Public education, originally intended to be under parental control, is now controlled by the state.

Public education ought to be of concern to pastors. By far the largest proportion of school children in our churches attend the public schools operated by local government. The education of the children in his parish or congregation is a subject in which a pastor has a vested interest. The public school certainly must be reckoned with as it concerns the education of Christian children.

There are at least three benefits of public education. First of all, students can acquire and develop certain basic life skills, including communications (reading, writing, verbal expression), computation (useful in balancing a checkbook), and a sense of cosmic awareness or of participation in a larger world.

Second, public education is a guardian of much that is of traditional value to American culture. Despite recent inroads by nihilism, socialism, and other less-than-desirable world views, public education today remains a reserve of our basic traditional, historical, literary, and political heritage.

Third, public education provides a wealth of specialized training in all vocations. Whether mechanic or lawyer, forest ranger or physician, the public sector offers programs of preparation, whatever a student’s career aspiration may be. For Christians who believe that every legitimate calling is sacred and a potential means of serving God, this is an inestimable service.

At the same time, however, while we are willing to acknowledge the benefits of public education, we must not fail to note its problems. It is because these problems are so large that the pastor should be concerned about the education of the children in his parish. The gravest problem ...

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