For most people removing shoes is just about keeping their floor clean or protecting their children from lead. For me it goes a little deeper. I will say things in this post that you may well disagree with. That is fine. If you are a Communist, an Hindu or an atheist you are welcome on this blog and if you have a shoes-off policy, we have something in common, which is even better.
It is my belief that churches should meet in homes rather than special buildings. I believe the church is meant to be a family. Yet so often, churches just become formal institutions with no life and no dynamism. The earliest Christians met in homes; meeting in a special building was a later development.
So often the norm for Christians is to put on their Sunday best and to put on a facade of piety for a couple of hours at their local congregation. Meeting in a home makes possible a far greater degree of intimacy. They have space to really share what is going on in their lives.
I believe that God made family to be central in society. Meeting in a family home draws attention to the centrality of family life. When Christians meet in a non-domestic building, they tend to end up adopting institutional practices. Typically, a congregation is divided up into a specific groups; a group for children, a group for teenagers meeting on a Friday, a group for single people on a Saturday and a group for the elderly on a Wednesday morning. Yet this is totally the opposite of family life, where all the different ages draw upon each other and enjoy each others' company.
Removing shoes at the door fits in neatly with house churches. Not only does it show respect to the needs of the family hosting the meeting, but it reflects the intimacy of the fellowship. It is amazing how much more comfortable on feels in a room full of people in their socks, as opposed to a room full of people in shoes. The group have removed their shoes and are comfortable in each others' company.
I believe that the education ought to be done in the home rather than at school.
I find it hard to understand why any Christian parent would send their child to a state school, to be taught evolutionary falsely-called science and sex education that removes children's' inhibitions and arouses their curiosity.
There are of course some great independent Christian schools and I went to one myself. However, I think that something is fundamentally lacking in the academic model of education.
We are created to live in family relationships. If being in family is fundamental to our essence as beings, then a child's education ought to take place within a family context.
In general, schools are terrible places. Quite frightful places.
It should not be a surprise that in most schools (in the UK), children are required to wear shoes all time. Schools are modelled on the world of employment, perhaps even on the military. Children are forced to follow a mass of rules and regulations; required to do all sorts of things they would not choose to do.
Education in schools follows a state prescribed curriculum. Instead of learning things that make them balanced individuals, children are taught the things that the government believe are important. They are taught to do what the teachers tell them, in order that when they grow up they may be compliant workers.
As if children are not institutionalised enough by schools, the government is actually keen that children should do extra-curricular activities outside of school, further removed from the protective influence of parents. And the government will never tire of promoting the agenda of getting mothers into work and ever younger children into child care.
Schools are totally removed from family life. Family values could never really be Incorporated into school education. When careers are discussed, there is never any suggestion that being a full time wife or mother might be a valid option. The sex education that children receive is all about making choices, the idea that sex is for marriage is an idea undreamed of in state schools.
Home education means that children receive a curriculum that can be tailored to finding their identities in family life. They have the opportunity to develop identities outside of state prescription.
Just as I think it is right and good for parents to have a shoes-off rule to keep dirt and filth from their homes, to protect their children's health, I believe parents must take on the responsibility of protecting their children's minds.