Hard to believe though it may be, Aldous Huxley published his most notable work, Brave New World, in 1931. Fast forward 85 years and Huxley’s description of a society built around the cold sciences of reproductive technology, psychological manipulation, and classical conditioning seem almost to have been followed as road map more than appreciated as a work of fiction set in the far-off future year of 2540 AD. Whereas George Orwell pictured a dystopian future of negative consequences for undesirable behavior and actions in his book, 1984; Huxley’s work imagined a world of utopian reinforcement where the government encourages mass distribution of entertainment in order to pacify weaker minds (and divert attention from political issues), and there would be no reason to ban a book, because who would want to read one, anyway?
Of all the chilling “positive” societal changes represented in Brave New World, one in particular has been on my mind as a fresh school year approaches: hypnopædia. In the real world, this is an attempt to convey or “teach” information to a sleeping person through a variety of means, most typically by playing a recording. To date, no real advances have been made in this arena. In Brave New World, however, the technology exists, and is used to great effect. It is not used, as one may assume, to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic; but to change, break down, and reprogram a person’s morals. For example, one of the hypnopædia classes for Elementary students is “Elementary Sex,” where children are made to believe that “everyone belongs to everyone else,” and promiscuity is simply another form of recreation.
Public education and the state of our public school systems are dinner-table topics for most every believer during the summer break. Evaluating options and, as the school year approaches, fretting over compromises they feel forced to make. This year, however, it feels as though there has been even more of an urgency. Parents are looking for a way out and are seriously beginning, if they haven’t in the past, to examine whether or not they can, in all good conscience, send their children into the public school system.
As Dr. Voddie Baucham recently stated, “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.”
An apt description, as schools seem less and less these days like the innocent, community-run schoolrooms of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s day, and much more akin to the temples to pagan gods in the Roman Empire. A comfortable sleep, of sorts, has befallen a great swath of Americans, including Christians, which has allowed the humanist machine to use that classical conditioning and a hypnopædia, of sorts, to reprogram our children.
There are many reasons the public education complex has become what it is. Some of it is simply blind pride in the home team. “Oh, it’s bad in places like New York, sure. But our schools are great.” There was a time, even recently, when that may have been true. But programs such as Common Core have been designed to ensure federal input at every level and in every community. A refusal to bow to the wishes of The State now means that even the most rural schools in the Bible belt must capitulate or lose their funding.
Another contributing factor is the mistaken notion that public schools are somehow religiously neutral. That the removal of prayer, public talk of God, and teaching of foundational biblical principles such as the account of creation somehow place the school in Switzerland on the map of educational philosophy. Such thinking, however, represents a head-in-the-sand approach to the realities of the world around us.
Let’s take that issue I mentioned of the biblical account of creation, for example. The Bible’s account of creation as a viable alternative to evolution is absent in all but two states in the Union—Tennessee and Louisiana, both of which passed laws allowing teachers to opt-out of teaching evolution. The other states demand evolution as the preferred explanation of life, and minimize or, in many cases, outright ban the “controversial religious belief” of creation. Conversely, listen to this quote from the geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky which is pushed as the guiding principle of the National Center for Science Education:
“Seen in the light of evolution, biology is, perhaps, intellectually the most satisfying and inspiring science. Without that light, it becomes a pile of sundry facts some of them interesting or curious, but making no meaningful picture as a whole.”
The title of Dobzhansky’s book from which this quote is taken is, “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except In The Light of Evolution.” Think about this now. “The Light of Evolution.” Nothing makes sense without the light of evolution.
A far cry from “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4); but is it free of religion? Neutral? The educational community has determined the supernatural to be void of any value, but has not taken a neutral position. It has planted its feet in firm opposition, insisting that science must restrict itself and its answers to naturalism.
It’s also a great fallacy to believe it’s possible to be neutral when it comes to God. Paul told the Roman church, “the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). Jesus was even more direct:
“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12:30).
There is no middle ground to be occupied in the battle for our children’s minds and the teaching of a biblical world view. Jesus said, “You’re either with me, or against me.” Don’t be fooled into thinking that the public school system has taken a neutral stance on religion. They’ve simply shown Christianity the door and replaced it with secular humanism as The State-sanctioned religion of choice. They are, quite literally, anti-Christ.
What should we do?
I’ve heard this question a lot from concerned parents as of late. Even here in conservative Indiana, and within the most conservative communities, LGBT and pro-Islamic agendas are being woven into the fabric of nearly every course of study. Aldous Huxley thought the indoctrination of our children would take place while they slept. Unfortunately, it seems to be happening while the parents are asleep.
Step 1: Wake up
The first thing we have to do is awaken ourselves to the realities of public education. Do your homework. Find out what your children are being taught. Find out as much as you can about each of the teachers who are speaking into your children each day, some of them for several hours. Examine homework to find out what you children are being asked to bring into your home and into their mind.
Step 2: Teach in the Home
I’m not necessarily talking about homeschooling…yet. Rather, what I mean by this is that we have to take seriously our responsibility as parents to begin our children’s education in the home. The startling reality is that, statistically speaking, 70% of children from church-going homes walk away from the faith. This is due, in large part, to outsourcing the development of world view in our children.
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
It’s a lot of work. But just as we’re commanded to repent, be baptized in Jesus’ name, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; we’re also commanded to diligently teach our children at any and every possible moment. We can’t leave it to chance. Even if they’re in a fantastic Christian school, with gifted teachers, the responsibility (and the joy!) of education begins in our homes.
(See the August 2014 edition of the Apostolic Witness for the article, “Everyone a Homeschooler,” for more on this subject.)
Step 3: Consider Alternatives
As a homeschooling father of six children ranging from 1 year to 14 years old, I know the sacrifice and difficulty represented by what I’m about to say, but—If homeschooling is even remotely an option for your family, you should prayerfully consider it. My personal belief is that homeschooling provides the best opportunity to guard and protect your child’s heart and mold their character. In this dark, broken, fallen creation, could there be a better reason? At a minimum, I would urge you to pray about homeschooling at least through the early, most formative years of your child’s life.
If homeschooling simply isn’t an option, you should consider a solid, private Christian school that believes the same things doctrinally. Just to be clear, all Christian schools are not equal. If you have access to a non-compromising, Apostolic Christian school, you should make that your first choice, regardless of the credentials and accolades of other competing “Christian” schools.
Captives of a Brave New World
No other option but public school? That doesn’t make you a failure as a parent, it just means you’re going to have to work a little harder. You should make it your mission this school year to surround yourself and your family with faith-building resources and teaching materials that will answer the questions your child will face. Among others, Answers in Genesis has a treasure-trove of video resources and reading materials that are second-to-none.
Paul warned the Colossian church, “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8 ESV). I encourage you to read Pastor Nate Whitley’s excellent article (transcribed from a recent sermon) on the subject of “Committed or Captivated” (page 8).