The information contained on these pages is intended to awaken you to the reality we face as parents today. Our nation is steadily marching towards the loss of freedom for parents to direct the education and upbringing of their own children. Please read carefully and share broadly so that as more and more parents realize the present danger, our voices can combine to put a stop to this insanity.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Response to Questions on Last Posting

(In response to comments on my post "A Quiet Threat to Homeschooling")

Dear Come Out to Play,

That children have rights is not disputed. The extent, nature, and definition of those rights are the actual hotbeds of debate. Permit me to explain my stand in this debate by first pointing to the source of all rights, God and His Word. Only with that foundation can one determine the rights and duties of any group, including parents, children, and the government.

Psalm 127:3-5, as below, says that children are a "heritage", a "reward", and a "blessing" all from the Lord.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

So, children come gratuitously from God. Thus parents will be held accountable by God on how they raise their children (consider Matthews 18:6, the millstone around the neck). Deuteronomy 6 and Ephesians 6 also clearly state commands to parents concerning how to raise their children. Commands imply accountability. Parents are therefore made stewards by God.

Stewardship implies parental rights (freedoms to exercise stewardship) AND parental responsibilities to fulfill that Biblical stewardship. As a consequence of these parental “responsibilities”, children can claim “rights” in the sense that they can point (or someone can point for them) to God’s commands directed at parents. This results both in their sharing some rights with adults (i.e. to life, to worship as they wish, etc.) and having some rights beyond those of adults (i.e. to have parents provide for them, to have parents to protect them, to have parents guide/discipline them). Of note, the shared rights may also differ in extent (i.e. limits on freedom of association, on freedom of speech) in comparison to adult rights. Then, as the child matures, the rights also mature.

Based on the evidence and logic above, I will be praying for parents to recognize the source of their children (God) and to recognize ALL the implications of the stewardship placed upon them. If this prayer is answered, there is no need to pray for children’s rights. The fulfillment of their “rights” will come in the fulfillment of parental stewardship. As a corollary to the above prayer, I will also be praying that no government power will interfere with the exercise of parental stewardship nor the enjoyment of the blessing of children. When government interferes with Biblical exercise of parental stewardship, it is the duty of parents as stewards to resist this interference. Even if the government claims to be protecting a child’s rights, if they are not using the Biblical guidelines, they are acting wrongly. However, if the government, for example, were to interfere in order to protect a child’s right to life (if it is threatened by anyone, including a parent), it would be acting rightly. Our current system approximates this latter situation in prosecuting child abuse. The proposals of international child rights advocates are basing their definition of child rights not on Biblical guidelines, but on their secular philosophies. These must be resisted and battled against. I am not praying against all governmental actions taken against parents, just those that contradict Biblical guidelines.

In regards to the US Constitution, it grants none of these rights. It has no power to grant anything. It can only recognize rights and pledge to protect both the above stated rights of parents and the above state rights of children.

I hope this answers your objections/admonitions as well as clarifies what seems to be a misunderstanding of my stand. If not, I look forward to your continued dialogue.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"A Quiet Threat to Homeschooling"

An undated article caught the attention of a friend recently. This article, as titled above, describes an intellectual trend that may catch many parents (not only homeschoolers) off guard. The article addresses a simple idea: "Children have a constitutional right to learn about beliefs and ways of life other than those of their parents, and the state has a duty to secure that right for them." Rob Reich, a political science and education professor at Stanford University, argued exactly that at the 2001 Convention of the American Political Science Association.

If you don't read the entire article, at least consider the pieces I have included here. The following quote is directed at homeschoolers, but it takes little imagination to see how all parents would be affected by the application of this philosophy in our legal system.

"In his writings, Reich proposes that homeschooling should be monitored by the state to ensure that parents teach their children beliefs and lifestyles that they may oppose - that parents may even believe to be evil."

A reviewer of Reich's book on Amazon said it well in describing the purpose of this philosophy:

“The leading goal of education is to develop autonomy in children.”

This is the worldview which confronts our parenting, our children, and the future of our families' coming generations. Will you please begin to pray and then take up your battle armor?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"The Child" Documentary

Watchman Cinema has produced an amazing documentary detailing the current struggle for parenting freedoms. Months of hard work have paid off in their 85 minute video which includes interviews from a wide variety of legal experts, parenting experts, physicians, and most importantly the stories of families scarred by the overzealous interventions of government.

If you love your children, this video should scare the living daylights out of you! By providing a 360 degree view of this crucial issue, Watchman Cinema has held nothing back and left you no excuse for inaction. We are facing the attempted eradication of parental freedom by leaders in various sectors of our society all in the name of protecting children. Parents will soon become the babysitters for the government's children IF we continue our complacency.

For more information on the video and how you can use the video to share this message, go to Watchman Cinema. This documentary should knock you to your knees in prayer.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Part 8: The Role of the State in Raising Children

The Bible only permits the state to have the role of punishing wrong doers in Romans 13. The state does have a duty to protect children from criminal actions, but it does not have the jurisdiction to dictate how children are raised in a non-criminal family environment. This idea of jurisdiction is similar to the theology of Abraham Kuyper, a great Dutch theologian and politician from around 1900. He separated the spheres of authority between the family and the state, as well as other spheres of authority based on his study of the Bible. While he saw God as ruling over all of life, different spheres had their own jurisdictions and hierarchies of earthly authorities. Church, family, the state, labor, and other areas of life were mostly interdependent but separate spheres. The family sphere, thanks to our lackadaisical attitude, has allowed intrusion inch by inch over many decades. The state should not intrude into another sphere no more than the church should run the state nor the family run the church. This is even more true in our own contemporary culture as the state becomes more secular.

