Protestant Reformed Churches & Homeschooling

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dannyhyde

Puritan Board Sophomore
Hello PB'ers,

Does anyone have information about the Protestant Reformed Churches' latest decision on homeschooling? Good friends of mine who live in Grand Rapids said they interpreted their Church Order to require all members to educate their kids at their own Christian schools and that David Engelsma gave some sort of speech on this.
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
:wow: I had not heard this, but am interested in the ruling. There are a few Protestant Reformed brothers on the Puritan Board, so perhaps they could fill us in on this issue.
 

N. Eshelman

Puritan Board Senior
It is going back to classis. There is a minister (Mitchell Dick) who has been released from his pastoral duties because he will not send his kids to the 'covenant schools'.

A couple of friends of mine have written appeals and things, but it looks like Rev. Dick is going to be a martyr for the right to homeschool in the PRC.

Englesma and Hanko are both preaching against it, and from what I hear from PR friends, they are doing some mighty big isogesis in order to 'prove' their point.

It is quite sad.
 

Stephen

Puritan Board Junior
It is going back to classis. There is a minister (Mitchell Dick) who has been released from his pastoral duties because he will not send his kids to the 'covenant schools'.

A couple of friends of mine have written appeals and things, but it looks like Rev. Dick is going to be a martyr for the right to homeschool in the PRC.

Englesma and Hanko are both preaching against it, and from what I hear from PR friends, they are doing some mighty big isogesis in order to 'prove' their point.

It is quite sad.

Yes, it is. :(
 

Archlute

Puritan Board Senior
It is going back to classis. There is a minister (Mitchell Dick) who has been released from his pastoral duties because he will not send his kids to the 'covenant schools'.

A couple of friends of mine have written appeals and things, but it looks like Rev. Dick is going to be a martyr for the right to homeschool in the PRC.

Englesma and Hanko are both preaching against it, and from what I hear from PR friends, they are doing some mighty big isogesis in order to 'prove' their point.

It is quite sad.

I can understand concern over the state of public education, but why the opposition to homeschooling as well? Do they desire to see catechesis and spiritual training in line with their positions integrated into the education of their children, and if so, is not that the role of the church in her preaching and teaching on the Lord's Day?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
To me, this sounds like church totalitarianism. Although I believe that parents should be encouraged to remove their children from Statist schools, nevertheless, the matter of whether to exclusively homeschool or use a Christian school is a matter of liberty.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
It is very 'fundamentalist' of them! Are they teetotalers as well?
 

Gesetveemet

Puritan Board Sophomore
Is this the latest decision? Pg 309-310 http://www.rfpa.org/downloads/8413.pdf

Bill's :2cents:

The PRCA in my opinion are the modern day standard bearers regarding the covenant, baptism, and the proclamation of the gospel they also have an outstanding seminary but IF THIS INFORMATION IS TRUE I find it terrible that they would silence the mouth of a man called by God to preach the gospel because he wants to train his children God's way.



It is going back to classis. There is a minister (Mitchell Dick) who has been released from his pastoral duties because he will not send his kids to the 'covenant schools'.

A couple of friends of mine have written appeals and things, but it looks like Rev. Dick is going to be a martyr for the right to homeschool in the PRC.

Englesma and Hanko are both preaching against it, and from what I hear from PR friends, they are doing some mighty big isogesis in order to 'prove' their point.

It is quite sad.
 
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Gesetveemet

Puritan Board Sophomore
Is this the latest decision? Pg 309-310 http://www.rfpa.org/downloads/8413.pdf

