This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on March 24, 2021. To listen to the audio file of this program, please click HERE.
Q: What should a genuinely concerned parent look for in a true Christian education?
A: I’ll just give you a couple of questions I would ask the school real quickly. What are the top priorities of your school? I would ask that straight to the administrator. Is it academics, athletics, what is it? What does your model graduate look like? And when they define that model graduate, go deeper. If they say, “Well, our model graduate is well-educated academically, has a biblical worldview.” Stop them right there and say, “Define biblical worldview to me. What does that mean?” And then I would ask them what textbooks they use…I would ask them what their spiritual development path looks like, and then I would sit down and say, “Can I interview two or three of your seniors?” And I will sit down and ask their seniors questions and see what happens when you do that. And that would give you a good picture of whether or not this might be a good school for your child.
Q: What should be the markers of success for a student who comes out of Christian education?
Number one, are they madly in love with Jesus Christ? Do they love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength? And number two, do they possess a thoroughly biblical world view? Can they answer all of life’s major questions from a biblical perspective? And number three, do they have an understanding of God’s call upon their life? And are they in a position, are they prepared to go out and live out that call?
Q: What should the profile of a student graduating from a Christian education have? How do we mark that success of that person?
A: They are in love with the Lord, Jesus Christ. They love him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. They have a well-developed biblical worldview, so they can answer all of life’s major questions through the lens of scripture. And they have a sense of calling and purpose for their life. They know why they’re here, they know God has a plan to use them, and they’re in a pursuit to discover what that call is. That’s what I’m looking for.
Quote: “Parents, listen, if you want your kids to know God, love God and live a beautiful and productive life, you’ve got to give them a biblical worldview education, a Christian worldview education. It’s the only education that makes sense in the real world.
Quote: “The greatest investment you will ever make is in the Christian education of your child, because long after you’re gone, it will continue to pay dividends in their lives and in your grandchildren’s lives.”
Sam Rohrer: Well, hello and welcome to this Wednesday edition of Stand In The Gap Today. I’m Sam Rohrer and I’ll be accompanied today by Dr. Gary Dull. Nearly every person listening to me today if you’re a parent, you know the importance of education for our children. And if your children like mine are grown, you know the importance of a quality education for our grandchildren. The scripture speaks extensively about the education of children. In Proverbs, it says, “Train up a child in the way they should go. And when they’re old, they will not depart from that training.” The biblical model as given to Israel in Deuteronomy chapter six is for fathers to take a primary responsibility, to make sure that a God fearing education is accomplished by example and word, and action, so that the children will know who God is, what he has done, and that there’s a direct relationship between fearing and obeying God and expecting blessing, prosperity, security, and good health in the future.
And here in Pennsylvania where I am, William Penn and other founders knew that the only way that God could raise up a nation or to continue to bless a nation would be, as he said, “A virtuous and godly education of the youth,” was carefully executed. Well, the devil also knows that getting a hold of our youth is a critical goal, it’s a prize. We know that in our nation education from the elementary through secondary levels, as well as of course, university levels has been infiltrated and hijacked with a rewriting of history, a redefining of truth and now a generation with less than 2% holding to a biblical worldview. Soviet communist Vladimir Lenin of years ago, embraced the concept of capturing the youth, and he expressed it this way and most of you will recognize this statement. He said this, “Give me just one generation of youth and I’ll transform the whole world.” He went on to say, “Give me four years to teach the children, and the seed that I have sewn will never be uprooted.” And he said, “Destroy the family and you’ll destroy the country.”
Well, the advent of COVID and the disturbance of education has awakened millions of parents as to what their children were either learning or perhaps not learning, particularly in public school classrooms. In the aggressive march forward of the so-called Equality Act now in Congress, H.R.5 will create even more dangers for every child in the public-school classroom, as they will be shamelessly taught an evolutionary and demonic view about God, human sexuality, marriage, and a purpose in life. So what do we do? What do Christian parents do? Well, my program theme for today is this, “Train up a child and leave Egypt behind”.
