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Homeschooling That Isn’t So Christian – And 6 Ways it Can Be

Homeschooling that Isn't so Christian

After a year and a half of being a vendor at homeschool conventions around the country—twelve shows—I am aghast by many things I’ve observed. I’m left to wonder at what is thought should be happening in Christian education. I want to present what I see happening in this article and ask a few questions. Hopefully, this presentation will provide contrast and reconsideration.

As I travel about the United States, concerning homeschool education—which most often bills itself as Christian—I see all sorts of stuff that causes me to scratch my head. I realize “what Christian is” may be about as broad a context as the Pacific Ocean. Even if we tighten the consideration of “Christian” to only be what is thought to be orthodoxy, the field is still expansive. This reality might be lost on many people who think “Christian” is anything one slaps the word Christian on: Christian music, Christian investing, Christian T-shirts, Christian “yoga,” and so forth.

  1. NCHEA Conference & Curriculum Fair
  2. CHCSD Conference
  3. IAHE Parenting & Homeschool Conference
  4. MPE Conference and Curriculum Fair
  5. Great Homeschool Convention – Cincinnati
  6. Teach Them Diligently – Pigeon Forge
  7. HSOK Family Conference
  8. FPEA Homeschool Convention
  9. Iowa Homeschool Conference
  10. ACCS Repairing the Ruins Conference
  11. AFHE Convention
  12. Southeast Homeschool Expo
Animal Farm Book

Reading materials

In the 1980s, when I was coming of age, titles like 1984, A Brave New World, The Outsiders, Animal Farm, and Lord of the Flies were ubiquitous throughout the public education system (PES). It’s understandable, right? The PES is what it is: an organism riddled with secularist or even controversial ideas. Yet, since working directly in the arena, I’ve seen these titles available at Christian homeschool shows. Apparently, more than a few see no problem with titles like these. Or they feel the books have some practical aspect to teach or develop a “Christian worldview.” Additionally, a litany of purveyors—and thus a customer base buying such—offer more historic titles relating to Greek Mythology, Western Civilization, and philosophy. While I understand these particular areas of study as well, I’m unsure how they support or contribute to any or all that is or should be Christian.

martial arts

Carrying on like the World

A layer of involvements are also perplexing to me—if we think what is going on in homeschooling is supposed to be Christian. Here are just a few things that give me pause for concern: cotillion, martial arts, debate, prom, and a plethora of adventure motifs that coalesce in products sold [samurai swords, katana knives, battle axes, and quarter staffs]. How are these “Christian” or accepted as supportive of Christian thought—to say nothing it following Christ in the remotest way? I realize some of what is offered at homeschooling conventions are just vendors selling their wares. However, do you think pork will sell at a Kosher market—if it is even there to begin with? Not hardly! 

Q. Am I saying homeschooling should be strictly ascetic?

The reaction to my line of questions will likely elicit flippant responses. Other people will cite the positives of dance (cotillion), self-defense and physical discipline (martial arts), and social enjoyment (prom). Additionally, what could possibly be wrong with children running about with large, realistic, plastic representations of implements of yore? These areas of concern rise to the level of utter shock when we consider the absolute inability of most “Christian” graduates in the ability to share their faith or give representation to the essential demonstrations of following Christ.

I’m concerned that we have a serious problem with either the meaning of the phrase—what is Christian—or its application in practicum. Christian isn’t a whitewash. Is it flatting everything to pale shades of grey or painting everything black so that folks know “we are Christians.” Christian is certainly not assimilating everything into an acceptability.

But apparently, we do accept the “whitewash” of evil or base things—temporal, secular, and non-Christian—as acceptable and allowable. In order to sell anything, a product must be appealing. Once again, the pork at a Kosher market analogy illustrates my point. Thus, why do things that cannot specifically contribute to “being Christian” offered at Christian events and consumed by believers? I realize other demographics buy this stuff. My concern is only with the so-called Christians and there involvements.

