I am sure you have heard of the classic explanation for how experts can tell a counterfeit bill compared to a genuine bill. What experts do is study the genuine bill so much that they know how to spot a counterfeit. The genuine is studied because the counterfeits are out there. This points to why we need our children to know what is “out there.” Pagan cultures are everywhere. We should know how to teach about pagan cultures – and yes, in our Christian homeschool.
Being intentional about training our children in the way they should go includes teaching them about the antitheses of the Truth. Paganism is a belief that lurks at every corner and stands for every aspect that is against our Lord, against our beliefs and against the very Word of God.
The word pagan comes from the Latin word paganus, which means “country dweller.” My comprehension of the meaning is that paganism represents all that dwells within this world, against all that is above in the heavenly realm.
Paganism is all things of this world that include the belief in other gods, the disbelief in gods or God, Wiccans, hedonism, self-indulgence, and much more. They believe any good treasure is on this earth, as they worship the created rather than a Creator.
Teaching about pagan cultures in your Christian homeschool has its place in the context that kids can identify false religion and it provides a deeper understanding of why they should believe in the Creator, and allows them to be equipped to choose in whom they will serve.
As much as we would like to think that we have done all we can so that our children will choose Christ, we cannot save our children. The Lord is faithful and sovereign in whatever our children choose.
Some families would not dare teach about another religion, much less a godless religion in their home. That is fine and should be respected. However, for some, it is necessary.
There are a few ways we can teach about pagan cultures in our Christian home and in a manner that still points to the God of the scriptures.
Pagan culture in a Christian homeschool can be taught in the context of God’s account.
The Lord has much to say about pagan culture and witchcraft. The Bible talks about fortune-telling and necromancy, amongst other ceremonies which he condemned. We can go through God’s Word and teach our children the many times He chooses to tell about paganism. We can also teach our children about the ways the Bible expressly rebukes all forms of paganism.
Like paganism identifies with country dwelling, in Deuteronomy 18:9–12, God has some choice words for the involvement of such practices. God’s Word says, “When you enter the land, the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one is found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord.”
2 Timothy 3:16 says all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
Pagan culture in a Christian homeschool can be taught in the context of comparing traditions we follow now that derived from pagan rituals and traditions.
The reason why this is important and worthy of being taught is so children are aware of the things that are happening all around them that are contrary to God’s Word. What this does is show them discernment.
God’s Word says in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is right for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.
Pagan culture is all around us, yet remembering God’s Word in spite of it can keep kids completely away from some things while being cautious of others.
There is no doubt that some of our culture today has aspects that have derived from pagan cultures and celebrations. If I think about them all, quite frankly, it becomes quite frightening.
Holidays like Christmas have traditions that trace back to paganism like decorating the trees or the ringing of bells — said to drive out evil spirits. These same bells were later adopted to bring a joyful noise during the season – Psalm 95:1. When we hear bells, we are reminded of the coming of our Lord, definitely not the warding off of evil spirits.
Lighting candles and giving gifts both have roots in pagan practices, yet the significance of them today as believers in Jesus takes on quite a different meaning. It all boils down to a heart issue, and your convictions stacked up against God’s Word. These practices can teach our kids valuable knowledge that enables them to decide on their own.
Pagan culture in a Christian homeschool can be taught alongside a unit study on other religions; and absolute truth.
Paganism is, in fact, a religion, although it may not want to be categorized as such until tax season rolls around. Many religions claim to point to the truth, making it challenging for children to find their way to the truth.
After studying other religions in your homeschool, you are forced to answer some critical questions that have no “out.”
Is Jesus God or isn’t He?
Did He rise from the grave or didn’t He?
Did 500 people see Him ascend to the sky or didn’t they?
Truth is concrete and not relative. A core law of logic is the law of non-contradiction. It says that something can NOT be BOTH “A” and “non-A” simultaneously. Simply speaking, if one is right, then all the others must be wrong.
This type of teaching in our homeschool will be tough, but it is essential for Christian families as they raise children who will eventually face the world on their own one day. They must decide to stand strong and follow Christ on their own.
I read a saying that stuck out in my mind when researching pagan cultures. It said:
One cannot prove a water-proof watch to be effective unless it is put in water.
2 Timothy 2:15 instructs us to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
Learning about pagan cultures encourages children to test the waters against God’s Word and to have a solid perspective in order to handle His Word well. Studying that which is against God can help affirm our faith in Him and it could do the same for our children.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!