We’ll define Christian education and why it’s essential for spiritual and civil freedom, we’ll give reasons why any parent wanting to give their child a Christian education must choose an option other than public school. And then we’re going to give you multiple options at the end of the program of whether you’re a parent of a school-aged child, a grandparent, or a pastor with children under your influence. We’re going to give you options in which you can be involved in Christian education if you are not now. My special guest is Jeff Keaton, he’s the founder and the president of Renew-a-nation, and they have a website at renewanation.org. Jeff, thanks for being with us today.
Jeff Keaton: Thank you, Sam for the opportunity to be with you. I look forward to this and I really appreciate the work you guys are doing.
Sam Rohrer: Well, we appreciate the work that you are doing, and you’re in the space of Christian education. Every person has a life journey and I want to start out with, at the beginning, yours. Every person listening to me right now has a unique life story. Gary has one for him, I have one, and all of us know that if we have along the way, been aware of God and his will, and we’ve let him work, things just work out amazingly for his glory. But for you, let’s share a little bit here. You were a pastor at one point, and then you ended up moving from the pastor role to Christian education. How did that happen? And now looking back, why do you believe God directed you in this way?
Jeff Keaton: Well, yes I was a pastor for over 18 years, my first pastorate was an Inner-City Church in the Miami Fort Lauderdale area and it was Inner-City and they sent me there right out of college, one of those churches that was struggling so badly that I couldn’t possibly hurt it. They knew I couldn’t hurt the church being a young pastor. So they sent me there with a precious group of people, small group of people, and God did a mighty work. And we ended up within a few short years, with over 100 teenagers and children in our church, along with their parents who many had been drug addicts and alcoholics and they came to Christ and their kids were getting saved and, it was a phenomenal experience.
And honestly, I’d been raised some in public school, but then my dad saw, I grew up in a family of nine children and he said, “Wait a minute.” He saw all was happening in our public schools, and so he pulled us out, and we ended up being in Christian education. But I never really had an appreciation for it to be honest with you, until, here I am a young pastor, I’ve got a hundred plus kids, they’re all in public school except for one, and I told my student ministries pastor, he said, “Where do you want me to spend my time?” I said, “Spend your time with our kids.” And he said, “Well, they’re all in the public schools.” I said, “Well, go to the public schools.” So we ended up having a Christian club. We were responsible for in every single middle and senior high school in Broward County, Florida, it was 30 some schools. And it was there that I began to go in and speak in those Christian clubs and walk the campuses.
And it dawned on me that this isn’t going to work out. I’m trying to renew these young people’s minds, their parents have put them into all kinds of horrible situations as drug addicts and alcoholics, and now I’ve got them in the church and I’ve got them for Sunday morning, one hour and Wednesday night, one or two hours. And it dawned on me, they’re in this school here for 35 or 40 hours a week, I’m losing this battle for their minds. And so I began to get this, and the kids were walking into my office on a regular basis and saying, “Look pastor, everything you teach us at church, they’re teaching us the exact opposite at school. When we tell them that we’re not going to have sex before marriage, they literally mock us whether it was teachers, students, whatever it was.”
And so I began to get this dream in my heart from a discipleship standpoint, literally, that was my whole thing. I had no dream about starting a Christian school or being involved in Christian education, I wanted to bring people to Christ, disciple them in the faith. And it dawned on me that if I was actually going to disciple children in my church, I was going to have to gain much more access to their lives. And so I got this dream in my heart back in Hollywood, Florida, which was right there in between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. And I began to think, what if I had these kids all week long in my church and I had a school.
Well, that didn’t happen, and I left there after seven and a half years, God did a wonderful work, but he led me to a much more rural church in the State of Virginia, and I walk in and in one of my first board meetings, I said to my church board, I said, “What’s the best Christian school to enroll my second grader here in this area?” And one of my board members was a County Board Of Supervisors member, and he looked at me and said, “Why would you waste your money on a Christian school?” And I was like, “Oh.” He said, “Jeff, our public schools here are Christian schools. They have Christian teachers and administrators.” And I was a 32 year old dad and I decided I would take him up on it, I’d go down to the local school that he recommended, and I would interview the people there. And I did, that was the year 2000. I went in, I interviewed-
Sam Rohrer: And with that, Jeff, I’m going to have to interrupt because we’ve got to go into a break. Ladies and gentlemen, stay with us, we’ll come back and we’ll continue our discussion with Jeff Keaton. He’s the founder and president of Renewanation, helping children develop a biblical world view. When we come back, we’ll complete that thought, and we’ll talk about why Christian education.
