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Chapter 8: Carrying on the Reformed Legacy

A Full Reward: Reformation Through Family-Run Christian Schools

Rev. Aaron Slack

Pastor, Author, Marketing Manager, Preschool Director

Chapter 8

Carrying on the Reformed Legacy

The first time I visited Grace Community School, I was impressed by many things, but perhaps the thing that struck me most was Bible Time. I had attended Sunday School and VBS my entire life up until then, but this was nothing like that. When I saw a bunch of kids saying the Ten Commandments at the top of their lungs competing to see who would be Bible Leader, I was not sure exactly what to think. What strange invention was this? It all seemed very new and vastly different from anything I had come across before. Visitors who see our school are impressed, and those with eyes to see and ears to hear see the potential in what Grace Community School does, but not everyone realizes the great tradition we are upholding. What we do is revolutionary, but not without historical precedent. Indeed, we are in the best of company. It was not until I became a teacher at Grace Community School that I realized we were following in the footsteps of great Christians who have gone before—the heroes of the Protestant Reformation.

The Church Has Abandoned Its Calling

I briefly discussed callings in the previous chapter, mentioning the common error limiting callings to church or church-related occupations. Modern Christians believe, at least implicitly, that there is a dichotomy, a separation, between things that are religious (meaning having to do with the church) and things which are of the world (everything else). Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In the vast majority of churches, everyday jobs are considered somehow not as good or worthy of reward as a calling to the ministry. A related issue here is mistaking the institutional church for God’s kingdom, also a major fallacy. My experience is that Christians automatically treat anything done by their church as if it was done for God, even by God it seems. Brand new pews? Church youth group missions trip? New auditorium? No problem, this is God’s work, and woe be unto anyone who speaks against it.

Today almost any discussion of callings will refer exclusively to church callings. This is in direct contradiction to the Reformation which our churches supposedly inherited. A quote from Rushdoony is appropriate here: “Whether a man becomes a pastor or a plumber, he does so because that is his life in the Lord, and he seeks to advance God’s dominion over every area, and to subdue the earth and the problems thereof. In recent generations, the plumbers have done more for the Kingdom than most pastors.” (R. J. Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, page 531)

A great doctrine of the Protestant Reformation, seemingly forgotten by Christians today, is that every calling is holy, if it is truly from God. Plumbers who do more for Christendom than pastors? Surely, if the plumbers are more faithful to God than the pastors, this will be the case. Pastors more intent on building the influence of their church than of teaching their congregations have abandoned their callings. Churches today are little more than social clubs or civic organizations; they are no threat to the educational establishment.

Walk in to any typical Sunday School, VBS program, or “Christian” daycare, and you will hear plenty of Bible stuff. The concept of the Christian daycare isn’t very unique; my community in Southwest Florida has plenty of them. No one is shocked when they hear that Grace Community School incorporates Bible into its curriculum. Indeed, I have talked with teachers who participate in Christian daycare and VBS programs. In general, they fail to see how Grace Community School’s Bible program differs from theirs. For those who are not blinded to the truth, there is a huge difference.

These “Christian” outreach programs typically operate under the auspices of mainstream churches—churches that deny the validity of the Ten Commandments (“The law has been done away with!” they say), and pander to the lowest common denominator theology-wise. You can be sure that whatever is taught from the church pulpit will be watered down even further in the church’s Sunday school and daycare. What is taught from the church pulpit is already not good. The primary goals of these pastors are to grow the church, avoid offending anyone, and increase the offering.

Contrast this with the biblical mission of a pastor—to preach God’s law and to assist his flock with growing in the faith: to help them keep God’s commandments better. How is a pastor to fulfill this mandate when he believes that the law is not in effect, indeed that the law was ever only an evil necessity of barbaric Old Testament times? These preachers give passages from the Bible ridiculous applications for modern man.

These false prophets use the pulpit to proclaim an alien faith. Many pastors refer to the story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery to assert that we cannot judge anyone’s sin. Their application is that we must forgive and overlook sin under all circumstances, apparently just like Jesus. Universal tolerance is the virtue, and anyone who would dare to think an adulterer might not be a Christian or refuse fellowship with such a person is a legalist. Just as lawlessness reigns in the pulpit, so does it reign in the lives of church members. When the adults in the congregation are fed such heresy, it is unsurprising that the church daycare will feature horribly disfigured Bible stories that are little more than effeminate fairy tales, and no law whatsoever.

