The other day I read about a school district in Virginia that has implemented a new “gender identity” policy that could have children who are confused, or deceived, about their sexual identity, using the restrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex. The parents were understandably upset and strongly protested the school board’s action.
Most Christians will be quick to attribute this, and many other ungodly and anti-God public school policies, to a general spiritual and moral decline in society, and that certainly is part of the equation. However, I believe there is another story that needs to be told.
We as a society – Christians and conservatives included – have been parties to both spiritual and civil lawlessness. Morally lawless policies emanating from our public schools should be no surprise as God has already told us that’s what would happen – “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7). If we’ve been sowing lawlessness, then we need to expect to reap lawlessness.
This matter of lawlessness hit me when I read that the school district’s action was the result of a non-discrimination policy required by the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education. A little farther on, the president of Traditional Values Coalition was quoted as saying, “This is a beating into submission of the American people and the taxpayers by the Obama Administration and those willfully going along with it. They’re going to say if you don’t comply, we’re going to take away your lunch money—your federal funding.”
So now we understand that local school districts have allowed themselves to become dependent upon federal funds. The federal master from whose table we beg is now requiring us to do his bidding, and that somehow shocks and offends us. But it should have already been understood that federal funds always come with strings attached.
Our shock and horror should not be in the fact that our federal masters would require us to roll over and play dead in exchange for a treat from their table. Our shock and horror should be in the realization that we – from the federal representatives that we elect, to our local school districts, to the parents who benefit from the federal funds – have all become parties to lawlessness.
Nothing in the United States Constitution authorizes the federal government to be involved in the education arena in any way, shape or form (see the enumerated powers in Article I, Sec 8). Any powers not clearly and specifically delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, are the sole jurisdiction of the states and the people (10th Amendment). Therefore, the very existence of the U.S. Department of Education, the funds allocated to it by Congress and the mandates issued by that agency to those receiving funds from it, are all acts of usurpation, and, thus, acts of lawlessness. The school districts that accept federal funds, and the parents who are the beneficiaries of the funds, become parties to lawlessness in precisely the same manner as a pawn shop that knowingly receives stolen goods.
The thing that I find most shocking in all of this, is that a Christian organization (Traditional Values Coalition) apparently supports local schools receiving unconstitutional federal funds; that they are so naive as to think those funds can be procured without selling your soul to the powers that preside over this criminal enterprise.
However, this story has deeper roots than the mere civil lawlessness of Constitutional usurpation, which in itself constitutes treachery.
We, American society, Christians and conservatives included, have become parties to spiritual lawlessness as well.
God gave children to parents, not the state. Every principle and precept in the Bible indicates that children are part of, and under the jurisdiction of, the God-ordained family unit in which parents are God’s stewards over the children that he gives them. I find no passage of scripture awarding civil government jurisdiction over children or giving it authority to determine their education.
Every compulsory attendance law and government-mandated educational standard, directly violates the God-given authority and responsibility of parents over children by interjecting government between parents and children. These laws treat children as wards of the state rather than as wards of the God-ordained family unit. This is a usurpation by civil government of a jurisdiction granted by God to the family – government claiming authority in an area that God gave to the family, not the state. This is spiritual lawlessness and we, the American people, including Christian families, have been willing (though unwitting) participants in it for generations now.
However, the roots of spiritual lawlessness go even deeper than our acquiescing to civil government violating the sovereignty of the God-ordained family unit.
The real root of the matter lies in spiritual lethargy and imperceptiveness on the part of the church. Our slothfulness allowed the government the co-opting of children and education that crept into American society over a considerable period of time.
Nevertheless, I doubt that the Christian population in American would have turned their children over to the government without some form of enticement, and I suspect that enticement was “free” education. However, nothing is really free, as everything that government gives, it first has to take from someone else. Therefore, free education is not really free, but subsidized – subsidized by our neighbor, whose wealth the government promises to take from him, to use for us, so that our kids can be educated for free!
To take the fruits of one man’s labors by force and use them for another man’s benefit is theft. To use government as the middleman in this act is called socialism. Whether done directly or indirectly, this is a violation of the Eighth Commandment – “Thou shalt not steal.”
So how could Christian people be enticed to break a clear commandment and become parties to the government’s plundering of our neighbor? For this to happen, the promoters of government education had to first get us to covet our neighbor’s wealth as a resource for the educating of our children. This, by the way, just happens to violate the Tenth Commandment prohibition against coveting anything that is our neighbor’s.
So it would appear that we – the good Christian people of America – have violated the spiritual prohibitions against both coveting and stealing. We then allowed spiritual lawlessness to enter our homes, forfeiting the sovereignty of the family unit and the responsibility to educate our children, as we turned them over to the power of the state to educate, according to its dictates. Now we appear to be consenting to civil lawlessness through the usurping of the supreme law of the land, the U.S. Constitution, as we demand to have our children fed from the federal trough.
In the title of this article I asked the question of where we went wrong that moral lawlessness should be reigning in our public schools. The answer is that we went wrong when we ourselves became parties to spiritual and civil lawlessness. To think that we can sow such seeds and reap anything but a corrupt harvest is to expect to mock one of the laws by which God governs the universe – the law of sowing and reaping.
I really can’t get excited about fighting the current harvest of moral lawlessness in the government schools. What I can get excited about is seeing the body of Christ extract ourselves from the Babylonian system of socialism and contend for the restoration of the sovereignty of the family unit, including both its rights and responsibilities.
Acknowledgment: Thank you to my friend, former Montana State Representative, Rick Jore, for speaking out about compulsory attendance laws, the strings that come attached to federal funds and parental jurisdiction over the family unit. Rick helped plant a lot of this thinking in my mind. You can hear Rick discussing some of these same issues on a recent episode of Home Front.
Additional Resource 1: For a more in-depth discussion on the topic of education, parental responsibility and government schools, listen to this message by Pastor David Whitney.
Additional Resource 2: To understand the effect of the government schools on the children being placed into that system, watch this video from the 2012 Constitution Party National Convention featuring Pastor Ray Moore, President of Frontline Ministries.
NOTE TO EDUCATORS: To my friends who are teachers, I want to point out that I am not anti-teacher. Those who teach have a God-given gift as educators. I don’t oppose the gift of education. I oppose letting government hijack the gift of education, hold it hostage, separate the gift from the God who gave it, then make people go through the government to access the gift. I want access to that gift to be solely between parents and those to whom God has given the gift, without government acting as a gatekeeper.