Sam Rohrer: On our theme on today’s program is this, train up a child, leave Egypt behind. Our special guest, Jeff Keaton. He is the founder and the president and the CEO of Renew-a-nation, which has a website renewanation.org. Ladies and gentlemen, there is a reason why God told the fathers in Deuteronomy chapter six, to fear God and to raise up their children in the fear of God. You know what that reason is? It’s because God wants the best for his people.
Verse two and three in that chapter says this, “That thou mightest fear the Lord, thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, now, and thy son, and thy son’s sons, all the days of thy life. And that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it. That it may be well with you, and that thou mayest increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers has promised you.” You see there is a very practical application and benefit to a God-fearing, biblical world view, Christian education. Now in these verses the benefit is this, I pulled out just these. One, is national success, and that this recipe is simply comprised of two things, fear the Lord and obey his law. Then God defines this national success. One is long life. He says that thy days may be prolonged.
And secondly, second result, is national and personal security. It says that it may be well with you. And then three, physical prosperity. Is that you may increase mightily. Very practical, and of course, God’s word always is. So Jeff, let’s go here. I want you to build out a little bit more here, the true meaning of a biblical worldview, God-fearing focus on education using these two requirements as a foundation, and take this one first, and then Gary will come back and follow up with you on the second part. But this first one says, fear of God. So what does it mean to fear God? And how does a true Christian education accomplish that? And maybe work into this, the last segment, you didn’t get to finish, but you were talking about people that were saying, well, of course we’re involved in Christian education, but you didn’t actually kind of define it, so put those two together, if you don’t mind.
Jeff Keaton: Well, just quickly to wrap up in that first segment, sorry, I went over there. I ended up launching at Christian school in 2002 that grew to 400 students in the first seven years. And in that experience, I saw that, yes, that is the way I could truly disciple hundreds of children in my church. And it worked out amazingly. And really the reason is, is because all secularized education does not start with the fear of God. Okay? The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and if you don’t start there, your kids are not going to have wisdom. They don’t understand what to do with the facts that have been presented. And so, I would say quickly, the fear of God is to believe with all your heart, that He’s exactly who He says he is in His word. And in a Christian school, you can teach children that God is who he says he and his word is authoritative.
It is also to believe that his way is the best way in every area of life. We’ve got to teach our children the beauty of a biblical worldview. A lot of people say Christianity is all about dos and don’ts, that’s crazy. Christianity, I like to say to people, God’s laws were put in place to protect us, not to restrict us. And when we teach children the beauty of God’s law, then they have the understanding that, “Hey, his way is the best way.” It’s not just the hard way, it’s not just the small way, the narrow way, even though it can be described in those terms in some senses, but no, his way is the best way.
And so to fear God is to believe with all your heart, he is exactly who he says he is in his word, to believe that his way is the best way, and to submit to his plan. And so, one of the beauties of Christian education is that we can teach children what God’s way actually is, and why it’s so beautiful and why it works in the real world better than any other worldview, and teach them that they have to come to this place in their heart where they will submit to his plan, and that brings so many of the blessings you mentioned earlier.
Gary Dull: Jeff, that passage back in the book of Deuteronomy chapter six, that Sam made reference to, it was a tremendous passage of scripture, it’s a passage of scripture that should be before every family, every church, I think every ministry in every way. But the second requirement that we find in that passage of scripture is that we are to teach our children, to obey God and to keep his commandments. And my question to you, as it relates to that is how does a true Christian education ministry accomplish that goal? And I use that word ministry, because it’s the ministry of the home, it’s a ministry of the church, and it’s the ministry of the school. So how does it accomplish that goal of leading young people to obey God and keep his commandments?
