Tuesday, August 19, 2008

nurseries of wickedness

Following my prayer yesterday for my new school year, I happened across something on VoddieBaucham's blog about his attempt to get the Southern Baptist Convention to encourage California parents to pull their kids from public schools. In his post, he shared these words from John Wesley:

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 you 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 for ever! 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 school (permit me to speak plainly) is little better than sending them to the devil. At all events, then, send your boys, 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 endeavours to instruct a small number of children in religion and learning together.

“But what shall I do with my girls?” By no means send them to a large boarding-school. In these seminaries too the children teach one another pride, vanity, affectation, intrigue, artifice, and, in short, everything which a Christian woman ought not to learn. Suppose a girl were well inclined, yet what would she do in a crowd of children, not one of whom has any thought of saving her soul in such company? Especially as their whole conversation points another way, and turns upon things which one would wish she would never think of. I never yet knew a pious, sensible woman that had been bred at a large boarding-school, who did not aver, one might as well send a young maid to be bred in Drury-Lane.

Wesley, John. (1836). Sermons on Several Occasions. p 305.
How true it is that most Christian parents send their kids to school with little thought other than that their kids are being prepared for life in the world. And how true it is that schools prepare their kids to be part of the world.


Father, you have been so kind to bless me with a little girl. May I be a good parent to her--not a good parent in the world's eyes, but a good parent in your eyes. May I raise her to know you, and may I always take responsibility for her education; when she is with me, may I teach her to know you. And on the occasions when I entrust her education to others, such as leaders in the church, may I be careful to ensure she receives an education that brings you glory.

If only more Christian parents would take leadership and responsibility for their children's educations, perhaps our children would change the world in ways we never imagined. And of course, for parents to ensure good education means the parents themselves must be educated. May we parents set the example for our children, showing them the value of wisdom and knowledge. May we set aside the frivolity and license of this world and devote ourselves to eternal glory. And may our children see in us a passion for you and a single focus on living God-glorifying lives.

I pray that Christian teachers throughout our schools would make a difference in the lives of children. May we teachers demonstrate to our children what it means to do everything for your glory. May we live and teach as ministers--servants--for the good of others. I pray that Christian teachers would serve as your witnesses among our students and our coworkers.

And I pray your church would devote themselves to helping parents raise their children to know you. For you have commanded your people to not only know you, but to teach our children to know you as well. May we speak and teach of your goodness and glory so that the young ears will hear, eyes will see and mind will understand your greatness.

I ask all these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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