This month I’m talking about the book IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity by Collin Gunn & Joaquin Fernandez including 30 additional contributers sharing their expertise and experiences regarding the public school system. Some of the contributers worked in the system for decades or were fired or forced to resign because of their Christian convictions.
One contributer is a father who blames himself for his son’s death during the Columbine shooting, because, as he put it… “There was no biblical justification for me to send my son to a Godless public school. He died because I ignored God’s Word, even though I knew better.”
Why the book? “As Christian homeschooling parents, we wanted our film to share our objections to the public schools’ methodology and subject matter, and also to convey our clear desire that Christian parents remove their children from these schools for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom. We wanted to share or deepest convictions about what God’s Word has to say in the area of educating our children. – page 11
But are all public schools dangerous? Should all Christians pull their children out? What about the “salt and light” argument?
My personal standard of “normal” for the first 20 or so years of my life was the moral acceptance of abortion and homosexuality, the normalcy of violence, racism, drug and alcohol abuse, rebellion, foolishness…the list goes on. These things weren’t all necessarily heralded from the classroom but were definitely taught on the playground.” – Chuck La Verdiere, page 14
To be honest, I’m on the fence with this subject. I myself spent K-9th in three different Christian schools in two different states and then finished 10-12th in public school. But by the time I hit public school, I was mature in my faith and committed to Christ. I was ready for public school.
My husband and his twin brother came to know Christ because of a fellow public school classmate, who by the way grew up to be a teacher and principal in the public school system…and who recently left his career to become an ordained pastor. All of our families are active in our local church. A church that is committed to believing, teaching, and discipling according to the perfect, infallible Word of God. We believe the bible is 100% perfect and can be trusted.
My oldest child was in preschool and public school kindergarten while I was yet not a fan of homeschooling. It wasn’t till I began to see some things I didn’t like about the idea of my young child being gone all day everyday in an environment I had little control over and had little involvement with. In preschool my son was coming home using the bad language he heard and I know for a fact he was witness to things I cannot speak of on here.
In kindergarten we dealt with the normal immature behavior issues that a 5 year old boy in all-day/every-day school faces and I was continually being told about it by school officials. Behavior that I couldn’t deal with appropriately because I was at home, while my child was in school. I began to seriously consider homeschool, researching the idea and reading what homeschooling moms had to say.
Long story short, I really feel that the Lord opened my eyes and has called me to homeschool our kids during this time. We are into our third year of it. I use to think Christian kids needed to be “salt and light” in the public school, but if being real “salt and light” means first being born-again, when does that really happen for a child? Some children don’t understand and receive Christ for real until they are nearly teenagers. What about the effect the world is going to have on them in the meantime while they are buried in a culture of worldliness and ungodliness found in the public school system? Isn’t “indoctrinating” a part of teaching?
The book (and there is a movie, I’ve seen it and recommend it) IndoctriNation may very well offend many, but the message needs to be heard. Everyone has a story to tell. I see my short three years in public school as a good time – without the drinking, the drugs, the dances, and sex. But not all kids survive it well in one way or another. What made my time there safer than their’s? I think a lot of factors play a roll in the results. The most important was my strong faith and commitment to Jesus Christ and the support of parents who believed the same way- in short, my home life! And yet, a Christian home is no guarantee that the children in it will put their faith in Christ and continue walking in it after high school regardless of the school: public or Christian.
Join us October 18th on Facebook for a Book & a Bite Party! Copies of IndoctriNation the book and a dvd will be given away. Find all the details here!
See the other Mom’s of Masterbooks reviews and read their stories at NLPB here.
*This is not a paid post, I received a copy of the book IndoctriNation to review for free. Opinions are my own.
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Thanks, Haelie. It’s a hot topic for sure and one which, I think, there is no cut and dried “one way fits all” as God’s plan for each of us is different in some ways.
Another great post, Tracy! Thanks for the honesty!
Thanks, Pam. I will check out the link to his book!
Sounds like a great book — something like what my hubby wrote “Silenced in the Schoolhouse: How Biblical illiteracy in in our schools is destroying America”.
I like how you talk about the “salt & light” argument. How can our kids be salt & light at such a young age? More than likely they will be pulled down by the unbelievers. True, sometimes kids are successful in influencing others — but for the most part when we send them to an ungodly institution for most of the day we might as well just drop them off at Time Square in New York City for the day.
I like how you shared that little snippet about your husband, his brother and that pastor (I am honored to have met them all). It is not always easy to stand on what you believe God has called you to do but I am sure glad you are writing about it! Home schooling is really the only way we can control what is being taught to our kids — unless you have your own private Christian school. I am honored to have had the opportunity to do it both ways and I just know God got all the glory in it.
Thanks for the review. You can read my hubby’s book too if you like: http://bit.ly/QnSxWl