January/February, 2008 at the Georgetown PRC

Classis East met at its regularly scheduled time on Wednesday,
January 9, 2008, but because of the business before it, held continued
sessions on February 13, 14, and 27, 2008. All the churches were represented
by two delegates for these sessions. Rev. C. Haak served as chairman.
Classis treated protests from four individuals and a consistory
against decisions taken by classis in September, 2007 regarding a
pastor’s calling with regard to the education of his children in light
of Article 21 of the Church Order. Classis did not uphold any of these
protests, thus allowing the original decisions of classis to stand. (For
a complete presentation of the decisions taken by the September,
2007 classis confer the Report of Classis East given in the November
1, 2007 issue of the Standard Bearer.) Classis also dealt with the report
of a special committee appointed to assist the Grace PRC in
implementing the decisions taken by classis. The discussion of this
report and of the advice of a committee of pre-advice was held in
closed session. Classis, however, decided to make its decisions public. Classis
decided 1) that, in light of the requirements of Article 21 of the
Church Order, Grace PRC’s consistory erred when they judged
valid the reasons for their pastor’s withdrawing his children from two
good Christian schools and home schooling them; 2) to advise Grace
PRC to work with their pastor to show him the inadequacy of his
reasons, and to inform their congregation of this and of the fact that
they are working with him to show him that his reasons are not acceptable
as the pastor of Grace PRC. Because of classis’ concern for the
welfare of the congregation of Grace PRC and for the restoration
of peace and unity in that congregation, it further advised the Council
of Grace PRC to consider whether their pastor can be an effective
preacher/pastor to his congregation and whether he can lead
them out of their present unrest. Classis appointed another special
committee to assist Grace’s Council and Consistory in implementing
these decisions should they desire such help. An overture to Synod 2008
re-garding Article 21 of the Church Order was considered and judged
to be an improper overture. The consistory submitting this overture
subsequently withdrew it.


Me thinks there may be inaccurate information going around.
It is going back to classis. There is a minister (Mitchell Dick) who has been released from his pastoral duties because he will not send his kids to the 'covenant schools'.

A couple of friends of mine have written appeals and things, but it looks like Rev. Dick is going to be a martyr for the right to homeschool in the PRC.

Englesma and Hanko are both preaching against it, and from what I hear from PR friends, they are doing some mighty big isogesis in order to 'prove' their point.

It is quite sad.
 
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HaigLaw

Puritan Board Sophomore
Me thinks there may be inaccurate information going around.

In other words, there is concern in the Classis over division in the church about their pastor's decision to home-school instead of Christian-school his children?

:detective:
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
So, in some circles, the church is able to tell parents what to do with their children? I thought this was only the domain of the secular progressives.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
It is going back to classis. There is a minister (Mitchell Dick) who has been released from his pastoral duties because he will not send his kids to the 'covenant schools'.

A couple of friends of mine have written appeals and things, but it looks like Rev. Dick is going to be a martyr for the right to homeschool in the PRC.

Englesma and Hanko are both preaching against it, and from what I hear from PR friends, they are doing some mighty big isogesis in order to 'prove' their point.

It is quite sad.

Quite true, but In my humble opinion some mighty big eisogesis is done by those who demand homeschool or else as well.
 

Presbyterian Deacon

Puritan Board Graduate
 

staythecourse

Puritan Board Junior
Yeah, that's an oops. Expect recanting by those demanding adherence by the pastor or hardening on their part in the near future.
 
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HaigLaw

Puritan Board Sophomore
Yeah, that's an oops. Expect recanting by those demanding adherence by the pastor or hardening on their part in the near future.

Yeah, parental choice in education, unless it's in the school of Satan or something like that, has got to be a classic case of liberty of conscience.

:detective:
 

beej6

Puritan Board Sophomore
If I recall correctly, part of the PRCA's argument against homeschooling is that, at least in recent history, its origin is not Christian but secular.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
If I recall correctly, part of the PRCA's argument against homeschooling is that, at least in recent history, its origin is not Christian but secular.

What does that even mean? Christian origin? Toothbrushes and deodorant aren't of "Christian origin." Are PRCA pastors smelly old men with toothless grins?
 

HaigLaw

Puritan Board Sophomore
That makes no sense. When I became involved in HS'ing in 1982, it was clear that about half the people were doing it for Christian faith reasons, and half for secular reasons.

So, take your pick. The question, though, is -- who decides? Does the church have jurisdiction to second guess the parents' choice in education? I think not, as long as it's not the school of Satan, or something like that which clearly violates Scripture.

