There Are Children Here: Christians and Public Education

Comments (4)
  1. I applaud the love for the poor and the motives behind Jemar’s perspective here. As a former advocate of Christians participating and teaching in the public school systems I can say this with sincerity. I’m also a fan of Jemar in general as a co-laborer in the Great Commission. That isn’t lip service, really I do. But I think (and I say this with love) some of his presuppositions lead him to wrong conclusions. I would exhort him to re-examine how he arrives at his position. As someone receiving a salary from the institution of Public Schools, I can see how this would be difficult. But at the end of the day, Christians need to put their energies into building rival institutions that are run in a distinctly Christian way, especially if we want to help the poor. We know that what is best for society emanates from scripture, and that the scriptural vessel for charity is the family and the church and not the state. These state institutions actually undermine and usurp the true role of charity in society which Christians should be advocating. We should also not support a system built on a commitment to pursuing the attainment of knowledge by first setting aside the word of God (as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden) and funding it by (whether intentionally or not) stealing from our neighbors.

    Please consider this article I wrote at New City Times covering some of the comment arguments made by Christians in advocating for Public Schools.

    God bless.

    https://newcitytimes.com/news/story/top-10-arguments-for-public-schools-made-by-christian-parents-answered

  2. Thank you so much for these very wise words! We are a Christian family with three kids in a public school with a fair bit of poverty. Public school is not for the faint of heart, but we believe it is where God has called us to be. The opportunities to walk beside those struggling, to show compassion, to love, and to advocate are endless. I wish more Christian parents thought about it through this lens. Thank you! I wrote two blog posts that touch on these ideas:
    https://goetschblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/why-i-love-public-school/ and https://goetschblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/economic-privilege-and-elementary-school/

  3. Nicole says:

    Thank you, Mr. Tisby.

    The opportunities for service in public schools are endless! We have a great program here in NC that trains reading tutors – the Augustine Project. There are so many ways that Christians can reach out to children.

    I am a preservice teacher in secondary social studies. I am torn between public and Christian schools. On the one hand, in my subject area we so need the gospel. It is depressing to even think about history without depending on God’s providence and grace. On the other hand, Christian schools can be insular, and of course cannot reach many children.

    I also have a concern for the church to build bridges across lines of race and class. My ideal would be to find a school where that is already on the agenda.

    Do you have any advice for me?

  4. george says:

    Thanks Jemar for your thoughtful yet provocative thoughts on public Schools. I have always thought of the children there as my own and their parents as my neighbor and love them as my I do my own self. I am glad I knew some Christians in pubic schools as a close up example of Christ likeness that I remembered later in life. I hope some choose the mission and trust God with their children to stay as an example of sacrificial love with those left behind who do not have the choice.

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