This is probably the most common argument that I hear from well-meaning Christian friends. I actually left a church in part because of this message being so pervasive – people who homeschooled were gently teased as being fearful. I found this great excerpt and wanted to share it.
The following is an excerpt from Voddie Baucham’s boom A Family Driven Faith.
Many object to homeschooling or private Christian education based on the fact that God has called us to be “Salt and Light” and evangelize the world. Thus, they argue, it is incumbent upon us to send our children into government schools in order to ‘make a difference’ in the lives of other students. There are at least three major problems with this line of reasoning. First, it misrepresents Jesus’ teaching. Ironically, the “Salt and Light” command is precisely why we chose homeschooling. I believe home education is the most distinctive (city on a hill) choice we can make. It is also the best way to preserve (salt) biblical foundations that have all but eroded in our Nation’s schools.
The second problem with this line of reasoning is that it ignores the main thrust of the Great Commission. The Great Commission states: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I commanded you…” How is this possible apart from Christian education? How can I “make disciples” of my children if I send them off to the Government school 45-50 hours per week? How can I teach them to obey all that Jesus has commanded in if I send them off to an institution that is anti-Christian by federal mandate?
Finally, our children cannot “evangelize” our government schools if they don’t know what they believe and why they believe it. All of the evidence currently points to the fact that our children are the evangelized, not the evangelists in our Nation’s schools. They are the ones being carried away by every wind of doctrine. The Nehemiah Institute, The National Study of Youth and Religion, and the Barna Report have shown us clearly that our children do not even understand –let alone obey—all that the Lord has commanded.
Interestingly, the very passage that contains Jesus’ teaching on “Salt and Light” also contains clear teaching on the aforementioned issue of children being led astray. If you continue reading in Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus says,
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (emphasis added)
Thus, the same passage used to call home education into question for not being “Salt and Light” makes it clear that Jesus’ admonition could not possibly include anything that would contradict biblical truth.
To sum up: We don’t train soldiers on the front line. We don’t send children to battle.