:detective:
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
FYI, article 21 of the Church order says:
The consistories shall see to it that there are good Christian schools in which the parents have their children instructed according to the demands of the covenant.

http://www.prca.org/PRC_Confessions_and_Church_Order.pdf

We have something similar in the Canadian Reformed churches:

"The consistory shall ensure that the parents, to the best of their ability, have their children attend a school where the instruction given is in harmony with the Word of God as the church has summarized it in her confessions." (CO Art. 58)

In the CanRCs, there are a good number of homeschoolers, including pastors and elders who do it. In fact, my wife and I did it for a few years as well. The difference between the PRCA and CanRC is that we generally give some breadth to the definition of "school" in this article so as to include home schools.

None of that is to say that homeschooling hasn't been controversial in our churches. It has. And there are those among us who will still say that Article 58 means parental Christian day school, period.
 

BJClark

Puritan Board Doctor
Could it be that if his church offers schooling and he refuses to send his own children to the school it is as such causing conflict?

If the school isn't good enough for the pastors children, why would I want MY children to attend there?

I can certainly see why something like that could cause unrest within a church
especially if members of his own congregation are teachers at one or both or any of the Christian schools..

the information provided doesn't really explain what the pastors reasons are for homeschooling his children as opposed to sending them to one of the schools, that information would be helpful to understand the fight a little more..
 

MOSES

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm for the seperation of "education" and "the state". I'm also for the seperation of "education" and "the church". in my opinion, "education" "the state" and "the church" are distinct and seperate spheres, i.e., from eachother, but all three spheres are under Christ.
Christ is to be the ruler and head of all three spheres and it is a mistake for "the state" to take Christ's place as head of "education"...it is also a mistake for the Church to take Christ's place as head of "education". No sphere can take headship over another. But, the sinful heart of man, even in the Church, wants to be totalitarian.
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
I'm for the seperation of "education" and "the state". I'm also for the seperation of "education" and "the church". in my opinion, "education" "the state" and "the church" are distinct and seperate spheres, i.e., from eachother, but all three spheres are under Christ.
Christ is to be the ruler and head of all three spheres and it is a mistake for "the state" to take Christ's place as head of "education"...it is also a mistake for the Church to take Christ's place as head of "education". No sphere can take headship over another. But, the sinful heart of man, even in the Church, wants to be totalitarian.

Just to clarify: I had a look and I think the PRCA and the CanRC are similar in that the schools are not operated by the churches. Instead, they are operated by the parents. We don't have parochial schools, but parental schools. The parents form an association or a society whereby they operate a school. Where needed, consistories "lean" on families to ensure that their children are receiving a Christian education, but they don't participate in the operation of schools.
 

MOSES

Puritan Board Freshman
Guido's Brother;404047 Just to clarify: I had a look and I think the PRCA and the CanRC are similar in that [B said:
the schools are not operated by the churches[/B]. Instead, they are operated by the parents. We don't have parochial schools, but parental schools. The parents form an association or a society whereby they operate a school. Where needed, consistories "lean" on families to ensure that their children are receiving a Christian education, but they don't participate in the operation of schools.
<--- Bold emphasis mine.

If this is all that it is then I would not see the Church taking headship in the sphere of education.
Note: Of course the Church should be concerned that it's members are providing thier children with a Christian education. This is a moral thing. If parents are not seeing to it that thier children are being educated within the bounds of the covenant, then the parents are in sin, and yes the Church should get involved. If the parents refuse to repent, then the Church must take disciplineary action.
This is a much different thing then what I orginally thought. The Church is not taking headship over the sphere of education, it is simply taking action in encouraging its members not to live in sin, by having it's members educate thier children in the school of Christ...Right?
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
This is a much different thing then what I orginally thought. The Church is not taking headship over the sphere of education, it is simply taking action in encouraging its members not to live in sin, by having it's members educate thier children in the school of Christ...Right?

:up:
 
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