Jeff Keaton: Well, first of all, as I just mentioned, it actually teaches young people who God is. I was just thinking the other day in Genesis chapter one through three, we literally, and in just those three chapters we are given major answers to several of the most significant questions of life. Who is our ultimate authority” in the beginning, God. Where did we come from? In the beginning, God created. What is our purpose? He called us to take dominion. Why do we have male and female? Because God created male and female. Why do we have marriage between man and woman? All of those kinds of major worldview questions are answered just in the first three chapters of the Bible. And so when we bring children to the word of God and not as a mythological book or some book that has a bunch of stories like a bunch of other religious books, but help them to understand that God’s word is authoritative, it is sufficient, it teaches us how to live, how to run a business, how to govern a nation.
And when we bring that to bear on the hearts and minds of young children, and then, what I like about Deuteronomy six, it says “You’re to teach your kids God’s commandments all day long.” When they get up in the morning, when they’re walking in the day, when they lie down at night and there’s no possible way a family can teach their children, and those kinds of timeframes, if they send them off to a school where they teach them the opposite of God’s truth. And so Deuteronomy six is a command to teach children 24 hours a day, seven days a week, God’s truth, and the Christian school can really help a family do that.
Sam Rohrer: And Jeff, that really brings us up to the next question that I have. When I was in the Pennsylvania House years ago, I chaired the subcommittee on basic education for about 15 or 16 years, I think. And I can say that without a doubt, education is the lowest common denominator, I’m going to put it in that perspective, in America. And I don’t mean unimportant, but it is the most common thing of which every American does. And that is, they’re going to attend school and the question is, where? Students, for many on the left side, they would view them as the low hanging fruit. So everybody’s going there except I wonder, no, that brings us to Christian education.
Here’s my question for you. In your own opinion, and you were beginning to speak about it in the last segment, I believe, but here’s this, much has been passed off as a Christian education with the content and curriculum being hacked or hijacked, let’s put it that way. Some think that Christian education is just use the regular school books and then just throw in a chapel or preaching time, one day a week, Bible class, then all of a sudden you’ve made a Christian education. Here’s the question, what should a genuinely concerned parent look for in a true Christian education?
Jeff Keaton: I’ll just give you a couple of questions I would ask the school real quickly. What are the top priorities of your school? I would ask that straight to the administrator. Is it academics, athletics, what is it? What does your model graduate look like? And when they define that model graduate, go deeper. If they say, “Well, our model graduate is well-educated academically, has a biblical worldview.” Stop them right there and say, “Define biblical worldview to me. What does that mean?” And then I would ask them what textbooks they use. I speak at Christian schools all across America, many of them use non-Christian textbooks with teachers who’ve been trained in secularized universities. So they talk about Christian education, but they have no understanding of how to actually immerse every subject in biblical worldview.
I would ask them what their spiritual development path looks like, and then I would sit down and say, “Can I interview two or three of your seniors?” And I will sit down and ask their seniors questions and see what happens when you do that. And that would give you a good picture of whether or not this might be a good school for your child.
Sam Rohrer: Jeff, that’s excellent. And I want to go here with you just a little bit further. We have George Barna on this program regularly, he deals with research and we’ve talked in terms of churches, and he says you get what you measure. So if you measure parking spaces, if you measure programs and that’s what you term to be a successful church, then that’s what you’re going to get. Let’s go back to Christian education. What should be the markers of success for a student who comes out of Christian education?
Jeff Keaton: I think it should be three things. Number one, are they madly in love with Jesus Christ? Do they love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength? And number two, do they possess a thoroughly biblical world view? Can they answer all of life’s major questions from a biblical perspective? And number three, do they have an understanding of God’s call upon their life? And are they in a position, are they prepared to go out and live out that call? I’m not saying every one of them will fully understand that call at 18 years old, but do they realize that they have a call, and are they seeking and searching for God’s will in their life. If those three things are there, and that means that they have to have an excellent academic foundation, because in order to fulfill God’s call, you’ve got to know how to do what God’s called you to do.
