Saying it’s a time for Christians to “get serious” about educating children in a fast-changing world, California pastor John MacArthur said during a recent conference that his church is launching two elementary schools this fall.
MacArthur, the pastor of Grace Community Church in the suburbs of Los Angeles, said the two schools will use a hybrid model that is part-private school, part-homeschool program. The schools, named Grace Academy, will have in-class instruction 14 hours per week and at-home instruction 16 hours a week, according to its website.
“We desperately have to capture this young generation,” he said during the Shepherds Conference, which was held at the church. “... You can’t just throw them to the educational system. … I think parents are now saying, ‘Look, we have a responsibility as parents; we can’t just turn these kids over to anything.’”
David Jeremiah, another prominent California pastor, made similar comments last year, saying it’s “time to rethink Christian education.” Public schools, Jeremiah said, “are no longer a fitting place for Christian young people to be because they will be so brainwashed by” unbiblical teaching. Jeremiah’s church, Shadow Mountain Community, is home to a private school, Christian Unified Schools.
MacArthur said the “ground is moving” within the culture.
“This is a time to get serious,” he said, adding that Grace Community “decided some months ago that we couldn’t expect all of our Christian families here to send their kids to the public schools.”
“Public schools are dangerous. I mean, even in Florida, which is pretty good, there’s a battle to keep teachers from teaching transgender stuff to kids in kindergarten,” MacArthur said, referencing Florida’s much-debated parental rights law. “So we just decided we’ve got to start a school program, a hybrid homeschool-resident deal. … And the people are so on board, and we have such human resources here, and [financially] people have stepped in on everything. We’re trying to make a difference as widely and broadly as we can, which is part of the think-biblically approach. We want to help people think biblically. It’s the only safety; it’s the only hope.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.