VIII. Objections Answered
Weighty objections have been laid against the idea of a Christian education in Singapore. While it may be true that circumstances in this land make it more difficult to give our children a covenant education, it only means that we as covenant parents must be willing to make greater sacrifices for this cause. We do not let the situations in life dictate our Christian walk. Scripture, to which our consciences are bound, must always be our binding principle.
Objection: A Christian education will raise socially inadequate children. Christian education excessively shelters our children from the world, producing socially awkward adults.
The concern is valid in that if we place our children in a Christian environment throughout their childhood years, they will not know what the world is really like. They will be ignorant of how the world functions and how to interact with their ungodly colleagues in the workplace when they are of age.
Covenant parents must be assured that this will not be true. A covenant education that has its basis in Scripture teaches our children true wisdom—how to walk circumspectly and purposefully according to the station and calling God gives to them. Wisdom will enable our children to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves in the midst of this world (Matt. 10:16).
We are not raising covenant seed to integrate them into society. From a biblical viewpoint, God’s people will always be social outcasts. They are the social pariahs because they are extremely different from the people of this world. They do not share the same principles, goals and ideals in life. God’s people will always be fools in the eyes of this world, but precious and dear to him. They are preparing to live in the heavenly kingdom.
Dreadful will be the day when our children are comfortable in this world. The day they find themselves at ease with this world is the day they lose their identity as covenant children. They become comfortable with pursuing the world’s ideals and living its philosophies. That day signals the end of the antithesis between God’s children and his enemies.
We are raising our children for war with the enemy. Scripture warns that persecution will always face God’s people, and increase in measure as the return of Christ draws nearer. A solid Christian education, contrary to a public one, prepares them well for this warfare.
Objection: Christian education diminishes our children’s Christian witness to the unbelieving world.
The objection stems from the idea that if we shelter our children by giving them a covenant education, they cannot be effective witnesses for Christ, especially in the public schools.
It is very unwise to think that our young children can be effective witnesses when their spiritual faculties are not properly developed yet. Rev. Ronald Hanko writes:
It is especially important for our children, who are compared in Psalm 128 to young olive plants, to be protected from evil influences. No young plant can be immediately exposed to the elements and to the full heat of the sun and be expected to live. Nurture (Eph 6:4) is not exposure (Christian Education, http://www.cprf.co.uk/pamphlets/christianeducation.htm).
Nature itself teaches us this principle. No mother hen allows her young to wander around on their own. Turtles which hatch from the beaches are very quickly preyed upon as they make their way to sea on their own. Lambs are the easiest prey for wolves in the sheepfold.
Christ would not allow his lambs to fight the fierce battles of faith until they have been properly trained and equipped with the necessary spiritual armoury. While the calling of the Christian is to reprove the world and to shine forth as a light in the midst of darkness, he must receive a thorough and solid training before he can perform his calling effectively. One must not only have the physical strength but also training and practice to wield a sword effectively, along with the other weapons of war described in Ephesians 6:13-17.
IV. Concluding Remarks
Covenant education for covenant seed is faithfulness to Jehovah’s covenant. Public education is contrary to all the precepts of the covenant. We rob our children of their covenant privileges when we give them a public education instead of a covenant one.
It is sheer folly to expect godly, spiritually mature men and women to be raised under an ungodly education. As a corrupt tree cannot produce good fruit, so an ungodly education cannot produce godly children.
Jehovah’s calling for covenant parents is not to raise up the Bill Gates and Obamas of this world. They are raising up the Davids, Daniels and Pauls for the church of Jesus Christ. They are rearing mothers in Israel.
Educating our children carefully in the ways of the covenant will serve an important purpose. We will raise up a people who know their Reformed faith intimately; love it, confess it, maintain it, defend it, live by it and die for it. We are raising a people who are jealous of their precious Reformed heritage because they have a God who is jealous of his glory. We are raising a people whose chief end in life is the glory of their God.
It is extremely crucial for parents in CERC to understand and be convinced of covenant education. Most of our young people have already gone through the whole public education process and many suffer from its evils. If the Reformed faith is to survive and be developed in all its splendor and beauty, the next generation may not condone public education.
If CERC pursues the path of covenant education for her young, we will be very much alone. Most churches in Singapore have given their covenant seed over to the public schools and are suffering its devastating consequences. We must not be afraid to be alone, for God’s people always constitute a very small remnant.
I have no doubt that covenant education in Singapore is a path of suffering that will involve much sacrifice. It is, nevertheless, the path that Scripture directs for us as covenant parents. We need not offer any excuses. God assures us that he will bless us in the way of obedience.
God’s provision of the Protestant Reformed Churches must serve as an example to us. There is nothing cultural about the PRC’s insistence on giving a covenant education to her children. It is biblical. It is confessional. It is Reformed.
For reformation to take place in the church of Jesus Christ, we must give serious consideration to the education our covenant children receive. The education of our children is not a matter of choice. It is our covenant duty. It is our covenant privilege.
It is covenant necessity.
VIII. Objections Answered