With the COVID-19 shutdown, many parents throughout the country have had a first-hand look at homeschooling. What they have found is that teaching children at home is difficult. For a variety of reasons, parents are ready for their children to go back to school. If they took schools for granted before, now they are thankful. They would say, “We need schools.” But I would ask this question: “Do we need Christian schools?” And to ask the question more specifically, “Do we need Christian education?” The answer is yes. We need Christian education—it is a must. Part of how we can accomplish Christian education is through Christian schools—the right kind of Christian schools. We need Christian education and the right kind of Christian schools because the Bible commands Christian education, most parents need assistance in instructing their children in academics, and truth is to be taught in and through the church.
To be precise, Christian education is the way of training children in the Christian way, in the way of Scripture. The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go…” (Proverbs 22:6). That way is the godly way. Parents are responsible to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Moses established this standard early in Israel’s history. He said that parents must teach their children the words of God throughout the day, and every day (Deuteronomy 6:4 ff.). This is Christian education. It is commanded. Therefore, we must have it.
Every home is responsible to Christian educate their children. In terms of teaching the specific subjects, parents may need some help with that. This is where the Christian school comes in. Here at Bethel, godly teachers know the Bible, and they know their subjects. They teach those subjects through the lens of Scripture, imparting a Christian worldview. They also know how to communicate the material for students to master. Not every parent has this background or skill set. Some have time constraints. Plus, the classroom (I am assuming the Bethel classroom) gives a structure that is sometimes missing in a home-school setting. The Christian school does not exist to replace the parents in their responsibility, but to supplement them. Some parents can teach their children all the way through twelfth grade, but that is the exception. The Christian school can help parents fulfill their responsibility. We need Christian education and Christian schools.
Finally, we need Christian education because truly Christian education takes place in and through the church. The command to train up a child in the way he should go, in the context of our current age, takes place in and through the church. Timothy learned the Bible from an early age from his mother and grandmother, but it was through the church. The church is the pillar and ground of the truth. Our children need to learn truth, and truth is to be taught in and through the church. Bethel Christian Academy fits this model. What a benefit! Christian schooling and homeschooling can be done through the church, but to place education under a different authority than the church is to create grave dangers for families and the truth. The public school, even charter schools, cannot do this. Even home-school co-ops run into trouble here. The church is the institution for discipleship. Christian education must take place through the church. The fact that Bethel Christian Academy operates under the authority of a church (Bethel Baptist Church) is one factor that makes BCA unusual. Therefore, we need it.
We need Christian education for several reasons: the Bible commands it, some families need assistance with teaching and structure, and the church is where Christian doctrine is to be taught. Parents around the country can be thankful for schools, but what we really should be thankful for is Christian education, and schools like Bethel that offer it.