In this article, John shares highlights that basically outline the impending “manifesto” of this group and I would like to list some of those things here along with a few of my own insights and comments on each one. Phillips believes that homeschooling is “in a state of potential disaster” and then goes on to list the following ways homeschooling families must head off said disaster:
1. Goals of the homeschool movement need to include the destruction of the entire government-run school system and the abolition of Child Protective Services. If we don’t agree we are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
During the past 24 years I have homeschooled my own children, neither of these two “goals” have ever hit my radar. While I am a staunch and active, sometimes aggressive, promoter of home education, I think the fruit of our efforts can stand alone without me feeling the need to destroy the public system or even to see them as the enemy. In fact, there are many Christian teachers I personally know who are “missionaries” to children who desperately need their love and influence within the system. Some of these teachers are even homeschooling parents themselves!
Even Argentine revolutionary, Che Guevera, said, and with much truth, “Do not try to kill your enemy rather, attempt to educate him. For he is worth more alive to you than dead”. Homeschoolers have much to share and teach those who have chosen a different path. Why seek to tear down relationships by seeking to destroy a system we cannot destroy anyway? This sort of rhetoric may inspire and incite those who heard his presentation and make Phillips sound like the “manly man” he keeps pontificating about, but in practical terms it will only divide the body of Christ and will bring scrutiny and consternation upon all homeschoolers.
I also strongly disagree with the notion that the CPS has no role to play within our culture. Calling for the destruction of it tells me two things. The first is that Phillips appears to have no real empathy toward those families and children who do not yet know the Lord and who live as we would expect pagans to live. The children who are trapped in these living situations need an advocate for them and, sadly, the very people who should be willing to reach out to them will not because they have cloistered themselves away in homeschooling FIC communities.
Secondly, it also shoots up huge warning flags to me, especially in light of the propensity for harsh and abusive discipline that some within the patriocentric movement practice. Richard Fugate and Michael Pearl both teach methods of child discipline that ought to be examined and rejected by Christian parents. I believe some of the motivation for this sort of anti-CPS talk is the desire to protect parents who embrace these same teachings.
I also wonder about the cases of child sexual abuse within Christian and homeschooling homes that need to be addressed. We cannot pretend that these situations haven’t occurred because they have. I find it appalling that Phillips wants to make it our mission to use our energy to destroy public education and social programs designed to protect children from those who practice bad parenting. Not only it is fruitless and unwise but it may give rise to needless concerns about all homeschooling families on the part of officials. What was he thinking?
2. Another goal is to reject and bring an end to church-based or church-run schools.
Again, what a battle to choose for homeschoolers! Where is the sin in giving a child a Christian education in a classroom setting? Many Christian homeschoolers enroll their children in classes they find difficult to teach in their homes, such as science labs, language classes, band, and chorus. I don’t understand why their destruction should be our goal? How are they a grave risk to homeschoolers?
3. Another goal is to reject college or any training for daughters that might lead to them being outside of the home. If we do this, we are wrong, are in sin, are threatening the future of home education, AND we have gotten involved in rebellious, feminist thinking. In fact, Phillips seems to be saying that for all times and for all cultures, this is God’s standard. (oops, Jesus must have forgotten this when he took all those ladies along to FINANCIALLY SUPPORT them as they presented the Gospel.)
Long time readers of this blog know that the topic of “visionary daughters” has been examined from many angles and continues to be a hot topic. But what is becoming increasingly clear to me is that, no matter how much kinder, gentler spin these people attempt, the truth is that this movement absolutely teaches that there are two views of godly womanhood: patriocentric views and everyone else’s and it is clear that if we are not on their page, we are part of the radical secular feminist agenda. Those who deny this are either, as Peter warned us, unknowledgeable or unstable and both are headed for destruction. (2 Peter 3:16) Phillips most recent presentation confirms this.
4. ” We must be involved in godly family integrated, orthodox, sound churches. Without accountability, without the love of brethren, without the nurturing and the teaching of the Bible, we will fall apart, and the homeschool movement can no longer tolerate, it can no longer handle, unassociated Christian members that are simply not willing to be part of formal biblical associations.”
Again, Doug is painting with a broad brush, assuming that traditional churches and home churches cannot provide the proper accountability structure for homeschooling families. Not only is this statement without merit, it also is a picture of the wedding of ecclesiocentricity and patriocentricity, a deadly combination for certain. This admonition proves that the patriocentrists will continue to use homeschooling forums to promote their FIC agenda. I can’t help but wonder how many godly Bible believing pastors know this when these folks come to town.
5. Mothers are not leaders in their homes and must be protected by their husbands from women internet bloggers who see godly womanhood in a different light and who speak out against patriocentricity. In fact, those who critique Phillips’ views were referred to as “internet gossips” with possible website names like www.titus2lesbians.blogspot.com and are considered to be more dangerous to homeschooling moms than internet porn is to homeschooling dads!
Well, I hardly know what to say on that! I guess when you run out of ideas and cannot present the merits of an argument or listen to the real concerns people have, name calling is always an option.
In closing his review, John notes that Phillips is making the bar too high for most people to consider homeschooling. I think that is part of the agenda. A while back, someone who attended the Botkin conference shared that he told the audience his daughters didn’t play with Barbie dolls as they grew up but rather he gave them toys that would train them to be the leaders over the servants in their households. I thought that was interesting in light of John’s thoughts. It is certainly a different twist than the genuine Biblical truth that Jesus came “not to be served but to serve and to give His live as a ransom for many.”
Earlier today I had a long conversation with a stalwart of the homeschooling movement and someone who has done amazing things to preserve the rights of homeschoolers in this country. This person was dumbfounded to hear this list and so saddened at what the ramifications might be if the secular powers that be were to read and actually believe this agenda. I concurred.
Dear readers, I have come to believe that the concerns are far greater than I ever realized before. Let’s pray that the Lord will open eyes and hearts and will preserve and protect those of us who are willing to speak out against such teachings.