So those are the things I look for in success. As a matter of fact, if every school in America, and if every church in America would start judging success by how many 18 year olds they release out of their ministry, each year, who have those three things in their life, then I think everybody could consider themselves truly successful whether or not they have a large school, small school, large church, small church.
Sam Rohrer: And ladies and gentlemen, Jeff said, “Do they end up loving the Lord God with all their heart and mind and soul? Are they able to answer life’s questions? The most important life’s questions. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? And then thirdly, do they understand that God has a call on their life and are responding and thinking accordingly.” Wow, what a difference would that make. When we come back, we’re going to continue now in that discussion and talking about leaving Egypt behind. Christian education, train up a child, leave Egypt behind. Egypt, that public school system we’ve referred to. Why is it so important?
Sam Rohrer: Well, welcome back to Stand In The Gap Today? I’m Sam Rohrer accompanied today by Dr. Gary Dull and our special guest, Jeff Keaton. He is the founder and he is the president and the CEO of a ministry entitled Renewanation, helping children develop a biblical worldview. And they have a website at renewanation.org. Our theme today that we have chosen is this, ‘Train up a child, leave Egypt behind’. Now the first part of the program was really more on the train up a child. What’s that look like? What’s Christian education? What should you look for? What markers should be present in their child’s life, attitudinal wise upon graduation?
Do they love the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind? Are they able to answer life’s most important questions? And do they have any understanding at all about the call of God on their life? Meaning that God has a purpose for them and they’re willing to do it. Those are markers. Now we’re going to shift gears and talk about leaving Egypt behind, which is really what God told the Israelite fathers. When he said to train up your children and to teach them the commands of God. When God delivered Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians, and he took them to the promised land, he not only told them to teach their children in the fear of God and to obey the commands of God that we just talked about, but he warned them not to return to the ways of Egypt.
He told them to not consider where to worship the gods of the anti-God culture around them or to reflect back on Egypt as the place of bondage, which is where they were, but long perhaps to even go back to that, which they did from time to time didn’t they? But today in America, in part due to a combination of the church not heeding these warnings to reject the gods around us or the ugliness of Egypt, and identify the specific enemy strategies voiced by communist and atheist leaders like Vladimir Lenin and others who said, “Give me your child, first four years and I’ve got them,” but we haven’t watched that. And the curriculum taught to our children, has been targeted with lies upon lies, written by people who want to destroy America to present government, rather as God.
The grantor, government as the grantor of rights, the savior of mankind, and that government never lies, trust everything they say. In the modern curricula, facts are never as important as value. Education has been reduced to mere training for work, and mediocrity gets a trophy and even more. So Jeff, since the contrast between a God-fearing biblical worldview centered curriculum and a God-rejecting man centered curriculum is so vastly opposed, the two are just stark contrast, why isn’t every Christian American, every Bible believing pastor and every patriotic, God-fearing American leaving the government schools as quickly as they can? What is happening?
Jeff Keaton: That is a huge question that has frustrated me. I’ve often said, people said, “What is the number one obstacle to Renewanation being successful?” And I said this kindly, I said, “Pastors.” Now I hate to say that, because pastors, I was a pastor and I have pastors all in my family, I love pastors, they’re under so much duress in our culture today, but the bottom line is it either has to be… I can’t figure the answer to this question out because it makes no sense to me, either has to be ignorance or willful disobedience. But one of the reasons why, pastors tell me, when they have me come and speak often, they’ll say, even the ones that are somewhat courageous they’ll say, “Jeff please, don’t say anything negative about public education,” et cetera. And I have speeches where I don’t address that as much, just so I can get in the doors of those churches.
But many of them have lots of public school teachers and administrators in their churches, and they tell me, if you say anything, it’s going to offend them and I don’t want to offend them. And honestly, that’s what I hear a lot. In the 1960s and ’70s, when the Christian School Movement exploded in America because they took the Bible and prayer out of schools, honestly, that was bad, but it was nothing like it is today. And I just wrote an article this past week for something that, I asked the question, how bad will it have to get before American Christians will wake up and pull their kids out of government schools?
