Many times the Bible calls Christians to be set apart—we are holy, consecrated, chosen, sanctified. But what does it mean to be set apart as a Christian homeschool family? At times, you may feel that you are set apart simply by being a homeschool family, but as more families recognize the impact of public education on their children, secular homeschooling also becomes more popular. If secular families can adopt the homeschool lifestyle, it isn’t inherently Christian. What, then, makes education Christian? It is possible to be a dedicated Christian family that attends church regularly and still miss a vital element of biblical worldview education.
What is that vital element of biblical worldview education? It has to do with how we look at the world—with our worldviews. Secularism has had a profound impact on the Christian worldview, and many of us don’t even realize that we’re holding a secular worldview.
The Two Stories of the World
At BJU Press, we often talk amongst ourselves about the two-story view. You could also call it a secular disconnect. It’s a worldview that divides the things we encounter into two separate levels, like a two-story house. Each story holds certain aspects of the world. The second story is God’s level. It’s where we attend church and have Bible studies. For Christians, it’s where we keep our testimonies and our morals. Our positions on the major political “hot topics” usually come from here.
The first story is the world’s level. It’s supposed to be a neutral level where religious views don’t matter. That’s the definition of secularism: indifference to, rejection of, or exclusion of religion and religious considerations, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. In the lower level, we aren’t supposed to use our upper-story views to make decisions because they shouldn’t be relevant. Here, you find math, spelling, and grammar lessons. Here are all the science lessons that aren’t related to creation. After all, how can knowledge of the Bible change how we teach math, spelling, or grammar? Isn’t an igneous rock an igneous rock regardless of how it came to be?
Problems of a Two-Story View
Obviously, this view has problems. For Christians, our faith is the foundation for all of our interactions with the world. It’s the basis for every decision we make, whether we’re at home, at church, in the grocery store, or in a courtroom. If we take away the very foundation for our decision making process, then we have no business attempting to influence anyone in the world according to our morals, our principles, and our beliefs.
This view also changes education. If the Bible only belongs in Bible things—at church, in Bible class, or personal devotions—then it can’t be relevant to non-Bible subjects. Sure, you can talk about the Bible in math class, but it doesn’t connect to the lesson. The lesson is as secular as if it were taught in a public school. And Bible integration? It’s just a corresponding Bible verse or devotional that’s been tacked on.
A Biblical Worldview Education
If God’s world is God’s world, then there’s no part of His creation the Bible doesn’t apply to. Christians should not see the world divided into “Bible things” and the world’s things. They should see Christ’s lordship in all things. Christ is lord of the world just as He is lord of the church. This is the reality that a biblical worldview education teaches.
BJU Press materials use the Big Story of creation to teach Christ’s power and lordship, highlighting His intentions for the world at Creation, the brokenness of the world because of human sin in the Fall, and His plan for the world’s redemption.
With this story, we acknowledge not only the beauty of God’s creation, but also its brokenness. For example, God created communication, and it was good. Because we are sinful, we often communicate in twisted ways. But God can sanctify our ability to communicate so we can use it for His glory. We study grammar so we can communicate well without distorting Christ’s message.
If children can learn to recognize how the Fall distorts things that God created good, then they can also learn how to live faithfully in light of God’s redemptive work in their lives. We work through this model in all our subjects so children aren’t learning secular lessons with a verse tacked on at the end. Instead, the Bible shapes their world. We want to equip them to respond to the secular mindset that divides the world.
A biblical worldview education reshapes how your children think about the world. With a strong foundation, they can have biblical discernment and can account for the fallen nature of the world. That is how to set your children apart from the world: by teaching them to think differently from the world.