We read and teach the Bible because we are commanded to do so, and because there are things in there we need to know, lessons we need to learn. We are also commanded not to forbid the little ones to come. For this reason Grace Community School teaches the law to its children. Bible stories are also taught with legitimate applications. (These stories are also law. As Rushdoony points out, every word that comes from the King is law.) This is not taught elsewhere.

When God’s commandments are removed, what is left? In mainstream Christianity, something called “emotionalism” is substituted. The doctrine of emotionalism puts feelings foremost, with actions second. With emotionalism, an emphasis is put on having a “personal relationship” with Jesus. Jesus is indeed a person, and every way he interacts with us is personal. However, the way this is portrayed makes it sound like the Christian walk is something out of a romance novel, touchy-feely and centered on how we feel about God. This is heretical, to put it mildly.

God’s relationship with us is personal, but it is also covenantal. The fact that this is not understood by ninety-nine percent of churchgoers is evidence of the failure of our churches. Love is not an emotion, it is an action: the keeping of the commandments (1 John 5:3). We may feel “love” or gratitude towards God or our spouse, but this cannot replace godly actions. The man who feels affection for his wife but commits adultery does not truly love his wife. Emotionalism elevates feelings at the expense of deeds.

This same emotionalism is spoon-fed to the children in children’s Bible programs. As a consequence, the Bible lessons taught in Children’s Church, VBS, and church daycare pull platitudes from Scripture passages that are utterly alien to the text. There is no Bible story that can be boiled down to “sharing is good” or “God likes it when we are friends.” There is a word for this, and it’s not “Christianity.” It’s humanism. The Bible is not presented to the children as the Living Word of the King, but as something like Aesop’s Fables—a source for a few positive character traits and spiritual truths (like tolerance and brotherhood) perhaps. God is clear: His Word is no list of abstract virtues, but law. When the Bible is twisted and disfigured beyond recognition, as is done with these programs, we exchange a sharp two-edged sword for a rusty pair of nail clippers.

I lamented earlier that more churches were not involved in outreach to children, in particular to the very young and those outside of the church. On the other hand, considering the poor theology taught by these institutions, I am thankful that most churches do not have a bigger impact on their communities. God in His mercy has assigned them to irrelevance.

The Reformation and Literacy

Starting with Luther and the Protestant Reformation, and its emphasis on every calling as holy and all aspects of life as religious, education for everyone became important. The clerical elite were not the only source of biblical teaching anymore. Now that Christians received their knowledge of God not just from their priests and pastors, but from the Bible itself, everyone needed to know how to read. Literacy was not just a good idea, or something for the educated class to have, but a necessity for all God-fearing Christians. All needed to have access to the Bible.

Under John Calvin’s influence, instruction in reading became even more prevalent. The Protestant work ethic and literacy go hand in hand. Since all godly occupations are holy callings, it is the Christian parent’s job to ensure that his children have all that they need to fulfill their callings. This included a trade, but also moral instruction and general education—literacy, especially, as well as mathematics, science, history, and the like.

Grace Community Schools is continuing the Reformed mission of preparing children for their holy callings, whatever those may be, and enabling them to read the Bible for themselves. If the majority of our students grow up to become plumbers, mechanics, secretaries, and other “secular” things, we will be happy. All work done to the glory of God is holy and worthy of reward. Not all of our students will grow up to be in full-time Christian ministry—thank God!

For those early Reformed Christians, it was necessary to make the Bible available. Early translators of the Bible faced horrible persecution because they made it possible for the masses to read the Bible in a language they could understand. With the Bible in the vernacular, people were not dependent upon clergy to tell them what the Bible said. Luther wanted to enable every Christian to be able to understand the things of God. Luther’s and other translations, in combination with the printing press, finally made it possible for every person to have unfettered access to God’s Word.