I can’t fathom it getting any worse. I mean, it’s horrible today, the whole issue of sexuality and that whole sexual curriculum in public schools today, even in country, rural schools is going crazy. So honestly it blows my mind why pastors and Christian parents don’t get it these days. I don’t have a great exact answer except to say that peer pressure causes them not to take a stand on this issue, and I believe there’s a lot of ignorance. They don’t actually believe those schools are hurting their children.
Gary Dull: Brother Jeff, I’ve been a pastor for 47 years, and I know that we are quite an odd crew from time to time, but I think it’s a terrible thing if a pastor would say to you, “Don’t say anything negative about government education.” I mean, I think that’s terrible from a couple of perspectives. Like you said, number one, probably there’s an ignorance to a certain degree. But if there is any understanding at all, as to what’s going on in the government public school, public education, they know it’s wicked, they know it’s sinful, they know it’s not a biblical worldview, and I really wonder if a pastor says that to you when you come to speak for him, I wonder if he’s preaching the whole counsel of God from his pulpit. And so I think that probably it’s even a deeper concern than maybe what the surface looks like.
But there are a lot of pastors, there are a lot of parents, a lot of grandparents who have their children in the government school. And in the few minutes that we have left in this particular segment, give the very best argument that you can give as to why, number one, if parents and pastors and whatever the case, are considering sending their children to school, that they should not send them to the public school. And secondly, if they are sending them to the public school, why they should remove them from that public school, as soon as possible.
Jeff Keaton: Again, I don’t want to reiterate myself too much here, but I’ve been saying to parents lately, the public school will give your child all the wrong answers to the great questions of life. Just take those questions I mentioned earlier from Genesis chapter three, who has final authority in this world? What does a public school teach a kid? They don’t tell them to believe in God. They tell him you do. You are autonomous. Okay? Where did we come from? The public school can’t teach a child the truth there, they’re not even allowed to teach creation. So they teach them evolution. What is our purpose? There’s a crisis amongst American young people, for two reasons. Number one, they don’t know who they are, so they don’t get the image of God question right, public schools don’t. So kids graduate, they don’t know who they are, they think they’re highly evolved animals, and they don’t know what their purpose is.
Well, we teach kids in a Christian school that you are a human being created in the image of God. Therefore, you are different than all other species. You are special. You have all of these phenomenal, mental, intellectual, moral abilities that no other species has. So we teach kids who they are and what makes them truly valuable. And then when it comes to what is their purpose? You know what, literally, I talked to an 18 year old German girl from German public schools, I asked her, “What did they teach you was the purpose of life in your German public school?” She was a non-Christian. She said, “They taught me that the purpose of my life was to make myself happy by doing whatever I want to do.” And that’s essentially what public schools are teaching kids today. And it’s a lie.
Our purpose is to take dominion of the earth and bend creation back towards God’s original design. That’s the ultimate purpose for our education, teach kids to be able to do that. And so I just say, parents, listen, if you want your kids to know God, love God and live a beautiful and productive life, you’ve got to give them a biblical worldview education, a Christian worldview education. It’s the only education that makes sense in the real world.
Sam Rohrer: Jeff, I want you to take this argument just a little bit further in the last couple minutes here. There are parents, many who would have their kids in a public school, but they have them in a good church and they’re training them well at home, and are believing that they can train up those children in a way that they can recognize the error of their teaching in the school, and they can come out stronger perhaps in that setting. You hear that often I’m sure. Respond to that.
Jeff Keaton: Well, I would just say that I wouldn’t have sent one of my 12 year olds over to Africa to be a missionary or even into the Inner City of America to be a missionary, and because why? They just weren’t mature enough. They loved the Lord, but they weren’t discipled well enough. And so the problem I have with that argument is that the numbers bear out, that we lost a vast majority of the students that we sent into public schools from homes and churches that were Christian. Let me say this, it takes the family church and school in my opinion, that’s a three stranded cord that is not easily broken. And obviously, if you have a great family and you have a great church, you got a chance. And some kids survive and some kids make it, but you’re playing Russian roulette with that third option at school, when you keep sending your kids to a place that is absolutely undercutting everything you’re teaching your child at a very deep level. It’s not just the homosexual issues and stuff like that, it’s way deeper than that.
