Monday, May 24, 2010

Helping Foreigners with Education

What should Christians do for those financially poor African families? Right now in some countries many of them send their children to school hundreds of miles away so they can learn to make money.  While there many are corrupted by the schools.  Or should they be encouraged to homeschool, working side-by-side with their fathers, digging ditches but staying morally safe.

I think most of the readers would immediately see the fallacy here.  Are these the only two options?

Turning the dial back, let us examine what the Puritan forefathers did. The famous Congregationalist, John Eliot, the apostle to the Indians, set up schools. And helped the families learn to work.  And, more importantly, preached the Gospel and catechized the tribes, children and all.

The Presbyterians followed the same course. Even into the 1800s various denominations furthered the education of the natives through local schooling.

So, a possible solution to this false dilemma is obvious: give them schools.


James Mill said...

My thought is there is no dilemma at all here. Families (African or otherwise) should be encouraged to do whatever is best for them (read - best for God's Kingdom) at the time. This might include homeschooling for a time and then private schooling; or it might be homeschooling all the time or some combination thereof. But can we all agree that in almost all cases sending them away to a Yahweh hating school for weeks and months at time in pursuit of an "education" is unwise and most likely disobedient to Duet 6?
Besides - just "giving them schools" is not easily, cheaply, or casually done. Ahhh but then again, neither is good education/discipleship at home...

polymathis said...

Yes, there is no "dilemma". My article suggested creating local schools as a "possible solution". A mixture of approaches as you suggest is another useful option.

Schools are not cheap and take much effort and dedication. Given the history of Christian education (that many towns and churches created schools), imho, it is less money than motivation and effort that is the obstacle.

Good discipleship at home is required with or without homeschooling. And it is required in a good school (part or full time). A good school (like a good church) would reinforce the home discipline.

Good points, Jim.