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A lack of a comprehensive biblical worldview has left Christians open to a blind-side attack from humanists who have developed a comprehensive secular worldview. The adjective secular comes from the Latin saeculum, which means “time” or “age.” “To call someone secular means he is completely time-bound, totally a child of his age, a creature of history, with no vision of eternity. Unable to see anything in the perspective of eternity, he cannot believe God exists or acts in human affairs.”[1]

Non-Christians have no problem secularizing law, economics, ethics, journalism, education, politics, foreign affairs, and environmental issues. The sad thing is that many Christians believe that the steady secularization of every area of life is inevitable, and that Christians should not involve themselves in the “Christianization” of every area of life. We, therefore, have witnessed the steady decline of the family, politics, education, and law, to name just a few.

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Let’s take a brief look at education. In our own nation, one of the first acts performed in the New World was the establishment of schools whose purpose was to further the gospel of Christ in all disciplines.

Regardless of the vocation for which a student was preparing, the colonial college sought to provide for him an education that was distinctly Christian. At Harvard the original goal of higher learning was “to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3), and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.” Yale in the early 1700s stated as its primary goal that “every student shall consider the main end of his study to wit to know God in Jesus Christ and answerably to lead a Godly, sober life.”[2]

The Puritan educational system was comprehensive in its espousal of a comprehensive Biblical worldview. It was designed to train men for every vocation. The emphasis, however, was to train men so that future generations would not be left with “an illiterate ministry.” The curriculum of Harvard, for example, emphasized the study of biblical languages, logic, divinity (theology), and skills in communication (public speaking and rhetoric). Churches expected their ministers to read the Scriptures in the original languages. At Princeton, even those who did not enter the gospel ministry, were expected to know their Bible “from cover to cover.”

Since civil government was a major concern in the colonies, courses in ethics, politics, and history also were required. Many of the 18th-century framers of the Constitution had been steeped in basic Bible doctrines. These biblical concepts formed our Constitutional political system (e.g., decentralized political power, checks and balances, a republican form of government, abhorrence of mob-rule democracy, jurisdictional separation of family, church, and State, a design for stability in the rule of law, private property, the gold standard, the keeping of the Lord’s Day, and the protection of Christian worship).

Courses in law and medicine also were offered, along with astronomy, physics, botany, other sciences, and mathematics. During the colonial period, from 1636 when Harvard was established to 1769 when Dartmouth was founded, nearly all colleges were organized as Christian institutions. In time, however, the emphasis shifted from a staunchly biblio-centric education to a “Common Sense Realism” philosophy which put reason on an equal level with special revelation. Of course, this shift did not occur overnight.

Harvard moved from its original Calvinist foundation to Arminianism, then during the 18th century even beyond Arminianism to Unitarianism. “The takeover of Harvard in 1805 by the Unitarians is probably the most important intellectual event in American history-at least from the standpoint of education.”[3]

Nearly every educational institution of the early colonies has been taken over by those who denied the Bible. These schools of higher education now train millions of young people who influence every sphere of American life. Compare the educational pursuits of Harvard in 1636 with the Harvard of today. The following is from Chester M. Pierce, Harvard psychiatrist, speaking as an expert in public education at the 1973 International Education Seminar.

Every child in America entering school at the age of five is mentally ill, because he comes to school with certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural Being, toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you teachers to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future.[4]

As an atheist who cannot account for morality within an evolutionary worldview John J. Dunphy denounces a Christian worldview but must borrow moral capital from the Christian worldview to maintain the “Christian ideal of ‘love thy neighbor’” and wants to use government-controlled education to accomplish this goal:

The battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classrooms by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith. Such teachers will be utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the education level. Classrooms, must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new — the rotting corpse of Christianity 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.[5]

Where Jesus had been considered the foundation of all knowledge, believing in “a supernatural Being” now constitutes mental illness. Dr. Pierce understood the importance of education; it is to mold “the international children of the future,” in terms of a man-centered worldview. The humanists have captured the vision of a biblical worldview.

Is Public Education Necessary?

Is Public Education Necessary?

From the New England Puritan experiments in compulsory schooling to the Unitarian crusades to perfect man with the ‘strong arm of government,’ Blumenfeld shows that public education in America has always been more about religion than literacy.

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Whoever Controls the Schools Rules the World

Whoever Controls the Schools Rules the World

It’s been said that ‘the philosophy of the classroom in this generation will be the philosophy of life in the next generation.’ Our earliest founding fathers understood this. That’s why, after building homes and churches, they established educational institutions like Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Dartmouth. Over time, most Christians have adopted the false premise that facts are neutral. They believe it doesn’t matter who teaches math, science, and history, because facts are facts. The humanists took advantage of this type of thinking by gradually shaping and controlling education in terms of materialist assumptions.

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Author: Gary DeMar

Gary—who served as President of American Vision for thirty-five years—is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. Author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, he has been featured by nearly every major news media outlet. Gary also has hosted The Gary DeMar Show, History Unwrapped, and the Gary DeMar’s Vantage Point Webshow and is a regular contributor to AmericanVision.org. Gary has lived in the Atlanta area since 1979 with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and are enjoying being grandparents. Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).

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