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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Should Our Children Be Taught About Other Religions?

Some schools are taking it upon themselves to teach children about other religions. Is this okay? After all, we want them to understand the world around them. We want our children to accept other people and have a wide worldview.

I don’t believe teaching them other religions is acceptable, and there are several reasons why:
  • The parents have no say. They aren’t asked, “Do you approve of Johnny being taught Religion X?” They’re also not able to opt out of classes.
  • Children are easily confused. They don’t have the maturity to weigh ideas in a logical manner. Depending on how Religions X, Y, and Z are presented, these religions might appeal to vulnerable children. Children might also become confused about basic biblical doctrines. After all, they told them in school . . . .
  • In religious instruction, the children might be asked to actually perform acts of worship. These contradict the First and Second Commandments, which say, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them (Exodus 20:3-5a).

Children should understand that other religions exist. They need to be taught that “religion” is about people trying to please God (or their concept of god). They should understand that no religion can please God, since all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 6:23). This leads children to the Truth—to the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the only One who can save people from their sins, because He offered Himself on the cross and rose again.

Children can be taught the truth about idols. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield (Psalm 115:4-9). You can also teach them that other religions’ founders have died and remained dead, but Jesus rose again, and we can have life through Him!

The Bible is very strong about false teaching. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9).

So, what can a parent do?
  • My first choice is Christian education—either homeschooling or in a good Christian school.
  • If you cannot put your child in a Christian school, make it crystal clear to your child’s teacher—and the principal—that you do not want your child to participate in any class about other religions. Make sure there’s a provision for your child to leave the room, if a class of this sort will be taught. Schools are supposed to honor your wishes.

I believe it’s important to have a biblical understanding of education. The Bible tells us exactly what children are supposed to learn. It’s a very easy two-point outline. Are you ready?
  1. Educating children begins with their parents. The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.
  2. Parents are to teach children to love God and to obey His commandments. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:4b-7). This is obviously an all-day teaching. That’s why I love Christian education, whether in the home or school. Your children are learning love for God and for His Word, the Bible. If they go to a public or secular private school, it’s still your obligation to teach them to love God and the Bible.

One of the huge failures in Christian homes is teaching their children to love God and the Bible. Why is this happening? I’m not completely sure, but I think part of the cause is that the parents don’t seriously love God with all their heart, soul, and might, and they probably don’t demonstrate a sincere love for the Bible in their home. How many parents sit down with an open Bible and read it to their children? How many parents are distracted by television and computers? How many parents convey their own love of God in the way they live, treat their spouses, and interact with their children? How many pray with their children?

What should a parent teach his child? These biblical concepts provide a starting place:
  • Love for God—Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matthew 22:37).
  • The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17)
  • Salvation—Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:10, 12).
  • Kindness—And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32).
  • Obedience—Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1-3).
  • Scripture memory—Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (Psalm 119:11).
  • Character traits: honesty, industry, responsibility, keeping one’s word, etc.
  • Wisdom—Study the Book of Proverbs with your junior high and high school children.

Of course, there’s much more! Biblical teaching all boils down to teaching children to love God and obey His commandments. That’s our duty. We must not allow our children’s school to sidetrack this!


  1. Yet another good post. :)
    My hubby defines religion as: Man's own effort to get to heaven without God. It's amazing, and sad, what children are learning in school these days.

    1. A good definition! Thank you, Heidi! God bless you.

  2. Well - I taught geography in a Christian school for nine years (hated to give it up), and I taught other religions. I taught the five pillars of Islam, the basic concepts of Buddhism, and showed them how Taoism comes through on American cartoons. I taught Judaism and the caste system of the Hindus. I think they need to be informed. At the end of the semester they had to compare all to Christianity. This was in the 9th grade.

    Of course, I taught all through a Christian filter. Perhaps you are only referring to secular education.

    1. Yes, Ann, of course it's great to teach them through a Christian viewpoint. I agree with you; children should be informed! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. God bless!


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