The Religious Nature Of Education

by David Sant


I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. –Deuteronomy 5:6-7




Most Americans think of education as a value-neutral arena in which children are taught the knowledge and skills they need to function as adults in society. As Christians, we must realize that education is inherently religious. What is education, if not teaching children about the way the world works?


Children are taught the rules of language and reason, the laws of mathematics, the laws of nature, and the laws of society. Education is the process of teaching children the laws of the God who created the universe, logic, language, and men. All education is indoctrination into a religious worldview, whether it be the true religion of Christianity, or any of the myriad false religions invented by men. All education is undergirded by presuppositions about the origin of the universe, the origin of man, the purpose of man, ethics governing relationships between men, and the continuing existence of the universe in an orderly and predictable manner. It is an inescapable fact that all of these basic assumptions are fundamentally religious. Therefore we must view the schoolroom as the place where children are indoctrinated into the religion of their society. The school is, in effect, a temple. The question which Christians in twentieth century America are late in asking is this: “Into what religion do the government schools educate our children?”


When God reaffirmed the covenant with Israel just before their entry into the Promised Land, He gave the Ten Commandments for the second time and then gave them the greatest commandment of all. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)

Here we find that God commands parents to educate their children in His Covenant This is to be done in every place (home and away) and at all times (from rising to retiring). Christian children must never be in a situation where God’s commandments are not being taught.


Proverbs tells us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge” (1:7) The whole of education from physics to spelling falls under this command to use all of life to teach children to know the Lord. The corollary to this is that we should use the knowledge of the Lord to teach children about all of life.




Christians tend to be na├»ve in the ways of the world. What we are only beginning to realize at the end of the twentieth century, the Unitarians and humanists who designed and run the nation’s public school system realized 150 years ago.


Public education is fundamentally religious; and their intent was to use public education to remove children from the influence of Christian ideas. The public schools were designed to educate children out of Christianity into the secular religion of humanism.


This may seem like a brash statement, until we look at actual writings of the supporters of the public school system.

C. F. Potter, a signer of the “Humanist Manifesto” (1933), self consciously saw public education as the means of educating Christian children into a new religion:


Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching? -Humanism, A New Religion (1930)


Lest you think this is an isolated example, there are ample proofs that the humanist establishment is still deliberately using the schools to destroy Christianity in the present era. John Dunphy writes in The Humanist (Jan/Feb 1983):


I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their roles as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever they teach, regardless of the educational level – preschool, day care, or large state university.

The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new – the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian ideal of love thy neighbor will finally be achieved.


Paul Blanchard notes what most Christians fail to see as one of the primary causes of adolescents turning away from the Christian faith in The Humanist (Mar/Apr 1976):


I think the most important factor moving us toward a secular society has been the educational factor. Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is 16 tends to lead toward the elimination of religious superstition. The average high school child acquires a high school education, and this militates against Adam and Eve and all other myths of alleged history.

When I was one of the editors of The Nation in the twenties, I wrote an editorial explaining that golf and intelligence were the two primary reasons that men did not attend church. Perhaps today I would say golf and a high school diploma.


There is no doubt that the humanists recognize that the public school system is designed to destroy the Christian faith in children and replace it with another, faith in man. Why do Christians continue to blindly send their children to be taught in these temples of false religion?




The religious nature of public education is readily apparent when we ask five simple questions and see how the schools would answer them:


1. How did the universe originate?


PUBLIC SCHOOL: The Universe originated in the Big Bang and is self-existing. Each religion of the world has a spiritual explanation for this, and all of them are subjectively true for those who believe them.


THE BIBLE: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Deuteronomy 5:6,7)


2. How did we get here?


PUBLIC SCHOOL: Over 4 billion years life arose through random chance from the raw materials of the universe. Man is the highest evolved life form and came up from the animals. Man is no more than an animal. The cosmos is divine and biological life is the highest expression of divinity.


THE BIBLE: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image; according to Our likeness;'” (Genesis 1:26)


3. What is the purpose of man?


PUBLIC SCHOOL: To find individual happiness and self-fulfillment.


THE BIBLE: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28)


4. How shall we relate to other people? What is right and wrong?


PUBLIC SCHOOL: There is no absolute right and wrong. Each society determines within itself what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Anything is acceptable as long as it does not violate someone else’s right to happiness and self fulfillment. The only sin is intolerance of others who differ from yourself. Children need to be taught to accept themselves. Children should explore their sexual identities in their teen years. Homosexuality is a viable “alternative” lifestyle and must be tolerated, even praised.


THE BIBLE: God gave the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5) and the rest of Scripture to govern relationships between men and God, and men and other men. The God of the Bible holds all men accountable for their actions and is highly “intolerant” of those who disobey Him. He will sentence them to everlasting damnation.


5. What is the future of mankind and the universe?


PUBLIC SCHOOL: Man will continue to evolve into a higher and godlike being through survival of the fittest and social engineering. Man shall be saved from his problems through technology, centralized government planning, and education. The universe will continue for a few billion more years until the sun and stars burn out and everything is cold and dead. There is no ultimate meaning to life other than what the individual makes of it. After death men are either reincarnated or cease to exist.


