Sending Children to School to Be Salt and Light

Sending Children to School to Be Salt and Light

One of the main arguments for sending Christian children to public schools is so that they can be salt and light. Is this a valid argument? Here is what Lindy Johnson had to say about it.

“If we are to go and be salt and light, why do parents never put their kids in Muslim schools? Those schools could certainly use some light. Why don’t they send their kids to the bars on the weekends to preach the Gospel?

“And how can a kindergartner who is not even saved yet be salt and light?

“And how can we teach our kids to be salt and light if they are not with us to see our example?

“Do we just ignore the Biblical commands to teach our kids throughout the day from Deuteronomy 6? What about to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? (The Greek word here used for “nurture” literally means to educate.)

“What about when Scripture tells us to not learn about other gods? (Greek mythology taught in schools).

“What about when Proverbs warns us against foolish companions and the NT tells us not to fellowship with unbelievers?

“And can children not be more effective at being salt and light when they are not bound to a building for seven hours a day where they are not allowed to boldly and clearly preach the Gospel but instead going to the park with their parents to tell others about Christ there?

“The people I have met who use the salt and light argument do not spend the couple of hours a day they have with their kids to teach them how to share the Gospel. They take them to even more activities in the world. The salt and light argument is an excuse to live the way they want to live. Otherwise, we would be having revival in our public schools.”

Then Simon Turpin wrote this about children being salt and light: “One of the objections Christians raise to taking their child out of government schools is that they need to be ‘salt and light’ in that school system (see Matthew 5:13–16). However, this argument is not based on a proper understanding of the text. In Matthew 5, Jesus is telling his followers (those who believe) that they are salt and light, not that they should be salt and light. It’s a statement of fact, not a command to go and do something. The purpose in educating our children is to train them with the intention of sending them into the world.” (Simon Turpin)

Mature Christians who have deep roots in the Word are salt and light. Children need to be raised up in the admonition and nurture of the Lord by their parents in order to be salt and light when they are mature and grounded in their faith.

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
2 Corinthians 1:16, 17

20 thoughts on “Sending Children to School to Be Salt and Light

  1. Those who want to go their own way continually excuse it no matter what the Bible says. To these excellent arguments they would respond they agree but their school system is not “ the world” it is very conservative with a lot of Christian teachers. Or the school is filled with kids from their church. Or the other kids from church who matriculated from their school system are “on fire for Christ”. Or they (or someone else they know) would not be a Christian if it weren’t for the public schools. Excuse after excuse after excuse and none of it from scripture.

    1. Yes, I agree, M. How can our little children, whether preschool or up to high school age have enough wisdom to properly fight evil when they are more influenced by the worldly pressures of the public school system? I have a niece who is growing up in a broken home with parents who both live with their boyfriend/girlfiend. She is being taught that it is ok to live that way. Yet, her parents profess to being Bible believers. Because she is being raised with values that the world believes, she cannot be salt and light to her classmates. It is sad that her parents also have justified sending her to public school, like they don’t have a choice since they are divorced. I know it is easy to say since I am not in that situation. I am very concerned.

      1. One reason why I believe my brother and his ex wife divorced was that she believed that submission to her husband was part of the Law. Many beliefa she has comes from a very feminist mother, so my niece will most likely inherit that thinking. I can just see a snowball effect happening.

    2. I like what Adrian wrote on my Facebook page:

      “God never sent Abraham to Sodom to live among them as a light. Instead, Abraham lived apart from the cities and was a shining beacon of light that people would have to leave their cities to visit.

      “One need only look at the number of students whose Christian faith is destroyed by secular college professors of philosophy and religion courses, to see the danger of being a light in the world with the world as a part of the world and not separate from the world as the Lord commanded.”

      The most important thing for Christian parents is to make sure they know the Lord and His ways – raise godly offspring as the Lord has commanded.

