Michael McHugh is a man that I have wanted to interview on my blog for quite some time. Mike is a humble and unassuming guy who has worked for many years behind the scenes with little-to-no fanfare or applause. He has served as an Editor for Christian Liberty Press and has edited literally thousands of pages of quality literature and curriculum for Christian students.
Very few endeavors are as important as Christian education for children, and Mike has been on the front lines of that battle for over three decades. He is dedicated to promoting the Kingdom of Christ and expanding a Biblical worldview into all areas of life. As a young teenager I was influenced by a number of articles that he wrote for the Home School Digest magazine in the late 1980s and early 90s. His writings helped to shape my understanding of the Biblical basis for Parental Rights, the need for understanding proper governmental spheres (i.e. The Individual, The Family, The Church and The Civil Magistrate), and recognizing the importance of viewing each subject area from a definitively Biblical perspective.
For several years as a homeschooled student I was enrolled with CLASS, a distance learning program offered by Christian Liberty Academy, so his work through them influenced me indirectly as well.
Israel Wayne: How did you get involved with the Christian education movement?
Michael McHugh: In early 1978, I began to ask the Lord to set me upon a new career path. A few weeks later, the pastor who ran a small local church school in the suburbs of Chicago called Christian Liberty Academy offered me a position on staff with their new “home study program“. I came on staff in the spring of 1978, just as the home school movement in the US was beginning to grow rapidly.
Israel Wayne: Who were some of your most influential mentors regarding Christian education (even through books)?
Michael McHugh: The man God used in my life to give my work direction and biblical focus was Dr. Paul Lindstrom. I was saved by the grace of God as I sat under the preaching of Pastor Lindstrom in 1976, and I had the privilege to work closely with him for many years. Other key mentors included the writings of Rousas Rushdoony, Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen, Francis Schaeffer, and Abraham Kuyper.
Israel Wayne: What does it mean to teach a “Biblical worldview” to students?
Michael McHugh: Teaching a “biblical worldview” means helping students to recognize the crown rights of King Jesus in every area of life, so that they might be able to bring every thought captive to the Lord Jesus Christ. As many faithful Christians have observed over the centuries; Christ is either Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all. To succeed in the task of training students to embrace a biblical world and life view, means that they come to the place of understanding that their whole existence is centered upon the task of glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.
Israel Wayne: What do you see as being some of the most successful elements of the home education movement?
Michael McHugh: I am encouraged that many Christian home educators have resisted the temptation to adopt secular curriculum standards and textbooks. I am also encouraged by the level of respect and cooperation that home school parents have generally received from their local communities.
Israel Wayne: What are some trends in the Christian world that encourage you right now?
Michael McHugh: I am encouraged that a growing number of professing Christians are expressing a great interest in the subject of creation science based upon a literal six day, young earth model. Also, many believers are beginning to move away from secular approaches to family relationships, counseling, and psychology. Finally, God’s people seem to be more open to praying for and supporting persecuted Christians around the world.
Israel Wayne: If you could give a word of challenge (or even warning) to homeschoolers and Christian school teachers, what would it be?
Michael McHugh: My challenge to them, would be that they not grow weary in well doing, and that they remain steadfast and unmovable in their mission to train God’s little lambs.
Israel Wayne: What do you hope will be your legacy 100 years from now?
Michael McHugh: My only desire 100 years from now, is that when my grandchildren learn something about my life, it will be an encouragement for them to think more about Jesus Christ.
No single author /speaker has impacted my life more than Ravi Zacharias. I cannot overstate the impact that he has had on my life. So much of what I do professionally, as a speaker dealing with Apologetics and applying a Christian worldview to all of life, is attributed to his profound influence through his books and messages.
Ravi’s daughter, Naomi runs a national ministry entitled, Wellspring International. Wellspring is involved in bringing Christian education to needy children in India. These children having physical needs that are being met through this school, but more importantly their souls are being fed by God’s truth. Please pray and consider if God would have you partner with them on this important work.
“Whoever controls the ideas contained in the textbooks controls the future of politics, economics, and society in a nation. Who dares enter the conflict of this war? A few courageous souls have taken on the battle since the early part of the 20th century. Finally, after forty years of hard work, a movement has materialized. Israel Wayne from christianworldview.net addresses his “Education Manifesto” he placed on his website several weeks ago, on this edition of Generations.” (Kevin Swanson)
This document represents a Biblical view of the training and education of children. Since most Christians are unaware of the Biblical instruction on these matters, I have endeavored to lay out the clear direction of Scripture as it relates to the mandate of parents to teach and train their own children in the ways of the LORD.
All of this is predicated on the realization that God has given children to their parents (see Genesis 33:5, 1 Samuel 1:27 and Psalm 127:3), and has charged them with inalienable rights and responsibilities.
Exodus 10:2: “That you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your grandson, how I made a mockery of the Egyptians, and how I performed My signs among them; that you may know that I am the LORD.”
Exodus 20:3: “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Exodus 20:12: “Honor your father and mother.”
Exodus 20:15: “You shall not steal.”
Matthew 5:19: “Jesus said, ‘Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.’”
Deuteronomy 6:6-7, 11:19: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Deuteronomy 32:46: “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law.”
Psalm 1:1-2: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.”
Psalm 34:11: “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”
Psalm 78:4: “We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.”
Proverbs 1:8: “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”
Proverbs 9:10: “Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding.”
Proverbs 13:20: “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
1 Corinthians 15:33: “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’”
Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is grown, he will not depart from it.”
Isaiah 38:19b: “A father tells his sons about Thy faithfulness.”
Isaiah 54:13: “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”
Jeremiah 10:2a: “Thus saith the LORD, ‘Learn not the way of the heathen.’”
Joel 1:3: “Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.”
Matthew 10:32-33: “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in Heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in Heaven.”
Matthew 28:18: “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’”
Matthew 12:30 and Luke 11:23: Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.”
Colossians 2:3: Jesus is He “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,” but “Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Matthew 18:5-6: “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My Name welcomes Me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
Matthew 19:14b: “Do not hinder (the children) from coming to Me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 22:20-21: “And Jesus said to them, ‘Whose likeness and inscription is this?’ They said to Him, ‘Caesar’s.’ Then He said to them, ‘Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.’”
Luke 6:39-40: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”
Romans 14:23b: “Everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
2 Corinthians 6:13-18: “I am talking now as I would to my own children. Open your hearts to us! Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: ‘I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people. Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them,’ says the LORD. ‘Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be My sons and daughters,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the LORD.”
Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world.”
1 Thessalonians 2:11: “Just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children.”
1 Timothy 3:4: “He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity. Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.”
Titus 2:4: “That (the older women) may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children.”
Hebrews 11:6: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
James 4:17: “Therefore to him who knows the right thing to do, and does it not, to him it is sin.”