THE BIBLE: “I was watching in the night visions And behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came up to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, And His kingdom which shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13,14)


These questions bring out the clear distinction between the religion of the public schools and the religion of Christianity. Public schools are temples of a different god than the Christian God. Its teachers are the priests of this false religion called “humanism” which is merely a reincarnation of ancient paganism. Therefore, Christians who offer their children to the public schools to be educated are violating the first commandment “You shall have no other gods before me,” by turning their children over to the priests of a false religion.




Christianity is the true Covenant between God and His people. All other religions are counterfeits. Because the counterfeits must be imitators of the real thing, false religions are covenantal as well.


In the Christian religion the sign of the covenant is baptism, and the periodic renewal of the covenant is the Lord’s Supper. When we take Communion we are renewing our covenant vows to God. The terms of the Covenant are revealed in the Bible, the Word of God. The Covenantal meal of the Lord’s Supper symbolizes God sustaining us and sanctifying us from sin. He is our God and we are His people.


The religion of Humanism is also covenantal, but it replaces God with the Welfare State. It promises to provide for its citizens from cradle to grave. It also claims “I will be your god and you shall be my people.” When people place their children on the yellow school bus to send them off to be educated by the State they are renewing their covenantal vows to the god of Humanism. In return the State provides their children with a covenantal meal, the school lunch, and a “free” education. The god of the State requires obedience and taxes in return for a free education when we are young, college loans, unemployment checks, and social security when we are old. An example of the conscious nature of this covenant is found in a policy paper called “Public Schools and Citizenship” by The Center on Education Policy:


Historically, schools have prepared students to be good citizens in four ways: (1) teaching students about the role of government in the United States; (2) upholding civic values by teaching students to be good citizens and good neighbors; (3) equipping students with the civic skills they need to be effective participants in a representative democracy; and (4) promoting tolerance and respect for diverse peoples and different points of view.


In point number (4), tolerance is defined as acknowledging other religions and creeds as equally true. This is similar to the Roman government’s licensing of all religions, provided that they acknowledge “Caesar is Lord” and tolerate the practice of other religions. This is polytheism in practice, also called “pluralism”. Christian students who insist on openly holding to their faith of salvation through Jesus Christ alone as the standard for all people are attacked and degraded in the classroom for bigotry and intolerance. They must keep the claims of their faith private and merely personal in order to be tolerated.




The public school in America is a tool designed to perpetuate the religion of the Welfare State. Christians who send their children to public school are covenant breakers. Every day the kids get on the yellow school bus they reaffirm their covenant with humanism. Families and churches who do this bring upon themselves the curses of disobedience.


How many Christian families have you heard of who sent their children to the public schools and their children either left the faith, became entangled with drugs, or conceived children out of wedlock? (A lot!) How many home-schooled families do you know who got those results? (Very few!) The fruit of disobedience is all around us, but the church as a whole refuses to recognize that the root of the problem is our schizophrenia in sending Christian children to public schools.

The time has come for Christians to recognize that sending their children to these humanist institutions is sinful and idolatrous. Churches should discipline members who insist on continuing in this sin. Public schooling is spiritual adultery and is every bit as serious as breaking the marriage vow. May God have mercy upon our nation and grant us repentance from this grievous sin!




1. “We send our children to public school to evangelize the other children.”


Answer: Change the words and see if it still sounds OK. “We send our children to be taught in the Buddhist temple so they can evangelize the other children.” Or, “We send our daughters to work in a brothel so they can evangelize adulterous men and other prostitutes.” Does that sound outrageous? By sending your children to public school there is a better than 50% probability they’ll end up having sex with another student before they graduate. (If you send them to a public university the number who have sex before age 20 is 87%.) Evangelism does not require, or even allow, us to put our children under the covenant authority of pagan teachers. Not to mention, it doesn’t work. A small minority of Christian kids who go to secular schools continue in the faith of their parents. The question is, Who is evangelizing whom? If you want to evangelize other children, then invite them to your house and present the gospel to them in the context of a Christian family.


2. “We spend time with our kids to help them filter what they are being taught in school.”


Answer: By doing this you teach your children to be schizophrenic. If the public school teaches them falsehood, then why send them there to be taught at all? It is not possible to counter forty hours per week of indoctrination and peer pressure with a few hours of parental instruction. Remember what C.F. Potter wrote (above): “What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”


3. “We want our kids to receive a quality education.”


Answer: In his book, Strengths of Their Own, Dr. Brian Ray provides statistical research which shows that average standardized test scores for homeschooled children are in the 80th percentile, whereas the average of public school children’s scores is the 50th percentile. Public schooling in the vast majority of cases offers an inferior education to homeschooling or private Christian schooling. Even if public school did offer a superior academic education, would academic proficiency be worth the price of a child’s soul?


4. “I feel it would be wrong for me to send my children to public school, but it’s OK for other people. Each family must do as the Lord leads them.”


Answer: God has one standard of right and wrong: His revelation, the Bible. It is forbidden to teach your children to believe in other gods. The public schools do exactly that. This is not a subjective issue.


5. “The public school my kids go to has a lot of Christian teachers.”


Answer: Really? Does it make a difference whether the teachers are Christian when the curriculum, the administration, and the other students are pagan? Your child’s teachers may be closet Christians, but if they dared to say in the classroom “The God of the Bible is the only true God and Christianity is the only true religion,” they would be fired. A Christian teacher who “keeps his light under a bushel” is worse than a teacher who is not Christian at all. He is an example of compromised Christianity.