Things have changed. No longer is buying a Bible a major family expense. Access to the Word of God in the vernacular is universal in our country. Every Wal-Mart has a dozen inexpensive translations available. Copies can be bought at dollar stores, there are free online versions, and the Gideons have placed them in motel dressers. It’s not being able to get your hands on a copy of Scripture that is the problem, it’s being able to actually read it! In the United States we face an interesting situation in which the Bible is freely available in English (or any other language you might want), but the ability to read the language it is written in is rare.

By “reading,” I mean actual literacy and comprehension. Real literacy is a rare commodity. Witness the rise of the “Young Adult” (YA) novel—Twilight and the like. Most of what I’ve seen is written for adults with a middle school literacy level. YA Fiction is written to appeal to a demographic of people who are barely literate. It also embodies the lowest morality of our culture. YA is for adults who can’t read well, don’t have a long attention span, and are unbothered by the hackneyed simplistic plots. It’s the kind of stuff the firemen of Fahrenheit 451 wouldn’t bother to burn.

Alas for the typical reader, the Bible is not YA literature. There are some big words in there, and the plot lines and concepts covered require some mental muscle. In early America, virtually the entire population possessed the literacy level needed to read the English Bible. The same cannot be said of the modern United States. It is for this reason that the reading program of Grace Community School is vital for evangelical purposes as well as educational.

Grace Community Schools faces the same persecution early translators did. The humanist statist religion of our day has no desire for the common people to become readers, especially readers of the Bible. That is exactly what Grace Community School enables its students to do. This is a war, and we are in the thick of it. There have been concerted efforts by various government and pseudo-government organizations to get Grace Community School out of the business of ministering to small children. Make no mistake, our enemies know who we are and what we stand for, even if our friends do not.

A weapon our enemies use against our schools is the prevalent myth that young children cannot learn to read. This is one of the most devastating educational myths of the latter half of the twentieth century. Grace Community School shatters this myth every day at each one of our locations. Those who equate education with the public school understandably buy into the lie that young children cannot read; certainly public school children cannot! Children captured by the public school are sentenced to a deliberately subpar education engineered to keep them slaves to the state. Young children are not taught to read, and older children are not taught to read well. The illiterate are much easier to control. In stark contrast to this, we provide an uncompromising commitment to both general education and spiritual instruction. As you can see, these are inextricably intertwined: we teach kids to read so they can read the Bible.

Luther and the Reformation ushered in the era of “Universal Education,” the doctrine that everyone should receive an education regardless of birth status or occupation. The modern state has perverted this into the laws of “compulsory schooling,” not the same at all. We want everyone to receive an education, but not by the state and not at gunpoint. It is the parents’ God-given responsibility to make sure that the family’s children receive an education, in particular a spiritual education. Grace Community School assists parents in fulfilling their obligations in this area.

Luther and “Bible Time”

There is an especially important way Grace Community School emulates the great Martin Luther. One work of Martin Luther that has greatly influenced our ministry is his Small Catechism. The Ten Commandments and Lord’s Prayer are central components of the Small Catechism. In this short book, Luther presents the material at the level of a young child. He says that he intended it to be delivered by the father to his family. Luther published the Small Catechism for the express purpose of teaching children the basics of Christianity. The cornerstone of our religious education at Grace Community School is what we call “Bible Time,” and it is based upon this Small Catechism.

We do Bible Time twice a day, morning and afternoon, with all our children aged two years and older. It lasts fifteen minutes each time, and is always done with the same formula. It is the most important thing I do in my job. Bible Time at Grace Community School begins with the reverend greeting the children, “Good morning (or afternoon), boys and girls!” They answer back enthusiastically. After this the reverend talks to the children about the special reward that he will give to the “Bible Leader”: the child who behaves the best, pays good attention, and answers questions. After this, all recite the twenty-third psalm together. When I stand in front of as many as two hundred children at a time saying this in unison, the sound is quite thundering!

Next come the pledges to the Bible and both the Christian and American flags. Children love this. One boy wanted his mom to purchase flags such as we use at Bible Time at the dollar store so he could have Bible Time at home. We heard about another boy who started pledging to the American flag every time he saw one. The order we do the pledges in is important, and very deliberate: the Bible comes first, followed by the Christian flag, and finally the American flag. This symbolizes that our first allegiance is to God, His Word, and His Kingdom; country comes after. Pledges are done with the children standing and placing their right hands on their hearts. The children sit down after the pledges, and the reverend begins the Bible story.

