More on Raising Kids Behind Fortress Evangelicalism

Blog — By on March 25, 2009 at 6:52 am

www.ChristianPost.com picked up my remarks made at Conspire ‘09 and the post below about Children’s Ministry Inoculates Christians to the Great Commission. Some of the comments made in response to the article made me realize that I need to be more clear. Here we go:

Home Schooling

I wasn’t think of home schooling as a movement or particular home schoolers I know when I wrote that. I wasn’t really thinking about home schooling at all. Home schooling as a viable option for some parents. Home schooling is not necessarily evidence that you are wrapped up in a theology of disengagement. I don’t know you, your kids, or your school system. I’m not going to make some blanket judgment as to whether you should or shouldn’t be home schooling.

I do know that we all love our children and are trying to do right by them. If you believe that you are called to home school, then go for it. I would suggest that since Christianity is a social religion (love God and love your neighbor) that you find alternate means for your child to develop friendships with those outside of the church.

I would say that any rhetoric that equates the public schools with a prison system is fear based, and as such, sub-Christian. I suspect that the person who coined that analogy is cynically trying to sell his brand of home school curriculum.

Should We Shelter Our Children Until They Are Mature Enough to Resist Temptation on Their Own?

The part of the human brain that manages risk finishes developing when a person is about 21-year-old. If we hide our children from peer pressure until they are finishing college there’s a significant problem. Said sheltered child has spent nearly a quarter of his or her life doing something other than being a Christ-follower. That’s 21 years of bad modeling from parents and the church. 21 years that a person has been protected from building the Kingdom of Heaven.

I don’t understand how love found itself pitted against apologetics.

This isn’t an either/or proposition. We need to teach our children truth and to love God and neighbor.

I think it comes down to this…

If we are teaching children to do something other than following Jesus, then we are not building Jesus-followers. We need to own what this other thing is, and decide if we can and should live with it.

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    6 Comments

  • Angie Ellis says:

    Arg, I had the chance to go to your breakout, but after hearing Phil Vischer on culture, we made a collective decision for me to attend a different one. From the article on christianpost, your comments seem right on. I homeschool two of my three children, and I believe parents bear the greatest responsibility for raising their kids (not the church). May God guide us all in the decisions we make with our ministries and our kids.

    On a personal note, be encouraged. Jesus was often misunderstood & attacked. I hope the church can learn to dialogue on difficult subjects, but there is always going to be reaction.

  • Jarrod Haggard says:

    Re: Should we shelter our children until they are mature enough to resist temptation on their own?

    Larry, I’m 30 now, and I’m STILL not old enough to resist temptation on my own! Last time I checked, nobody is, that’s kinda why Jesus died. I’m surprised that people used that line of thinking in their comments to you.

    Thanks so much for that original post, I think it was well stated and very important for parents to consider.

  • Larry Shallenberger says:

    Angie–

    Phil was fascinating, wasn’t he?

  • Angie Ellis says:

    I loved hearing Phil, and I found in the break out sessions that there were huge ripples from his comments about fun. Made us all think…

    My preschool minister bought the cd from your breakout–can’t wait to hear it, especially now that it’s so controversial!

  • Jeannie says:

    Interesting post. I never thought I’d ever homeschool my kids. My son, Mr. Busypants, is 6 and in Kindergarten in the local public school. So far, they’re doing great; however, he has mild autism and my husband and I are suddenly wondering if we were still “swearing we wouldn’t be one of those homeschool/private school parents.” Suddenly, it’s something to consider down the road.

    Jeannie
    http://mamabusypants.blogspot.com

  • Larry Shallenberger says:

    Jeannie,

    There’s obviously no formula, and no broad brush to reach for. If your son has special needs the first step would be to research the effectiveness of your community supports and public schools.

    If God leads you into home or private schooling, so be it.

    If issue becomes, what kind of a home school culture will your family choose to build?

    God’s grace and wisdom to you…

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