How often we hear in Christian homeschooling circles, that it is crucial to know what we believe and the reasons for it, in the context of choosing a Christian perspective in comparison of a secular one! But what happens if there’s a “Christian perspective” matter in front of us?
Do we just sit back and say that it’s all OK because another “Christian homeschooler” is promoting this or that? After all, if the product or solution says “Christian” then it must be also a choice that pleases our Lord, right?
(If you are just looking for the specific topics on this post, scroll towards the bottom for the chart.
This page is meant as a reference resource rather than just a normal blog post to read once.)
I get concerned sometimes when it seems that, if the label says “Christian homeschooling”, then parents relax and get prepared to accept whatever they are told by other “Christians”.
Instead, I think we should remain “on guard” in our minds, even when entering a Christian homeschool conference or Christian business or ministry website to learn more about effective teaching methods for education and how to parent our child(ren) this or that idea or product.
Although we homeschoolers typically have very busy family lives, we need to take time to evaluate what we read and hear and see what the Bible actually says about the topic.
Looking for tips, resources, and genuine fellowship with other Christians IS for sure, a great delight for us as brothers and sisters in Christ! (I see the value of attending a homeschool conference and blogged about that on this post here. I link to other Christian websites from ours too.) There IS a sense of unity in essential beliefs, of refreshment in learning from those who understand (i.e. those who “get” what homeschooling life and/or being a Christian parent can be like), and of growing closer in our relationship with Christ because someone there has taken the time to teach us or mentor us in a good understanding of the Scripture.
But aren’t we still to be like “the Bereans”, even when we’re eager and excited to learn from Christians? Yes, of course!
“…to Berea, and when [Paul and Silas] arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.” Acts 17:10b-12 (ESV)
“The Bereans”, mentioned in Acts 17 didn’t have the completed Bible yet but they did have portions of it from which they learned and searched intently to check out things they heard, including from the Apostle Paul and Silas. Paul was a reputable leader for his education and faith background. But these people in Berea didn’t just accept his presentations as being good and godly – they checked these ideas out for themselves, seeing if the Scripture agreed with what Paul and his team were telling them. These Bereans were commended for this diligence and that is why we know about them today.
What About Us?
Are we willing to do the same with our speakers and authors as the Bereans did with Paul and Silas’ teachings?
Or do we just swallow the ideas, adjust our thinking to the latest or popular Christian trend, trusting that if it seems to work well for someone, then it also might be good to try it and see if it works for us or a friend? (This is the unsure, shaky foundation to base decisions or recommendations on – that if we do “a” and “b” occurs and looks desirable, then “a” must be good/godly.)
And if the person is quoting some Bible verses or stands up for some things that ARE Biblical…
- Do we then extrapolate that the OTHER topics he/she promotes must also be good without continuing to evaluate those?
- Do we just “pray and see how we feel about it” – if we feel happy to accept it or not?
- Do we decide what to believe by remembering the person’s background (e.g. how long ago it was written or how recent and “relevant”) or popularity or overall reputation?
- Or do we also, and more-so, consider the content of the topic itself in what is being suggested to us? Does that specific content match with Scriptural principles?
Things can be subtle, not always easily labelled as “good” or “bad”.
Learning to Discern
1 Thessalonians 5:21 and 1 John 4:1 are two verses which tell Christians to be discerning. To practice discernment isn’t just something for older Christians to do or think of if one has a special gift. There is an expectation that all believers in Jesus Christ are to grow in being discerning and making godly decisions.
The Bible given to us is for us to use it to grow in knowing wisdom and living rightly.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV)
In general, when we (my parents, Rob and I, our older kids) notice something to be unusual or new in Christianity, there are a few things we like to do (if we feel led to look into the situation or topic further).
- Look how the Bible defines/describes what is being claimed. (This is the most important point listed here and it is sufficient.)
- If someone is referencing a set of Bible verses, what do those verses actually mean in their context?
- What about in the whole of Scripture itself? (In other words, remember the plain/straightforward reading of Scripture and that “Scripture interprets Scripture” – the topic might be expanded on or clarified in other passages. And Scripture is in agreement with itself, meaning that it isn’t hypocritical/contradictory.)