We cover as many Bible stories as we can each year with our students in Bible Time. Stories are told straight from the Scripture, adapted to the child’s level, with picture illustrations from A Beka. Like a father presenting the Bible to his children, the reverend presents God’s truth to the students of his school. Emotionalism is not taught—the Bible is declared as befits the Word of the King. The father analogy is biblical, and absolutely vital to our ministry.

Modern Americans have largely done away with the traditional (biblical) concept of the family. A family is now merely two or more individuals who choose to associate and support each other. This can include homosexuals, groups of children without parents, and more. Just look at recent so-called “family” movies. Children are even encouraged to choose their own “parents.” The church has largely failed to counteract the message of the world concerning families. We are in the business of correcting this failing.

In contrast with the world is what children see at Grace Community Schools. We typically staff schools with couples (who have their children with them) as directors. As Dr. McIntyre says, “Men are needed, men are wanted, and men mustbe in a quality preschool.” Children must see strong male role models. Having men do Bible Time helps the children see fathers as the stewards of God’s Word, which is biblical.

The Bible stories we teach are presented in narrative format, and are drawn from both the Old and New Testament. We take care not to introduce a meaning not present in the text, which is very commonly done in children’s Bible stories, nor do we speculate beyond what God has said in His Word. It is eminently possible to remain faithful to Scripture while at the same time making the stories and messages understandable to even very young kids. I know because I have been doing it myself for over ten years. Even still, I am sometimes amazed at what the kids pick up from Bible Time. We do not give children’s intellects enough credit, particularly when they are guided by the Holy Spirit. The reverend asks the children review questions about the story, and has the answerer stand up and speak. Recognition and praise is given to the students who remember and answer correctly.

An important aside: I have learned not to ask questions that give a child the impression that the truth of a matter is settled in his or her own mind, particularly about the Bible. Scripture is not a conundrum to be reasoned with. For this reason we do not ask questions for which we have not already given the children answers. Answers are given, and then questions are asked to ensure that children are paying attention. In addition, if a child says it himself, he will believe it! Do not ask open-ended questions about matters of truth.

Once we have told the Bible story, we all recite the Ten Commandments together. What comes next is crucial: while simply teaching the commandments at all is important, we assist the children in applying the commandments to their lives here and now. We do this by teaching applications of God’s law that are relevant to the children. This is nothing short of revolutionary. Learning “Thou shalt not kill” is only part of the Sixth Commandment; children need to know in detail what they can do to keep this commandment, and what they need to avoid doing so they do not break this commandment. Usually we do this with stories and anecdotes, often drawn from our experiences working at the schools. The kids get it. It isn’t long before they start applying God’s law to their everyday situations, however imperfectly.

Please allow me to share a few anecdotes. A mother could not figure out what her son was doing. He was walking through the store with his mom and older sister, putting his fingers together and saying something. His sister translated, “God said that marriage is between one man and one woman, and anything else is wrong.” The mother was pleased.

We teach the children that the seventh commandment has to do with our wedding vows—the promise a man and a woman make to one another and especially to God when they get married. Even though they are not old enough to get married, they can start keeping this commandment right now. When we ask them how long they are to keep their wedding vows, they answer, “Forever!” Even young children can understand some basic things about this commandment. They can understand that a couple are not to have babies until they get married, and that once a husband and wife are married, they are to stay married forever. Although the state has told me that concepts like adultery are not developmentally-appropriate for young children, I have seen over and over that children do indeed “get it.” In fact, they are much more receptive to these teachings than adults would be. I have had children come to me, on their own, and ask if their parents were breaking the seventh commandment when they got a divorce. My response is that we are to primarily apply the commandments to ourselves, and not others.

