Speaking about the purpose of education, evangelist John Wesley (1703-1791) said, “Let it be remembered, that I do not speak to the wild, giddy, thoughtless world, but to those that fear God. I ask, then, for what end do you send your children to school? Why? That they may be fit to live in the world? In which world do you mean, — this or the next. Perhaps you thought of this world only; and had forgot that there is a world to come; yea, and one that will last forever! Pray take this into your account, and send them to such masters as will keep it always before their eyes. Otherwise, to send them to [a government] school (permit me to speak plainly) is little better than sending them to the devil. At all events, then, send your boys [and girls], if you have any concern for their souls, not to any of the large public schools, (for they are nurseries of all manner of wickedness, but private school, kept by some pious man, who endeavors to instruct a small number of children in religion and learning together.”
Most evangelical pastors still wouldn’t call government schools “nurseries of wickedness… little better than sending them to the devil”. But more often now parents are waking up to the spiritual perils that accompany government education. The prophetic voices of Hodge, Van Til, and Machen little heeded at the time are in small circles starting to be recognized as much needed parenting wisdom from God. Wouldn’t it be marvelous if the Body of Christ were right now at a tipping point, an awakening to the very real nurseries of wickedness under a headmaster who still presents himself as an angel of light? I may view such a prayed for shift to Christ centered education as late in coming but thankfully we serve a King whose sovereign purposes are proceeding perfectly on schedule. Another reason to bow down and worship the King!