Geneva Academy does not accept vouchers. This has been a settled conviction since the inception of the school, but we have not really faced the issue so closely until this year.
Why not take the vouchers?
Jesus Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Being the Lord, He has all authority in Heaven and Earth (Matt. 28:19). He is Lord of the Church, Lord of the family, Lord of the city, Lord of the state, Lord of business and Lord of education. Of course, He is not obeyed in all these realms, but this does not mean that He is not the Lord of them. And we do not make Him Lord–that has already been done through the cross. Rather, He is the Lord. He reigns over all and not just in our hearts.
Our central mission at Geneva is to assist parents in the academic discipleship of their children in Christ the Lord who is Lord of history, Lord of mathematics, Lord of language, Lord of music, Lord of economics and of physics. Christian education is academic discipleship. It is not a neutral endeavor where all the “facts” speak for themselves. Jesus created the world. Jesus changed history. Man is fallen and sinful. There is enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of man (Gen 3:15). There is enmity between the city of God and the city of man. These are all absolutely foundational truths. Therefore, a system that denies or ignores these truths is not neutral. If God is not directing history, then who is? If men are not born sinners then bad things are just a product of environment. If the divide is not between the city of God and the city of man, then the divine will be placed elsewhere. On these issues no one is neutral.
The current state education system officially disregards, and is legally bound to refuse, the authority of Christ in anything, much less everything. They are not allowed to say, “God says” when arguing for, or against anything. They are not allowed to declare what God has said in any subject, in any class, in any relationship, in any business operation. The bottom line is that they may not say Jesus is Lord and then obey the Lord in that application. But again, this does not mean that the state is neutral. If you are not for Jesus, you are against Him: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
Now where do vouchers come into this? There is no free money. When the state doles out money it always does so with conditions. Many people have recently written to the newspaper concerned that the voucher system is a “privatization of education.” That is not what is going on. Rather the voucher system is a secularization of private schools. The state education system is now becoming larger, not smaller. The state is over-extending its authority into the private sector. No surprises there! But we will not win the battle of educating the next generation by letting the state in the back door to dictate what is taught and who teaches. In actuality, all the schools taking the king’s coin are becoming the king’s men.
What are these teachings? Scary stuff like Creation, God’s providence, and absolutes in mathematics based on the character of God. Yes, these schools are being questioned about being “fit schools.” Now we will not be immune to the state’s atheistic stance even if we avoid vouchers. There will likely come a time when the pressure will be put on Geneva to conform to the image of the state, rather than the image of God. We pray that the Lord delivers us from such oppression and bullying, but vouchers would certainly speed up the process.
The Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS), of which we are members, provides a very helpful summary of the voucher problem, which can be found here.