Man Made Mandates

In Romans 14 Paul gives instruction to brothers in Christ who happen to disagree on diet, days and drinks. Some eat the meat of pagans and some think it’s a sin to do so. Some keep special holy days and others don’t. Some only drink water while others enjoy wine. This chapter has been made famous for dealing with “weaker brothers.” Paul’s advice is not to force someone to do something they are not comfortable with. Don’t push alcohol on the teetotaler nor think less of him who does drink. Don’t mandate or forbid holidays. The same goes for the food you eat, avoid it if it makes someone else uncomfortable. That is how the weak and the strong can get along in the same body. By the way, it is the strong who have liberty to do such things and the weak that forbid it. So as the strong and liberated let’s not flaunt our freedoms.
I encountered some weaker brethren this week in social media. They were mandating that Christians not allow their children to attend public schools. Because the “clearly biblical” thing to do is home school or private school. While there were no clear Bible references given to support the sinfulness of parents sending their kids to public schools. Many bad examples from around the country were sited as to the failure of governmental education. Basically if your children attend public schools you are a weak Christian at best and you might not be saved. Or so they said.
This legalistic approach to education is a text book weaker brother moment and here’s why. The Bible is not cut and dried on the methods of educating your children, save that the parents bear the responsibility. The Bible does not condemn governmental services or our use of them. Every school district is as different and every set of parents. This is why a binding statement in Scripture can’t be found on this subject.
So how should a strong brother respond? We have the liberty to decide for our family the educational system that best suits our needs. It we choose in home, private, or public it’s none of their concern. Nor do we hold the right to force our preferences on them, it their choice as well. Problems will only arise when one brother tries to force the other. Be strong, don’t do it.