And so I would just say, I would challenge you to reconsider, and why waste your child’s education, they’re getting all that falsehood all day long, they don’t have to get that, they could be getting truth all day long.
Sam Rohrer: And ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to talk about some solutions now. If you may be a parent, kids may be at homeschool, your kids may be in Christian school already, or they may be in public school. Grandparents listening, you could have your grandchildren in one or more of these places, we’re talking about getting them out of Egypt now, very tough to compete. It’s very tough to have your kids in Egypt and then take them into the promised land for a couple of hours a week, it’s pretty tough. When we come back, we’re going to talk and give you some options, some very practical options that whether you’re a parent or you’re a pastor or wherever, there’re going to be some options here for you, no matter where you are…
Anytime that God gives his people warnings or commands such as how we train up our children, as I’ve said before, he does it because of his love for us. Not to restrict us as our guest, Jeff said, but completely opposite. And for Christian parents who love their children, and all of you are listening right now, if you’re a Christian parent, and most parents, whether they’re Christian or not love their children, right?
But if you view them, your children, as gifts from God or lives on loan from God to be trained up in his ways, good intentions are almost always intact. I mean, most of you listening to me right now would say, “Yes, that’s exactly what I want. I want my child to grow up and be successful. I want my child to be a responsible young adult and to go on to lead the next generation. And yes, that’s what I want.” Yet, you know what? The allure of the world’s system, the fear of making a change or the real, or the perceived fear, and this is a big one I think, of insufficient money to put my child in a Christian school, or perhaps insufficient time or ability to teach them in homeschool.
Result is that many Christian children remain as we’ve been describing, in government schools. They are in the schools of Egypt. And day by day, and then month by month, and then year by year, time slides by until the most impressionable times of instruction are past the mold being cast in our child’s life. And then it’s too late, but there are options. And that’s where I want to go as I conclude this program. Jeff, there are options and I’ve identified a few things of why good, good Christian parents would say, “I just can’t. I don’t know how to teach my kids at home, or I don’t have enough money to put them in a Christian school.” And so day by day goes by, month by month and then pretty soon it’s too late.
So I want you to speak to the parents who are concerned about their children being in government schools, but don’t believe they have another option. Many people are praying for God to help them in some way, but perhaps they haven’t seen that answer yet. First of all, because your organization has two parts, what options exist? First of all, in your ministry, the one you started first Renewanation, are any options that you could offer to them?
Jeff Keaton: Well, let me just say this real quick to those parents, because I talk to parents when I speak across America. Especially in churches, parents come up to me and say, “Jeff, I believe what you just said, but I can’t afford this.” And what I say to them, really, I say this with all the kindness I can muster up, I say to them, “You say you can’t afford it, but I say you can’t afford not to.” Because I’ve had many, many grandparents and parents come up with tears running down their cheeks and said, “Why didn’t I hear you 20 years ago? Why didn’t I hear you 30 years ago? My kid is an atheist now.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that story.
So what I want to say to parents is the greatest investment you will ever make is in the Christian education of your child, because long after you’re gone, it will continue to pay dividends in their lives and in your grandchildren’s lives. So bottom line is Renew-a-nation, our vision is to transform culture by giving millions of children, a biblical worldview, and our mission is to inspire and equip the family, church and school to do just that. So we have a lot of resources for churches, families, and schools, and so if you want to go to our website, you want to reach out to us, we will literally walk you through the process.
If you just want to homeschool, okay, we have a team that will coach you at no cost, how to set up your homeschool, how to make sure you’re in line with your government regulations or whatever you have in your state. We have a group of people that can help you do that. That’s no problem whatsoever. And then just so many other resources that we can provide to you. We have a national magazine, the Renewanation Review that will encourage you, and strengthen you and give you options. So we’ve got a lot of stuff at Renewanation, but I know that you want to also talk about something new that we’ve just launched recently.
Gary Dull: Well, you’re sort of jumping ahead of us there a little bit, Jeff. So let me bring you into that. Speak to pastors for instance, who’ve never considered having a school in their church and tell them why they should do that, but in addition, speak to them about that exciting new option you have for them and their parents.