Things to Consider:

I always understood Christ’s followers to be counter-culture. Am I wrong? Nothing written in scripture allows for a departure from this understanding. If we aren’t counter-culture, we are not legitimately following Christ or are extraordinarily immature or misled.

The problem, it seems, is that many religious people think that being Christian is the same thing as the counter-culture of Christ. However, this can’t be true. 

If the culture is obnoxious and outlandish, are Christians appear austere and stated comparatively? Not hardly! If the culture were slave owners, did Christians, by and large, avoid owning slaves and be helpers and protectors of those once held in slavery? Precious few stood up in this way. If the culture is oppressive to women, has religious institutionalism, calling itself Christian, been emphatically against it? Resoundingly not. If the culture is excessive, have church people ever seemed conservationistic? Nope! The religious community is as excessive as the unregenerate culture around it. If the culture is America first, are “believers” never identifiable or distinct from this identity? Hardly, and one of the chief places you see their failure is the whining about illegals being illegal and politicians not enforcing immigration laws or the failure to be Good Samaritans to this exact demographic.

What is Christian?

We need to define our terms here. I would bet most people think being Christian or what Christian is—in the ideological sense—would be what honors God or fulfills His intended purposes. Yet, most church people, and therefore Christian home educators—do not realize that Christians means anything to anyone. Many anomalies and horrors have fallen into the acceptability of what Christianity is thought to be. Let me explain. 

White supremacists, well-known public figures (who are pedophiles), a human-trafficking evangelist, and so forth are accepted as “Christian,” thought of as “Christian,” and exist without massive outcry within Christian institutionalism. NO comprehensive effort is made to out such examples, denunciate them, or make sure those who are “real Christians” have nothing to do with them. This never happens until such cases end up on the evening media broadcast. The term “Christian” has been made into a caricature by evil and compromise being allowed equal footing with sound and dedicated examples. Christians have about the same perceived reputation in society as lawyers or used car salesmen. Yes, there are good examples of all three. The overwhelming reputation of the word “Christian” is more tarnished than good.

So, what would following Christ look like in education?

1. we can give up on the notion that we are “raising Christians,” which is a very Catholic: the non-biblical concept of Civil Religion. We are raising free, moral-agent humans that must choose faith for themselves at some point. We can instill what it means to follow Christ. However, children are not followers of Christ until the Holy Spirit convicts them and draws them unto Himself. They must respond for themselves in absolute surrender to His way.

2. we can begin to follow Christ ourselves by how we live, which does not involve itself in sub-loyalties. This revelation is enormous because at these Home School shows, by way of the products they accept and use, religious parents inculcate all sorts of temporal world values and ideals. Secular content is often wrapped in religious garb. But it obscures the meaning and application of what it means to follow God. Jesus isn’t a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant Republican patriot. Nor is He multi-culturist, entitlement-pedaling, Democrat, or subversive Progressivist. Thus, we cannot teach our children ANYTHING about being Christ’s follower if, in so doing, the education has anything to do with perpetuating or manipulating the temporal political order. Such goes back to what I initially said about counter-culture.


3 we ought to teach our children that they are only two actual realities in this world that have consequences. Either one is serving the Kingdom of God (Phil. 3:20NASB), or they are perpetuating kingdoms of darkness. We can’t make the world the kingdom of God, nor will God accept us whitewashing or dominionistically forcing the unregenerate world to live by our understandings as “His kingdom.”

4. if a student in home education is a believer, BUT they cannot share their faith or represent it in clear terms through living and verbally, such education is an abject failure. I am not talking apologetics.* Part of education, from a follower of Christ’s vantage point, would be to show our unregenerate off-spring that they cannot be a follower of Christ through recitations, catechisms, ascent to statements of faith or creeds, or generally parroting theological constructs as a way to measure and evaluate other people against themselves as to what they think is true.

Note: *Many Christian default to “apologetics” as their way of “sharing faith.” Witnessing or sharing faith could involve apologetics. However, proving what is believable, what apologetics amounts to today, is not necessary IF you are sharing with people who are actually seeking God. Or if you have a solid testimony of transformation and your life speaks truth. Too many, place their faith in the machinations of apologetics and presentation over and against at transformed life, which is undeniable and unavoidable.