Another girl was walking through a store with her parents. She kept saying over and over, “Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not steal!” Her parents were amused, but pleased. Yet another girl’s grandmother told my wife and I a story about her four-year-old granddaughter. The girl’s dog at home was trying to get at her bag of popcorn. She told the dog sternly, “Thou shalt not steal!” and then explained to her dog that even coveting her popcorn was breaking the commandments. Her grandmother thanked us and could barely believe that Victoria clearly understood the 8th and 10th commandments. “Thou shalt not steal” is a favorite commandment among children; they take their own property rights very seriously!

I had a boy in one of my schools who insisted on reciting the Ten Commandments to me—all ten of them—every day before he went home with his mom. He was so proud of himself. His mom was somewhat embarrassed, but I didn’t mind. Did he understand those commandments perfectly? No, of course not. But I’d wager he understood them better than the typical churchgoer ever will.

There was a little girl who would go home gushing to her mom every time she learned a new commandment application. Another mom told us how her son pretends to do Bible Time at home with his stuffed animals. He is the reverend, and his animals are the students. The one paying attention the best gets to be Bible Leader.

A newly-converted Christian mother told us how happy she was about what Grace Community School had done for her daughter. She told us about how Grandma was at home telling the family parrot, “Shut up!” The girl, looking very concerned, said, “Grandma, God is watching you! You shouldn’t say ‘shut up’!” This child now insists they say grace before eating, and won’t stop singing Bible songs. Mom is so happy that, in a society where God has been taken out of the public schools, there is still a place where God and the commandments are taught. She said she had been trying to instill more religion into the family, but the older siblings, educated in state schools since they were little, were resisting. When asked to say prayers before bedtime, the older brother said, “That’s retarded!” Mom says she is not surprised by the levels of crime or the depraved music on the radio since God has been taken out of children’s lives.

Those of us who work at Grace Community School could tell story after story like these. The kids get it! They love Bible Time! My nephew, Rev. Sam Harrison, is called “Bible Man” by the kids (again, a strong male role model). Several preschool boys at the school he works at have taken to wearing shirts and ties to school, so they can look like Bible Man, too!

We are upfront about our Bible teaching with parents when they tour the school. We tell them that are lessons are non-denominational, and that the children learn the 23rd Psalm, the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and basic Bible stories. I can count on one hand how many parents have had a problem with this (a Jew and some Jehovah’s Witnesses). It is as non-offensive as possible, at least at first glance. People are typically in one of two categories: they either like what we are teaching, or they consider it of no consequence, like a fairy tale. Either way, we get the children. “Wise as serpents, harmless as doves.” People, those of the church included, consistently underestimate the power of the Gospel to transform individuals and societies. When I say the Gospel, understand I also mean the Ten Commandments; God’s law is very good news! The stuff we teach is at a child’s level, but it is far from watered-down theology. To those in power, it is dangerous.

After the Ten Commandments and commandment applications, we pray and end with the Lord’s Prayer. We then sing a Bible Song; a new song is learned each month. After all this comes what the kids have been waiting for: choosing the Bible Leader.

The Bible Leader is a very important aspect of our Bible lessons. The child in each class who pays the best attention, folds his or her hands, answers review questions, and displays the best attitude is chosen by the reverend to be Bible Leader. The Bible Leader receives a reward such as a sticker or small piece of candy, and the children clap and cheer. There are multiple reasons for having a Bible Leader. For one, it provides a great incentive for the children to behave and listen; they work hard and enjoy a healthy bit of competitiveness. Another reason to have a Bible Leader is that it shows the children that God pays attention to us and rewards faithfulness.

While God could have merely commanded us to obey for the sake of obeying and “being good,” He chose in His wisdom to also reward us for keeping the commandments. We do the same for our students. The Bible Leader concept is also a great illustration of the tenth commandment: we cheer when others receive a blessing from God.

An extremely important lesson: the blessings of God are not equal! Not everyone becomes Bible leader, or gets a badge from the teacher. Maybe a student is doing a particularly good job of doing his work, listening to the teacher, and doing unto others as he would have them do unto him. He has two badges from the teacher! We make sure that the students know these rewards are not given out according to chance, or the whim of the teacher. They are given out based on obedience to the Ten Commandments. Every part of the school day becomes an object lesson in God’s law. I will ask the children, “Is it fair that so and so has two badges, and some other children don’t have any?” They answer, “Yes!” The kids understand that rewards are given unequally and are on the basis of how well they listen to God.

