This article by Tony Jones caught my attention because of the title. Why would someone write an article entitled Death to Homeschooling! ? The article itself simply states the reason he doesn’t send his kid to public French immersion, charter school, or private school, or homeschool; but he doesn’t condemn any of the others, only homeschool. By having some knowledge of Tony Jones’ liberal leanings, it is my estimation that the title does more than just point out a personal preference, it communicates a strong contempt for homeschooling and those who homeschool.
It is not unusual to find those who prefer not to homeschool, for whatever reason: time constraints, job constraints, perceived inability to teach, they like the time away from the kids, etc., but to pronounce a death sentence on what has proved to be a very successful method of teaching, creating family closeness, transferring personal values, protecting from negative influences, or instilling historic Christian principles, is puzzling, coming from a “Christian.” Tony doesn’t state why he so detest homeschooling, so he allows us to draw our own conclusions. Making use of the term “death to homeschooling” may actually expose a deeper desire for the state to mandate education, fulfilling Tony’s belief in a liberal social gospel, taking us back into the Dark Ages. Tony does claim to be a Christian, but so did the Inquisitors, who tortured and killed those who only wanted to homeschool and raise their families according to the dictates of the Bible and their own conscience.
Tony is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal and his life and religion reflect it ever so clearly. He filters all of Scripture and the Gospels through the fine mesh of his liberal wishful thinking and Christian un-belief. So when you read Tony’s writing it is important to keep a liberal Christian dictionary handy, otherwise terms that you might think are historically Biblical and orthodox are transformed into a bunch of sociological gobbledygook whose only context is the transient nature of the present flux and turmoil. In other words, their meaning is, that they have no meaning, outside the world of liberalism; they have the absolute and concrete nature of silly-putty. If you have any sense of the simple teaching of Jesus it will become obvious that Tony promotes a contrary, modern, liberal, view of the Book and its Lord. One of the key words of his methodology is “contextualization.” This word does not mean that he interprets the Bible in the context of the original author, but rather in the context of what he thinks it ought to mean for modern society.
Scripture is not modeling clay; we cannot remold the past, or fashion a future fantasy island out of a sinful society, run by any number of enlightened liberals. Scripture is the true telling of what was, what is, and what is to come; and it is a firm foundation on which to build our lives. Nowhere are we told that this present world will be transformed into the Kingdom of God. The Lord will return to this earth and find men playing God, pretending to do what only He alone can do.
This may be an over simplification of the matter concerning the exposed heart of Tony Jones, but regardless, for Tony’s fantasy to take place, i.e. the Death of Homeschooling, the absoluteness of the words of Jesus and those who believe those words, must go. The Catholic despotism of the Dark Ages, and the Protestant Reformers in a large part, believed and practiced a false dominionistic thinking, each foreseeing a state governed by their own prescript of religious thought. Their intentions resulted in the death of a very large number of those who had pledged themselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit and conscience, and the teaching of Jesus. These persecuted ones withheld any oaths or allegiances to men, whether magistrates, ministers, priests, or prelates, but rather chose to obey all the dictates of the governor when not in conflict with the commands of Jesus.
Christian un-believers have no stomach for following the expressed commands of Jesus or for being numbered with those who are mocked as simpletons or heretics. Early followers of Jesus were killed by the Romans as atheist because they refused to worship the traditional gods of their fathers. They were killed by the Jews as followers of a false Messiah. Later they were killed by the Catholics as heretics, and by the Protestant Reformers as radicals and non-conformist. Today Christians are being killed as political enemies and social deviates because they stand on the simple unmolested truth of the Bible. There is yet another shaking comeing to the household of faith, and the battle cry may very well start with a curse of, Death to Homeschooling!
I believe that Christian homeschool parents understand better than the majority of Christians, the necessity of being separated from the contaminating effects of society, public education being a prime source. But, Tony believes that education is the end all solution for a failed society, he says,
“. . .in a democracy, education is for all, with the understanding that the more educated we all become, the more humane we will be toward one another.”
Where is the proof of this claim; he give none.
Then he says,
“I don’t, as a Christian, have the option to “opt out” of the societal contract. Instead, I live under a mandate to be the most involved, missional societal participant that I can be.”
Tony makes these comments, not as a Christian, but as one who is in a contract with the world, something no Christian should be if he/she is citizen of another kingdom, the kingdom of God. Haggai 2:11-14 illustrates exactly the opposite of what Tony here tries to teach.
“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law says: If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’”
The priests answered, “No.”
Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”
“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”
Then Haggai said, “‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the Lord. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.
Tony is under the misunderstanding that by mixing as many Christians with the world the world can become Christianized and Godly, but that is not what the Bible says at all, as a matter of fact it says just the opposite. Many homeschool parents understand this passage correctly to illustrate the impossibility of holiness being transferred from one to another, and by contrast, how easily pollution is transmitted. The sanctity of something or someone dedicated or consecrated to God cannot be transferred merely by contact with another. However, the defilement of an unclean thing, i.e. the world and those in it, transfers easily to the clean, defiling it! Tony tosses out as a worthless thing the Bible’s teaching on the separated life style. Jesus’ teaching about the leavening process of dough teaches the same principle as that above, “A little leaven leavens the whole loaf.” In other words, the things your child picks up at public school, or the things they pick up from the world, do not lead to Godliness; they lead to defilement and corruption and will eventually leaven their whole life.
This separating process is what brought so much trouble to those who were persecuted. It is falsely believed that if you do not take part in the social efforts of government you are rebelling against their proven system of running the world, and that you are a threat to the success of that society. This is what Tony Jones believes. This separation process is not only concerned with education, but education is foundational to every other aspect of the Christian’s life, and if that education is primarily coming from the secular world then what can be expected except the corruption of foundational principals?
The chief struggle of the Christian Church today is not so much against the secular state as it is against the paganizing process of secular education on the Church. The main conflict between Christian faith and the secular interpretation of life will have to be waged on the field of public education. The battle will have been in vain if the whole weight of public education is directed toward infusing in the impressionable mind of youth, beliefs that are incompatible with the Christian understanding of life.
Tony Jones’ attack on parents who homeschool their Christian children, and his un-Christian support for subjecting vulnerable hearts and minds to secular education, is the rotten fruit of a corrupt liberal wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Beware of Tony Jones!