to Christian accountability in rendering that which is rightfully Caesarís to Caesar, and those things that are rightfully Godís, to God. Christís answer proves that the Pharisees had misplaced their priorities, and had apostatized from the Law. They had already pledged allegiance to the state in direct and willful violation of Exodus 34:12 . In point of fact, all things belong to the Lord. It is He that owns the cattle upon a thousand hills, the earth, its fullness, and all that therein is. All this belongs to Him. In the words of Abraham Kuyper, "There is not one inch of this entire universe that, Jesus Christ, the Sovereign Lord of All, does not say, ĎThis belongs to Me.í" Then, how much more do the Children of the Christian Covenant home belong to the Lord?
"Lo, [the] children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward."
In 1 Corinthians 7:14 the Apostle identifies the Children of a believing parent as Holy. When compared to the words of the Lord Jesus, in Matthew 7:6 we read that none are to give that which is holy (i.e. the children of the Covenant) unto the dogs (the secular state). Here is a clear command and warning not to render that which is God's to the house of Caesar.
Spiritual Problems With Registration
We now must ask, "what are we actually doing by registering our Children with the public school system?" In effect, what we are doing is asking permission, of a godless, immoral, and Biblically unsanctioned institution, to obey God's commandment. By doing this we are not only rendering unto Caesar the things that are Godís, but we are asking permission of sinful men to rebel against God. Some may object here by citing the law of the land, but I say that the Law of God, always, and in every case, supercedes the law of sinful men.
Legal Problems With State Permission To Home Educate
The disobedient act of registration finds another problem in law. According to the state, once the children are placed into the school system by the act of registration, they belong to the state even if they are schooled at home. The state becomes the parent and chief overseer of all education. In some states, it is true; the Home Education laws are more lenient than in others. But that flexibility will be only for a time. The damage is already accomplished and infiltration is secured. By registering the children in the state system, the parents surrender their God-given parental authority over to the house of Caesar. For those parents that are registered with the state as Home School educators, there still exists accountability to the state. This fact, of itself, confirms that the state is the educating principle of the children. Thus they have successfully infiltrated the Covenant Family and subverted the parental oversight of the Children.
Practical Problems With Registration
According to the Word of God, whenever the Holy Law is violated, there are repercussions in the real world. God brings negative sanctions upon His people as chastisement for disobedience. This is both a spiritual and historically proven fact. Once the people of God attempt to be assisted by man and the philosophies of man, they have violated the Covenant and lose Godís blessing. Once the people of God violate Godís Covenant, by taking refuge in the vanity of manís wisdom and inventions, God gives them over to their heartís evil desire and they no longer can claim His protection. (cf. Deut. 28 Lev. 26) Again we see that what has actually happened is a shunning of Godís Theism, (Godís Law), replacing it with manís humanism (manís law).
Many well-meaning parents are deceived into thinking that it is the Constitution of the United States that protects their freedom to teach their Children at Home. But this is not true. It is not a man- made document that gives any rights to Christians whatsoever. This is proven in the Michigan case involving two families who defied the state education system. The one held to the Constitution as their right and charter to teach at home, while the other, to the Holy Scriptures. These families were both represented by the same well known and very successful Christian defense team. However, it was only the family, who held to the Promise of God and the Law of the Holy Scriptures, as their only defense, who were victorious.
Whoís To Blame?
If we are to place any blame, whatsoever, for such ignorance and complacency in the area of education of Covenant Children, it must be placed squarely upon the church.
Martin Luther understood the urgency and importance of monitoring education from the standpoint of the Scriptures:
"I am much afraid that the schools will prove to be the gates of hell unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of the youth. I advise no one to place their child where the scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt."
Anno Domino 1537
The church has been fed a secular pack of lies for centuries but never has it bought into these lies to the extent as it has in recent years. In our day, we are seeing the consequences of such a toleration and embracing of those lies. The very institution that God has ordained and equipped to sound the trumpet, has remained silent. The church has corrupted itself for love of money, comforts and a place in secular society. Rather than to call the wickedness of man into account, the church has hid in a religious vacuum of escapism and complacency. Instead of training the assembly of the saints and warning them of the wrath of God against the sacrificing of their own children to the gods of public education, the pastors have prophesied smooth things and caused the Holy One of Israel to cease before their eyes. Fear and confusion reigns in the churches across America. Truly the gift of the state to the churches, in the form of corporate registration and tax exemption has blinded the eye of the wise, and anesthetized the preaching of the whole counsel of God. Todayís church is an impotent shell.
In addition to the rebuke upon the church, the parents are not to be left without similar chastisement. All too often, Homeschooling parents regard the state more than they regard God. They too have bought into the lie that the state knows more than the Scriptures in things of education. These parents ask of men to judge upon the issues that are already delineated by God in the Scriptures. Many Home schooling parents even set up their homes as if they were Public Education classrooms, and teach in quite the same fashion. Thus, Home Education as it is commanded in Deuteronomy 6 is corrupted after the pattern of men. Many parents go so far as to defend state testing and state evaluation, as if the education System was their New Messiah. Knowledge, for many of these parents, has taken the place of Truth.
What then can the parents do?
Firstly, we must realize that there is hope. No matter how entrenched in the system we are in, God hears the prayer of the repentant sinner.
Secondly, Study the Scriptures. This is the first step in all reformation. Moreover, pray daily for the God of Glory to assist you in understanding and re-thinking the whole issue of Family and Home Education.
Thirdly, there are a number of avenues to take in freeing your family from the bondage of Caesarís rule. Check the World Wide Web for Homeschool sites that offer help in this area. You may contact this author for some specific ministries, which concentrate on de-registering the Children of the Covenant from the state system.
Finally, begin to talk of what you have learned. Become the light to others who are in need of freedom to train their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Talk with your Pastor and Elders and recruit them in this fight. Gently beseech them and call them, respectfully and gently into account that they may become promoters of the truth concerning these things.
May God be pleased to use us in this day in restoration of righteousness in our land and for our children, and the generations to come. Amen.
Pastor Paul Michael Raymond s.s.
You may e mail the author at (or through: www.hisglory.us)