How To Make Sure Your Children Do Not Become Satanists In Public School

Our Next Graduate Is Not A Satanist

Our daughter is set to graduate next month, joining her brother and mother as the members of the family who finished university in four years. That makes me odd man out, but I consider my own academic path a service to them because they all come off looking quite well in comparison.

All four of us went to different campuses of the University of California: Davis, Santa Barbara, Berkeley and San Diego. These are large research universities, the type of places I often hear vilified by some Christians as good for nothing but indoctrinating students into Satan’s ways.

I am pleased to announce that none of us are Satanists.

You see, public education is not Satan’s playground, at least no more so than any other place in God’s creation. Rather:

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it. (Psalm 24:1.)

No one who belongs to Jesus will become anything else, whether they are in public school or any other place. If your children belong to Jesus then they’ll always belong to Jesus. (John 10:28-30.) And if they don’t yet, they may. I was a firm atheist in college until my final year. Then Jesus took me as his own when I was studying abroad and has kept me securely ever since. (You can read my salvation story here, including some of my travels through England where it all took place.)

The other side of this, of course, is that sending kids to Christian schools (whether as kindergartners or collegians) will not make them Christians. Our salvation is based on the work of Jesus, who told his friends that the ones who belong to him are the people his Father has given him. (John 10:29.) The Bible describes God’s decision-making process:

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to son-ship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1:4-6.)

Some people find these hard verses to understand. We don’t like it when we’re not part of the decisions that affect our lives. But the passage says that belonging to God is based on his choices, not ours. (Other passages talk about making our own choices but they are not contradictory, merely complementary.)

The school you enroll your children in is not the deciding factor in whether they become or remain a believer in Jesus. The deciding factor is the will of our Father in heaven, which is carried out by the power of the Holy Spirit through the finished work of Jesus. Jesus is the one who passed the only test of eternal significance; we’re the ones with the passing grades because of it.


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25 Responses to How To Make Sure Your Children Do Not Become Satanists In Public School

  1. On a podcast recently I heard Al Mohler address the question of should parents homeschool or should they send their children to a public school. Essentially Mohler did not advocate one position over the other one, but emphasized that parents need to be involved in their children’s lives. I think parents need to be diligent to pray for those tests and other academic decisions and, yes, leave to the LORD, to accomplish His will for each child.

    • Tim says:

      Good points, Carol. Being involved parents is a lot more useful than saying one size fits all when it comes to public or private or home schooling, Carol.

  2. Mary Anne says:

    You’ve probably heard this one, Tim: “As long as there are final exams, there will be prayer in schools.” 😉

  3. Jeannie says:

    Tip 3 is applicable for so many of the things we’re anxious about!

  4. Erik says:

    Loved this Tim! I love meeting up with old friends that I went to Bible college with, and dropping the bomb on them. They just cannot fathom how I lost my way into becoming a public schoolteacher. And, what more? I teach Science!! 🙂

  5. Fantastic post, Tim. God kept me as his own even as I spiritually wandered rather aimlessly during my days at UC Santa Cruz. I met my husband there and he became a believer after almost five years of marriage. Marriage as Gospel outreach, um… Just shows you God uses everything to His purposes.

    BTW, you really know how to write attention grabbing titles!

    • Tim says:

      Titles are my speciality! (One blogger suggested I hire myself out.)

      I’ve heard of dating evangelism, but marriage evangelism takes the commitment to a whole new level, Ellen. I am so glad God has blessed your family with two believing parents for your great kids.

      • I wasn’t exactly thinking of it as marriage evangelism when we tied the knot, but I sure am glad that God answered my haphazard “please make this a Christ-centered marriage” prayers in the affirmative!

  6. Aimee Byrd says:

    Thank you for this one, Tim. I was recently accused of being in sin for having my kids in public school instead of homeschooling. It was an interesting conversation to say the least: “Why do your girls even need to take physics if they are to be keepers of the home?” “Public school is God’s judgement on our government for its disobedience…” Sheesh.

  7. Ken Garrett says:

    Thanks, Tim! Our church is next door to Portland State University. In 13 years here, I’ve never seen a parent rescue or preserve the faith of their student, though many try to do so. The students are simply going to be who they are, with all the complexity, and learn life the same way we all did. College provides a wonderful opportunity to see the personal commitment that God has for our kids, without us hovering–and to humbly recognize our kids’ right to make up their own minds about their faith, away from our influence.
    Congratulations to your family, and your daughter!

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Ken. I actually came to faith while in college. It was a public university and in England to boot, so that must have been two strikes against me from some points of view!

  8. Loura Shares A Story says:

    Education banishes fear, but many churches are strongly based on fear tactics. They are right to be afraid of losing folks to education, but it has little to do with Jesus and more to do with declining ranks and money.

    • Tim says:

      I don’t know if it’s many churches but I do see it among some Christians. I figure learning is good, especially when we recognize we are learning about the world God has made and the people he has placed in it.

  9. Vashra Araeshkigal says:

    Wait…are you endorsing pre-destination?

  10. A good friend of mine was raised by highly educated devout atheists. They sent him to Yale, where one would think he’d be safe. Then their nightmares came true – their son came to faith in Jesus. At Yale. Despite their best intentions and efforts.

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