Josh Harris’ dad and renown homeschool advocate Gregg Harris has weighed in on Josh’s remarks that I posted here earlier this week. Gregg is very supportive of Josh’s pleading with his congregation to display humility and unity when it comes to differing approaches to educational choices among fellow believers. Here’s what Gregg said:
Hey Josh, this is your dad. Just for the record, I heartily agree with what you have said so well in this video clip. Educational choices have always been a matter of parental responsibility, not of some extra-biblical standard. Every householder should make an informed decision before God. All should research their local schools, public and private and become fully convinced in the way in which he (or she) decides to use his God-given liberty under the Lordship of Christ to bear the best and most abundant fruit he can for the glory of God.
The only moral issue at stake is whether we are willing to walk in the obedience of our faith in God and His will as we understand it from the Scriptures. Though wisdom and foolishness are called into play, there is no moral superiority to be found in any one educational option. Though dilligence is required of all three options, only our labor in Christ will not be in vain. Then, as the relative fruit of each option is put on display in time, may we all be humble enough to change our ways as needed in order to bear even better fruit for God.
Not all options seem to be equally fruitful thus far. But as a long-time home-schooling father and Christian home-schooling advocate I can honestly say that every option, including home schooling has its problems (as you well know). So, pick your problems, and by the grace of God deal with those problems as they arise. Our family has chosen the problems that come with home schooling. But, as you have said, we pray for all of our fellow parents and their children that God will mercifully bless their efforts to be faithful. We are all one in the body of Christ and that should allow us to support one another wholeheartedly in spite of our differing convictions on how to educate our children. Good job, Josh. I am so pleased with you and your service as a father, a pastor and just as my son. I love you. – Dad
[HT David Wayne]
It is good to hear the same call for unity come from one who has for decades persuaded many parents to homeschool their kids. I particularly appreciated how he casts this issue as a “be fully convinced in your own mind” issue, just as Paul does other non-biblically-mandated matters (see Rom. 14).
Christians need to avoid the legalism that comes from over-elevating this issue to the level of making it a key way that someone’s spirituality or holiness or seriousness about following Christ is measured. Biblically, educational decisions are not that kind of a measuring stick. Love is.
UPDATE: For more help on thinking about what Scripture actually says on this topic, check out a great couple of articles I recently read over at Pulpit Magazine, entitled Home, Private, or Public School? and Does the Bible Mandate Home School?