In His infinite wisdom, God has instituted three governmental
organisms for man in this world: the state, the visible church,
and the family. He has ordained that these three are to coordinate
in rights and functions with a mutual independence, so that the
state or the church have no more right to invade the parental
sphere than parents do to invade the state or church spheres.
These coordinate rights and responsibilities, which God has given
to each sphere, have been clearly marked out in His Holy Word.
This is especially true with respect to the education of children
of Christian parents, in defense of which we state the following
||God instituted the family before either the church or state
had existence. Prior to man’s fall into sin, the family exercised
total responsibility over all aspects of God’s creation (Genesis
God has ordained marriage for the purpose of raising a godly
seed through the home and the family institution (Malachi
God has in the fifth commandment granted only to the parents
the adequate and prior authority commensurate with the discharge
of this great responsibility (Exodus 20:12).
The divine legislation given to Moses commands not the state
or the church, but the fathers to see to the instruction
of the children, that there might be faith and true knowledge
in the race to come (Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Psalm 78:3-8).
The inspired apostles hold fathers directly responsible for
consistently bringing up their children in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord, and exhort mothers to see to the
godly upbringing of the daughters (Ephesians 6:4; Titus 2:4-5;
2 Timothy 1:5).
When children are consecrated to God, the Scriptures call
upon the parents to bind themselves by vows before God and
man to the faithful discharge of this duty by divine grace
(Exodus 4:24-26; Genesis 17:7-9; 18:19; Acts 16:30-34).
In sacred history as recorded in the Scriptures, fathers
such as Eli were condemned for their failure to instruct
and discipline their children, thus bringing God’s judgment
on themselves and their house (1 Samuel 3:11-14; 2 Samuel
11; 12:10-11; 13; 14:21; 15).
The Scriptures clearly state that failure to properly discharge
this parental duty immediately disqualifies a man (i.e. the
father) from the office of elder in the church (1 Timothy
3:4-5; Titus 1:6).
The blessing of God upon a household is contingent upon the
faithful exercise of this parental responsibility, as is
so clearly indicated in the case of Abraham and others (Genesis
Christ, the only sovereign and true Head of the church, the
Jehovah of the Old Covenant, who instituted civil government
and founded and ordered His Church, has nowhere commanded
the state to assume this function, and the state has no authority,
as a divinely ordained institution under God and limited
by His revealed will, to assume and usurp this responsibility
(Proverbs 8:15-16; Deuteronomy 4:2).
The state, as a minister of God, is charged with the enforcement
of the moral law in human relations, as a temporal ministry
of justice among men, and is to protect the family and the
church in the free exercise of all their God-given rights
and responsibilities (Romans 13:1-10; 1 Peter 2:13-17;
Therefore, we believe, confess, and maintain that God has committed
to parents the high privilege and solemn responsibility of training
and educating their children in the fear of the Lord. We further
believe that they dare not surrender this God-given right to any
other institution, such as the state.
Education is religious, the Scriptures are the ultimate authority,
and parents are accountable to God for the instruction and discipline
of their children. Therefore, we cannot in good conscience come
under the control of either civil or ecclesiastical authorities
with respect to the education of our children.
As God-fearing, law-abiding citizens in full submission to the
just and lawful authority of the civil magistrate, we are fully
committed to the apostolic precept: “Submit yourselves to
every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake” (1 Peter
2:13-17; Romans 13:1-7).
If there should be a conflict between the explicit requirements
of the Scriptures and the commands of the civil magistrate (an
irreconcilable difference between the claims of Christ and of Caesar,
which may God in His mercy forbid), we must consistently hold to
the superior authority of God speaking through the Scriptures and
adhere to that other apostolic precept that we ought “to
obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).