This agenda promotes the autonomous thinking of the education establishment. It leaves no room for absolute truth, biblical morality, or any thinking beyond institutionalized program.
Myth: My child is being reared in a Christian home. He will be fine no matter where he goes to school.
A SPECIAL REPORT OF
King’s Way Classical Academy
P.O. Box 497, Clackamas, OR 97015,
phone:(503) 776-0017, fax:(503) 658-0385
Written By: Daniel J. Smithwick. President of the Worldview Alliance
525 North Halstead, Ste. 216, Chicago, IL 60622
Copyright 2004 Reproduction Strictly Prohibited
For the past eighteen years our ministry has been conducting a Christian worldview testing service used by Christian schools, churches, home schoolers and various other Christian ministries. The primary use of the test has been with high school students but is also used at Elementary grades, junior high and college level.
The test, known as the PEERS Test, measures worldview understanding in Politics, Economics, Education, Religion, and Social Issues (PEERS). Results from each category are classified into one of four major worldview philosophies: Christian Theism, Moderate Christian, Secular Humanism, or Socialism.
In the mid nineteen eighties it was common to find Christian youth both in Christian schools and public schools scoring in the Moderate Christian worldview classification. Home school students generally scored 15-20% higher than average from day schools.
However, with nearly each subsequent year of testing, we found the understanding of the Christian worldview by tudents to be lower than the year before. This trend has continued through year 2003, as illustrated here:
The only exceptions to the decline were Christian schools that had adopted specific worldview materials in their curriculum. These are primarily schools known as Principle Approach or Classical Christian, and in some cases, homeschool groups. I believe students from these schools represent the true remnant and hope for the future, but they represent less than 2% of total students tested.
From 1988 to 2003, average scores of Christian school students dropped by 54.3%. Results of evangelical family students in public schools dropped 80.3% in the same period. Christian students attending public schools now regularly score in the lower half of Secular Humanism with approximately 20% scoring in the Socialism category. Over 50% of youth from non-Christian homes score in the Socialism worldview category. This is not a pretty picture and raises grave concerns for the future of the Christian church in America. Pastors should be highly concerned about this matter in that it specifically addresses the posterity of the church. How will this generation stand against New Age and Islamic forces in our culture?
Many Christians are acutely aware that something is amiss with this generation of youth. Principled values of morality seem non-existent. Cohabitation prior to marriage is now the norm, even in many churches. Tolerance for the gay lifestyle is also widespread among Christian youth. PEERS Testing simply quantifies this loss of morality and lack of belief in biblical truth. Few are surprised that this is happening in government schools, but it is shocking to most Christians that the trend is nearly the same in Christian schools. It appears that Christian education is little more than baptized public secular education in the majority of typical Christian schools. The foundations ARE being destroyed; what will the Christians do?
We have established -20.0 as a “Danger Zone” benchmark for PEERS Testing. This is based on test results of individuals responding to ads in the Humanist Magazine and the New Age Magazine for our worldview test. As a group, they scored in the range of -20.0 to -80.0 in all PEERS categories, expressing strong anti-biblical views of life. It is my opinion that a generation of youth from “Christian homes,” scoring this low, will surely lead America into a dark age in the subsequent generation.
“All government originates in families, and if neglected there, it will hardly exist in society…The foundation of all free government and of all social order must be laid in families and in the discipline of youth….The education of youth, [is] an employment of more consequence than making laws and preaching the gospel, because it lays the foundation on which both the law and gospel rest for success.” Noah Webster
Based on projections using the decline rate for Christian students, the church will have lost her posterity to hard-core Humanism between 2014 and 2018. This is approximately one school generation of youth, 12-16 years. If these projections hold true, it won’t be the end of the world, but it will be the end of America as we have known it for over 200 years. One could argue with projections of worldview scores, but the historical data is indisputable. The real question is, What will the church do to reverse this downward trend in Biblical worldview understanding? Unless we are dealing with the problem of losing our youth to Humanism and Socialism, does it really matter what else we are fighting?