  2. Thank you for this! I have tried to articulate something similar to moms I’ve spoken with on this very subject but was not nearly as thorough. I will be printing copies of this article to keep with me for the next time this topic arises. Sadly, I’ve seen multiple moms who homeschooled their children for years suddenly put their children in public school to be “salt and light.” I pray they see that error before it’s too late.

    1. I have seen this, too, Lisa, and it’s such a mistake. Some homeschool their children until high school and then put their children into the public high schools which are so very dark and full of evil. Parents need wisdom now more than ever!

  3. I feel so sad for all the children whose Mama’s have to work in order to feed, clothe, put a roof over them and educate them. I understand that a lot of Mama’s work because they want to – but I know more that would dearly want to be at home but can’t. I have freinds who chose to not have children because they could not afford for the wife to stay home and care for the child; that to me is so sad. Life can be so sad. Here in Oz housing is so expensive and renting is even more, I weep for this generation and thank God that we are not starting out in this day and age it is not for the faint hearted that is for sure.
    Love Jilly.

    1. It is very sad, Jilly. However, with God ALL things are possible for those who believe in and trust Him. If these women who feel they have to work would seek the Lord daily in prayer and ask Him for wisdom, many of them would find ways to come home. There are many opportunities for women to make money from home one day.

      And those couple who don’t feel they could afford to have children, where is their faith in Almighty God? He owns everything! As Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “God never issued instructions that He is not prepared to enable us to follow.”

      1. Amen, Lori! My very best friend is a testimony to what God can do! Her husband is a school teacher at a private school, but they have chosen to homeschool their 5 children. For a while they were so poor they had their power shut off at least once and were on food stamps. We bought Christmas gifts for their kids because all they were going to get were dollar aisle items. She has experience and connections with the local theater community and decided to start performing as a princess at birthday parties on weekends to help with finances. That was 4 years ago, and she now had 32 employees and never has to leave her children to do gigs at all now! They aren’t rich by any means, but there is food on the table and God is providing abundantly! There was a big write up in the paper about her business just last week! God can do ANYTHING!!!

  4. I love this! One of my friends stopped homeschooling her precious children and put them in public school, and this was one of her reasons…so that her kids could be made even stronger in their faith by being salt and light to others.

    1. Putting them into a place where their souls will be tormented like Lot’s was in Sodom and Gomorrah so their faith with be strengthened? They are greatly lacking in wisdom. Don’t they know that bad company corrupts good morals and that they are the ones called to raise up their children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord? This is so very sad.

  5. I don’t send my 4 children to public school to be “salt and light”. I send them so they can get a good education. So far, that’s happening. It’s not perfect, and bullying seems to be rife, but right now, it’s the only choice we have.

    But expecting my children to be “salt and light” to other kids at school is not only unrealistic, it’s putting an incredible amount of pressure on them. They’re kids. Their job is not to be “salt and light” yet. Their job, according to the Bible, is to obey their parents and to love their neighbour – being kind.

    Any parent who puts their child out into the world and expects them to “salt and light” and “minister” to other kids needs their heads read. I’d almost go so far as to say they’re not fit to be parents. Let kids be kids, for goodness sakes!

    1. There are a lot of great curriculum programs that you can use to educate your children. My children learned to love to read because I bought them books recommended by Sonlight so they would read two hours a day. They would read autobiographies of missionaries and historical fiction mostly. If a child is a good reader and good at math (which mine were), all other subjects come fairly easily!

      1. Hi Lori
        It’s not the curriculum that concerns me, it’s the qualifications here. To get them when homeschooling, it’s really, really hard. Not impossible, but really difficult, and involves the public school system in some form. My son is at high school, doing these qualifications now. Without them, he will not be able to get any kind of decent career. Even to get an apprenticeship, he needs these qualifications.

  6. We homeschooled our children, and they did attend some public school, but I didn’t expect them to be salt and light. My relatives are Amish and Mennonite, and my cousin’s grandchildren did try their local public school, and it did not work out well for them and their family. They are now enrolled in the local Amish school and doing well. I had a great time visiting one morning. So different than the public middle school my grandkids are attending.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *