By Josh Dyson, Classical School of Wichita
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, with industrialization progressing at an unprecedented rate, people and nations were gaining a great deal of confidence in what destiny lie before them. Many alliances were being made in attempts to protect themselves and proceed on to the next step that progress required. While there was unrest among certain groups leading to terrorist activity, the French revolution still plagued the nightmares of those in power, and poverty was still prevalent, many felt that there was reason to hope for a better future and in general living conditions were improving.
When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, Austria-Hungary was ready to jump into war. Everyone knew that this war would be different than past wars due to the awesome destructive forces of weapons created by new technologies thanks to the industrial revolution. In the past, wars had often been long-term endeavors with campaigns that would last for years, but that was the past. People thought with the advance in technology that the nature of warfare would be different. They thought that wars would be fierce, expensive, but short. They got two of those things right—the war to come, World War I, would be fierce. And it would be expensive. But short it was not. The results of this tragic war were devastating. The number of lives lost and the massive effect on the economy of the nations involved was crippling.
The war was officially over in 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty attempted to salvage something of the wreck that had been made, but it simply was unsalvageable. But isn’t the fall of many of those nations a good thing for the world? History indicates that it was not. While we might look favorably upon the fact that unjust systems of government could no longer sustain themselves, a void was left that would be filled by others that would prove themselves more destructive than their predecessors. The fallout of World War I paved the way for Marxist (or inverted Marxist?) communism in Russia under the Bolshevik leaders and nationalist fascism under Mussolini and Hitler in Italy and Germany respectively.
For what purpose do I recall this history? I bring this history up as a lead into this question: Would it have been better for the pre-WWI governments to remain stable rather than for their infrastructures to crumble? I believe that it would have been better for those governments to remain stable; millions of more lives were lost as a result of the war that might have been preserved otherwise. It is not always in everyone’s best interest for unjust systems to crumble.
Now let’s consider the modern Government education in America. I am not proposing that the problems of modern Government education are fascist or Marxist or that millions of people are going to be slaughtered at its hands. The correlation I want to draw to WWI is whether it is good for the organizations that we oppose to crumble.
Many, if not most of us, agree that Government education is no longer a viable option for our children. There has been a tremendous growth in the popularity of homeschooling and private schooling. Many of us also have envisioned a world in which private Christian education (and classical Christian education in particular) has become the norm across the nation. We look at what is happening in the Government schools and we are ashamed at the political correctness, lowered standards, and agenda-driven curricula. But do we really want Government education to crumble in America? I submit that we do not.
Consider what God tells Moses in Exodus 23.27-30 (ESV, emphasis mine).
“I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.”
What great wisdom that God imparts here! Could God have resolved these issues supernaturally? Few of us doubt that He could have. But often God chooses to operate according to the mundane nature of things. God knew that it would not be good for the Hivite, Canaanite, and Hittite cultures to collapse before them, despite how wicked they might have been. The Israelites were not ready for that. They needed those cultures to fall slowly, as they had time to overtake them and maintain the resources that were there.
Let’s be honest. As a classical Christian education movement, we are not ready for Government education to crumble. Our school infrastructures would have a hard enough time handling the influx of hundreds of students—not to mention millions! Government schools provide services that we simply are not equipped to provide. Some of our own children are part of these programs due to the high cost of running them or lack of access to such programs in the private sector. Government schools help train and mentor a number of teachers that we welcome into our schools. From time to time, some of us need to find jobs in Government schools for the financial livelihood of our families.
Now I’m not saying that we owe Government education anything. Are we not the ones funding these schools with our hard-earned tax-dollars in addition to the tuition that we pay to send our kids to private schools? We don’t owe them anything. We just simply need to acknowledge that for the time-being, those schools fill a need that we cannot fill. I believe that God will one day allow our schools to fill this need, but until then let’s pray for the Government schools—not that they crumble or are driven out, but that little by little they are simply no longer needed.
Mr. Josh Dyson is in his third year as the Director of Operations at CSW. Prior to joining the CSW family, Mr. Dyson served as the Chaplain, as well as teaching Bible and Latin at Houston’s First Baptist Academy. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Languages and Christianity from Houston Baptist University in 2007. Additionally, he has done graduate work at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and at Houston Baptist University. Mr. Dyson and his wife, Julie, have been married for 10 years. They have four children.
 Here is an article on the growth of classical Christian education: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-exponential-growth-of-classical-christian-education