Raising children is a religious enterprise which if entrusted to a secular government will fail to produce religion except worship of the state. Not only will the secular state not teach any form of religion, it will teach against religion. There is not neutrality in regards to what is taught in school. Either all things are taught as relating to God as creator and father. Or they are taught to either replace God or to ignore God. An education neutral to all religion is thus atheistic by definition and practical implication. Furthermore, one of the mantras of our culture is tolerance. Feigned neutrality and tolerance go hand in hand. Teaching all religion is seen as good, all except one, Christianity. Christianity is viewed as intolerant and therefore its true form cannot be taught as children must be free to choose for themselves. Since, in their view, there is no private sphere of the family, all is public and open to their regulation. They are compelled not by neutrality, but by anti-Christian intent.

In summary, from a Biblical and Christian perspective, it should be abundantly clear that parents are Biblically commanded to raise and educate children, not the secular civil government or state. With this Biblical foundation in the forefront, I want to further clarify our parental freedoms from a legal standpoint.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Part 7: Biblical Basis For Parenting, Section Three

With all this in mind, what is the purpose of this command? The purpose is simply the glorification of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost through the salvation and sanctification of our children by the means of parents. We are the means to this end even as we work our own salvation with fear and trembling. Therefore it is Biblical that parents educate, train, and discipline their children I order to obey God and to glorify Him.

Now, consider a tangential question to stimulate though along the lines of why I writing this piece. “What if the civil authority interferes with the ability to carry out this command?” I say that we must defend the family sphere and say no to Caesar. Peter and Paul both exercised civil disobedience when told to stop preaching the gospel. We are likely reaching the point where the government will soon tell us to stop preaching the gospel to our children. Many are already advocating to prohibit parent’s religious education. What will we do then? Some will say that tomorrow has enough worries of its own, “what about now?” Should we try to stop this before it comes to requiring outright civil disobedience? Do you tell your kids to toe the line of sin or to stay three steps back. Why would we want to allow the legal situation to reach that point.

My actions are my attempt to fulfill this command of training my children. I am not claiming that my specific methods of defending my parental freedoms are explicitly Biblically commanded. However, I believe an answer from parents is demanded regarding how they raise their children. We will answer to God for our parenting. Later, I will elaborate on how we can prevent the educational climate from going too far.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Part 6: Biblical Basis For Parenting, Section Two

If that is not clear enough, read Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Obviously, being from the Old Testament, it was directed at the Israelites. Can we then just ignore it today? Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the law, but to uphold it in Matthew 5:17-20. I believe that the principle of this command is still binding on parents based on Ephesians 6 and numerous other verses in the Bible. Therefore, parents today are still bound to teach the next generation born into their family. These scripture references clearly indicate that God’s commands include religious instruction as we see in these verses. By the description given, this is more than just sending them to Sunday School or vacation Bible School, but the responsibility of parents in the midst of daily life. Sunday School and VBS are not inherently wrong, just inadequate for obedience if parents ignore actively participating in the religious education of their children.

In order to provide more New Testament scripture, read I Timothy 3:2,4,and 5 “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach … He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?” Unless we are willing to read this as saying that only deacons and elders must know how to manage their own household, we are bound to strive for obedience to this command. Digging deeper into the original working is once again helpful. “Managing his own household” comes from prostEnai, or to “preside over”. The definition of “preside” is “to exercise guidance, direction, or control” (Merriam Webster Free Dictionary). There are other verses I could mention to further solidify the claim that parents are commanded to nurture, train, teach, and to preside over their children. I hope that these are enough to convince you of your Biblical duty.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Message from my newsletter....

COPIED from my newsletter, (no time to edit)

Good morning,
I just sent out a newsletter in the last few days, but I am writing this because today is election day. I could endorse specific candidates, but instead I want to focus only on principles in this newsletter. Candidates will come and go, but principles, which guide our lives and which should guide our votes, should remain steadfast and based on truth. Therefore, this election is no different than any other election. Each opportunity that God affords us to cast our vote, is an opportunity to influence not only our future, but the future of generations to come. Each election is an opportunity, or maybe better yet, a DUTY to vote on the principles which guide our lives all other days of the year. Here is my advice for you today:
First, consider your principles and the basis for them. For my family, the basis is the Word of God. Therefore, one of the principles that will guide my vote is how the result of the election will affect my freedom to follow Ephesians 6:4. Will the elected official protect my freedom to raise my children by Biblical truth or will the official restrict it?
Second, study the candidates by not only what they say, but what they have done. Their character is just as important as what they say, if not more so. Without a trustworthy character, their words ring a hollow tone of false hopes, if not outright deception. Ask yourself if you will continue to have freedom of directing your children's upbringing under their authority. Your vote has consequences.
Finally, only after you consider this, should you leave your home in order to vote. Don't misunderstand me. I am not saying that this is the only rule by which to measure a candidate. I am just stating my firm conviction that in the long run, this standard is one of the most important criteria to consider.