School for Real Life

While Bible Time is the focus of our spiritual instruction, it is by no means the only part of it. I have said before that Grace Community School is preparation for all of life, and this is true. Bible Time is just the start. The entire day at Grace Community School reinforces what is taught at Bible Time.

We place a great emphasis on teaching the children to discipline themselves, because self-control is the most basic form of government. The child who would please God will control himself. To aid in this process, a rewards system is used extensively. This system is patterned after reality. In the real world, achievements bring rewards. Likewise, at Grace Community Schools, children who do well in their studies are rewarded. Many times these rewards consist of being helper for the teacher. Children learn to equate obedience with more responsibility and reward. They are taught to rejoice in the work that God gives them. One of the verses we like is Proverbs 20:11, “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Every action, word, and thought, whether it be great or small, is important.

God intends for us to be industrious workers, and helping students become this is a crucial part of a truly Christian education. This is not some abstract virtue, it is obedience to the fourth commandment: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.” Real life training does not get any more real than this. We want our kids to grow up to succeed in their callings.

Our rewards system is yet another aspect of Grace Community School hated by our enemies. Rewards for good (godly) behavior and academic achievements are hated by the educational elite at least as much as they hate corporal punishment. As Isaiah said, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20).

Real Evangelism

A true Christian educator’s priorities are these: to teach the child to be able to read the Bible independently, to teach the child the commandments (God’s Law) and how to apply them, and to teach the child useful skills (sorry, nineteenth-century French poetry majors). Many parents (the God-designated educators) have abandoned these goals; Grace Community Schools has not.

Despite jealous claims by our critics to the contrary, evangelism is our primary goal. In the words of our founder, Dr. Ellsworth McIntyre, “The most compelling reason to found a Christian school is not financial gain, or security for your family, or freedom from being arbitrarily fired, or financial security in your old age, or even an inheritance for your children’s children; the best and most Biblical of reasons for your Christian school is that you can instill a gospel that is not watered down.”

In order to present that 200-proof Gospel to as many children as possible, we prioritize. Our ministry is to the children. Hence, we do not proselytize or try to teach theology to our students’ parents. One of the most common mistakes new apprentices make is to try to preach to school parents. Often they do not seem to understand why we are opposed to this. It is important; it is not worth losing the child in a misguided attempt to convert the parent or show how holy and intelligent we are.

Likewise, we do not require any confessions of faith from parents who want to bring their children to our school. By and large, these are dead people with whom we are dealing, spiritually speaking. We are rescuing the children, but the parents are too far gone. As Rev. Jeremy Walker said, “Our ministry is very unique. In effect it primarily is a ministry to widows and orphans, and bastards, though the widowhood may be self-induced by infidelity, and the orphan is so labeled because one or both parents have abandoned them.” We help the parents by helping their children; it is usually the only way we can. The parents are influenced by their children, who are more successful than we ever could be in this regard. If we attempted to witness to our average parent, she would become angry and take her child out; we would forever be denied the opportunity to witness to that child.

“Whosoever will, may come” is an oft-quoted slogan among Christians. However, when it comes to Christian schools, this slogan goes out the door! Almost all “Christian” schools are guilty of terrible discrimination against children from non-Christian homes, or worse, children from non-Church members. A child’s entrance into Grace Community does not depend on his parents being church members or making a profession of faith.

Jesus did not shy away from sinners, nor do we. Our students often come from the most wretched of homes. In many cases we are the only light in the lives of our students. Our goal is the child, not the parent. Why should I deny a child entrance into my school and a chance to hear the Gospel just because the mother is a pole dancer or Hooters girl? Am I to despise the child because the parent is morally reprehensible? To do so would be the most hateful thing I can think of; these are the children who need us the most.

Spiritual Infanticide

My experiences in Christian education have led me to the inescapable conclusion that most parents, Christian or otherwise, commit spiritual murder. What other word better describes a parent sacrificing his child via government schooling? These abandoned children are our mission. I’m going to spend a few moments on this because I think this observation is important.

