[Objection:] But participation in state schools is unwise for Christians. It aids and abets a movement toward greater state power, and hence toward a greater domination of unbelief in our society.
I respect this argument, but we must understand the true force of it. It is a strategic argument, recommending a particular tactic in the cultural warfare of our time. The argument is that we can do more good for society in general if we simply boycott the public schools than if we make use of them. That may be true, but in this instance I am not convinced.
Christians are often asked to boycott things in order to send a message to organizations and to society in general. Some years ago, the Southern Baptist Convention and other Christian organizations promoted a boycott of entertainment produced by the Disney Corporation. Certainly this recommendation does not have the status of biblical command. If it did, we would have to boycott any corporation that contributed in any way to immorality in society. On that basis, we would have to boycott nearly every business, withdrawing almost entirely from the world of commerce.
Scripture never takes that approach. The pagan food vendors at Corinth doubtless used their profits in all sorts of idolatrous and immoral ways. Certainly they promoted a kind of worship (often immoral) that did great harm to society. But Paul does not tell Christians to boycott them. On the contrary, they are to “eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience” (1 Cor. 10:25).
Nevertheless, if great numbers of Christians were to boycott Disney, the boycott would “send a message” that could do some good. The proposal deserves some serious consideration, but it is not the word of God. So boycott proposals are strategic suggestions, not biblical norms. Perhaps a Christian boycott of the entire public school system would send a useful message. But such a boycott is not likely to take place. And the first responsibility of Christians is to their own children, not someone’s broad strategy for social improvement. Christian parents should consider such boycott proposals seriously, but they are not obligated by God to participate in them, and it may be to their children’s advantage if they do not participate in them.
You know the rules: Google silently or guess honestly…
[Update: the answer, hinted at in the picture, is John Frame. I got it from Doctrine of the Christian Life, in the end of the “contemporary application” section on the 1st commandment (Secularism), but it appears the material is redundant with this article. Now Z can tell us how what Frame has given us with the right hand (liberty to send our kids to public schools) he takes away with the left…]