The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

The Silent Witness

Robert J. Billings

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses...who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens, women received their dead raised to life again; and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection...of whom the world was not worthy...” (Hebrews 12:1, 11:33-35, 38a).

“Why not leave our children in public school where they can be a silent witness?” is a question often asked by good and honest parents. The simple answer is “how can one be silent and be a witness?” The same logic could be used in speaking of an “honest thief” or a sober drunkard” or a “truthful liar”. The witnesses in Hebrews 11 were not silent!

The philosophy of leaving children in the public school to be a silent witness is erroneous and false. The child from the Christian home needs the Christian school. There are at least three reasons why the child should be in the Christian school.

First, it is scripturally right to bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Such upbringing is not possible where God is forsaken and where godliness is treated lightly. The question often arises, does not the Christian school become a hothouse and weaken the child? The answer to this is an emphatic NO! The late Dr Mark Fakkema writes in The Hothouse Argument, “We place young plants in a hothouse in order to make them strong enough to weather the elements outside. We do not put young plants in hothouses to make them weak; we put them there because they are weak, too weak for outdoor exposure.”

Some feel that exposure to the public school will train Christian soldiers how to fight the enemy. If this is a good philosophy, why not take American young men and send them to Vietnam to be trained and them bring them back to let them fight? That is foolish! They wouldn’t fight the enemy if they were trained by the enemy. But that is exactly what people are doing with their children. Young folks are sent to unbelievers to be trained. No wonder then that many children from Christian homes are found to be on the wrong side.

Second, Christian children in the public schools do not become spiritually strong and vigorous; on the contrary, they often lose whatever spirituality they may have, and are frequently frustrated. There is security in knowing what is right and acceptable or what is wrong and unacceptable. The Christian child, under the influence of an ungodly teacher, will have many inner conflicts and no longer will feel secure.

Keeping children in public school to become silent witnesses leads to a compromising position. The story of Lot in Sodom is a familiar one. Lot was a just man we are told, but a silent witness. Lot did not gain strength by living in Sodom, but rather was influenced by the Sodomites.

Third, the Christian school helps develop a philosophy that gives the child a right perspective of life and his place in the world. The great emphasis today is upon youth, yet for over 1900 years the church had no youth department. Because of our overemphasis upon youth, it has given young people an exaggerated idea of their own importance. The truth of the matter is youth does not contribute to youth. How many young people have built great churches or schools? How many young people have performed any outstanding work of any nature in any age?

The Christian school says to the young person, “You are a part of this culture. You are not a separate entity. You are not the only part but you are a part.” The Christian school develops the philosophy that laws should be respected, parents obeyed. The Christian school stresses the importance of patriotism, discipline and morals. Above all, the Christian school says that the greatest importance of life is the proper relationship with God.

Students asked to enter a Christian school often remark, “I’ll have to give up my friends.” Teachers, when presented with the challenge of teaching in the Christian school, reply, “I’ll lose my teacher tenure, my teacher retirement, and there a great loss of income.” Parents, when asked to support the Christian school, feel that it is a waste of time and money. Yet the witnesses described in Hebrews 11 gave up not merely a job, not simply money. nor even tenures or friends, they gave up their lives for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Are Christian schools sheltering Christian young people? NO! NO! A thousand times NO! Children in public schools are sheltered. They are not exposed to God. Christian parents owe it to themselves, their children and to God to see that their child receives a Christian education. God is looking for those who witness, not whine; those with backbone, not wishbone. The Christian school builds character and conviction while striving to remove cowardice compromise.

A silent witness? No, indeed!