- (Sometimes this is the only main point that we have time for before prayerfully making a decision for what we should do about a matter.)
- Look at how other Christians involved in the situation or current topic are using the main terms, so that we can understand both the use of English language and how people might be interpreting key words, reports, responses.
- In other words, why do some people say what they say and what do those things mean to them? How do they define the words?
- And, if applicable, does their English definition(s) reflect the same meaning/definition that the Bible says on it?
- What is the general attitudes of professing Christians stemming from adhering to this particular direction? Are they Christ-like exhibiting love, joy, peace, etc. or are they self-centered, anxious or being allured further into sin?
- See if we can find original source information or similar (e.g. summaries from researchers who have more time and calling for digging into details) about the issue, idea, philosophy, conclusions. This provides context too and helps in understanding the background.
Examples of Issues
Does whatever I believe about these things lead me to myself, my empowerment, human solutions, or to God and His plan for my life and that of my family?
Am I being pulled into deception or is God’s truth showing His kind of freedom in decisions I make?
Below are some examples of issues we’ve noticed over the years as well as more recently; these impact Christian homeschooling groups, spring conferences, and searches for curriculum resources.
I wanted to compile some things into a chart format to help parents seeking Biblical answers. The issues are listed in alphabetical order.
The chart contains examples of Bible verses and links for places to find more information. I wanted something that would be relatively short and “simple” (even though it still ended up being “complex” in a sense) to read and consider. Most topics also have at least one place to find further information about, either on our website(s) or of others.
As you think through each of these, perhaps jot down a comment to yourself as a reminder, such as
- “Fear of the future and self-sufficiency do not reflect what God wants for His children. I’m to depend on His provision not self, and look to Christ as my Saviour and Lord, not my circumstances.”
- or “What bridge is being built, and to where? Where does this lead me or our children to in the end?”
(Hover over the issue/topic or the bolded text for the links to further information. Full Disclosure: None of these links are affiliate links.)
|Addiction, for example, to technology||(or addiction to anything else that is harmful.) This link goes to a printable pdf with Bible verses such as Rom. 12:1-2, 1 Cor. 6:12, 10:13, 1 Thes. 5:21-23, Prov. 22:3, 2 Pet. 2:19.||Wireless devices|
Link 1 Link 2
Porn and the Christian
|Cults in curriculum; |
also post-modern thought
|This link goes to a printable pdf about dealing with false doctrine with Bible verses such as 1 Tim. 6:20-21 and |
1 Thes. 5:21-22.
| Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM) (Note: This is not the same as understanding Biblical and cultural backgrounds seen in Judeo-Christianity, sometimes called “Hebraic roots”)|
The Good and The Beautiful (Latter Day Saints), etc.
Also, post-modern thought (explains why some Christians decide “it doesn’t matter”).
|Novels and movies with spiritual undertones of paganism (e.g. idolatry, ungodly practices)||Biblical Principles for Feeding Our Minds (general points with Bible references in a printable pdf about entertainment)|
(No examples need to be listed here – there are several.)