Willful infanticide has been extremely prevalent in history, but the Roman Empire is most famous, or infamous, for it. Babies were killed directly by parents at times, but often they died from “exposure” caused by abandonment. Romans from all walks of life would routinely abandon newborns, frequently under bridges. These abandoned babies would quickly die from exposure to the elements or be eatenby wild animals like dogs.

There is a very important movement among Christians against one of our nation’s most horrendous crimes—abortion. This is very good and well, and I support the anti-abortion movement. I have noticed something, however. In comparison, relatively little is said about an equal crime: to bring a child into the world, and then send that child off to a humanistic daycare or public school. Scripture is clear: those not in the faith are dead. The Roman infants died from exposure; the parallels to the public school and humanistic child care are stunning. These children are abandoned and sentenced to spiritual death, though still with their parents. A godly father’s greatest task is to provide for his family spiritually. Sending a child to a school where he will be taught the exact opposite of what the Bible says is murder! “All they that hate me love death” (Prov. 8:36).

The number of Christian families in America who put their children in public schools and humanist daycares is absolutely revolting. Of the families who do not, a great number put their children in church schools where they learn to trust the church more than God. In our community, Grace Community School is the alternative. As the early Christians rescued the Roman children left to die by their parents, so Grace Community rescues the abandoned children left to die spiritually. Abandoned they truly are, even in their own homes.

Sometimes it is tempting to make sweeping generalizations that are not actually true. One that I have heard is, “Children are always better off with their parents in the home.” Nothing in and of itself, divorced from God’s law, is good. The vast majority of the kids we reach are from broken, dysfunctional, divorced or unmarried families, even sometimes homosexual homes. Some of these parents identify themselves as Christians. We do not care what the parents do, we want the child. This is our mission field ripe for the harvest. For a great number of our students, I would assert that they are far better off spending more time at our school than in their own broken homes. For those few truly exemplary Christian families we serve, Grace Community School strengthens the family and reinforces what is taught at home.

Some Christians are angry with Grace Community School; they say we should not “encourage” women to leave the home by offering childcare services. Here is the reality: if we did not offer childcare services, these parents would simply find a different childcare center. There is no comparison between Grace Community School—a school that teaches good manners, respect for father and mother, self-control, and above all the Ten Commandments—and a daycare that teaches free play, self-indulgence, instant gratification, and rebellion against authority. We are a non-government controlled Christian school that teaches respect for private property, respect for keeping one’s word, and obedience to God. We are setting these children up for long-term success. Roman Christians eventually succeeded in having infanticide outlawed. We aren’t there yet in America. Until then, we will continue to rescue the children. Our goal is to bring them from certain death unto life.

Children are incredibly more receptive to God’s Word than adults. “Are the Bible stories real?” is a common question from kids; more amazing is that they will accept the answer “yes” purely on faith. This is truly fertile soil.

Christ told us we must “become as little children” (Matt.18:3) for a good reason. Children accept what they are told when adults would scoff and rebel. Our students have not reached the point in their lives where they feel the urge to reject everything they hear an authority figure say. Children from non-Christian homes are particularly receptive to the Gospel. In fact, many of the most self-consciously rebellious children I have encountered in my ministry come from supposedly Christian homes!

While reading through the Psalms in family Bible, we were discussing Psalm 53 where it says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” I mentioned to the kids that there are people who actually say they don’t believe in God, and that God says these people are fools. I could tell that this was a new thought for my sons Caleb and Nathan (ages eight and seven). They began asking questions like, “Who do they think made us if there is no God?” We talked about evolution a little bit. I told them that they think people and animals and plants and stars and planets just came by themselves. My children were amazed that anyone could be so blind as to think something like that. My children, raised in a Christian home and having GCS Bible Time twice a day for their entire lives did not think to question Scripture; their first impulse was to question the sanity of anyone opposing Scripture. This is quite typical of Grace Community School students, praise the Lord!

Grace Community School is the city set on an hill in Southwest Florida, and it is our prayer and hope that many more schools like it will be set up around our nation and the world. As such, we have become a high-priority target in our community and even our state. Our students are the poor, the needy, the downtrodden children from broken homes—we seek to rescue their souls. One thing we have learned in the more than twenty-five years of our existence is that here is steep competition for the souls of these children.