5. Following Christ in education would involve teaching the Old and New Testaments from the perspective of Jesus Christ and Paul. This understanding is not theology. It is the kingdom of God (KOG) amongst the kingdoms of men. It would involve educating that the KOG is a competitive reality to the secular world. 

6. We need to enter into an intentional lifestyle where following Jesus impacts what we do daily. It is not a “Quiet Time” in the morning and a “church service” on Sunday. Following Jesus is like being married: a 24/7/365 involvement of walking in a relationship with God. Such is only talked about in unsubstantiated ways in Churchianity.

Repent of Temporal/Cultural Living:

Christians in the United States or Western nations have never been taught “Two Kingdoms” —an understanding that the kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of God are two lived realities in the physical


which are mutually exclusive. Essentially, this is because of the theology many people have been taught or subscribe to. However, this glaring omission has no authorization in the New Testament. Most Christians have allowed modern historical events to abrogate scripture, LOTS of it, especially in the New Testament.

We must repent of Civil Religion, which is the attempt to reside comfortably within a culture, whitewashing whatever and assimilating it into a non-interruptive existence within the big tent of Churchianity. This ideal would be while we wait for Christ’s return or for a “rapture.” We must repent of selfish living and passive co-existence with a demonic culture. We don’t think comparatively between Sodom/Gomorrah and the USA, or Lot and how he enjoyed living amongst the filth. More importantly, we haven’t learned that we are much the same as Lot. The breakdown in the analogous comparison is that God is not leading us out of Sodom, as in being reclusive from the world. God wants us, instead, to BE His kingdom amongst the kingdoms of men.

We are to not only be present to the world around us but be differentiated from it and available to it to offer contrast and hope. We cannot do this if we are unintelligible to the world: being just a whitewashed version of them. We need to BE truth rather than trying to establish a moral, cultural code that society at large must go by. We expect missionaries to go to foreign places and “BE truth” in culturally dark places. But we refuse to live that way here. America is not, nor has it ever been, a Christian Nation (a culture that is sold out to God). It has had a bit of religious whitewash applied more at some points and less at others.

In Conclusion:

Religion is a token involvement that assures people of what is invalid through true things. It’s a replacement therapy. Some “Christians” are friendly and good. But neither of these things will stand during the Bema Seat judgment: 2 Cor. 5:10, Romans 1:17, 14:10, 1 Cor. 3:10-15, and Rev. 22:12. Parenting and education, for the follower of Christ, is not about teaching your child to be a “good citizen” of the kingdoms of men. It’s about giving them perspective about all the follies of men, not favoring the best of them and putting a “Christian spin” on living comfortably in Sodom. It’s about showing the student that God has a way and involves not only a commitment or surrender to God’s way. But also, a life must be lived congruently with that initial step of faith.

The followers of Christ will be the best citizens, wherever they are, in the sense of doing good, being considerate of others, being conservationistic, and not being rebels. But we will be these things not as a service or dedication to the temporal order. Instead, it will be because we are not indulged in duplicitous service to living comfortably in Sodom while deciding which bit of political tomfoolery we can align with to somehow represent “Christian belief” in a demonic reality. We need to find resources that do not favor temporal existence but shows us how to BE God’s kingdom amongst the kingdoms of the world. Such is necessary to contrast the unregenerate world’s hypocrisy and duplicity. We need to find resources about how to bear up under the persecution this approach will cause us.

We need to find community that would help us raise our children in an increasingly antagonistic and militant environment against the practice of following Christ. That will mean repenting of religiousness or teaching that would help you live comfortably like Lot in Sodom while you try to improve Sodom as it is. We cannot serve two masters. We must be like Hosea in a compromised and adulterated Northern Kingdom or Jonah in Nineveh. America will not be saved, nor does its continuation figure into God’s economy. Why divide our service for temporal comfort and ease when doing so is a denial of bringing God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven?

For a great resource that develops great thinking about Two Kingdoms, see…