The Bible does not teach rights. There are no stated or implied rights anywhere in Scripture. The Bible does teach, however, responsibility and privileges. The Biblical argument is: “If you obey… then …; if you disobey … then …” Privileges are withdrawn when responsibilities are not taken up. It is possible, for a time, to claim privileges whilst shirking the corresponding responsibilities. However, God is not mocked. Sins committed in private will eventually be shouted from the rooftops, if not repented of.
The claim to rights, however, is to clamor for the privileges without reference to the corresponding responsibilities. A rights orientation will always lead to conflict in the marketplace. As one claims rights, then it will be at the denial of privileges to another. For example, when a woman claims the right to control her body, and by exercising that right she has the baby in her womb murdered through the process called abortion; by exercising her right, she has denied the privilege of life to the baby. None of us have a right to life, and the Bible indicates that there are instances where God will reclaim our privilege when we have neglected to fulfill our responsibilities (murdering – neglecting to show respect for another’s privilege to enjoy life – for example).
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states that … “parents will have the right to choose the type of education they want for their child” (article 26). In a rights oriented society, this may be helpful, in the short term, to obtain liberty in home educating. However, it is not a long-term solution to the problem of civil resistance to home-based education. The long-term solution has to be through the conversion of the general population until there is a majority who upholds the sovereignty of God and accepts His sovereign will, as expressed through His Law. Parents have a responsibility before God to raise their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This is accompanied with the privilege of choosing for themselves, under God, the method of fulfilling that responsibility – which may include home-based education; enrolment in a local, privately funded, Academy; or tapping into a network of experts throughout the community who assist with the God-given responsibility. No one has a right to state-funded education. The satisfying of that so-called right, is to deny others the privilege of stewarding the blessings that God has given them through labour (i.e. taxation to pay for state-funded education is stealing from parents the capacity to fund the education of their own children).
We have a lot of work to do, but we are to be encouraged by the promise that it is the “Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation, to the Jew first and also to the Greek”.