Jeff Keaton: Okay. Yes. So let me just talk to you pastors, who are thinking about it. I know it’s a huge decision. So if you’re going to start a regular brick and mortar Christian school, it’s quite costly, but I just want you to know that we do have coaches on our team right now, who can come alongside your church and walk you through every step of the process. We’ve done it with many organizations, we continue to do it right now with organizations, so you don’t have to be afraid that you won’t know how to do it, you won’t know what steps to take, we will help you through the entire process, if you want to start a brick and mortar school.
And the reason why that it’s a great idea is because if you truly want to disciple your children, and once they’re 18 years old, if you want to make sure that they’re leaving your church in love with Christ and prepared to fulfill the call God’s placed on their life, then this discipleship, 40 hours a week is unbelievable. You normally have them one to three hours, now you’re going have over 35 or 40 hours a week. That’s a huge, huge difference, so I would say that.
Now, we have recently launched, during COVID last year, we launched iLumenEd Online Academy. So world-class academy, we use BJU textbooks, and the reason we use BJU textbooks is because they are the most biblically integrated textbooks in the entire world. I don’t want to just say that, I didn’t grow up with BJU in my background or anything like that, I discovered these things when I had started my Christian school brick and mortar years ago, and I saw over the last 15 years, how they literally revolutionized these textbooks. And so we have iLumenEd Online Academy, let me just say this to parents and churches. First of all, iLumenEd is fully accredited, and we have a world-class biblical worldview track, biblical worldview immersion, phenomenal teachers, and they’re all live.
I mean, these are live instructors, the kids are live with the teachers, they can talk back and forth to other students, it’s the most engaging platform I’ve ever seen. And we put it together on purpose because we wanted a biblical worldview training platform that was the best you could find anywhere. And here’s the amazing thing, the cost is, literally right now, for $2,895 a year, a child can get a full one-year education through iLumenEd. Fantastic program. And if your child is in public school coming out, we have donors who’ve given us the money to give your child a 75% discount off of that in their first year. So we’ve taken the cost question and dealt with it effectively, we’ve taken the excellence question, our teachers are world-class, our curriculum is world-class. And so we really do have the tools now to really help those of you who want to get your kids out of public school, but don’t think you could do it by yourself.
Sam Rohrer: Jeff, where should parents and others right now, where should they go? To renewanation.org or another website there?
Jeff Keaton: They can go to www.renewanation.org , and that will lead them to iLumenEd as well, but if they want to go straight to iLumenEd, it’s spelled I-L-U-M-E-N-E-D. Like I, lumen, a measure of light, www.ilumened.org . And that will get them right to the iLumenEd website and they can set up a consultation, we have somebody ready to talk to them at any time and find out if this is something that might fit for them.
Sam Rohrer: Jeff, we have one minute and one minute only. I want you to rehearse again. What should the profile of a student graduating from a Christian education have? How do we mark that success of that person?
Jeff Keaton: They are in love with the Lord, Jesus Christ. They love him with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. They have a well-developed biblical worldview, so they can answer all of life’s major questions through the lens of scripture. And they have a sense of calling and purpose for their life. They know why they’re here, they know God has a plan to use them, and they’re in a pursuit to discover what that call is. That’s what I’m looking for. That involves excellent academics and all that stuff, because they might be called to be a NASA engineer, and they’ve got to be prepared for all of that. So I’m not minimizing academics, but those are the three things I’m looking for in a graduate.
Sam Rohrer: Thank you so much for that, Jeff and ladies and gentlemen, again, as we’ve said, the choice starts with us as parents and grandparents and pastors. Do we want that what Jeff just described, we want our children to look like that and think like that when they get out or not? If we do the options are there. Christian education is a must, home, church and whatever form of schooling you are using. Go to renewanation.org, you can get more information there and to our website, www.standinthegapradio.com . Jeff Keaton, thank you so much for being with us today. Gary, thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being with us. And until tomorrow, stand in the gap for truth, wherever you are.