Does God Require Christian Education?

Parents often discuss which method of educating our children is best: private school, public school, or home school. I have found that these discussions are marked by passionate defenses of how we should teach our kids, with very little attention given to what we should teach them.

Our curriculum should be drawn directly from Scripture, and this rules out public school as a valid option for Christian parents.

A Covenant Curriculum

What, if anything, does God require Christian parents to teach their children? Does He leave curriculum up to the parents’ consciences, or has He given us a specific command to obey?

The Lord of the covenant gave Israel specific instructions in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 regarding what to teach their children, a command, I believe, He intends His church to obey until Christ returns:

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

“These words, which I command thee” are the Ten Commandments, which are an expression of God’s unchanging character. The Ten Commandments were, in fact, the sum of the Old Covenant: “[God] declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.” (Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:13‬) These commandments were the life of Israel, as they should be for the Church today.

These commandments must be at the heart of any school curriculum. If they are not, then the child is not being nurtured the way God commands. God’s command to educate covenant children in the law requires that parents protect them from curriculum that contradicts it – this means state schools are never an option for Christian parents.

What’s wrong with public school?

Why is public education not an option? Can’t parents teach their children the Ten Commandments at home, around the breakfast and dinner tables? Can’t parents obey Deuteronomy 6:7 and still send their children to public school? Sadly, no.

We often assume school is a neutral zone where children learn 2+2=4. But if God really is Lord of all, there is no neutrality. Consider what God commands Israel regarding idolaters:

“When the Lord thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.” (Deuteronomy 12:29, 30)

By sending children to public school, parents give their little ones a first rate education in humanism (the belief that man is the measure of all things; he is captain of his own soul). Without any reference to God or his commands, children are encouraged to follow their hearts. Another name for this is “doing what is right in your own eyes” – something for which Israel was judged repeatedly.

Israel didn’t renounce the Lord of the covenant, they just mingled a little idolatry in with their worship. And when Christians send their children to public school, they subject their children to lies that corrupt their worship. This is dangerous; for, a little leaven leavens the whole lump.

What do public schools really teach?

Far from teaching the Ten Commandments as the law of God, which is binding on all people in all ages, public educators are forbidden from proclaiming the excellency and supremacy of the God of the Bible.

Scripture does not allow this:
“And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:1-3)

The public school system teaches that all religious perspectives are equally valid. This is, of course, for the sake of tolerance. But God doesn’t sound very tolerant of other religions in Exodus 20:3, does he?

This tolerance rejects the God of the Bible. The schools say, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. They say, “Let’s accept one another,” while waging a war against Christians who proclaim the unqualified crown rights of Christ.

The government takes the “moral high ground” by denying the absolute claims of the covenant Lord. But in doing so, it breaks the first commandment. Public education teaches children that the God of the Bible is one God among many. It teaches children to despise the Lord and catechizes them in the doctrines of hell.

Public school is Anti-Christ

Many Christians believe, at some point near the end of history, a man Scripture calls the “anti-Christ” will arise to deceive the masses. But here is what the apostle John teaches about the anti-Christ:

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)

In the name of tolerance, public schools proudly do exactly what John condemns: deny the Father and the Son. This means parents sending their children to public schools are sending their children to be tutored by the spirit of anti-Christ 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year, for 13 years or more. Inconceivable. Tragic. Inexcusable.

What should parents do?

Families with two working parents must cut spending so Mom can leave the workforce to educate her own children according to God’s law-word.

Widows and widowers who must work to sustain their children must look into alternative options. Perhaps a grandparent could homeschool their child. If not, faithful Christian schools should be considered.

If there isn’t enough money for a Christian school, parents should look for Christian schools with scholarship programs. They exist. Even if they must relocate to have the help of family or to find a Christian school with a scholarship, it must be done.


If your children are in public school, don’t despair. God is faithful to His people and to His word. The Lord is kind to us, though we don’t deserve it, and He has brought many Christian children safely through the fires of state indoctrination. But do not presume on the kindness of God.

God has promised blessings for obedience, so, if your children are in public school, you must trust and obey.

Trust – If your children are in public school because it is the only option that you can afford, step out in obedience, trusting God to provide. Sell all but one vehicle; cut any frivolous spending from your budget; and get a second or third job so Mom can stay home and teach the kids.

Obey – Pull your kids out of public school. Acknowledge that what the American school system teaches about “religion” is satanic. Refuse to subject your children to this for even one more day.

Teach your children the law of God. Examine every area of study through the lens of Scripture, asking, “What does God require of me?” Once you’ve answered that question from Scripture, do it.


Jonathan Cavett

Jonathan Cavett is a man utterly smitten by his wife and sons. He loves the Church, especially in its purest form, Reformed Presbyterianism. A writer by trade, Jonathan crafts manuals and e-learning at an alternative finance company. He's also co-founder of the Covenant Herald and Covenant Quarterly

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