Parents and pastors need to realize that their children in public schools are being trained up into another world- a world hostile to the Christian faith. Not only will this produce a culture that will not be blessed by God, but also one that His own faithfulness may require Him to destroy. “Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD shall send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.” (Deuteronomy 28:47,48) Such was the plight of Israel over and over.
In church after church one finds horror stories of how children from good Christian families have gone astray. We are personally aware of several situations where parents had faithfully served their church, kept their children in Sunday school and made sure they were active in youth groups. And yet, upon graduating from public schools, the children would leave home and turn against church/family values. Often times the children were living in a manner bringing
much shame and hurt to their parents. We have prayed and cried with close friends finding themselves in this situation. The question asked is, Where did we go wrong? It sounds cruel, but the real answer is that we have allowed pagans to be substantially involved with the training up of our children. With 2-3 hours per week of Christian training at home and church, it is simply no match against 35 hours per week of humanism found in most courses in public school.
Yet we are not without hope. God has always been in the business of making something out of nothing. The Lord is a master at redemption and restoration. If we will cooperate and pick up our responsibility as parents, and as the Church of Jesus Christ, education will be redeemed. But we are going to have to make some hard decisions and walk away from some bad situations.
If your family is actively involved in a Christian church and your children are in public schools, I encourage you to utilize PEERS Testing to begin the process of evaluating where your children rank in worldview understanding (get free Info Packet by calling 1-800-948-3101). When you register please enter the code # CF503 as your referring source.
Martin Luther once said, “If we are correct and right in our Christian life at every point, but refuse to stand for the truth at a particular point where the battle rages–then we are traitors to Christ.” I believe PEERS testing is uncovering a ‘particular point’ for our age. Our youth are being taken captive, especially at the junior high and senior high grade levels in government schools, and the church is being robbed of her future. Dear Reader, this is a battle in which you must enter!
I am well aware that speaking against public schools from the pulpit is difficult, if not ‘political suicide.’ But it can and must be done. One of our dearest pastor friends is senior pastor of a large Southern Baptist Church in Kentucky. There are many public school teachers in his church and his wife taught in a public school. Yet I’ve heard him speak often about the battle that is raging in schools. A few years ago this church opened their doors to a large Christian school and now the transition from public to private education is under way. Pastors need to educate their flock about humanism and socialism, and about the church’s responsibility to confront error wherever it is found.
Parents and grandparents must be told that ‘their school’ (the public school that didn’t hurt them?) doesn’t exist any longer. They must be told that it was ‘their school’ which produced the seed that now has blossomed into a humanist fruit-bearing tree. The history of what happened to education in America must be taught and now the war must be fought.
Government-run education is bankrupt. It has exhausted whatever spiritual/moral capital it once had. Government-run education is living (and dying!) proof of Jesus’ claim- “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God’.” Matthew 4:4 No Word, no life.
Teachers, curriculum and control of education make all the difference in the world- they make a worldview. Every student is going to come out of school with some worldview. It appears that a primary goal of the government school (perhaps even from the beginning) has been to make sure that it wasn’t a Biblical worldview. Each new kindergarten class that enters into the government, humanist system of education is being trained to go against the Christian faith. If they stay through high school, most of them will live their lives as trained. They will side with relativism and shun absolutes. The Bible will be gone from their lives.
If at all possible, Christian families and Christian pastors must make thedecision to walk away from government-run schools and place their children in an environment of instruction in the Word of God by the people of God. Only this will “train them up in the way they should go.”
WHO IS DAN SMITHWICK?
Dan Smithwick received a B.S. degree in mathematics/education
in 1972 from North Dakota State University. He subsequently entered into business management with AT&T for 20 years and then with several small business firms in upper management positions. In addition to his business career, Dan has been active in Christian education work for over 20 years. He served as board member of several Christian schools and taught in a private school one year. Dan also worked for Dr. Pat Robertson’s Freedom Council doing grassroots training on Christian worldview principles. In 1986 Dan founded the Nehemiah Institute and authored the first version of the PEERS Test.
To take the PEERS test go to http://www.nehemiahinstitute.com
King’s Way Classical Academy PO Box 497 Clackamas, OR 97015 US