|Habit-training and character education for the goal of producing Christ-likeness in the next generation and also|
learn anything “good” from any philosophy
|Rom. 8:7-9, 15 (people without having Christ indwelling them cannot please God); Gal. 5:22-23 (Christlikeness is produced by the Holy Spirit, not habits); Titus 3:4-7; Eph. 2:8-10 (good habits don’t save us), Heb. 10:1, 14 (the law can never make anyone perfect but Christ can), and Titus 2:11-12, (God gives grace not just for salvation but His grace is also how we are able to live godly.)||Link 1 (a printable free planner that mentions about habit-training on the last page)|
Link 2 (about various “Charlotte Mason” ideas)
Some will say that they read anything to find spiritual truths within it – “all truth is God’s truth”. Consider instead that “the world has nothing to offer in spiritual counsel to Christians unless it has picked it up from the Bible originally. So WHY go through the muck just to find the gem?” (This was often said by my dad)
|Christian Mysticism – taught by a variety of popular authors or speakers (too many to list here) who influence Christian women for how to read their Bibles, how to pray, how to experience God’s personal love for them… but which methods are outside of Biblical Christianity.||One example of how to commune with God in a Biblical/godly manner is a Bible study method explained by Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz (video).||Some links to explain some key practices promoted within Christian mysticism:|
Ray Yungen’s video
|Nationalism (C.N.) that has unbiblical strategies/ goals alongside sometimes a harsh and proud appearance.|
Good responses to C.N.:
Link 1 Link 2
|2 Cor. 10:3-4, 2 Tim. 2:24-26, Titus 3:1-4, 1 Peter 2:15-19, Prov. 15:1, John 18:36, Eph. 5:1-7, Luke 6:35-36 and more at this link on our website.||Doug Wilson (conservative, Reformed) and others who associate with written and spoken resources directed from various outlets.|
Also some C.N. exists within “New Apostolic” (NAR) groups.
|Protection of values but expressed with a misrepresentation of God’s calling for how Christians should “battle” for purity and godliness.||1 Timothy 4:12, Proverbs 8:8-17, Philippians 4:8-9, 2:15-16, and more verses at this link.||“purity” dances and oaths, chivalry with swords|
|Top-down authority (strategies) to run the content and delivery of Christian education in homes and in church groups. This has been seen somewhat in online homeschool studies (and is concerning if parents do not stay naturally in touch with what their kid is learning), scripted sermons prepared by other people who are not the shepherd/pastor (plus potential now to be written by AI , not a human), emphasizing the use of multimedia as a substitution and discouraging use of local spiritual gifts and discernment for resources.||God says parents have the primary responsibility for teaching their children spiritual truths (e.g. Prov. 31:26-27, 22:6, Deut. 6:7, Eph. 6:4, Ps. 78:4-8). Christians are given the spiritual gifts (e.g. teaching, preaching, etc.) that God wants them to use in the local church. In the Bible, there is no spiritual gift of “pressing a button to play a program”. Rom. 12:6-8, Gal. 6:6, Acts 6:4, 1 Cor. 12, 14:19, 1 Tim. 1:7, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Pet. 4:10-11, 5:2. The human strategy for the “7 mountains”, one being education”, is explained well at this link.||A new example is Vishal Mangalwadi’s plans for the “Third Education Revolution” , for standardizing online Christian education in homes and churches. Local pastors and parents would change to have a mentor role, rather than being teachers or developers of lessons. Content would include wide variety of “Christian” perspectives a.k.a. ecumenical, help unite this generation to use “classical” education” approach, and work on building a kingdom on earth with “Christian” wisdom.|
|Yoga for stress-relief and/or Mindfulness and similar neuro programs for attentiveness training||Matthew 6:6-7, 11:28-29, Psalm 4:8, Philippians 4:6-9, Ephesians 5:6-18 (control of one’s mind, not emptying it).||This link goes to a webpage of ours called “Peace and Rest” where there are more verses. There is also a printable set of notes there plus another link for more info.|
Notes about the “Examples”
I chose a small selection of names of individuals or groups who are currently influential in Christian homeschooling circles as my examples. I tried to emphasize the issues/ideologies more than the specific examples.
It is important to note that there CAN be many good things which each of these people or groups also may write or uphold some of the time; in other words, not everything that they teach is unbiblical. BUT, they also have been promoting at least one of the above anti-Biblical directions.
We need to be aware and to beware of the dangers of “accepting everything” we hear or read, even in Christian products and conferences. (e.g. 2 Timothy 3:2-7, 4:3-4)
We all need to look at the content itself and the direction to which it leads. And get to know our Bible more. (Click here for a post about Bible Illiteracy – TBA shortly)
God is willing to help us. We are not alone. His Spirit will guide us into His truth. Our confidence rests in Him, not people.
A life secured in Christ Jesus provides hope and freedom to be able to make good choices. Freedom in Christ doesn’t mean that we can do anything we want to do but rather, it means that He makes us free and strengthened to do what we should do.