By Steve Demme
There are two questions most often asked of Christian home educators. The first is, “What about socialization?” While this question becomes tiresome, it does not really affect us very deeply and is easily answered and overlooked. The second is harder to disregard because the asker is most like a fellow Christian believer and his is not simply a request for more information but a question that challenges our calling. The question is usually something like, “Aren’t we supposed to be salt and light to this generation?”
Most of my home educating friends are earnest believers who have chosen the path less trod. Their desire to train up their children came at God’s prompting. This query is especially difficult because it questions whether they have obeyed God’s direction or their own hearts. The real issue seems to be, “Is the call to home educate our children in opposition to the command to be salt and light in the world?”
When I was thus confronted, I went to God and asked if I had been led. Almost immediately two scriptures came to mind. The first was from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:13-14: “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thence forth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world.” The second verse was I Peter 1:15-16, quoting Leviticus 10:26: “…but like as he who called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living: because it is written, Ye shall be holy, for I am holy.”
When these scriptures are put together, the thought that often emerges is that we are holy and are called to be salt and light. A careful reading of the scriptures reveals the exact opposite. The word “be” is an imperative or a command to do something. “Are” on the other hand explains the essence of the subject being described. We are salt and light and are called to be holy.
The word holy has many facets of meaning, but it may be translated as to be separate. The call to be holy is usually coupled with “unto Him.” This thought is beautifully expressed in 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 “Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you, And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”