The question of salt and light
One of the most common concerns raised by Christian parents is that removing children out of secular schools would make them less effective witnesses in the wider community. They ask how can children be salt and light in the world if they are in a Christian school? Let us look at the scriptures for answers.
You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men
Jesus described us as salt. We are to preserve, flavour, enhance and have an impact on our society. Yet in the same scripture Jesus explains salt can lose its saltiness. Our salty influence in society can be diminished. If this occurs we are described as “no longer good for anything”. As Christians our role is to reform the world around us. We are called to be in the world but not of it. Being salt and light is a lifelong calling.
Is school helping prepare your child to be the salt of the earth?
A significant role of school is helping prepare children for all of life. The 12 or so years spent at school is relatively short when compared with an average life span. The thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and outlook on life formed during school years can last a lifetime. The vision of Christian schools is not separation from non Christians. Rather it is about preparation to live life in such a way as to be salt and light wherever and whatever children choose to do.
As parents a more significant question we must ask ourselves is whether it is healthy to use our children as a means of creating evangelistic opportunities for us. Deliberately immersing a child into an educational culture which denies the existence of God and Jesus’ central role in history should not be treated lightly.
We will all have to give God an account of what we did in our lives. For parents this will naturally include how we raised our children. Jesus had this warning regarding our treatment of children.
If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck (Mark 9:42).
Parents need to understand that putting their children under the daily influence of teachers who have a fundamentally different way of seeing life can influence them for life. Fortunately families who choose a Christian school are still part of the wider society. They can still make friends and influence others whether through sport, child activities, neighbours or a variety of other ways.
In the Bible children are seen as a blessing. We have one opportunity to raise our children. These years will pass quickly. Christian Schools can help parents in their role.